Glaswegian indie rock outfit Frightened Rabbit are currently on tour in support of their third studio album,Winter of Mixed Drinks, and have made a strong push Stateside in 2010. Originally conceived as a solo project for singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison in 2003, Frightened Rabbit have since expanded to a full-fledged, five-member band. Earlier this year, they made their U.S. television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and contributed to The A.V. Club’s “Undercover” series with an excellent cover of the Lemonheads “Confetti” (albeit with a significant dash of “Scottish glumness,” as Hutchison described).
In the middle headlining a month-long U.S. tour, singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison was kind enough to take some time for a brief Q&A…
The Music Street Team: You’ve said “I’d like to continue challenging myself and taking different subject matters.” Midnight Organ Fight really focused on relationship heartache and loss, whileWinter of Mixed Drinks’ lyrics focus on ‘resetting’ or recapturing oneself. What kind of other themes do you see exploring on future albums?
Scott Hutchison: I’d like to widen it beyond my own life and experience a little more. When you work through a live set for around 90 mins, and realize it’s mostly about you, it can start to feel a bit indulgent. I think I need to widen the scope of the material.
MST: You’ve really shot to amazing success in the US mainly through word of mouth—with this sudden rise in popularity how does this tour feel compared to your last?
SH: It feels great. I think in many ways, the last tour felt a bit more pressured, as it was our first tour playing some larger, more daunting venues. Personally, I was a little bit uptight during that last tour. I think with the experience of festivals and whatnot this summer, I’ve come to be more comfortable as a performer.
MST: Your band has grown considerably in size since its beginnings—how does this effect the creative and collaborative efforts that go into recording?
SH: Up until now, it hasn’t changed much. I still toil away on my own (by choice), write the songs and then arrange them in the studio. But I’d like to think that may change and I can loosen the reins on this next record. I’m trying to let others in…
MST: What are the challenges of recreating the energy and expansiveness of your songs when playing live night after night?
SH: It’s hard to throw that level of feeling into each song, night after night. I have the occasional evening where I just can’t get it. But most of the time, I am immediately aware of the importance of the songs to the people in the audience, and it helps. Touring is exhausting, and if we didn’t have the fans coming out and giving so much back to us each night, I’d just give up.
MST: What are some of the upcoming bands that you see making a large mark on the music scene in the next couple of years?
SH: The Phantom Band need to be heard by many, many more people. They are coming out on this US tour with us. Their new album The Wants is incredible. I’d also recommend an Edinburgh band called Meursault, Cincinnati’s finest sons Bad Veins and of course, We Were Promised Jetpacks will probably make the best album of next year.
Frightened Rabbit play Terminal 5 in New York City on October 30th. Winter of Mixed Drinks is out now on Fat Cat Records.