The Nuclear
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The Nuclear

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Nuclear by Ty Trumbull"

Moncton, NB’s the Nuclear have crafted that most illusive of accomplishments: an original sounding pop punk record. Their music is reminiscent of early Green Day (and at times, singer Marco Rocca sounds a lot like Billy Joe) infused with a country/folk sound and enough interesting riffage to keep you on your toes. Songs like “Stations” demonstrate a strong grasp of melody coupled with the technique to pull it off flawlessly. And while the tracks certainly overflow with pop sensibilities the band never allow the energy to drop for a second. The production on this self-titled debut allows every instrument to shine, letting things like acoustic guitars come in clearly for brief moments then disappearing — their absence never being missed but adding substantially to the sound when present. If this record is any indication, you should expect to see a lot from these guys in the future. (Independent) - Exclaim

"It’s a sick, sick world"

It’s a sick, sick world
OK so that’s not how Nuclear’s songwriter really feels, he just felt that way at that moment

One of the coolest things about living in a city the size of Moncton (or Fredericton or Saint John for that matter) is that it's no big feat to get to know most of your local bands. In fact anyone with one foot in their local music pool probably knows, at least on an acquaintance level, most of the members of most the bands in their city.

Being from New Bruswick, you may be familiar with Hope and the Sour Grapes. In fact, you've probably even seen them share the stage on several occasions. The Nuclear is a natural merging of the two bands and the result is something that doesn't sound like either of them.

With one half of Hope (drummer Tom Antle and guitarist/vocalist Marco Rocca) and a quarter of the Sour Grapes (bassist/vocalist Pak Toussant) you'd be safe to expect this three-piece to sound comfortable at The Seahorse sandwiched between The Malenkos and The Mean. However, The Nuclear would probably do just as well on a Plaskett bill as they would a normal Saturday night punk bill.

With all three members in road worthy bands, it wouldn't be farfetched to tag The Nuclear with the side project label, but that's not how its members see it.

"These are the songs I've been writing since I've been playing guitar. It's more personal. It's the direction I want to go," says Rocca. The last time I spoke to Marco he told me he wasn't an angry guy. This time around it's not Hope that we're talking about, but his newest project. And even though the line "It's a sick, sick world, we are sick, sick people" echoes out of his PC speakers, he's still saying he's not all that angry.

"I don't intend for the songs to be angry or sad," laughs Rocca.

"When I sit down to play my guitar, I'm trying to come up with something that just flows out of me. It's what I feel at that moment. I don't feel the world is sick but that's how I felt at the time." The Nuclear may still be in its infancy as a band, but Rocca has been recording his own songs acoustically for years. Some of these solo Rocca songs (I'm Not Home and Drowning) were eventually transformed into full on punk rock that made their way to Hope records. The others however remain only in mp3 format and are quite hard to come by.

But now that The Nuclear is a full fledged band, Rocca finds himself not only being one of the primary songwriters for Hope, but for The Nuclear as well.

"There have been songs I've written that just wouldn't go with Hope. That's why there's The Nuclear," says Rocca. "You know if a song is going to be able to be a punk rock song or if it's meant to be something else. I think it's just something I know once it's begun." So for the past few months Rocca has been recording whenever he could find the time. Between two jobs and two bands, there isn't a lot of free time to spare, but The Nuclear record is just something that he's got to do.

"It feels natural. All three of us from the very first practice felt like we've been doing this for years. It feels like something that is supposed to be done," says Rocca.

While the debut record is still in the production phases, and still months away from landing in your CD player, you can and should catch The Nuclear's live show. They'll be playing a showcase at The ECMAs this year. (Thursday, February 23 at The Guild) as well some Moncton dates: Wednesday, March 1 at the Paramount, and March 4 at O'brien's Riverview.

As for the record itself, the band hasn't yet decided if this will be a strictly indie release or if it will actually be shopped to labels.

"I've got to wait and see what it sounds like.

