Scott Hutchison: "Frightened Rabbit & Ten Years of 'The Midnight Organ Fight'" | Talks at Google
Keep. The applause going Scott Hutchinson. We're. Full of them you guys have three mics that's amazing. Unlike. Many places where you've been spending your time lately I'm sure no yeah we usually just use one. So. You, touch them a little bit as you played but these, songs are old, yeah. They are well yeah there's some thermo sleep the album came out ten years ago this this. Spring. And. The. Songs are older than that you know so they're just getting ready to go high school I suppose these long as you know. It's. Funny wise cuz it's funny. It's. Been tiny basement yeah but it's like funny one of my songs a byte, or getting ready to go themselves or so. Is. It is it strange, to, be, revisiting. This material, now for. Though, I'm sure everybody knows but for those who don't know the, tour is the tenth anniversary of the midnight organ plays yeah um how. Is it for, you to, be and, you know a ten-year marker point revisiting. This, album it's I. Mean. There's a lot of stuff that I had either. Forgotten, or blanked out from the time when we were first you know the. Main, thing that strikes me is not you know not so much the content the content is is what it is and. Emotionally. In 10 years you've one would have hoped to have moved on, and. I have it's. Okay it's, cool and. But. It's just thinking about the you. Know being now I'm 36, when we were touring obviously. 26. 27, even. Just then how, much more I could get away with like abusing. My body on, tour you, know it's a I get. Kind of pissy if we do more than four shows in a row now but I remember doing like we would happily do like 12, 13 14 shows were they often stuff and nobody, cared it was. It. Was just like we were so full of excitement this album. Snow. Balled first that year and and, one of the reasons why I have such affection, for is essentially, we. Got back off that tour and I didn't have to go get a job. It's. As simple as that you know so. Um yeah, it's um I got I have a great deal of affection for the album and hence why we decide to roll it out well, and it seems that a lot of other people have a great deal of affection for it's true -, it's. True there's I mean, I would say about. 80%. In, the conversations, I have a better music they're still with with, you know fans. Of the band or are still about that record a friend, of mine who runs a record shop said that it's our business card album. It's. Like if you don't like this you're just not gonna don't bother you know so. Well. And interestingly you guys announced, that you're gonna go on tour and perform, the record and I saw, that come across you know the email and and, not. Long, ago 10 years doesn't seem like I know big time and but then I went to looking at tickets and they were all sold out yeah, people, are into it I, I. Don't. Know I I think, it's. Not just for, us this. Tour is not selfish, that's, because. I was before, when I was saying before I. Actually. Used to think that this kind of thing was pretty corny and and. Sort, of some kind of obvious way, to make extra money or something but what we did instead was we kind of instead, of you know completely, rinsing, the concept, we, decided, to play shows that were approximately, the same size as we did back then, hence. Why they soared, sold out so very, quickly and. You, know lots of people complained. About it. So. There's a lot of unhappy, customers they, may never come back they're frightened rabbits surely but, you know the problem is they get the you, know back in the day I guess the, force your. Audience had a direct line straight, to you it's like it's not my fault that they all of this happened, but, they. Can contact. Me and say hey dickhead. You're. Gonna add another show or what and it's like there's. 10. People in between me. And adding. Another show there's. Not I don't have control over that but I'm the first, protocol, so like the 9 sing these shows and then selling like some of them with it within genuinely. Within minutes was, um I remember, I was taking a train ride and I was just like I just opened Twitter to see how the sales were going and then just. This volley, of a beauty. From. People who claim to love my band but it's like yeah.
