2002 – present (15 years)
Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, United States
Trophy Scars is a rock band formed in Morristown, New Jersey in June 2002. The band was formed by vocalist Jerry Jones, guitarist John Ferrara, and drummer Brian Ferrara. The current lineup also includes bassist Andy Farrell and pianist Gray Reinhard. They utilize a wide variety of genres and non-traditional song structures; influences have been said to range from The Beatles to Aesop Rock, from Converge to Tom Waits. Song themes have centered around such topics as time, memory, language, and romantic tragedy. Known for their intimate shows and independent booking techniques, Trophy Scars evoke a strong DIY regiment.
They originally formed as a short-term project to last only as long as that summer. With bassist Joshua Weinstein and guitarist Michael Schipper, they began to play local shows and gained a dedicated following. When fans presented a high demand for recorded material, the band decided to establish itself as a serious music group. Trophy Scars signed to Brooklyn record label The Death Scene Recording Company in 2005 and with Small Town Records (UK) in 2007.
Their first full-length, Darts to the Sea, was recorded in John Ferrara's basement using primitive sound engineering equipment. It was released in 2003 and reissued in 2006 with a bonus disc containing b-sides and demos from 2003-04. Their second release, Hospital Music for the Aesthetics of Language, gained the attention of critics in 2004. The EP was their first recording with Chris Badami and saw the band taking an unconventional, progressive approach to post-hardcore. Their next EP was Goodnight Alchemy, released in 2005 through The Death Scene. It was markedly much more dense and heavy than its predecessor. 2006 saw the release of their second full-length album, Alphabet. Alphabets.. Trophy Scars demonstrated a conglomeration of different musical genres and styles while still retaining their unique take on post-hardcore. Following the release, the group became a full-time touring band when Jones graduated from Fordham University.
In 2009 they were no longer contractually obligated to either label, so they released all forthcoming material independently. In mid-2007, Trophy Scars rented a beach house in Charleston, South Carolina to begin work on their follow-up full length to Alphabets. The band was heavily influenced by the warm climate, the city's nightlife, and psychedelia. Yet again, Trophy Scars readjusted their sound; this time to a blues-centric style. Jones titled the album Bad Luck as a reaction to the death of his best friend, Ben Brown. Ironically, when the writing was completed for Bad Luck, the band invested their savings into a European tour, but was canceled last minute by the headlining act. Unable to get a refund on their European travel expenses and with their recording contract with the Death Scene dissolved, the band could not afford to tour or raise money for the album. The band was forced to go on an indefinite hiatus with no foreseeable plans to release Bad Luck. Trophy Scars fans, however, banded together and started the "Bad Luck Foundation," which allowed internet users to donate money to the band. Within a month, Trophy Scars was financially stable and able to record their third full-length. Bad Luck was self-released on March 10, 2009, and in January 2010 it was named the 10th best album of 2009 by popular music critic website, Sputnik Music.
Trophy Scars released an EP Darkness, Oh Hell in October 2010; it is a further throwback to blues rock and psychedelic rock of the late 1960s while maintaining a sinister edge. It was included in Sputnik Music's Top 50 Albums of 2010. They released a follow-up companion EP titled Never Born, Never Dead in July 2011. The concept revolves around the several lives of two souls fixed in love through reincarnation and is much more uplifting musically and lyrically. Although a departure in sound from the previous two releases, Never Born, Never Dead was met with strong praise and elected the #1 best EP of the year by Sputnik users.
The band announced their fourth full-length album Holy Vacants to be released on April 21 in the EU and May 6 in North America through Monotreme Records. The album is a linear concept involving a romantic couple who have discovered The Fountain of Youth in the blood cells of angels. Jones states the album was heavily influenced by an intense personal relationship, his brief relocation to Los Angeles, and film director David Lynch.
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