Q&A with Frightened Rabbit

Adam Kearney :: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 6:00 pm

I talked today with Frightened Rabbit’s front man and creative force Scott Hutchison about his new album “The Winter of Mixed Drinks,” due out in March.

The “Winter of Mixed Drinks” is a very nautical album. Do you have any history of sailing?

[Laughs] None, whatsoever. I guess that’s why it’s mostly about swimming and drowning. No, I was fucking terrified of going on boats for quite a long time, when I was younger, so, no, I wasn’t heavily into that.

Was there ever any reason for that?  Did you ever have a bad experience?

There was this time when this disaster happened right off the coast of the UK, where a ferry totally capsized. It was like a passenger ferry, and it was all over the news. At that point in time my mom was too scared to fly, so we would always take the ferry over to France to go on holiday. So we were doing lots of ferry trips and I fused, associated, and tied together that I was destined to die in a ferry or something, in my young head.

Oh, wow.

It’s just like all about timing and what was in the news at the time.

Yeah, that’s pretty scary, man.

Yeah I was like five, y’know, and I just saw this boat in the news just capsize and innocent people died and then all of a sudden I’m gonna go off in a boat more often, and it didn’t really compute.

Yeah, I hear you. You probably want to stay off of them at that point. The track “Things” off the new album deals with rebirth, by getting rid of old stuff you don’t need so you can start fresh.


Is there anything specific from your past you remember leaving behind or anything you have now that’s a burden?

No, there’s nothing that’s a burden, and I do have a habit of collecting shit. But all the stuff that I have, all the shit that I have now is kinda welcome, and is carefully chosen I guess. But I would do things like old work, from when I was at art college and stuff, and I wasn’t very precious about keeping a hold of it. I horde for a certain amount of time and then feel the need to flush it all out.  So I guess that song’s a little bit about that, but there’s a little bit about flushing out items that remind you off stuff as well… But all the stuff I have now is good. I’m into it.

So it’s kind of liberating experience, getting rid off all the stuff?

Yeah! It’s starting from scratch again, which is always good I think. And I think it even ties in to the making of this record. It was a starting from scratch. It’s like I’ve been writing songs for a while, and all of a sudden at the end of the last one I sort of ran out of songs. “Things” was one of the first I wrote. It was refreshing and it was new because I had nothing left in the back pocket, and that’s kind of a scary position to be in. It’s a good direction to be headed.

In “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” you sing that if you didn’t go to sea you’d be crushed by landslide of hopes and fears.


Was that pressure the result of expectations for the new album after the success of Midnight Organ Fight?

Oh no. No, I tried not to write too much about that. Well maybe there’s a part about it, but certainly I didn’t really want to write about that particularly. It’s like that’s the feeling that I tried while doing the record — the reason why I kind of escaped to the Coast. I went and wrote the record in a small village. I wanted to leave that expectation behind and then almost not think too much about it.

It is about the Midnight Organ Fight in that there a was a certain amount of weight to that record that was based on one particular point of my life. And maybe this is all about that, letting go of that particular part.  It starts with “Things” as well. It’s like the flushing of things, and y’know you might die in a landslide of all this shit, but you’ve got it up and you’ve just got to get rid of it. So it’s really just like getting rid of all that stuff.

Did you record it on the beach in order to be in a stress-free environment?

I was close to the beach, but it wasn’t typical like what you’d expect from “beaches,” in Scotland.  Kind of stony places where, like, land meets water.  So, I went there. The first reason I went there is because my friend had a house that was free and it was empty. I like to go there and be alone. But, second, all the album kinda came after that. All this imagery coming from my head. If you’re there and you’re walking by the ocean every day it’s completely unavoidable, and it’s great! It kind of relieved me.

Pages: 1 2

One Response to “Q&A with Frightened Rabbit”
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by deathandtaxes, Joey. Joey said: RT @deathandtaxes Death + Taxes Magazine http://ow.ly/1nhGJO [...]

    Posted by: Tweets that mention Death + Taxes Magazine -- Topsy.com January 20th, 2010 at 9:02 am