It. Don't like me no what. Do you think I mean, obviously we have the lens of time to look back yeah, a lot, of people have. Reviewed the record the important discussing, importance, of the record and obviously you guys recognize the importance to, revisit, it now for. Fans what, do you think is the. Connection. That brought so many people to this particular, record it's, uh it's, it's very much. It's. It's probably the most open album, we've. Ever made, you know lyrically thematically. There's. A there's. A great deal of honesty, on it which i think people always connect with the, strange, thing about that, though is even though that was a success. After, we toured the album towards, the end of that tour it was like it was like a year and a half and I. Just started to feel like I was on stage, complaining. At people or. Revealing. Too much and. There's. Something special about that, naivete, that we had that. Created. Something that. Wasn't. Censored, as such you know like. You said there's like there's kind of kind. Of use of poetic. Structure to, kind. Of veil, and. Romanticize. These, occasionally. Pretty painful times, but. Um it's. It's it's laid out you know and I think the. Other thing is I can a joke, now about it being a, you. Know. Cold-hearted. Commercial, enterprise, because heartbreak, never goes out of style, so. You know there's always gonna be some, poor. Bastard, he's. Just he's just been dumped and and that's that this, record that has become a bit of a. You. Know an anthem. For the the, heartbroken I suppose because, I was at the time you know and and, you say you, were saying before that you get a lot of those stories, people will just come up to you and start unloading. They do yeah. That. Was a dirty laugh. Unloading. Come on. They. Do, that's. What I thought he was getting at. Sorry. Let's. Get back on track. Get. Back at ya know.
They. Do and. It's. Strange a friend of mine once said. When. And this isn't unique to our album, or our band but because, of this consistency. Of the, subject. Matter within. This album he. Said. People. And, it is usually a kind, of breakup situation, where someone, loses. The the person that they loved the most and then. There's. Me and for. The tape for those two weeks I. Serve. It. Sounds creepy I sort of seep into their lives you know and and. And. For that reason, I think a lot of people who when when they come and talk, to me and share their memories, and, and how what, they associate with that album oh, you can already feel like they know. Me well enough to say, these really personal, things and um that's, lovely but. Also like I had. To take a little step back from it at one point because it can become kind of draining and there's like a responsibility, there that is difficult. To come to terms with they've. Heard your heavy story through the songs and they think I would share, mine with you yeah, we let go through it together and well, little did he know I'm totally fine by the time they're talking to me anyway because it's all it's, all happened, like a couple, of years in advance but yeah and I'm, it's. It's. Not a negative thing for people to connect the, you, know project, their lives on to something that I've made yeah. I like it and it. The, other question that I had was as a as an artist, you, you've not stopped working you've been very busy over the past ten years. Frightened. Rabbit put out painting, the UH painting of a panic attack it's, a fifth studio album yeah, yeah is. It. Strange, to constantly. Be presented, with the. Old. Instead of wanting, to talk about you know talking about the new record talk about even, the Al John kind of yeah artwork, yeah the so honestly. III have to put myself in the shoes of a. Music fan which I as. Well you know um where. I, think. Maybe. Maybe guys can agree or disagree on this theory but the, I, think the first record you hear by your favorite band generally. Tends to be the one that just. Remains. Your favorite. That. Brought that album it doesn't have to be their first album, it's like you see your entry point to it you know so. Like. Going. Back to when I was a teenager I definitely. I definitely, loved. Verses. More than any other parallel job album I don't, listen to anymore but it's like.
