At the rate of adding a member per year, Frightened Rabbit – originally a solo act, now a four piece – could be the next Soweto Gospel Choir, and lead singer Scott Hutchinson has even grander plans.
“We’re now a foursome. We’ve added one member every year; come back in twenty years and we’ll be the Polyphonic Spree. We plan to stop at five; then we’ll be serious.”
The original lineup, Scott and a guitar, got their start playing mismatched gigs in Glasgow.
“Yeah I was on my own, opening up for my friend’s band, completely inappropriate matching, they were playing this hard punk funk and I was playing these sad songs on my own, hence why I decided to get a drummer and make the whole thing a little bit louder.”
A more appropriate matching seems to be indie kings and current tour partners Death Cab for Cutie, whose relaxed attitude is rubbing off on Frightened Rabbit. Let’s hear it for peer pressure!
“No one in their crew is ever panicked, they’re so used to it, which has been helpful for us; we’ve learnt how to deal with it. This could’ve killed me; the stress could’ve killed me.”
Thankfully Scott hasn’t died and will be heading to our fair city. Leaving his morals at the border, the cheeky Scotsman plans to exploit his overseas novelty for all its worth.
“I heard the girls love the accent down there, so I plan to play it up like you’ve never heard. I’m excited about the whole deal, we’ve spent the past three years at shitty parties, and to be playing festivals is going to be amazing. And then the sunshine; I hope I don’t get burnt, holy shit I haven’t worn shorts for three years!”
Although Australia doesn’t need any more sun burnt tourists in shorts, we’ll warmly welcome Frightened Rabbit. The band is creaming themselves over the opportunity to play some festivals, and know the pressure is off.
“It’s good because everyone is chilled out. You can get away with being sloppy as hell at a festival and no one cares. As long as you play something people can sing along to and do a bit of clapping; then you’re laughing. That sounds patronizing but its fucking true. It’s like the easiest crowd to bring round, and to be able to play festivals in what is effectively our winter is brilliant, because festival season is finished here.”
Humouring the festival crowd may be easy, but Frightened Rabbit never underestimate their fans. Their lyrics are deep and explorative, with more heartbreak then conjoined twins in cardiac arrest.
“I’ve only just noticed that’s how it is. That’s just the only thing I know how to do, I don’t know how to write about other people or other people’s lives, it’s really all about me, I couldn’t actually write about anything else. It seems selfish, but it’s just natural to write about personal experience. It takes a lot of ego to say ‘I think you should listen to how my life is’ but hopefully there is enough of a window that people can walk in and relate.”
Audiences have spotted the window, and climbed on in. Their last full length album Midnight Organ Fight was critically acclaimed, and their new live CD is a hit. Choosing to do a live recording, as opposed to rushing out a follow up to their last album.
“We didn’t have time to record another album, there wasn’t one ready and it also seemed like too soon as well. We wanted a stopgap between the last album and the next, and it only took us like three days, we’re lazy bastards to be honest. It seemed like something we could put out for fans only, we don’t expect people to rush out and buy it.
After they wrap up their Down Under sojourn, the band will head home to sunny Scotland to record their new album.
“Yeah I can’t wait to start on the new record. I think I’ve realized I’m not a touring kind of guy. It’s amazing to see new places, like I can’t wait to go to Australia, but it’s exhausting. The most rewarding part of music is writing and recording, it’s where I get my buzz.”
To see Frightened Rabbit head to Peats Ridge, Purple Sneakers or Pyramid Rock, alternatively go shooting in the country, rabbits in abundance.
The Midnight Organ Fight is out now on Pod through Inertia