Frightened Rabbit Discusses ‘Pedestrian Verse’ and Love of the LES [INTERVIEW]
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We’re big fans of Frightened Rabbit, as evidenced here, and now with a strong fourth album under their belt and their US tour underway, we thought to call upon lead singer and rhythm guitarist Scott Hutchison to shed a little more light on the band’s latest endeavors. He was kind to chat with us about the new album’s reception on the road, hooking us up with the story behind “The Woodpile” and why grilled cheese is just one of the many reasons the band loves New York.
BOWERY BOOGIE: Do you hang on the Lower East Side when you’re in town? Have any favorite spots?
SCOTT HUTCHISON: We have spent a fair bit of time on the Lower East Side in the past, drinking late in DBA, 2a or B-side. Then we’d go and eat grilled cheese even later still in Veselka. Though it’s on the other side of town, we all love a visit to Corner Bistro perhaps followed by a browse in Murray’s Cheese Bar. That’s just scratching the surface though…
BB: New York City seems to come up quite a bit in your music videos – what do you love about it?
SH: It is one of those cities that completely lives up to its reputation. There’s a romance to the bustle in New York, something you don’t feel anywhere else. It was the city in which we played our first US shows, and we have a great deal of affection for that reason also.
BB: Pedestrian Verse was written and practiced while on the road – how is it being received now that you are touring it?
SH: It’s good to feel like the songs are starting to sink in with the audiences, and the reaction has just been getting better and better. Earlier in the tour, it was a big ask to expect the fans to get through 45 minutes of brand new material, but I think maybe now that it all feels less ‘new’ to everyone, the live show has really come together.
BB: A favorite track on Pedestrian Verse is “The Woodpile,” especially in the way it pleads for a certain intimacy – what’s the story behind it?
SH: I wanted to write a big confident rock song about my social insecurities. It’s about a shyness that still affects me when I’m thrust into new social groups. I can kind of sieze up, and in that scenario I often end up wishing someone I know and love would just appear from nowhere to drag me away from it.
BB: On Pedestrian Verse, like the other albums before, you intertwine religious imagery with blunt sexual and relationship-driven circumstances – it strikes a balance that truly engages the listener. What is the writing process like, especially with the collaboration from band-mates on Pedestrian Verse?
SH: There weren’t any lyrical collaborations on this album, but musically it was mostly a process of someone from the band bringing a small piece of music, a basic melody or a few chords and then the five of us extrapolating it from there. That said, there were very few times when we were all in the room, hashing things out. It was mostly groups of two or three, working on particular elements or certain songs rather than a big ol’ jam session. Frightened Rabbit doesn’t really jam…
BB: Makes sense. Where do you envision Frightened Rabbit going next?
SH: I only ever want to move forward and that motion can be achieved within the creative aspects of the band as well as on the career path. Both are important to me; I don’t want the band to stagnate and I also want to build a good career from Frightened Rabbit. It’s nice to think that we are at the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the band’s history with album #4, rather than entering a period of settling.
Frightened Rabbit will play a sold-out gig at Terminal 5 tonight.
Many thanks to Scott Hutchinson for the interview!