It was at college earlier that year that Bjørn had formed a bonding friendship with like-minded student Nick Haworth and they both decided to move-in with childhood friend Alan Redmond. Maindy Rd, Cardiff - student digs of now legendary status. Their common love of the Stones, Beatles and, strangely, Blue Mink led to the inevitable sliding in-and-out of various bands together over the next 12 months. It was during this particularly fruitful period that the 3 lads recognised they were onto something special, chemistry they call it in the industry. One piece of the puzzle remained. Remember this was "pre-White Stripes" and there was a common feeling that most bands could do with a bass player and so "The Pull" were born when Bjørn invited his older brother Simon to join the band 'look good, drink and play bass'.
And so back to the bar that summer, with 'The Pull' apprenticeship behind them, the band decided to relocate and make this "hobby" their life. La Rocca seemed the perfect name, and Dublin the perfect breeding ground for their developing rock¹ n¹ soul sound.
Here¹s where the story begins.
2003. So what¹s up in Dublin town? Seems there¹s something in the air, fuelled by, of all things, a "so-cal" sound! And what of the underground? Where to next? I¹ll tell you Dublin¹s LA ROCCA have been hard at work in various studios, rehearsal spaces (because 'spaces' is the only way to describe some of them) and occasionally dragging their skinny white arses on stage to get their live-fix.
Shaking themselves off in the wake of an intense winter song-writing period, the band decamped to the studio to capture the energy of some new tunes in a fresh batch of demos and recordings. Something magical was happening. If you were at those sessions you¹d have been able to feel it.
The ensuing months profiled our heroes doing what they do best. Providing a wall-to-wall guitar wail, filling the room with sweat and emotion. Up-close rock. Dirty Soul. Bjørn Baillie¹s vodka-fuelled tales of love and life nestle somewhere wonderfully between the chilled harmony of The Thrills and the joyous rock of Supergrass. With derivative rock revelling in its "15 minutes of", LA ROCCA are perfectly poised to deliver that same gut-felt swagger, but with classic songs you will instantly feel as though you have known forever. Songs to sing along to, to live your life to. La Rocca mixed their late-night recording sessions with some mouth-watering gigs - playing with The Vines and You Am I at the Ambassador and working alongside Death in Vegas at the 2003 Trinity Ball, this live energy reverberates in the new recordings.
So here¹s where the story begins. The brilliant debut EP from LA Rocca, "SING : SONG : SUNG", was released in September 2003. The "knob-twiddling" on the 4 tracks (including lead radio single "Built A Gun") is courtesy of one Marc Carolan fresh off a world tour with The Thrills and whose past production credits include the Thrills, Muse and The Pogues.
The EP was mastered at London¹s legendary Abbey Road studios. With one eye determinedly trained on overseas touring and releases, and the other on recording their debut album, the future is in their hands.
La Rocca are: