Interview: Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit Interview – „You have to put yourself on the album.“

Scott von Frightened Rabbit

Scott von Frightened Rabbit

Wir haben mit der schottischen Indie Band Frightened Rabbit, dem Sänger Scott Hutchinson gesprochen.

Als großer Fan der Band trauere auch ich sehr stark um Scott Hutchinson.. Der seit einigen Tagen verschwundene Leadsänger, wurde tot aufgefunden. Aus gegebenem Anlass gibt es hier nochmal ein Interview mit ihm: Wir sprechen über den berühmten Hasenbau, das neue Album, wie verschwommen ihr neuer Sound ist und er zeichnet Euch exklusiv ein genaues Bild seiner Heimatstadt Selkirk.

Soundkartell: What means “brutal honesty” to you?

Frightened Rabbit: It’s honesty that goes a little bit beyond the truth, into areas that one would perhaps rather ignore. It’s honesty that can be quite painful.

“Painting Of A Panic Attack” is your fifth studio album. Of what colors is this painting made of? And why? Does probably the album visual cover those colors up?

I don’t think the album sound is quite as sleek and monochrome as the album cover, but I do really enjoy the interplay between the music and the visuals. This may be our most “controlled” album to date, though there is an undercurrent of turmoil in there, which I can see within that building. Beautiful, but it’s seen a lot of shit in it’s time.

If I would maintain, we are living in a world where we have at least one panic attack a day. Would you agree? Why? And how does it show?

I would tend to agree with that from my own perspective, though I’ve been living with anxiety for a while now, so I’m prone to little attacks here and there. I don’t think anxiety affects us all, and although I do envy those for whom it’s not a problem, I wouldn’t swap my brain for someone else’s. I think far too much and anyone else who does the same simply needs to set aside some time for “non­thinking” practise each day.

„I am completely tied to Scotland, mentally, emotionally and historically.“

Once you said: “We don’t have style…so we thought we’d go for heart.” Would you still agree? Is (a predefined music­)style still not a goal even with your fifth record coming up?

I wouldn’t ever predefine an album. The mode in which we all work defines that “style” as the album takes shape, that’s part of the excitement of making music. Now, there are always going to be familiar elements because of the way we like sound to be. But you can’t just emulate or repeat something that’s already been successful and assume that will be enough. You have to put yourself on the album, first and foremost.

I’m asking because for me as a fan, you have still the same “music style” since your debutalbum or rather to say one can tell the ‘Frightened Rabbit’­style.

I’m glad there is an audible seam carried across the albums. I don’t think we could lose that, it’s what makes it a journey for the listener. Maybe it becomes easier to immerse yourself in our little world.

Your new song “Death Dream” is very touching, sad and atmospheric. Let me ask you a little playful: Is being blurry a new component in arranging your new tracks?

I wouldn’t say being blurry was the goal… If anything I think this may be our clearest sonic palette yet. If by “blurry” you mean “drunk”, well, that shit happens from time to time.

When I listen to “Break” I get the impression that you want to get rid of something or even free yourself. What is the story behind?

Break is simply about those times (perhaps when you’re feeling a little “blurry”) that you wished you could let something go and, yes, be free of the bullshit confrontations that crop up all too often in life. If we could all be calm and adult enough to accept (if not agree with) another person’s point of view, the world would be more peaceful.

Scott von Frightened Rabbit

Scott von Frightened Rabbit

Main topic of “Painting Of A Panick Attack” seems to be emotional and local distance (as an individual and as a band). One could get the impression your new record is part of a healing process. Is there any moment or song on the record where you (individually or as a band) are able to conquer this distance?

I don’t think I’ve really conquered the distance thing at all, which is unfortunate because my work very often takes me far from home. Moving to LA allowed me to be close to one person but far from the band. Going back to Scotland to work with the band pulled me away from that person in LA. It was a constant struggle. I think that “Still Want To Be Here” deals with that struggle in a way. Resolving that home can be anywhere if you feel safe and secure with your partner.

Could you describe your relationship to your homeland Scotland especially while Scott is living in LA now?

I am completely tied to Scotland, mentally, emotionally and historically. It’s my place. Sure, you can leave and live elsewhere but you take Scotland with you. There’s a unique temperament in Scotland, something akin to hopeful pessimism. I love Scottish people for that.

Scott, you moved to L.A. Is FRIGHTENED RABBIT kind of a patchwork­band now?

I suppose it is, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It took us a while to adjust to the new ways of working via email and the band writing music without me in Glasgow. Ultimately I think any shift in working methods is going to reveal a new side to the band, which I would see as a positive development.

Time to draw a picture! Imagine you have a free Saturday morning and you’d walk around Selkirk: Where would you go? What places are important? What are your favorite places? Could you please sketch a “mental map” of your walk around Selkirk?

Selkirk is on a hill and my parents live at the bottom of it, so it’s a bit of a challenge this one. I’d head up towards the town square first, maybe grab myself a pie from the bakers. In the middle of the town is a statue of the writer Sir Walter Scott, so I’d probably spend a moment thinking about how I should really get around to reading one of his books. I’d then carry on past the high school, which is just an instant flash of a thousand memories. It’s where I first started to learn to play music, and I have a great deal of affection for that place. Then I’d take you up past the golf course to the top of the hill. From here you can see the whole town and the valley beyond. Really beautiful. On the way back down I would grab a newspaper and a pink bun from Cameron’s bakers (lots of bakers in Selkirk) and go home to my mum and dad’s house for a rest after all that damn walking.

Scott Hutchinson der seit einigen Tagen verschwundene Leadsänger von Frightened Rabbit, wurde tot aufgefunden. Seine Familie bestätigte diese Meldung.

Hilfe gibt es unter anderem bei der Telefonseelsorge unter 0800/111 0 111.

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