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Scars On 45

Making music was the furthest thing from Scars on 45 co-founder Danny’s mind until the professional soccer player for England’s Hatsfield Town F.C. broke his foot at 21 and his world came crashing down. “I was in limbo, without knowing what to do with myself,” he says. It wasn’t the first time that fate would intervene in the band’s formation. Danny put down the soccer ball and picked up for his father’s guitar. “I’m quite an obsessive person. I became kind of addicted,” he says. “I used to lock myself away and try to write songs and try to record on four-track recorder.” Those early years led to the formation of Scars on 45, a quintet from Leeds, England, that combines the gentle melodic intensity of Snow Patrol or Keane but features the added allure of co-ed vocals. Highlights on the group’s self-titled, 11-song debut include the gracefully propulsive “Heart on Fire,” on which Danny and Aimee play out a couple’s anguished conversation, and the lilting, yet melancholic, “Give Me Something,” as Danny longs for some sign--any sign--that there’s a reason for him to believe in a lasting love. But that’s getting ahead of the story. After teaching himself guitar, Danny and one of his football buddies, Stu, began playing together in various bands. “We were awful,” Danny laughs, but “we were always passionate about it and had this belief that we’d probably make it some day.” Soon keyboardist Nova joined the pair and the trio began recording demos and playing live around Leeds. This is where Oasis’ Noel Gallagher and country legend Emmylou Harris come in. “A friend of ours who was drumming for Noel asked us if we wanted to meet him,” Danny recalls. “He said, ‘This is Danny and Stu they’re in a band.’ Noel said, ‘What’s your band’s name?’ and we said, ‘We don’t really have one.’ Noel said, ‘A band without a name? What kind of fucking band is that?’ and walked off.” Indeed. On search for a name, the nascent group ultimately picked Scars on 45, taken from a radio interview that Danny heard with Harris, in which she recalled her father telling her as a young girl that she better not get any “scars on his 45s” as she played them. The trio became the axis of the band, with other members coming and going. “We must have been through at least 500 members,” Danny says. And then, amid the revolving door, the second serendipitous event occurred that firmly set Scars On 45 on its path. Danny wrote a song that required a female voice. Out of the blue, Nova heard his friend Aimee singing along with the radio to The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” Although she wasn’t a performer and had never sung in public, he was struck by her innocent, sweet voice. She ultimately, joined the band, ditching plans to travel around the world with a friend for two years. “I just started singing along when Nova rushed in seeming really shocked,” Aimee recalls. “I thought his dad had a heart attack or something! He made me stand there in his living room and sing another song to him which was the scariest thing ever at the time. At first I wouldn’t do it but he wouldn't shut up so I just put my tea down, shut my eyes and sang ‘Rhiannon’ by Fleetwood Mac just to stop him pestering me. Danny recorded me on one of the songs and it just seemed to work. The next thing I knew I was in the band. When I told my family and friends they were saying, ‘but you can't sing, can you?’” Then began a series of joys, heartbreaks and near misses. The band, now expanded to a quintet with the addition of drummer, Chris, placed songs on A&E’s since-cancelled series, “The Cleaner,” and came close to signing with a major label only to see the deal fall apart at the last moment. Then came the moment they had been waiting for: “CSI: New York” selected the group’s song, “Dutiful and Wild,” for an extended closing scene. The music caught the attention of noted music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas, who signed the band to her Atlantic Records-distributed label, Chop Shop Records. The band members… recorded the self-produced “Scars on 45” on their own, first starting in “Fawlty Towers,” as Danny and Stu called their crumbling apartment, and then moving to the basement of a church that a friend has purchased to convert into apartments. “He let the congregation live there for awhile, so there was this little rock and roll band recording in the basement and we had a lot of praying going on next door,” Danny recalls. “They were lovely people.” Although enjoyable, the studio is “the work part,” Danny says. As the band continues its tour of the U.S., following its first American shows at South X Southwest last March, the fun comes in playing live. “When people listen and react to one of your songs, there’s no better feeling,” Danny concludes. “When you see someone else enjoy it, there’s not really anything bad about that at all.”

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