Frightened Rabbit – Interview

Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

Drei Jahre nach „The Winter Of Mixed Drinks“ veröffentlichten die Schotten von Frightened Rabbit vor ein paar Wochen endlich den langerwarteten Nachfolger „Pedestrian Verse“. Das nunmehr vierte Album zeigte eine noch weiter gereifte Band, der es mit Leichtigkeit gelingt immer wieder warme, euphorische Melodien mit einer gewissen Prise Melancholie zu mitreißenden Hymnen zu verbinden. Während der England-Tour zum Album nahm sich Scott von der Band ein paar Minuten Zeit für uns, um mit uns über das neue Album sowie Vergangenheit aber vor allem Zukunft von Frightened Rabbit zu reden.

You signed to Atlantic Records at the end of 2010 and now released your first album with them. What have you all been up to in the meantime?

Writing and recording the album mostly. We also took to the road a couple of times, covering The Highlands of Scotland, Ireland and North America. We’ve been busy!

Gordon released a record with The Moth & The Mirror, how did you like their record?

I really like that band. It’s a wonderful type of indie lullaby that they make together and the new album is great.

In the past Frightened Rabbit got new members with every release. This time nothing changed. So would you say, Frightened Rabbit are complete now?

Yes, I’d say so. The process of writing the new album together really cemented everyone’s place within the band and I feel it’s the most ‚complete‘ version of FR yet.

When you released The Winter Of Mixed Drinks some critics said it was over produced and not as good as The Midnight Organ Fight, main reason they found the themes too happy. Do you think there’s a difference in quality between songs being written when sad or happy?

Perhaps so. I don’t particularly like happy songs either, though I do feel that the perceived ‚happiness‘ on WoMD was a bit exaggerated. It was certainly happier than MOF, but far from a jolly record… It wasn’t over produced, but it was over saturated. We definitely made some mistakes on that album, but that’s an essential part of progressing and moving forward.

For Pedestrian Verse you signed to a major label. Was it hard for you to leave Fat Cat Records? Are you still in contact with the label?

We are still friends. There was no acrimonious split. Our contract came to an end and we decided to move on.

I think it’s a good thing, major labels still sign artists that have worked hard on an indie label and give them the chance to reach a bigger audience with a major release. Did you feel welcome at Atlantic or did you feel pressure?

We feel completely welcome and at home with Atlantic. They actually have quite an indie ethos for a major label and personally I’ve never felt more creative freedom than I do at this time.

After recording your last to albums with Peter Katis you now worked with Leo Abrahams. How did you get together and what was working with him like?

The label introduced us, and it was love at first sight, haha. Leo immediately understood what we were trying to achieve with this record and put al of our songs through his very subtle filter. He’s a bit of a musical genius, and he has a very calm and open presence in the studio. We’d love to work with him again.

Folk music got pretty big over the past five years. Bands like Mumford & Sons got quite big by doing the same thing over and over again without spending too much time making a real effort and to develop. After listening to Pedestrian Verse a few times, I’m under the impression that with this record and The Winter Of Mixed Drinks you left folk behind a bit and moved on to a more rocky kind of sound close to The National and Death Cab for Cutie. Was it your intention to make less folky music and to avoid being compared with current folk artists?

Not really, I’ve always wanted us to be a ‚rock‘ band. Though, it’s nice to have outlets for the folkier aspects of our output, like on A Frightened Rabbit EP – that was me indulging the wandering folk-singer in me.

Someone described Pedestrian Verse as a record that feels like a big bear hug. How would you describe the album and your music in general and is there some sort of message you intend to pass on to the listeners?

It’s a message of hope i think. It will drag you through the dirt from time to time, but always pulls you out and dusts you down eventually.

In September 2012 you played two shows in Germany. Are there any plans for a tour and festival shows this year?

We are putting a plan together! This begins with some (as yet unconfirmed) festivals, so we will definitely be playing in Germany in 2013. Keep the eyes peeled!

You always play a couple of songs on your own towards the end of the sets and you also play solo shows every now and then. Did you ever think of making a solo album?

I never used to have any desire to make a solo record, but now that the band is more of a collaborative effort, I could see myself taking off on my own at some point to indulge myself once more.

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