Interview: Frightened Rabbit

Following something of an organisational cock up it seemed my chance to interview Frightened Rabbit had passed. However, after some rather undignified sprinting through the lace market I managed to snare the band just as they were entering a swanky restaurant and was able to rearrange for after the gig. Brothers Scott (vocals) and Grant Hutchinson (drums) were friendly and enthusiastic despite being coated in sweat having literally just left the stage.

Q. So you have a new album out in March; what can we expect from it?

(S) Well it’s a bit calmer, less angsty and overall I think its better, it’s more even and easier to get into.

(G) There’s much less emphasis on the guitars, it’s not really a guitar record.

(S) We’ll wait and see but I think its better then the last one.

Q. It’s completely finished then?

(G) Yeah it’s done but unfortunately we have to wait. We did it in the summer and I’d rather not sit on it.

(S) The label would rather it were released at the start of 2010 instead of end of 2009, it’s kind of annoying!

Q. Is it less autobiographical than the last record?

(S) It has to be to be honest because I didn’t really want to write an album about being in a band on tour, that’s not really interesting, so I think I had to make up a lot more of it, its more of a story telling album.

Q. You’ve been quoted as saying that there are a lot of things you regret about the last album, why is that?

(S) We didn’t have enough time, it just wasn’t finished in the way I wanted it to be and we had such a small budget and amount of time to work with. I wasn’t disappointed but I think more could have been done. We didn’t want to make the same mistakes again so I think the new one’s much more complete.

Q. Is it nerve racking performing new songs for the first time?

(S) The old songs are so well worn that we don’t even have to think about playing them, but we have to think about these new ones. One of the pluses of this pre-album tour is that we can start to feel a bit more comfortable with them. It’s edgy but in a good way.

Q. You’re doing your own shows but you’ve also got support slots with Gomez and Modest Mouse coming up, which do you prefer?

(G) I love opening, its totally different.

(S) The good thing about headlining is that everyone is there to see you and small venues are intimate. But they both have pros and cons, I love the challenge of playing to an audience that’s almost never heard of you and that’s kind of the true test, plus you get to knock off early!

Q. What’s it like being brothers in a band? Have you had any Gallagher moments?!

(S) Not really, no hitting! We’ve fallen out a couple of times as it can be stressful.

(G) He’s the only person I can be a dick to and get away with it!

(S) Neither of us takes it personally, but it’s really good to have the other members of the band as a calming influence.

Q. The band started out as just you Scott and then the others gradually joined, does it still feel like the same band?

(S) I’m happy with how it is now, I think we’ve chosen people based around whether they share our way of thinking.

(G) Just because Scott writes all the songs doesn’t mean he could do it with another set of people.

(S) We don’t choose based on musical virtuosity, it’s more about the feeling you get, touring is all about being sociable, the most important thing is to get along.

(G) If he’s amazing on the guitar but a cock, it wouldn’t work!

Q. When touring do you get a chance to look around the places you play?

(S) On our tour of America we had a chance to look at some of the cities, but it doesn’t happen that often, we could drive to places early and look around but to be honest I’d rather sleep!

Q. There seems to be a lot Scottish bands coming through at the moment such as The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks, do you feel part of this ‘new wave’ of Scottish music?

(G) I’m very happy to be considered part of the same thing as those two bands because to me they are really amazing musicians.

(S) I definitely think we have the same sort of goals we’re all about intense music and intense feeling. We’re pals as well so it’s definitely something we’re all working towards. It’s nice to have friends who are also your peers. Some people have been calling it Scot emo but I’m not down with that!

Frightened Rabbits third album The Winter of Mixed Drinks is due for release in March and the band will be playing a mixture of headline shows and support slots until the 22nd of December.


James Martin


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