UK band Scars on 45 has recently released their album Safety in Numbers, and is now on a West Coast run opening for Augustana. The tour includes a stop at San Francisco’s The Fillmore this Wednesday 12/10.
Danny Bemrose, lead singer and guitar player, recently answered some questions for us.
Tell us about the formation of Scars on 45 as a band.
It’s been a long process over a number of years really. I became friends with Nova over 10 years ago and we began recording little acoustic demos in our bedrooms. Along with our best friend and former bass player Stu we slowly began to try put a band together. This was far harder than we thought it would be! Aimee was on old school friend of Nova and after hearing her singing along to the radio he noticed she could sing like an angel! So she joined the band and then finally we met Chris through a friend of a friend. We’re all really close and know each other inside out, I think that enables us to tour as much as we do. We love each other.
How would you say Safety in Numbers differs from your previous album?
It felt a lot more organic to make this album than the first album. The first album was much more of a little studio project that we recorded in our little rehearsal room in Bradford, England. We recorded the majority of Safety In Numbers in Minneapolis and it was a much more enjoyable experience to concentrate on playing as a band rather than spending the majority of time learning how to actually record in the computer! I feel this album is more honest lyrically. For me it’s very much about accepting the mistakes you’ve made, learning from them, and moving on… and being happy. And we are!
What’s your songwriting process like? Does the music or do the lyrics come first?
Sometimes there may be a sentence or a saying that sticks in your mind and gets the creative juices flowing but it usually starts with the strumming of some chords on the guitar and singing any old random melody. Once something sticks out that catches my attention, I record it on my iPhone ASAP and then just continue working away to get a chorus, verse, etc. The lyrics tend to be the last part of the process. Some come within 20 minutes, some can take a lot longer. From experience I can honestly say the quicker it takes to write a song, the better the song!
You’re from the UK, but seem to have found great success in the US. How is reception different on either side of the pond?
I think we’ve always been really honest about what we do. We’ve never once proclaimed to be doing anything groundbreaking, we just write songs that we like and songs that reflect the stuff we’ve gone through individually or as a band. We have wonderful fans on both sides of the Atlantic and I think the reception is similar in the sense that they relate to what we’re about. We’ve obviously spent so much more time touring the US in the last four years so we’re much more used to playing in front of a US audience. They are always super attentive and really quiet! It’s a little nerve-wracking to be honest!
What can people expect to see and hear at your live Scars shows? Is there anything you’re doing differently on this tour? Anything people might be surprised by?
We’re doing what we always do at our shows, giving everything we’ve got! Aimee and I have started to jump in the crowd and play a couple of songs acoustically which is really enjoyable. That’s something we’ve never done before; hopefully people like it! It’s a little nerve wracking though, last night I could literally hear a guy who stood next to me singing every word in my ear! Good job I didn’t mess up!!
You can listen to one song only for the rest of your life. Choose wisely.
“Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues.
What are your plans for 2015? Any tours in the works? Will you be recording?
I assume it’ll be a lot of touring. One thing that our band isn’t afraid to do is work hard. We wake up everyday knowing how lucky we are to be doing this and how easily it can be lost. We’re so incredibly grateful to every single person who pays an interest in our band so touring our asses off is our way of saying “thank you,” I suppose. It’s completely worth it. We’ll see how everything pans out but we’ll definitely head in to the studio at some point; we have a couple of new songs we want to try out and we’re pretty excited about them.
Article by Lois Pennell