That's. Where I came in so. Wherever and a lot of people came in at. That point so. So. That's. That's why, I think people and, and I can't complain about that at least they're. Enjoying something I've, done even if they hate the new ones, just. Fighting as well I don't I don't think anybody hate okay but. We can, talk about it there does seem to be you. Know with painting especially mmm. A. Massive. Progression, in, how the the, music is produced yeah, I guess also and how you guys wrote the record why. Don't you talk a little bit about that process and the change from ten. Years ago - yeah, I mean ten years ago we didn't have any. Fancy equipment for. One I was, you know writing and recording songs on - you know I guess a cassette, for. Track. You. Know the, the leak that I thought, we took sonically, between, our. First album and the midnight Oregon fight and now. He seems ridiculous, to me because I was like oh this is really polished, and I had obviously had called to listen back to the, second album, recently. To just learn the songs again and, the. It. Sounds crappy, to me no. But, I remember thinking it was super, polished but. We've just I guess we have been progressing but but at the same time there's. A lot to be learned from again. That Cain and naivety, of making the album there's. Something, very Hugh and, I think if you remove that entirely, then you're kind of then. Your music will lose I so, I have. Definitely taken, some. You. Know tips, from that. 25. Year old version of me to, maybe try and tap into that a little bit more going forward because I think things, can get overproduced and I think we've been guilty of that so. You. Know it'd, be nice to just. You. Know keep the mistakes in don't, erase them on a computer in which. Is all too often the case now well. And that's, a very interesting comment. To make so. Many people talk about the rawness, and honesty, of the lyrical, content but. That is also then served by the rawness, and honesty, of the recording, it, matches yeah I didn't I didn't really we didn't really know what we were doing and. There. Was no expectation. Of an audience there, was no I didn't. Really know how many people were gonna hear it so therefore. That allows you to be. Much, more bold in your decisions, there's always something, now you're making a record there's a there's like a much larger, group of people in the back of your mind as much as you may try and make, an album just for yourself and for the band. The. The. Audience is there a lot your live experience, is there it's like oh this little. Robits, gonna kill why, if you know and, it, it's there is again. So I it's, the whole process now is trying to be a little. Naive but how you're making the music and not censoring, yourself too much and if a mistake sounds good well, maybe you should keep it or. Do it again because if you do it twice it's not a mistake let's, say so, it works right, just. Intentional. I mean, so, with. Painting, you recorded, big, portions, that are produced big portions I hear right in Brooklyn and some, of it was in with Aaron Aaron Dessner used. To have a studio in. Ditmas. And. He. Doesn't. Have that anymore but um, that. Was the room you know that. Was the room where they recorded. Most. Of the records up till the last one pretty much the, bulk the bulk of it and so like it's a it's a, tiny garage a the back his house but. He just it's it's it's an extension, of his brain so, when we got there you know we were in a big bigger fancier, studio upstate near Woodstock called, dreamland which was beautiful, but. We. Did try and kind of rough, it up a little when we got to the. Garage as. Aaron calls it yeah well no there was a lot more. Difference. With. Painting, of a panic attack than 10. Years ago you you wrote the album in a very different way as well right, it was remotely written, really because I moved, to Los Angeles and them we. Were for. That read always, relied very heavily for. Certainly for the the, last 10 years had relied quite heavily on our my. Band me Andy who is very very proficient. In music software and. He. Just recorded all our demos and I didn't have to push a single button you know and and. Then I moved to LA and I'm like I'm. Gonna have to figure this I.
So. Started, you know using, using, logic and and that introduced, a whole new raft of sound to me as well so I wasn't necessarily sitting, down as I did with the almost, all of them in that organ fight it was sitting down with the guitar in a room writing. Like that that, kind of went out the window and I wrote, a lot more, from. A you. Know beginning. With a loop, or electronic. Sound, just. Because I was excited by this you know new world, that had been opened up within, within, my laptop you know so, that was a progression um and. Yeah. Just the back-and-forth collaboration. Was well. Things take like two days to come together because he's got like an email there when they're there asleep and then they send me back what they've done and I'm asleep and then goes, back and forward and let's. Call the whole thing off and. But. That. Was it was a little bit of a longer process but, you know I think it. Doesn't it, doesn't matter it doesn't matter if the situation, is better or worse than the last record. That just needs to be different. Yeah. I was gonna ask if now, going back and looking, has. Has the nostalgia, gotten to you as well do you look back at those sort of earlier, times of the band and think man it, was so different. Back then I open, for that past or I don't pine for late. Turning. Up a venue with my guitar with, my pedals in a plastic, bag. I definitely, don't pain for that but, our setup. Is quite complex, now, sometimes. That can be a pain, and. Yeah. There. Was an innocence, to it that you know what it's just naturally, it goes. Your. Music, becomes a business your band becomes a business it's, it's it's you. Know hard. To avoid that if you want to make a go of it so, it, does change, I don't pine for it I mean you, know I'm. Able, to do this freely, and and. And sort of focus on nothing else and that's a privilege, that I you. Know definitely, don't take for granted so. No. It was fun it's just like thinking about it's just, exhausts. Me to think about that thing because, it was it. Was ridiculous, oh I. Could, get away with. One. Of the things that has also come along with the new record. That. Is more, different, and I think it's also we're in a different landscape as far as being musicians, and artists in the world today are some, of the videos that you guys have put out yeah and, I'm curious how involved, in some of that stuff you are because they they're not like a typical music, video there's sort of these micro, vignettes, of. Interpretive. Storytelling. Yeah, and I'm wondering how heavy-handed. Your involvement in that is or if that's something that is done and then you get to experience it as a viewer, mine. Our, involvement, and the reason why our videos are done that way is in there sort of a narrative is we. Don't want to be in them so. We. Try it is like sort, of pitch. For people to make kind of little mini movies. And to, our to our songs because. I. Don't. Think anyone gets in to frighten rather because they. Are. Attracted to us so, I. It's. Just the fact that alright I'm alright with being substance, over style. But. No, the videos III actually much prepare that I you know we have we, have had to do a couple of performance, videos but I think generally they suck and they're not interesting, I don't say anything and they don't take the song into a new realm so, I'd much rather have, someone else's story. Plunked. On this song and then that puts it into sort. Of puts a new perspective on things it's much more interesting but. I don't really have anything to do with them particularly. Um. But. I always. Prefer to see what someone else's interpretation of, the music is is. There can, you talk about maybe. A reaction, that you might have had from seeing some of these videos like the video for sober or wish I was sober sober house full on yeah. So. It's a drunk, lady having, a really bad time and. Yeah. No I was, sort. Of struck by that that. Was that was more I was. Further than I thought the song went I mean the song was kinda like, it. Is. It. Has. Depth but but not I don't think it's distressing but. Yeah. I mean I, it. Wasn't my favorite video actually but, you. Know it. Happened, yeah. I'm, just curious about the the control and letting that control go and how inaudible I've got interpret, yet. You're putting forward that's. That's actually when I I would I would call that one of the like, greatest. Pleasures of doing this work is. Is. Not having once it's out it, doesn't belong to us. Or me anymore it's. A it's, in the hands of or, the ears of the brains of, the. Listener, and that's. Really. Exciting for that, your album to like pinball around and. Different. Interpretations. And. Hopefully. I. Again. Like I asked people this a lot I know I could ask you you know if you're.
Listening To doesn't, have to be a friend rabbit song but if, you. Are listening to a song and it are. You playing a movie in your head that. Involves, you, or the person that's singing, it so, I I. Hope that's not me I don't, want to be in your movies alright. I'm. Not attractive, enough to be in your movies okay but. You're about to be, you're currently being in a movie, that's being made, right now well it's appropriate that I'm in that because it's a documentary, about Frightened, Rabbit right, so I. Couldn't. Avoid that one. Guess. I'm gonna have to be in that video, no. I'm really excited about that there's, probably people who would volunteer to play you in the documentary, if you needed I'd, be awesome actually yeah, apparently, the cop from stranger things is coming out to the show tonight maybe he could do it I was, also thinking maybe we kind of look you want to be in it okay fine yeah yeah yeah. How. You. Know this is a guy who's following, you around with a camera as you're going through this retelling. Of the past, story like and does it ever reach a point of just surreal. Nisour. In. Control, of this life is coming, to itself yeah see, that's where that's where you just lose your mind with anxiety, I think. This, band has given. Me cause, to sort. Of practice, you. Know a lot more living. In the moment and acceptance, of that and mindfulness, had. Been hard and it doesn't always work but if you do get too caught up in it because it's not real life really. I go. Back to real life when I go home and like, you, know I go, out on tour and succeed, at that and I'm, comfortable there and and. I'm I'm happiest, when I'm performing in, a way and, I, go home and it's just like, what. The do I do. Who. Am I as well you know you live a lot of what I kind of had to do was. Because. I was when. This album, first came out the one we were talking about and, I. Was. Receiving, a lot of. You. Know people's stories people's praise as well and and that can just that, can take you in a bad direction I think so, I have to now, almost, there's. Like there's like there's like, persona. That, have maybe developed, a little bit which which, stops me from being too personally, involved in it is really important, to keep my own. Life for, me so. Yeah. There's been there's been a there's been adjusting. So long the way and there's been like proper, breakdowns, as well it's not always been, fun but. I'm. Grateful that it's you know it's. Caused. Me to seek out tools to, sort of mentally. Survive yeah, it's, a dream sometimes, for sure. We. Do want to leave plenty of time for members, of our audience ask questions so if you guys do have questions make your way to a microphone. While. People, are getting sent