Obituary: Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit), 36



There should be a study about the teenage complex and distortion because there’s definitely something that happens to teenagers when they hear distorted guitars. That kind of faded for me when I turned 18 and 19 and started getting into more longing and romantic music but before that, I was all about [heavy] guitars…. It’s such a satisfying way to learn…” Scott Hutchison

His is not a name known to most people.

Which was probably fine with him.

He seemed to relish the moment, the one-line summation, the play on words that worked so well, both in song and on the stage.

I only saw them play once but I was so taken with his absurdly friendly stage manner. Minutes into the show you could be convinced that he was doing a home show, in your very own living room.

Above he talks about bringing back the music of your youth.

At my age, there is nothing in the music of Frightened Rabbit that brought back memories of my youth. Or memories of anything else.

So why the affection? Why the absolute joy I felt each time I put on a FRabbit album? And make no mistake, it was a band effort, every time. 

Well, I guess maybe it comes down to this: Am I a man? Are am I a bag of sand?

And for goodness sake, “be so good to everyone you love.”

James Porteous



Obituary: Scott Hutchison, singer-songwriter with Scottish band Frightened Rabbit

11 May 2018 | Teddy Jamieson | Herald Scotland

Scott Hutchison, who has died aged 36, was the lead singer of Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit, whose appeal to their fervent fans owed much to the openness and honesty of Hutchison’s lyrics.

Hutchison went missing on May 9 after sending a brace of tweets which caused concern to his friends and family. “Be so good to everyone you love,” he wrote. “It’s not a given. I’m so annoyed that it’s not. I didn’t live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones.”

Hutchison was last seen in the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry at 1am.

In the hours and days after he disappeared, social media sang with messages of fear, hope, heartache and love from people for whom Hutchison’s music meant everything. For so many of them, Hutchison articulated their vulnerabilities.

He certainly never hid his own. Hutchison mined his own fears and anxieties for his lyrics.

“There’s a song about throwing yourself off the Forth Road Bridge,” he told an interviewer in 2007, referring to the track Floating in the Forth. “I’ve thought about it before. I’m not bullshitting.”

Those words feel all too prescient now.

Born in Selkirk, to Marion and Ron, he suffered from anxiety from an early age. “I was so shy as a child I was kept back a year at nursery,” he said in 2010. His mother once called him a frightened rabbit, a description he would later adopt as a nom de plume when he started performing.

As a teenager he moved to Glasgow School of Art to study illustration, but was always more interested in making music He started singing and writing at the age of 19, heavily influenced by American artists including Ryan Adams and Wilco.

In 2003 he began to perform as Frightened Rabbit. A year later he was joined by his brother Grant and the pair recorded a debut album Sing the Grays, which was released on local label Hit the Fan in 2006.

That led them to signing to Fat Cat Records who subsequently rereleased the album.

By then Billy Kennedy had joined the brothers to record the follow-up album The Midnight Organ Fight. Released in 2008, it was the album that helped establish the band. A record of raw, bruised, deeply personal songs that catalogued Hutchison’s break-up with a girlfriend, it was met with widespread acclaim and saw Frightened Rabbit, now including fourth member Andy Monaghan, tour with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Biffy Clyro.

Earlier this year the band (which by this point also included Simon Liddell) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the album with a series of gigs in the US and the UK. The band have made five albums in all, the last of which was Painting of a Panic Attack, released in 2016.

Extensive touring built an audience for the band in the States where they even appeared on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon talk show. That visibility was never quite replicated in the UK, even after they signed to the major label Atlantic in 2010. But the audience they had was an impassioned one.

Success, however, was never an analgesic for Hutchison. There was a restlessness to him, in work and in life.

Down the years Hutchison lived in various cities in the United States as well as in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

He also recorded a solo album under the name Owl John and collaborated with other Scottish bands including Withered Hand and The Birthday Suit. Last year he provided illustrations for Michael Pederson’s poetry collection Oyster, and, along with his brother Grant, was part of indie supergroup Mastersystem who just released their debut album Dance Music last month.

Such creativity wasn’t enough. He was at times fragile and damaged. In 2016 he went on Twitter to announce that he was “not a particularly good person,” before telling his followers “don’t buy my records.”

He then tweeted: “Goodbye to Frightened Rabbit. All it has ever been is me boring people with lies and making creative currency out of other people’s hurt.”

The tweets were quickly deleted and Hutchison apologised, saying his comments were “the result of mixing alcohol, depression and social media.”

But that vulnerability – something that he mined so well in his lyrics – was always part of him. Earlier this year Hutchison told The Herald Magazine that performing in Frightened Rabbit “is one of the few places in life I don’t live in fear.”

Tragically, in the end, the music that he made that did so much to help others was not enough of a lifeline for its own creator.






Tributes to Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison after body find

11 May 2018 | Herald Scotland

Tributes have been paid to Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison after a body was found by police searching for the missing musician.

The 36-year-old band member was last seen at around 1am on Wednesday after leaving the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry.

Police Scotland discovered a body at nearby Port Edgar at 8.30pm on Thursday.

Formal identification has yet to take place, but Mr Hutchison’s family has been informed.

Fellow musicians expressed their sadness while tributes flooded in from fans.

Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos tweeted: “Awful news about Scott Hutchison. A terrible loss.”

Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian wrote: “Tragic news about Scott Hutchison. The whole music community in Scotland was praying for a different outcome.

“Folks, if you are up against it, having dark thoughts, please tell someone, family, a friend or a doctor. There is always another way, though it might not seem like it.”

DJ Edith Bowman wrote: “Can’t really believe I’m reading this. Saddest awakening ever. Love and best wishes to all the Hutchison and Frabbit family”, and author Ian Rankin tweeted: “No no no. Hellish news.”

More than 1,200 comments have been posted on the singer’s own Twitter account, with one fan writing “You’ve left a legacy of beautiful music.”

The police search was focused on the South Queensferry area, the Forth Road Bridge and Fife.

On Thursday Mr Hutchison’s brothers, Grant and Neil, said they were “distraught” about his disappearance and appealed for him to get in touch.

The pair spoke about their sibling’s fight with depression and how he had helped others by speaking about his condition.

Elder brother Neil, 38, said: “In relation to Frightened Rabbit, the band and Scott’s work and how many people he himself has helped who might be suffering from the same emotions and feelings, that’s been great to read.”

He added: “He does suffer from depression, he has been very open about that in an attempt to help other people with similar conditions.

“He’s kind, he’s a great uncle to my three kids, a fantastic wee brother and an inspiring guy who is one of my heroes. ”

“He’s an inspiration to me and I miss him very much.”

Grant Hutchison, 33, a drummer with the band, spoke about his brother being an “inspirational” figure and a “hero” who he missed very much.


Read This Day from Hawkins Bay Dispatch


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