Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchinson is dead at the age of 36.
We spelled the band's name wrong on the chalkboard. What f*ck is wrong with us? How did that actually
happen? Until today, that's what haunted me about our gorgeous acoustic session which we filmed with Scottish, folk-rock band Frightened Rabbit
(spelled Frigtened Rabbit on the big board, for those of you keep scoring), a few years ago.
The band was in town for a celebration of their 2013 album, Pedstrian Verse
. I remember the tour well. Frightened Rabbit was rolling around the country with Augustines
...another one of our favorite bands that seemed to specialize in big emotions and anthemic choruses. I couldn't think of a better billing. And rather than head to their show at Webster Hall that evening, I decided to try and convince both bands to meet us in Williamsburg for our own private acoustic sessions. It worked, and it was seriously one of my absolute favorite days on the job.
Of course we read the terrible, no good, very bad news about lead singer Scott Hutchinson's disappearance earlier this week. I've been hoping we wouldn't have to write/share our experiences with the band...hoping Scott would show up on my twitter feed alive and healthy and surrounded by friends and family. But as we all found out this morning, that was not the case. The BBC confirmed a few hours ago that the body of a man found in a marina in Scotland is in fact Scott Hutchinson.
Why does this happen to so many artists we know and love? Why is depression so often part of the package that comes with artistic brilliance? Why do they not see that they are loved, envied even, by so many around the world? I'm not talking about family here, who are absolutely devastated by their unexpected loss. I can't imagine being in their shoes these last few days...so much worry, defaulting to hope that all will be OK out of absolute necessity, only to find out it's not. They've lost a son, a brother, an uncle, and a best friends. There's no replacing that. It is absolutely devastating.
But why doesn't the admiration matter either? Why couldn't that combination of family and loving fans save him? I guess the tragic irony of those who deal in the kind of personal, heart-on-your-sleeve music that Scott did, is that, while it absolutely heeled and saved thousands of people's lives he likely never met, it ultimately couldn't save him. And to that I say, "F*ck". I wish it wasn't that way...
During our interview with Scott and Grant Hutchinson, the two brothers talked about how art is often a a selfish pursuit, played out on a sometimes awkward public stage. Music is sometimes an "unnatural way in which to air your grievances." People in Scott's life would often find out how he actually felt only through his songs. For this reason I imagine he needed his music to make sense of things that have happened in his life. Maybe music couldn't do that for him anymore. The band did almost break up a year and a half ago
. And maybe without that music and that outlet, Scott felt like he had nothing left. We'll probably never know.
But, he left us 5 albums worth of music from Frightened Rabbit, plus another solo album under the name Owl John. For those who need it, there will always be songs to heal by thanks to his prolific output. For that, with the upmost respect, we say thank you. Rest In Peace Scott. We'll hug our loved ones. We'll be good to everyone we love.
UPDATE: The band has issued a statement: