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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 4, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 23
Arts & Entertainment
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Frightened Rabbit's Hutchison gets ready for Lollapalooza

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

What does a band do on a day off? If you're Frightened Rabbit, you have a barbecue right outside your bus - we're talking bison burgers and cold brewskies. But the latest tour embarked by this Scottish quintet hasn't been so leisurely, evidenced by their canceled Coachella appearance last month due to the volcanic ash cloud setback - even CNN and NPR tracked the group's attempts to reach the festival grounds in time, to no avail. Fortunately, it didn't affect the remaining dates on Frightened Rabbit's itinerary, which includes a Seattle show this weekend, May 16, at Neumos (visit www.neumos.com for ticket info). I caught up with lead singer-guitarist Scott Hutchison in Omaha, who resides in Edinburgh when not on the road, just before he threw some burgers and tuna steaks on the grill. Here's what the gentlemanly, polite, and thickly accented musician shared with me when he returned (in his second interview with Seattle Gay News) to "The Music Lounge."

Albert Rodriguez: How did the title for your new album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, come about?

Scott Hutchison: It definitely refers literally to a winter we had. It refers to being lonely and missing places that are familiar. We were starting to get very fed up being on the road, missing home, and feeling isolated.

Rodriguez: Being a lush, I thought it was an album of cocktail songs.

Hutchison: [Laughs.] Each one represents a different kind of drink.

Rodriguez: You should call your tour "The Summer of Mixed Drinks."

Hutchison: Yeah, we should. I've been watching a lot of Mad Men and I've been ordering more old fashioneds and vodka martinis, so the drinking habits have changed a little - a bit classier.

Rodriguez: Do you have a favorite Mad Men character?

Hutchison: It changes from time to time. I like Roger. He seems to do no work and gets away with it.

Rodriguez: Edinburgh has a reputation for being an open-minded city. It sounds like it has a lively, open scene with a lot of Gay bars.

Hutchison: It's definitely very open. There's a really lovely part of the city where a lot of the Gay bars and restaurants are at. It's a nice place actually to go.

Rodriguez: Where you grew up in Scotland, was it also an environment that was open-minded and tolerant?

Hutchison: I feel like Glasgow and Edinburgh are slightly different. Edinburgh has an industrial history and working-class demographic, and Glasgow is a bit larger of a city. Edinburgh is maybe a little more laid-back as far as those things are concerned. In general, I think Scotland is fairly open.

Rodriguez: Frightened Rabbit is going to Lollapalooza next month. Do you know what day you're playing? It's a really great lineup this year?

Hutchison: They haven't told us yet, we're still waiting for that. I was always a huge Soundgarden fan and never got to see them as they were before they broke up, and I'm hoping we play the same day as Soundgarden so I can finally see them play.

Rodriguez: Maybe you'll play on the same night as Lady GaGa.

Hutchison: That would make our guitar player Gordon [Skene] very happy. He's a GaGa fanatic. He's keeping his fingers crossed that we'll be able to watch GaGa and her exploding tits.

Rodriguez: Do you have any favorite American cities to play in?

Hutchison: It's fun to be in New York and the major cities, but from the perspective of the shows, often times it's the smaller, less-visited cities that bring in the better crowds - they're just really excited you're there, they're often slightly more feverish. Places like Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee were crazy. New York, Seattle, and L.A. are all spoiled for choices, as far as shows go.

Rodriguez: When you go back to Edinburgh and see friends who've never been to the U.S. before, or haven't been here for a while, what do you tell them about America?

Hutchison: I think America is a bunch of different countries in one. It can't be summed up. It's constantly surprising and a hard place to pin down because it changes from city to city.

Rodriguez: Back home in Scotland, do you put on a kilt for special occasions like weddings?

Hutchison: I've never worn a kilt in my life. I've always refused to do so because I don't know if I'd feel comfortable.

Rodriguez: You wouldn't feel comfortable because it's a skirt or because you'd have to strip off your underwear?

Hutchison: Most do wear underwear, to be honest, but I think it would be somewhat uncomfortable. It'd be itchy.

Rodriguez: Is there anything you like more about American girls than the ones back home in Scotland?

Hutchison: No, no, no. Absolutely not. I definitely prefer Scottish girls - one in particular, who is my girlfriend.

Rodriguez: My favorite Frightened Rabbit song remains "Old Old Fashioned." Is that on your current set list?

Hutchison: Yeah, it would be foolish for it not to be.

Rodriguez: How many songs are you guys doing on this tour? Hutchinson: We're doing like a half and half set of old and new, and it's somewhere around the 14 or 15 mark.

Rodriguez: I wanna peek inside your tour bus.

Hutchison: You will be very disappointed. It is frighteningly furnished and there is laundry everywhere.

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