Hot New Band: Wearing Scars

Where would we be without second chances?

A few years ago, British vocal powerhouse Chris Clancy was signed to Roadrunner Records as frontman with US tech-metal hopefuls Mutiny Within. But after one widely acclaimed debut album, the band found themselves without a label or any kind of credible future, so Chris flew home, disillusioned and ready to find something else to occupy his time. As it turns out, that something ended up being Wearing Scars.

“I had an odd thing happen,” he recalls. “I was working for an ink cartridge company, selling them on eBay, and I decided to quit to go into music production. I handed in my notice and two weeks later I got a message from Andy [James, guitarist]. He said he was a big fan of my voice, we started chatting and he offered his services. I’d been working on a solo album so I sent him a track and he said: ‘Forget about the solo thing, why don’t we form a band?’ So we did.”

With a huge, radio-friendly sound that is both insanely catchy and underpinned by some serious metal weight, Wearing Scars’ debut album, A Thousand Words, is the result of Chris and Andy’s collaborative efforts – not to mention the contributions of bassist Craig Daws and drummer Lee Newell, both Andy’s former colleagues in Sacred Mother Tongue, plus guitarist Daniel Woodyer – and, from root to tip, it’s an album that sounds custom-built for the arena circuit.

“I naturally enjoy writing commercial music,” Chris confesses. “I love good songwriting. Mutiny Within was a band full of guys who were tech-obsessed and it was all about how fast they could play, so I’ve got away from that. This is a stripped-down version, a heavy rock band with metal elements. In this day and age, if you can do something a bit more commercial, you’d be mad not to, because the music industry’s on its arse! If you can’t make any money, you reach the end of the road pretty quick.”

All five members of Wearing Scars are more than aware of the potential highs and lows of being in a metal band with great potential, but there is something distinctly powerful and admirably focused about A Thousand Words that marks Chris and his new comrades out as genuine contenders for major success. Fingers crossed.

“This is the main band for everyone involved and we’re excited about getting started,” Chris confirms. “It’s probably our last crack at the whip. I’m 30 now and time’s ticking away, so it’s all-out. Somehow it means a lot more to me, doing this in my home country. We’ll just go for it and see how far we can take it.”

A Thousand Words will be released on July 24 via Transcend Music

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.