“I’m a little bit anal and a little bit controlling”, proclaims Scott Hutchison, founder and central cog of indie pop troubadours, Frightened Rabbit.
“In my view it is completely necessary to have other people in the band and if I was on my own I’d probably be a little bit lonely.” Scott started the Frightened Rabbit project on his own, in his bedroom in Selkirk with an acoustic guitar and a 4-track. Yet in his quest to avoid loneliness it has slowly grown into the 4-piece we hear today on their second album ‘Midnight Organ Fight’.
The grape vine is whispering that the lineup is not yet complete, so I ask if he has plans for his Rabbits to evolve into an epic pop orchestra. “I think I will stop at 5”, laughs Scott, dismissing my suggestion that he led a band full of strings, gospel choirs and kazoos. “After that you get into the kind of ‘music collective’ kind of territory that I’m not really that into. It seems that you can get away with not writing any good songs as long as you make a confident noise.”
Although Scott began writing music in Selkirk it was not until he moved to study at Glasgow School of Art that he seriously considered becoming a professional musician. “Glasgow absolutely influenced my decision to become a song writer”, continues Scott. “It made me want to develop into a musician because it is such a fertile ground for creativity.” This drive to create music has eventually led to the release of the aforementioned ‘Midnight Organ Fight’. It is an album comprised of sublime and sincere, hook-driven rock pop songs that dealing with personal experiences and the tumult that is the demise of a 21st century relationship.
“I certainly feel that the record tied a knot in a particular section of my life”, adds Scott as he highlights the cathartic quality the album has brought him. “I wouldn’t say it was anything to do with self-therapy, it was more to do with summing it up and letting it rest.”
The popularity of Frightened Rabbit has continued to rise (think pawnshop profits in credit crunch times) and has even seem them making some significant noise across the pond.
Scott believes that state side success is down to differences between music media which he describes as being “more democratic” and “less pretentious. It’s more blog based and I think that is the key to our success. Over there they don’t give a shit whether you’re cool or not they just like good music so you get attention.”
Although modest of his own achievements, Scott is very critical of bands that get rocketed to fame by hype. “I’d rather have a career. Bands that are hyped have a great time for about two years and then things start to get a little bit harder. Once they get cast back down after being driven skywards by the NME they have difficulty dealing with the arse end. I fucking hate the Ting Tings”, he adds with venom. “I don’t know how long they have been together but there is not much going on there for me. We want to broaden the term of guitar pop and allow it to be a little more adult. Its time that pop got a bit serious.”
The quest for Frightened Rabbit to bring order to “awful slutty guitar pop” is underway and is sure to persist. The band will continue touring around the UK, including support slots with Death Cab for Cutie before playing with the Spinto Band in the US.
Plans for a post-Christmas acoustic live album and a third album are also in the mix. “My job is to make music. I’m going to do that properly. Frightened Rabbit’s abiding voyage from 4-track to cult fame is unlikely to be halted any time soon.
Frightened Rabbit’s second album ‘Midnight Organ Fight’ and single ‘I Feel Better’ are out now on Fat Cat records. They play Glasgow Arches on 30/09/08.