I want to ask you about the, experience, so far of the midnight. Organ fight 10th anniversary tour you've, got a couple shows under the belt there's a handful, more going. On are you enjoying yourself doing this I am yeah, I said, I said, that. It feels like beating the DJ a really, weird wedding, sort, of like. Everyone knows what the song what songs are coming next there's, like there's crying there's drinking I mean that's weddings, right yeah. And. Yeah. Because it's we're playing the album in order which. To me is the the. Structure of an album and the running order of an album isn't, necessarily, ideal, for a live show either there's a two different like, art forums I think so, I've, been getting used to having like big depressing. Dips in our say, which, are not difficult for me to deal with because I like to keep things like exciting. And upbeat so it's. Been an adjustment I'm. Really, enjoying it and I hope, that everyone that comes is also like yeah well. I was curious you know a couple years from now will be then the 10th anniversary of, like whatever like that record now. We're, good we're good on that one. Take. A question from the audience. Thank. You for being here thank you so. A silly question I've. Noticed a lot of musicians moved to LA yeah, have you noticed that and why, did you move to LA well if they did I didn't meet any of them. Because, I had no friends there actually meant I like kind of got my white, I moved there because. My girlfriend lived there at the time and that, was the only reason I had to be there it's a good reason but I, didn't, I didn't have any ambitions, to work in in the kind. Of. The. World that exists, out there because I didn't, really find a very. Coherent. Music, scene that I could step into particularly. It's all very disparate, there a lot, of closed doors I think so the one place.
I Find solace was in a, in the form of a small theatre called Largo, in West Hollywood which is run by a, Irishman. Named flan II and turns, out lots of stand-up comedians, really like Frightened Rabbit I think, we're, all depressed at heart you know so I ended, up doing some really great shows with great comedians, there and that was almost the only kind, of community. I felt, there. So. If, there. Are musicians. We're. Listening, or watching this, I mean I just don't move to LA. It's. Weird it's so strange for it to be it surely is one of the most creative places, on earth because lots of cool stuff gets made there but, you, don't feel that in the within, the city it's like it's all happening, behind closed doors and it's like I just. Didn't feel like there was a creative, hub that. I could get involved in there and or, maybe just, nobody liked me so. Who knows but I I. Didn't, have a terrible time there but it wasn't for me in the end. Take. Another question Hey I'm. So excited you here because now I get to talk about my heartbreak, no I'm just kidding hey no no let loose come on. Alright. Goodnight yeah I'm great that's awesome, ten years we've been through stuff I record. All right great that's a new one you don't hate it no I think it's great but. Um I wanted to ask you first I was like oh why did he move to LA but they already asked that yeah so now I want to ask when is it time to move on to the next record I mean with bands that have lots of studio albums, it's, hard to please all the fans because you go and everyone's expecting to hear their favorite song Adid don't yeah when. Is it time when do you start like feeling, oh maybe this is something for the new album oh we're. Like when, do we start writing, really well. I, think the, beauty. Of a, relatively. Long touring cycle is by the end of that you're pretty, sick of the material that you just wrote and you you're also noticing, a lot of the flaws in it and the ways that you would like to improve on that next time so that's handy and. For. Us it, seems, to take the. The. Timeline is like finish at or do. Nothing for like a month that's. You know like kind of decompress and try and start living normally. Again and then and then we'll try and find an another, thing, to do, there. Isn't necessarily Frightened, Rabbit you have to have some distance because you can spend, all your time in the, pockets of one another and then, just, personally, you need a break from those, guys especially my, little brother who plays drums you know. Anyone. Else fancy, like, taking. A sibling on a tour bus 4 in the world. I. Love. The guy but anyway. Yeah. So having. Said that we are. I guess, this tour is kind of our in-between, thing and we've already started writing the next album. We, were taking a different write with it in that we feel. Like at this point we're kind of ready to. Kind. Of self produce a lot more so. We've. Kind of refurbished. Our studio and we're gonna do it there and it's all going to be much more in our hands. As opposed, to you. Know bringing in a producer which is nothing wrong with that but I think we just feel it's time to let, our own voice. Go, kind of untrammeled, anyway. Thank. You thank you. Hi. Hi thanks, for being here I'm, just getting curious how do you guys decide the, name of your band it's, not. There. Is a story I was. Um very. Shy. As a child and, that. Was a nickname that my mom and dad gave to me when we you, know when you go to those when you're a kid and you're going to parties. That, your. Parents, you know your parents friends parties, but their kids aren't necessarily, your friends, I. Write. Yeah I know what that means I really hated those events and I, was. Just I was very shy and that kind of comes across as being antisocial but, you, know I get I would just kind, of sit in the corner like with the freight and rabbit look at my face and not talk to anyone so I thought, it would be humorous, to call the. Band that I hoped to play in front of a lot of people after a sort of social.