I'd like to shop it around, but we're not a full time touring band so why would labels want it?" asks Rocca. "I'd like to have something to sell at shows so people know our songs." The thing that's separating The Nuclear from any other band in the city is their sound. Their MySpace tags their influences to "The Beatles, Ramones, The Clash, Tom Petty, Green Day, Elvis Costello, and Supergrass," and honestly, I think that just about nails it. (I still say I'm hearing a little bit of Conway Twitty near the end of Stations).

And for now, a MySpace is all the website you're going to get out of the band. So check out
- Don Levandier - Here NB

"The Nuclear (self-titled) Independent"

The Nuclear is a Moncton, N.B. trio featuring Marco Rocca (of longtime Moncton punk band HOPE as well as veteran rockers The Monoxides), Tom Antle (HOPE) and Pascal “Pak Twisted” Toussaint (of another longtime, much-loved Moncton punk outfit, Sour Grapes).

So it comes as no surprise on the trio’s debut, they continue to play a familiar brand of energetic, rockin’ Green Day-inspired punk. While at first glance, there’s a very Green Day-ish punk sound, after a few listens, you’ll begin to notice that some of the riffs and melodies sound like they could have just as easily been inspired by classic ’60s and ’70s rock. The Nuclear’s debut is chock full of hook-filled tracks, from the rockin’ opener “Abducted By A UFO, Pt. 1″ to single “Stations,” the catchy-as-all-hell “The End of Our Love” and the political statement “Sick.” The Nuclear’s debut is a really fun, rockin’ listen you’ll be singing along to in no time. I can’t seem to get enough of this one. -

"Redefining Moncton's sound"

The Nuclear are one of Moncton's best kept secrets. And while they plan on touring to promote the release of their brand new 13-track self-titled record, for the time being they're happy to remain that way.

It's no big secret The Nuclear's front-man Marco Rocca is no fan of traditional band promotion like press photos or interviews, but I was able to sit down with him for an hour and discuss the making of the record, his future as a musician, and even a bit of what goes on inside his head when it comes to putting a record like this together.

"We started in June of 2006 and it just came out in July of 2008," says Rocca referring to their two-year recording process. It was in the fall of 2006 when The Nuclear had an article featured on them in this very magazine. I think it's necessary to put this record in perspective so here's a line from an article I wrote almost two full years ago about the band: "While the debut record is still in the production phases, it's months away from landing in your CD player." Months? Well if by "months" I meant 22, then I was dead on the money. So why does it take a band two years to put out an album? "" and was it worth the wait?

"We recorded it whenever we could," Rocca says, referring to the band's eclectic music-making schedule. Sitting in the engineering/producing chair was Halifax music veteran Craig Sperry (co-engineer for Hope and The Dean Malenkos). We played in Halifax a few times when Craig saw a show and said 'if you guys need to record an album, I want to do it'," says Rocca. Tom Antle, the band's drummer and Rocca had discussed the possibility of working with Sperry to produce the record, but being approached by him to do just that came as a surprise.

So in June of '06 Sperry made the trip up from Halifax to begin the arduous task of starting a two-year record. But it's unlikely the engineer/producer or any of the band actually knew what they were getting themselves into.

In a garage/machine shop on Gorge Road microphones were placed all over the converted room. Twenty microphones - to be exact. Many of these came from Halifax's now defunct, but very famous Idea Of East studio. These would be used to record the drums and bassist Pak Twisted's parts only. Guitars and vocals came much later and only some of them were recorded in the Moncton based ad-hoc studio. The remainder of the guitars and vocal tracks were laid down with Craig in Halifax.

"Either Tom and Pak were with me for the rest of the recording. Most of the time both of them were there," explains Rocca on how the record was produced with the majority of the band on hand.

This process took many of 2006's weekends away from the band. "We didn't commit to playing any shows because we'd only find out on Monday if we'd be recording the following weekend," Rocca says.

