ike all Delgany drummers, Bjorn Baillie is a man with not only a lot of soul but feckin’ buckets of talent too.
Which may explain why Bjorn has made music in Dublin, LA, London, Cardiff and, eh, St David’s Secondary School.
Indeed, his debut offering as The Jonah Medal, Septembering, was recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, in Laurel Canyon and Brighton, reflecting not only the nomadic musician life but also Baillie’s restless search for new – and old – musical kicks.
“Which fits in with what Septembering is all about,” says young Bjorn from his Brighton home. “How far does someone need to travel, over how many years, to find what they’re looking for? And I’m asking my own generation if they’re okay. That generation stuck in the middle, trying to hold it all together…”
Bejiggers, that’s deep, man. Especially for someone who was once in a Delgany band called Septic Skank [pictured]. Way back then, Bjorn was just 14 when he and his older brother Simon decided to form a band, along with a buddy from Bray, Septic Tank gracing such hallowed halls as The Baggot Inn, Charlie’s Bar and local dive divine, The Stables.
“We even managed to sell out the band hall on Blackberry Lane,” laughs Bjorn. “We were told we could only have a few dozen people but, in the end, there was a 100-plus trying to push in through the door. When you’re 14, that’s as good as selling out Madison Square Garden.”
From there, it was a hop, skip and a ferry to Cardiff, where Bjorn and Simon formed La Rocca in 1997, a move back to Dublin two years later for the foursome resulting in a string of sell-out gigs all over the country and, eventually, a record deal that led them to LA in 2005. Tours with the likes of Phoenix and Jet followed but, by 2010, the band were no more and Bjorn went solo, having soaked up the sounds and the psychedelics of Laurel Canyon, the famed LA pothead petri-dish for the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Jim Morrison and The Byrds.
For Baillie’s latest offering, Laurel Canyon was key. “There’s a definite through-line,” he says. “The bare honesty of Carole King and Joni Mitchell, the soulful lyricism of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the humour of Randy Newman – this is growing-up music, as opposed to grown-up music. And it’s where I’m at, as an artist and a father.”
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.