Although it’s no news to anyone that I’m not the biggest fan of festivities in celebration of American life, I must admit that there is some undeniable pleasure in sharing them with people of a foreign land… Yesterday I got a chance to chat with Scars on 45 vocalist/guitarist Danny Bemrose, while the Bradford, England indie rock band was en route to joining Atlanta-based friends to celebrate our Turkey Day. The band are currently on a run of US dates that had them supporting ‘90s alt rockers Better Than Ezra, before a string of headlining dates, and now a month-long stretch supporting roots rockers Augustana.
Scars on 45 are currently supporting their sophomore effort, Safety in Numbers, which dropped last month. The songs found on Safety in Numbers are subtly anthemic, blending folk songwriting with a larger rock sound… often sounding like this generation’s premiere Americana singer/songwriters kicking it up a notch, decibel-wise (I’ve characterized my favorite track, “Only a Game,” as, “a cross between latter-era Idlewild, with Counting Crows at their most striking.) The album is the follow-up to Scars on 45’s self-titled debut, which came out in spring of 2012, and which not only landed their sounds in places like the soundtrack to Grey’s Anatomy, but also a live performance slot on The Tonight Show, in addition to a plethora of live performances (including a quite substantial amount of touring in the US).
Although Scars on 45 would seem well into the process of spreading their latest sounds, Bemrose tells me that it still feels like an early stage in the band’s current chapter: “All of it has really been a highlight. We’ve been here in the states for about three weeks now and it’s really kind of just getting back into things, starting the album cycle again.” He also tells me that this tour represents a new kind of live show (albeit with all the things they loved about previous performances): “It’s nice to be able to mix it up and play songs from each album. On the first tour we were just kind of playing every song we knew.”
Bemrose tells me that Safety in Numbers represents Scars on 45 turning a new leaf… or really returning to an old leaf… “2013 was a strange year for us and we got a little bit lost in it, working on the album every day. After being on the road and all that we realized we were trying to be something that weren’t, trying to write a hit song for radio or something, and that just wasn’t us so, with this album, it was a chance for us to start again. Our own souls were really the main influence behind it.” He also tells me that the early feedback the band have gotten from both fans and critics has reinforced all of the work that they put into Safety in Numbers: “The feedback has been entirely positive, which is really rewarding to know that all of the hard work that we put into it paid off.”
Scars on 45 don’t currently have any Philadelphia dates booked (although they did grace the stage of Boot & Saddle over the summer), there’s a distinct possibility that we will get to see them again in the very near future. Bemrose says that the band are anticipating continuing to pound the pavement on the road, in front of as many individuals as possible: “We’re quite ambitious as a band and one thing we’ve always been and always continue to be is hard workers, who always relentlessly tour, in hopes of getting our music out there.”