Once all the recording was completed near the end of the first year, the mixing and mastering process filled up the next half of the timeline. But was it working around the schedules of three full-time working musicians and a producer/engineer who lives out of province that made the project so long in the making? While it certainly played a part, the big obstacle was the financial strain laid upon the band with making a record. The band paid for the entire process, including recording, mixing, mastering, and finally the hefty bill of manufacturing out of its own pockets.

"If you added up all the actual recording time the whole process was probably about a month," laughs Rocca. The question going through my head at this point was clearly "" would you do it this way again? Rocca simply states "Hindsight is 20/20" "" but I learned from this."

So now that the record is finally out (officially as of August 22) what does it sound like? Was it worth taking two years to make it?

"These are songs I wrote because of the bands I love; Tom Petty, The Beatles "" I didn't try to copy them but they're huge influences on me," says Rocca. And while this statement rings true "" it's merely the stem to a much more deeply seeded set of roots.

The album is certainly glazed with the pop/rock sensibilities of bands like The Beatles (early years) and The Byrds, but tends to be much more introspective lyrically and all around darker. While it's safe to say these influences exist within the band "" it's also safe to say that the above description would likely get a band chewed apart or at the very least completely ignored in a predominately heavy rock 'n' roll city like Moncton.

The Nuclear however is a band made of up veterans from two of Moncton's most revered punk-rock outfits, Hope and Sour Grapes. This marriage of the two bands has given us a record that wouldn't generally be called a punk-rock effort "" but wouldn't turn off any fan of the genre. It's laced with all the bite and well-placed angst you might look for in a Hope album but with hooks and tones that make it almost destined to be rock-radio classic.

How will this sit with fans of Hope or Sour Grapes? "This record came from satisfying what we wanted musically," says Rocca. "I feel fine about being played on any radio station. What do I have to be ashamed about? I'm not going to let someone's ideas of what I should be doing affect what I want to do."

So why then does The Nuclear exist? If this record has got all the right elements to potentially be a punk rock album "" why didn't Rocca simply use his existing band to play these songs?

"I want Hope to be fast, aggressive, angry and melodic - the place I go to get my aggression out," says Rocca. "I want The Nuclear to stray far from that. I want every Nuclear record to be completely different "" and I don't want that for Hope." So with a sound that's clearly redefining what people should come to expect from a Moncton band and a brand new 13 song album on shelves in Moncton and soon to be on Itunes world-wide, what is next for the band?

"We're not band managers and we don't have management," says Rocca with a laugh. "Right now our ambitions reach as far as getting a two-week tour planned. I don't know about the things that other bands do to promote themselves or to be rock stars "" that's just not where our heads are oriented right now."

If we can say anything for certain about the new record "" I'd go with simply "It's different." It won't remind you of Hope, Sour Grapes, Eric's Trip or The Monoxides. It doesn't have an obvious established band to compare it to nor does it sound like 1991 or metal...and it certainly doesn't sound like it was recorded in a machine shop.

The Nuclear's self-titled debut is a spitefully catchy, poppy, rock record that covers everything from their views on faith and religion to deconstructing one's own mind and is an instant classic for followers of the Moncton music community.

Whether or not it was worth the two-year wait to get your hands on the album is up to you, but what's apparent is that this record will still be a relevant piece of Moncton's audio history well over two more years down the road.

The Nuclear is currently available at Moncton's Spin It Records and Frank's Music.

Check out for tour dates and mp3s. - Here NB


The Nuclear - Self Titled



The Nuclear are a band formed out of common need for something new in their musical outlet. All 3 founding members come from fast and heavy melodic punk bands, Hope and Sour Grapes. The band's music makes perfectly clear that they grew up on many more musical stylings. Members of The Nuclear hail from Moncton, NB, Canada and have been a part of Moncton's music scene for over 15 years.

The Nuclear released their first self titled album in July 2008 and in 2009 the band showcased at the East Coast Music Awards' Rock Stage in Cornerbrook NFLD.