Anxiety. You, know so, that's. That's that's where it comes from Thanks. Thank you. It's. Okay. Hey. Thanks for being here, so, my question is about the, artwork, that you did for Michael. Peterson's. How do you say his last name yeah. Moisture the poetry, book right you like. Find. The, artwork, that you want to make out of a poem, that seems like they're very different mediums so how do you like draw the essence, the. VRI. And. Michael's poems are often quite sort, of sprawling, and long and that is hard to distill, into one image but. What, I tended, to do was because, I have I really, I really think about. Poetry. The, the way that it can be often, and quite studiously, worked, through, I much prefer, here in poems performed, and reading them quite quickly and taking and taking, whatever, jumps. Out at me from that so I take that kind of tactic with the artwork where it was like I would give it a couple of runs, through and then if then if an image came I would, draw it and, it was as simple as that because I didn't want to have you, know again. With thinking about videos and how you distill, a song into like a concept, for for, film I, didn't. Want it to be too sort, of. Heavily. You. Know issued. The drawing should bring another aspect, to the to the poem as opposed, to me just describing, something, something exactly as it is there so, that, was that was a challenge but luckily you know Michael's a friend and we worked we've, worked together, for and known, each other for many years so it was a very like lovely. Collaborative, thing and he liked all the drawings so they all go and it was great yeah I hope to do his next one as well it's. A real pleasure, thank. You thank you. All right nice yeah we'll take our effort was playing. A show. Hey. I just wanted to thank you for the music of the years I still remember where I was when I heard things for the first time eight, years ago at like one o'clock in the morning writing. Code and it's the drone that really hit me hard, yeah, so, I'm curious just what are you listening to now that you can't get out of your head because I couldn't get you out of my head for a long time oh wow. Okay. Things. Is my favorite frightened rabbit song by the way so, really we're yeah we're together on that one. What. Am i listening to you now, I. Love. Because. I'm on tour I love. Kind. Of cyclic, all modern. Classical, stuff like like. Max, Richter and. Unfortunately. Johann johansson. And. That. Kind, of is, all. I can listen you know in general actually that's the because, because, I analyzed, music, when I listen to it that. Kind, of music is sort of analysis, free and that's really really comforting. To me so. It would be it's in that kind of wheelhouse like nails from and, yeah. All, those all those kind. Of studious, dudes, there. Erica and my rock stars actually I went to see Max Richter play. Recently. And I was like taken, aback he. Was at the merits desk and stuff and I couldn't even bring myself to go and say hi and slay all starstruck, and stuff so yeah. It's, the kind of it's a very meditative listen, for me and that's really important, as opposed.
To Listening, to a song and either. Deconstructing. It because I think, it sucks or being, really jealous cuz it's, awesome you know that's, really hard that's something. I need to let go of a little bit more yeah, thank. You thank you well. And I thank you thank you for taking the time to sit, and talk with us today in front of Google and everyone, Scott Hutchison this is great thanks thank you very much. You. You.