There are some things in life worth waiting for, and The Beautiful Scars is definitely one of those.
This three-piece band of “seasoned rockers” may have only formed last October, but between them they have been “on the road long enough to build a country.” So says guitarist and lead vocalist Kevin Knopf.
But age isn’t the story behind The Beautiful Scars, he insists: “If I’m taking your dollar at the door, what I give you better be something of substance, something that you feel good about when you leave.”
Their collective experience, he says, comes through in their original songs, and in their love of playing live.
“We’re a three-piece kickass band,” says bassist Darren Genovese, adding, “It’s important that the audience doesn’t think we were like the last band they saw, but that they got a show.”
Drummer and vocalist Curtis Doherty, aka Curt Rock, agrees with Genovese’s comment.
“There’s a lot of dynamics in what we do. There’s emotions in the lyrics, and the vocals … this stuff really rocks.”
Rock, a retired truck driver, lives in Airdrie and was playing in cover bands around Calgary before getting the call to join Knopf and Genovese.
Genovese, who calls himself the “all-Canadian kid” – he works at a hockey arena – lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter, and learned to appreciate music from his father.
Knopf, who was a well-established musician in B.C., moved to Strathmore 16 years ago with his wife and two daughters. The couple operates two businesses; a home theatre installation company and a gymnastics facility. Genovese is credited with naming The Beautiful Scars.
“Scars are beautiful,” he explains. “Our wounds, our scars are what make us individuals; the scars are what we share with each other. They are our stories.”
Scars may have inspired the band’s name, but their recently released EP – their first – is pure, high-energy fun. Rock’s attack on the drums is smooth and punchy; a perfect marriage to Genovese’s bluesy, walking-bass style.
And together with Knopf’s classic rock voice and effortless guitar work, The Beautiful Scars’ musical presence is immediately reminiscent of ’80s rock band Journey. Knopf writes most of the lyrics and music, but it’s a collaborative process.
“I take the template of the song, and then give it to these wizards,” he says. “They come back with ideas and it then literally becomes a three-part project in writing a song.”
Knopf met Genovese through a mutual friend and after playing as an acoustic duo in coffee shops they decided they needed a drummer. Genovese compiled a list of local drummers, and though Rock was last on the list, he called him first.
“It was serendipity,” Rock recalls. “(Genovese) called and I drove out to Strathmore (the band’s live rehearsal space) and, wow, we just clicked.”
However, he only had a month to learn the original songs for a gig that had already been booked at The Blind Beggar Pub in Calgary. They joke about how quickly they gelled, but attribute their cohesiveness to their years of experience.
As for the future, they have a plan.
“We’re gonna do something else that really nobody is doing, not since Johnny Cash or the Carter Family in the ’50s,” Knopf explains.
The band is going to use the EP as a calling card. Armed with a snare and guitars they plan on playing live in radio stations, spreading their brand of rock and roll.
“Whether it’s in Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Frankfurt, we’re going,” Knopf says.
“It’s gonna be old school,” laughs Genovese.