Craig Broad 14/02/2010
I was a late comer to Frightened Rabbit, finding their awe inspiring album 'Midnight Organ Fight' only just on the tail end of 2009. It hit me straight from the off though with its high pace energy and pure emotion, it was both upbeat but downbeat, poppy but alternative and most importantly it was relateable for anyone who has been in a failed relationship. 2010 sees Frightened Rabbit return with their much anticipated new album 'The Winter Of Mixed Drinks', I caught up with the band before the release to find out if their ever growing fanbase and the glowing acclaim for their last album put pressure on the recording of this new release and more importantly, I queried on how the new album would sound and where the band plan to go on from here.
Firstly, for those who don't know Frightened Rabbit can you explain who you are and how you came to exist as a musical entity?
We are now a five-piece from Scotland, and we exist solely for the purpose of entertaining people in the same way Blind Date used to on a Saturday night. It's about love, lust, loss, heartache and blue language. And so is Frightened Rabbit.
Influentially, you seem to flit from folk to indie to pop, sound wise how did you intend Frightened Rabbit to be and how do you feel that has developed in regards to each album and onto the forthcoming release?
I think we've always intended to make pop music, with catchy hooks and major key joy. I suppose it's tinged with a little bit of dark matter, but I find that friction interesting. Each record for me presents itself with the opportunity to explore how we can explode a simple song out into a sprawling arrangement. I suppose the new record is our most layered and detailed to date. I've always wanted us to release a huge sounding record, and I suppose this one is it.
Midnight Organ Fight received alot of media acclaim, with that in mind, do you feel any pressure with the release of The Winter of Mixed Drinks?
There is some pressure, but it's healthy if you use it in the right way. First and foremost, I wanted to make a better record, and I think we've done that - I didn't want to disappoint anyone. However, I am fully aware that for anyone who has lived with the organ fight for a while, the first listen or two to this one may be a little weird, being naturally less familiar to them. That's a good thing though.
You seem to have quite a skill at naming your albums, could you divulge as to what The Winter of Mixed Drinks actually means to you?
I'm glad you like it! I think we've all had odd, lonely, fallow periods in life, where you find yourself detached from everything, drifting and lost. That's what it means to me, but most importantly, it's the moments of joy afterwards during recovery that defines the dark period.
Lyrically Midnight Organ Fight was romantically bleak, especially on songs like Poke. I read that you don't feel like you can release another break up album so I am curious as to what themes you feel the lyrics cover this time around?
The main vein of imagery seems to be related to the sea. I've used the loose backdrop of a journey out to the ocean but it needn't be taken literally. It's still an album about being a slightly faulty human being.
Musically, how do you feel you have progressed on the new album and what do you think new member, Gordon Skene has added to the band?
Gordon has brought a new dimension to the band in a live sense, both sonically and by being a right good lad! It's always refreshing to have new opinions and thoughts brought to the band and Gordon has certainly brought that already.
Upcoming shows include some shows in Australia, followed by a tour in England. Do you expect a hectic touring schedule in support of the new album and what countries will you be touring?
Hopefully we'll be all over the place. Touring is the lifeblood of the record once it's done, and it's important to go out and play the songs to as many ears as possible. I'd love to go to Japan, as we've never managed to go there. If there's somewhere people want to see us, we shall go!
Frightened Rabbits, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks is released via Fatcat Records on March 1st 2010 and they begin their UK tour on March 4th 2010.
Frightened Rabbit Myspace