So, this was one of the most surreal and incredible moments of my life! I had the total pleasure of sitting down with the fabulous Scott Hutchison to ask him 10 questions about him and his music.
Scott Hutchison is the lead singer of the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. The band formed in 2003 and have been going strong ever since. Their first album, Sing The Greys, was released in 2006 and they have had a further four incredible albums. For me, they are the ultimate band to see perform live. They bring their music to life in such a special way and the crowds are just wild for them.
Growing up, was music something you always wanted to do?
No, I was more interested in being an artist. I didn’t start playing the guitar until I was 11 and even then it was sort of, kind of, slightly dry and classical stuff that I was taught at school. So it wasn’t until I went to university, or art college, and it became, it turned from a hobby, into like something that I thought I could do full time and I feel like before I moved to Glasgow being a musician as a job or i.e “rockstar”, which I’m not, but that’s what you think of when you are that age and it seemed so unattainable and then you know, I moved from the borders to Glasgow and started going to see bands and there’s local bands and they are playing in little rooms and everyone is having a good time and it seems that it’s a possibility now. You know, before it was like well if you are not in Nirvana then you are fucked! So no, it wasn’t always something I wanted to do cause I didn’t think it was possible.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
It was called, it was a B side and you can find it on, oh what is it called… Soon Go! It’s called Soon Go and we did record a version of it and it was the first one I wrote and it survived actually, it was good and I still quite like it to this day which is bizarre. but I wrote that when I was like in my first year of college when i was about 19.
How many people were at your first ever gig?
I played for some friends band, and they were quite popular, they were a band called Shit Disco who at that time were kind of, like sucked into the Franz Ferdinand-ish style and I was there, they were always, cause we were pals, they were like do you want to come open for us!? So I’m going to say, its not an enormous amount, but there was more than I would’ve got on my own, probably about 40. It’s respectable and was in a very small room!
Who inspires you and your music?
Musically I’m inspired by, I mean its funny because you’ve got your staples that you go back to all the time for me those being a lot of Scottish music; Teenage Fan Club, The Delgados, Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, Twilight Sad. And then all of who become your peer group inspire you so I’m a big fan of Withered Hand. And then like the more consistent bands that I go back to and artists are, you know, writers like Ryan Adams’ old stuff and Wilco I’m a really big fan of and then more recently getting into stuff like Big Thief, have you heard that record? **no I don’t think so** You have to! it’s truly one of the best records I’ve heard in fucking years. I mean it changes but there’s all these staples that remain and then what I’ve heard today is different from what I heard yesterday and that will all go into the pot as well so you’ve got to keep that fluid. yeah.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I have to kind of go to a pub or a coffee shop somewhere. I will try and find a place where the music is either non existent or not playing, I can’t have other music. So it’s quite a specific ask. I need to get out the house as well usually, I don’t really write that well, cause there’s too many distractions so I like, thats my office, I don’t, in lieu in having a physical office, which I don’t have, yeah somewhere thats quiet where I can sort of disappear into a sort of tunnel and work away without any distractions really. It doesn’t have to be the same place just somewhere where there’s no other music playing.
Whats the one thing that is always on your rider?
Well, there is always whisky! That has been there for years and it’s all changed now because everyone is getting healthy, Im not really joining them on that but some of them are! There’s a lot of coconut water now and there’s avocados and there’s smoked salmon, but yeah I mean the consistent aspect has been alcohol. Yeah thats not going anywhere.
What is your favourite song to sing live?
Of mine? **yeah** I like a song called Things, it is from my third album. we only started doing it again on this last tour so its quite fresh, we’ve not played for maybe like four or five years and we brought it back and it sort of became a bit of a moment for me as well and it is one of my favourite recorded songs that we have done so **yeah i really like that one** Oh thank you! **I think my favourite one you do live is Swim Until You Can’t See Land** Well we stopped doing that one, yeah yeah, **that is my all time favourite that one** Oh wow, okay, thank you, thats kind. haha. **I love that one**.
Where is the best place to perform?
Scotland! **do you have a specific venue that you like?** Oh I mean The Barrowlands is incredible I have some good memories of the Picturehouse in Edinburgh and its a shame thats no longer **I actually did see you in the Picturehouse as well** Oh did you really? I thought that place was great and I really enjoyed playing there. But yeah I mean there’s just so many great things about playing here, its home! The audience is, thats what makes it. A venue can take it up to another notch but the audience is like what can completely blow everywhere else out of the water and I’m just forever grateful to Scottish audiences for showing that level of enthusiasm. So Barrowlands is number one but there is a lot of places around the country that are just as good.
How do you feel about having fans?
Yeah, I actually try not to use the word ‘Fans’. Audience is better, that is like a listening thing. Fans sort of implies some sort of strange, I don’t know, obsession or something which is okay but in terms of people becoming really really into our music I don’t take that for granted at all. I think it’s not a given that you can just make something and it will resonate with someone to the point where they want to welcome it into their lives on a regular basis, so it still blows my mind. And in this day and age you hear a lot more stories because people are able to contact you quite easily on the internet. I read peoples messages from time to time and they share these really personal stories about how we’ve helped or what happened before they discovered our band and then we brought them to a different time and so that kind of aspect of having “fans” or audience, it’s really satisfying. I mean it blows my mind that something I write in a cafe can have a, can spread around that far and have an effect.
If you could’ve written any song ever, what would it have been?
Poor Places by Wilco. It’s an easy question, I think it’s the perfect song. It’s on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot which I think is the perfect album. Yeah I just sort of, I could listen to that, like the whole Desert Island Discs thing, I could take that there and never get bored of it. There is always something new that I find in that song which is brilliant so yeah, that song.
It was such a huge pleasure for me to sit down and get to know the lead singer of one of my favourite bands in the whole world. You can find them on Twitter and enjoy my favourite songs by them – Swim Until You Can’t See land and Scottish Winds.