Scottish indie-rock quintet Frightened Rabbit will soon be on tour with Augustines. Before they stop by our hometown Toronto, I had the pleasure of speaking with the band’s Grant Hutchison last week over the phone. Dig in as A Music Blog, Yea? spoke with Frightened Rabbit about some beautiful insight to their EP’s title, favourites lyrics, evolving as a band, recording anywhere in the world, and how he plans to make his own cider!
AMBY: We know that you’ve been touring the States as of right now. How’s the tour been going so far?
Frightened Rabbit: It’s been great. We’re touring with The National so it’s been different and we’re playing venues that we’re not done before. It’s been really great, and we play a short forty-five minutes and can be in bed by 8PM. So no complaints [laughs].
AMBY: [laughs] I’m glad to hear it’s going so well. Speaking of this tour, what would you say are the best and worst parts of touring for you?
Frightened Rabbit: Well, the best part without a doubt is the time that we get on stage to play the show. And I think the worst part— it’s hard, because I think the worst and the best part is the travelling. It’s great because we get to go to all these different cities, and we get to meet all these different people, and spent time doing things that not a lot of people get to do. But at the same time, being away if so difficult; not getting time with your friends and family. It’s difficult, so that’s the downside. It’s a double-edge sword more than anything.
AMBY: That makes sense. And I have one last touring question for you. You’ll be returning to Canada in October, because I know that you have three days coming up here. And you’re actually going to play my hometown, Toronto, with AUGUSTINES. What are you most looking forward to?
Frightened Rabbit: We absolutely love playing Canada, but I don’t think we’ve done it enough if I’m honest. It’s great to have few shows in Canada, and Toronto has always been a really good place for us. I just love it because it’s such a different space when you cross the border into Canada. They’re always very welcoming and we have a good time.
AMBY: We’re excited to have you in our city!
Frightened Rabbit: Thank you.
AMBY: Now we have some questions about what we believe is the best part, the music. Last week you released your latest EP Late March, Death March which features three new tracks. What’s the significance behind the EP’s title?
Frightened Rabbit: Well, the lead song is Late March, Death March on the EP and I think that refers to the content of the song which is great. It’s something that I think everyone has experienced in their life— if you’ve been in a relationship where you have a walk home from a night out, maybe an indulgent night at a bar, and you get into an argument with your other half. And that moment in time feels like nothing will solve whatever it is that you’re arguing over. That’s it, it’s over. As soon as you get home or wake up in the morning, it’s done. And the late march is the late night, and the fact that it’s a death march, it can often feel like it’s signaling the end. But it could be more something like… “oh, you didn’t share your chips with me” or “you spilt half of my pint when we were at the bar” and it could be like that, or feel like the end of the world.
AMBY: Thank you for sharing that. We know that the band’s fourth studio record Pedestrian Verse is one awesome indie rock album between the songs and the genuinely warm lyrics. And I remember the first time I heard If You Were Me, the lyric “still I quiver like a dying leaf in a violent wind” gave me shivers! This made us wonder, do you have a particular favourite lyric or song off the album?
Frightened Rabbit: That’s quite tough. My favourite song on the record is certainly Nitrous Gas. I think that the chorus of that song, I think is particularly strong and I like the fact that the whole song is about laughing and happiness, but it’s a fake and dark jaded happiness. I think that Scott has got a great abundance of songs, but that one particularly is one of the best.
AMBY: A good choice. I’d have to agree, the album is full of great lyrics! Now, you’ve been a band since 2003 and have been delivering us amazing music since 2006, as it all started with Sing the Greys. How do you feel you’ve evolved as a band within the ten year span you’ve been together?
Frightened Rabbit: Well, I mean, in a few obvious ways we’ve added members along the way since back in the day when it was just Scott, myself, and then Billy, and then Andy joined and Gordon joined. So these have all been different chapters of the band that have been put forth. You know, with growing up, I think is something that not everyone may realize is that writing songs and making albums is kind of just like anything— in that there’s a little bit of mysteriousness and luck involved, but at the end of the day, the more you practice it, the better you should get at it. So that’s something that I think we’ve achieved with each record; we’ve at least taken a step forward from what we did the last time. And that’s something I think you should always try to do as a band… you should be constantly trying to make it certainly better, and if not, different. And there are bands who get lucky with their first record, but more often than not, it takes a band to mature as people and hone their skills for songwriting and recording to get to the level they want to be at.
AMBY: In our interviews we always take the time to ask questions our readers want to know and some off-the-cuff fun questions as well. So, we know that some of the band’s interests are badminton, sweater vests, and listening to [laughs] mobile tones. But what is your favourite pastime?
Frightened Rabbit: My favourite pastime… I’m currently getting into a bit of cycling, and a bit of badminton in that quote is probably myself as well. But, the one thing that I’m really excited about at the moment is that I’m going to try and make my own cider.
Frightened Rabbit: Yea, it’s not going to be until probably next year when I’ve got some time and not working with the band. But I’ve bought a few books, and I’m going to try and make a press, and make my own cider. So keep your eyes open for that!
AMBY: And what was the inspiration behind wanting to start that? If you don’t mind me asking.
Frightened Rabbit: I just love cider [laughs].
Frightened Rabbit: I’ve had enough paying for it, so I’m going to make it myself and that would be it. I won’t need to buy it anymore.
AMBY: That’s fair. I’ve read on your Facebook page that the band records in bedrooms, cupboards, and kitchens. If you could record anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Frightened Rabbit: That’s a very, very good question.
AMBY: Thank you.
Frightened Rabbit: Probably somewhere… The recording thing is difficult because my obvious answer would be somewhere beautiful with a beach where it’s warm [laughs] and hot. But when you’re recording, I think the best thing is to be somewhere where it’s hidden, and all you need to do is concentrate on recording because otherwise you wouldn’t get anything done, and we’d just be sitting by the beach all day! It would have to be something really boring and in the middle of nowhere, which is generally what we try and do. Otherwise, like I said, you wouldn’t get any songs out of it. I can’t think of the most boring place in the world, uhm, I’m sure it exists and probably in Scotland [laughs]. I don’t want to offend anyone by saying somewhere specific.
AMBY: [laughs] I’ve noticed that the band is great at keeping fans in the loop and interacting with photos. And you’re always sharing tour moments with us. This made us wonder, what’s your favourite moment you’ve had on tour so far?
Frightened Rabbit: Favourite moment ever, or this tour?
AMBY: This tour. Let’s narrow it down a little bit!
Frightened Rabbit: This tour, okay. What have we done so far on this tour? I mean, to be honest, we got to play Red Rocks again which was quite stunning and it’s quite an unbelievable place. There’s no other venue in the world that’s like it; I feel extremely lucky to have done that. Yesterday we got to see a beautiful creek, that was lovely. It’s all been quite civilized on this tour to be honest. I don’t have any stories for you I’m afraid, and I would share them if I had them [laughs]!
AMBY: That’s great! Well, now we’re on the last question, what’s something about Frightened Rabbit that nobody knows yet?
Frightened Rabbit: Something about us that nobody knows… I’m trying to think. It’s a thinker that one, actually!
AMBY: [laughs] If nothing comes to mind, we do have an alternate to the question!
Frightened Rabbit: Yea, ask me the alternate.
AMBY: What’s the best part of being in Frightened Rabbit?
Frightened Rabbit: My favourite part, well, I do love the touring. But, the greatest thing is the free whisky that we get each night and knock back. Well, [laughs] we can knock it back and we do drink literally every night. That’s one of the best things about that. And, just to be with my good friends and getting to meet new people every day, I definitely feel blessed.
Thank you Frightened Rabbit, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout