Marco Rocca
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Marco Rocca

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Oct
26
Marco Rocca @ Plan B

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Oct
15
Marco Rocca @ Governor's Pub

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Oct
15
Marco Rocca @ Bridge Street Cafe

Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

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Music

Press


Marco Rocca lives a double life: half city mouse, half country mouse.

ENLARGE PHOTO


The locally revered Moncton singer-songwriter is trying to get the best of both worlds these days, playing loud, hard and fast with equal parts slow, careful and quiet.

Rocca, 33, has spent over 18 years on sweaty stages, grinding it out hard rock style with old bands Hope, the Monoxides and his current group, The Nuclear. Though songs about love and regret have been storming inside him for years, he says self-imposed confines only allowed him to play hard and loud.

Today, he says, he's let it go.

"If I start to write something and it's really what I'm feeling, and I get that voice in my head that says, 'No, don't go that way, you're going to look like a weak person.' If I notice myself saying that, I say, 'Too bad. I'm going to write it because that's what I'm feeling.'"

With one solo record, Hopeless in the Haze, behind him, Rocca is in pre-production in his at-home recording space for a new solo record, which should be ready by early 2012.

Though he's hitting stages alone with his guitar, Rocca still craves the rush of singing it loud. On the same token, he says, The Nuclear have broken out of their own mold and are churning out new tracks that are more energetic than ever.

The band is playing two shows this weekend: a loud electric show downtown, and a quiet acoustic show in Albert County.

"I've never had that before. I've always just played in hard rock bands and never had that acoustic release until just a few years ago, It completes me musically." - Here NB


Whether performing as a member of Hope, The Nuclear or under his own name, Moncton musician Marco Rocca has been a part of the local music scene in some respect since the early 90s. Simple math will tell you that since Rocca is only 33 years old, he has been making music in the public eye since his early teens.

If you haven't already heard of this fine fellow, Rocca is a workhorse of sorts. He immerses himself in music at every arguable possibility, whether that means teaching students to play guitar, or performing in various bars and clubs in Metro Moncton on any given evening of the week.

This coming weekend, Rocca will be wearing the hats of both bandleader and solo artist. His band The Nuclear will be performing at Downtown Moncton's Manhattan Bar & Grill tonight. Tomorrow night, Rocca performs solo at the beautiful Parkindale Hall venue located on Route 895.

Though he has busied himself with numerous musical projects over the past 10 years, The Nuclear has arguably become Rocca's primary focus since the 2008 release of their self-titled effort. Some might successfully argue that Rocca's solo work, including his 2010 solo debut Hopeless In The Haze is of equal priority to that of the Nuclear however.

With The Nuclear, Rocca melds the influence of modern punk with a melodic sensibility that most musicians would kill for. His solo work has the same melodic sensibility but tends to be more reflective in nature. Whether writing songs for his band or his solo career, writing songs with memorable hooks seems to be as natural for Rocca as breathing is to others.

The past 18 months have been a fine tuning period of sorts for The Nuclear. The group, which had started out as a trio comprised of Rocca, drummer Tom Antle and bassist Pascal Toussiaint, had actually expanded to be a quartet for a period of time after Derek Robichaud (Iron Giant, The Monoxides) joined as a second guitarist. Approximately one year ago however, Robichaud's career took him away from The Nuclear, reducing the band back to the trio format in which they had started.

"We are back to being a trio for now and are having a lot of fun with it," Rocca says. "I wish I could have the best of both the trio and quartet worlds all of the time but it can be hard to make that work. I found that being a quartet took away some of the rawness of our live sound but at the point that Derek had joined, we had been a trio for almost four years so it was nice to try something new. I grew to love the sound of being a four-piece band though. Having Derek perform with us allowed us to play specific parts of the record in concert that had been previously relegated to being only on the record."

Given the fact that The Nuclear's album is now more than three years old, there is a natural curiosity as to when Rocca expects to have more Nuclear material readied for release.

"We recorded approximately 12 songs in Halifax earlier this year but only ended up being happy with approximately six of them. The other six songs that we recorded were new to us at the time and came together in a somewhat admitted rush. We have been working on refining those six songs however and have found that we have them in a much better place now."

In addition to the dozen tracks that The Nuclear has already recorded, Rocca says the group has another five or six new songs up their sleeves, bringing the tally of new Nuclear songs up to the 17-song mark. He says that he hopes to take the cream of that 17-song crop to the recording studio before the end of July with the goal of making a new record with a still to be determined release date.

Rocca shares that he has also has a significant number of songs that could comprise a new solo record. - Times and Transcript


Like Jesse Malin, there isn’t a musical hat that doesn’t fit Moncton’s Marco Rocca. Equally comfortable playing punk rock as he is sitting down with an acoustic guitar and strumming his heart out, Hopeless In The Haze is his first exploration of the latter. Far from being a record that wallows in its own pity, Rocca mines singer-songwriter territory on The Great Pretend and Familiar Face while still managing to find the silver lining of life in other songs like Smile & Pretend and Run For Your Life. This will undoubtedly prove to be one of NB’s best releases in 2010. - Ken Kelly


Hopeless In The Haze

Somewhere between playing with The Nuclear, Hope and The Monoxides, Riverview's Marco Rocca found the time to release his first solo album.

With only a couple of exceptions, the album was written and performed entirely by this talented staple of the local music scene. The album has a bit of a roots rock feel to it but it's hard to really fit Rocca's music into one category as there's an eclectic mix of musical genres featured on Hopeless In The Haze.

The album moves from rootsy acoustic numbers to full out rockers with even a bit of alt country twang interspersed. With intelligent lyrics overtop great music, Rocca's songwriting skills are on full display and there isn't one weak song on the album.

Hopeless In The Haze is available at Frank's Music and Spin It so do yourself a favour and support our local musical talent at the same time by picking up this superb CD.

Highlights include The Great Pretend, Run For Your Life, and Windy Driv - Times and Transcript


Discography

Hopeless In The Haze - 2010

Photos

Bio

For the past 18 years Marco Rocca has been writing, playing and performing music that comes from the heart; a heart that has a preference for social commentary. His early years, not unlike many other teens forming their first bands, were spent with punk rock. Touring and releasing albums in true D.I.Y. fashion with his band, Hope, was how Rocca spent 1998 – 2007. Hope toured Canada on their own and eventually as opening act for D.O.A., Chixdiggit, SNFU, Big Wig and Good Riddance, and also landed a spot on the North American leg of Vans Warped Tour in 2002. Hope has released 4 studio albums as well as a live album.

In 2005 Rocca formed a new band called The Nuclear; a band that concentrated more on the pop side of Rocca’s song writing and one that would later back him up for his solo efforts. In 2008 The Nuclear released their self-titled debut.

Marco’s first solo album, Hopeless In The Haze, was released in April 2010. Recorded entirely at home, the album features Marco performing most of the instrumentation. Again, this singer songwriter took a new direction. Hopeless In The Haze is a more acoustic based indie album that moves from solo singer songwriter style tracks to full band productions.

The Nuclear showcased at the 2009 ECMA’s in Cornerbrook NFLD.

Marco is currently working on both a Nuclear record and his next solo album.