English pop band Scars on 45 will have some sort of rest when the crew comes to Crescent Ballroom to open for Augustana Friday, December 5 through Saturday, December 6.
Vocalist/guitarist Danny Bemrose, vocalist Aimee Driver, pianist/keyboardist David “Nova” Nowakowski and drummer Chris Durling have lived a nomadic lifestyle since releasing their self-titled debut album in 2012 on Atlantic Records, so staying in one city for two days sounds great to the core quartet.
“Phoenix is one of the places where we haven’t spent that much time,” Bemrose says. “Usually it’s one gig and then get out. We have two gigs with Augustana and we’re really looking forward to it. I just hope the weather isn’t as hot as it usually is.”
Scars on 45 is touring behind its sophomore effort, Safety in Numbers. “Crazy for You,” the disc’s first single, is cathartic with a propulsive chorus that relates a sense of longing.
Although its second album, Safety in Numbers is the act’s first for Nettwerk Records.
“The album was recorded last year, and it was a little bit of a strange year,” Bemrose says.
“We lost our first record deal, the one with Atlantic. It was a period of trying to rediscover ourselves. We spent three years in this bubble, touring—constantly really. We lost our way a little bit, in regard to writing and recording new songs.
When Scars on 45 was demoing its album, it was focused on pleasing other people. The album’s true direction came forward when the musicians from the Leeds, England area put themselves first.
“We rediscovered ourselves and we recorded it very similar to the way we recorded the first album, very DIY. We went to Indianapolis with Eric Olsen, who produced it.
“We were lucky enough when we finished the record to sign a deal with Nettwerk Records. They’ve been fantastic so far. We’ve got a second bite of the apple and we’re back on the road again and working this new album. It’s exciting.”
Bemrose isn’t bitter about the split from Atlantic. If anything, it makes him appreciate what he has now.
“Atlantic gave us a platform,” he says. “They put their money where their mouth was an enabled us to tour and build a fanbase for three years, which we’ll be forever grateful for.
“Nettwerk is a much better fit for us. That’s not just sour apples. Nettwerk’s been fantastic. It’s a wonderful label.”
So wonderful that Scars on 45 is already contemplating their next album. Bemrose is going to use the Christmas holiday as an opportunity to write and demo new tunes.
Music wasn’t Bemrose’s first love. He was a striker for the professional soccer team the Huddersfield Town Football Club until he broke his foot. That ended his sports career. After his injury, he, in earnest, learned a few songs on his father’s guitar.
“That was many moons ago now,” Bemrose says with a laugh. “Football or soccer was always my thing, really. When I learned to play a few songs on the guitar, I just really enjoyed it.
“I’m quite an obsessive person. Soccer was my obsession from an early age. When I couldn’t do that anymore, the next thing I found that I quite enjoyed was playing the guitar and writing songs. It quickly became an obsession and it’s been an obsession ever since.”
He’s admittedly still into sports, however.
“Sports is engrained into who we are—especially soccer,” he explains. “Where we come from in England, it’s an obsession. It’s more than an obsession. It’s a religion. It’s people’s life. Although we’re not that extreme anymore, it’s a huge part of our lives.”
The night before an interview, Scars on 45 took in a little Canadian-American culture and checked out an L.A. Kings-Dallas Stars hockey game in Los Angeles.
“It was great,” he says. “They (Los Angeles) lost, though. The fighting was great. It’s just so American. It’s like Vegas, going to watch a hockey game. It’s incredible, with all the over-the-top big music. It’s incredible.”
Bemrose says Scars on 45 says fans can expect to see “the usual” at his band’s show. But Scars on 45 is anything but usual—and he’s quick to compliment his tourmates.
“We’re touring with Augustana,” he says. “They’re a fantastic live band. The one thing that you can always guarantee from a Scars on 45 show is we’ll give it everything we’ve got. You’ll see five people giving everything they’ve got and enjoying it.”
Augustana w/Scars on 45, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, Friday, December 5, and Saturday, December 6, 8 p.m., $20