BAND YOU SHOULD KNOW/ INTERVIEW: SCARS ON 45
Scars on 45 is a 6 piece band from Leeds/Bradford, UK and it consist of Danny Bemrose (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Aimee Driver (vocals), Stuart Nichols (bass guitar), David “Nova” Nowakowski (keyboard, piano, backing vocals), and Chris Durling (drums, percussion). Their song “Beauty’s Running Wild” was featured in an episode of CSI: New York, and their song “Hearts On Fire’ was the lead song on Grey’s Anatomy 2011 soundtrack. They are signed to Atlantic’s Chop Shop Record label, which has been successful in getting previously unsigned bands heard through song placements in popular TV programs. Scars on 45’s first EP, "Give Me Something," was released in January 2011, their second EP “Heart on Fire” was released October 24, 2011.
I saw Scars On 45 a couple weeks ago with The Fray and they were magnificent! Sometimes when you go to a show it’s a hit and miss with the talent of the opening bands but they were astonishing. Besides acknowledging the crowd with charming and witty remarks, they put their entire heart and soul into every song they performed; you can tell performing is what they really want to do and they are very happy doing it. If you ever have a chance to go to one of their shows, don’t miss out! Scars On 45 is definitely a must see band! Also, set your reminders, they will be on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this coming Friday, March 2.
Songs to check out: Promises and Empty Words, Give Me Something, Don’t Say, Heart On Fire and Loudest Alarm.
How did you come up with the band name?
It comes from an interview we read with Emmy Lou Harris. When she was young she used to listen to her dad's 45s and scratch them. When he came home he would accuse her of scarring his 45s. It used to be the title to a song called "Change My Needs" which is on the album, but in the end we decided we preferred it as a band name so switched it.
What inspires you to keep pursuing a career in music?
We're all having the time of our lives, we don't need any inspiration! We're out seeing the world with our best friends playing music for a living. Its our dream job! When you go and play a show in front of a load of people you never met and they know the words to all your songs, that's an incredible feeling. We work hard and are very proud of what we've achieved already, so to see people's reaction to our music is the greatest inspiration imaginable.
What was it like having your songs on TV shows? Did you watch the show to see your song play?
It's a surreal experience but we're getting more used to it. We never really have time to watch any TV as we're always on the road but if we know we're going to be on a show we always make sure we get hold of the clip and watch it. The first one ever was CSI:NY before we were signed. Now that was weird. Our music playing on a wedding scene starring Gary Sinise?! Now thats weird!
I know there’s a full album coming out in the spring, are you able to say the release date yet?
We found out just this week that the album will be released April 10th.
Are you going to do a tour to support the new album?
Yes we are going on tour with the talented Ingrid Michealson, which we are all looking forward to. The tour starts on the 1st of May, which is perfect timing for our album that comes out on April 10th. We'll also be doing some of our own shows and hopefully some TV spots.
Do you have a bigger fan base in England or the USA?
We have a little fan base in our hometown and had a sold out show the last time we played there, but apart from that we're basically unknown. We are only signed in the US so we haven't had the chance to get our music out there in the UK. Hopefully one day though.
You self-produced your EP “Give Me Something,” do you think you appreciate the songs better than if you didn’t produced it yourselves?
We 100% appreciate our music more knowing we produced them ourselves because we can see all the hard work pay off when we get to tour this beautiful country and get as many people to hear it as possible. Also the more of a following we get out here makes it all the more special knowing it's all our own work. We're very proud of ourselves knowing we did it that way and that the album couldn't be more 'us'.
These lyrics are so incredibly honest and heartfelt, what are the main inspirations behind them?
I was inspired a lot about the relationships I was seeing, not only my own but those of people around me. Someone once told me, "just write about what you know" and I suppose the things that inspired me growing up was people's relationships with one another and soccer. I think it's easier to write a song about a broken heart or a loving relationship than it is about the off-side rule or scoring a hat-trick! (yes, I did score one or two - Scars!)
What has been your two favorite gigs you have done so far, since being a band and since touring America?
That is a tough question! I always hate singling out particular gigs because I can honestly say that we've taken something extremely special away from every city and venue we've played. We've spent a lot of time on tour the last year as a support act and are always blown away by how warm and loving the crowds are towards us, something we appreciate so much. We were also lucky enough to go and do our own headline tour in February and those gigs will be something we'll always remember, the first experience of having sold out venues singing our songs back to us! Simply amazing!
What bands influence/ have influenced you?
Although we're a band that love a wide variety of artists, we have always been influenced by individual songs. It doesn't matter if it's Rock, Pop, Dance, Swing, Alternative.....the list could go on, if it's a great song, it's a great song and we're influenced by it. In reference to the bands that have been constant throughout our lives, the band that introduced us to music was The Beatles, the band that made us want to play guitar was Oasis. The band that made us want to write songs was Fleetwood Mac.
Danny, do you think it’s a blessing in disguise that you hurt your foot and weren’t able to play soccer anymore, and picked up a guitar instead?
Without a doubt! I think that every time I'm sat backstage, I certainly don't miss the 12 mile runs and tension of it all! I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing than travelling around the US with your best friends playing music to amazing people. We still like to being the soccer ball out on tour though, you've got to have a little bit of a kick-around!
What’s your dream tour line up?
We always used to joke that Death Cab For Cutie would be our dream support and I guess that's still the case. We kind of embarrassed ourselves when we met Chris Walla at SXSW a few years ago...but thats another story.
What’s the biggest difference between playing a gig here in America vs. back home in England?
Well the main difference is that people show up in America. Only kidding. We're unknown in the UK so apart from in our hometown where all our friends and family come and support us. We haven't actually played much in the UK. Hopefully in the coming years we'll get to build a fanbase back home too.
What’s your favorite song to play?
I think we all have our own favourites within the band and they continually change from week to week. "Give Me Something" is always fun to play. It has this dancey sort of beat which really sems to get the crowd going. There's also a song called "Lucy" which isn't going to be on the album, but it's one of our personal favourites to play just because its so dynamic and gets so intense towards the end. Yeah, we like that one!
What song of yours holds the most meaning to you? Why?
Again, I think that's different for all of us. I think it would have to be "Heart on Fire." That's maybe the oldest song on the album and it's a really big deal for us thats its getting so much attention with the "Greys Anatomy" stuff and the VH1 and the Overstock commercials. To think that this simple song that we wrote 4 years ago is now being heard by so many people makes us very proud.
Who do you think changed the music industry? Why?
I think no doubt about it - it was the kid who set up Napster, I believe its Shaun Parker who set up the first file sharing site - after that everything changed. Over the following years, you didn't have to pay for music anymore if you chose not to. Which ultimately meant bands and record companies had to start looking for new ways to make money.
If you could go anywhere in the world, what’s a place that you could either play a gig at again or play for the first time?
One huge ambition for this band is to play the Glastonbury Festival in the UK - 180,000 people. All the greats have played it the past few years - U2, Coldplay, Jay Z, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce. One big ambition that we had in the US was to play Red Rocks in Denver, and we were lucky enough to play there last summer.
Lastly, where do you see this band in 5 years?
Probably releasing our third album and continue to tour the world playing to as many people as we possibly can - we have been put in a very lucky position where we get to do what we love for a living. We hope to be doing this for as long as we possibly can!
Here's a video of them performing a cover of Rihanna's song "We Found Love" and one of their songs "Change My Needs" both are phenomenal.