Interview: Frightened Rabbitby Bonnie Stuart
at Newcastle College 03rd December 2012 15:02:43
Frightened Rabbit are about to embark on their most expansive UK tour to date, leading up to their fourth album which drops in early 2013.
The Scottish indie-group consider Pedestrian Verse their “strongest and most interesting record,” which given the strength of previous releases must surely put it in the running for one of next year’s best albums.
“I think this one essentially captures a lot of the things that I and the band have been trying to do over the last couple of records and maybe not quite getting there,” explains vocalist and lead guitarist Scott Hutchison .
He describes the maturing process that the band have gone through as one that has allowed them to create the more detailed pieces of music that we can expect to hear in Pedestrian Verse.
As the band’s front-man and spokesperson, one might assume that Hutchison does most of the work, but he assures me that this is not the case and in fact this album could not have been created without him “letting go of the reins” a bit.
As he explains, “There are things that we’ve done that would not have happened if it was just me in the room.” It seems to be this strong relationship between band members that has allowed for, as Scott describes it, the “maturing process” that has led them to create their most complete album to date.
Coming from Scotland it is unsurprising that their main following comes from the country, Glasgow in particular. Hutchison describes Scottish fans as “amongst the most loyal”, despite having a huge following in America (the have just returned from a live jaunt to the States).
The band has a “deep connection” to their Scottish heritage, something that has always been apparent in their music. Their tour finishes up in Glasgow on 28th February, a party welcoming them back home.
As Frightened Rabbit fans will know, they have a penchant for dark and depressing lyrics that touch on deeply personal emotions. How does it feel to have fans singing back these deeply personal ideas.
“It’s not really about [his] life, they are singing about themselves”. He describes it as a kind of “triumphant celebratory thing”.
Of course, despite the depressing content of many Frightened Rabbit songs, their melodies pose quite a contrast underpinning them with a sense of optimism.
Scott describes it as “almost like a trap”, as people may find themselves singing along to a song that they don’t really understand but still enjoying it, and it is this relationship with their fans that spur the band on to keep producing great music.
Getting somewhat literal the discussion turns to rabbits. It turns out that none of the band have ever frightened a rabbit, but Scott does read of up our floppy-eared, furry friends quite a bit “out of a sense of duty”. He also notes that in fact rabbits are very dangerous when they are frightened and have the power to break a child’s rib! So it’s clearly a good thing that he hasn’t.
The moral of the story is, as Scott puts it is “absolutely do not frighten rabbits”.