An einem kalten, grauen Berliner Novembertag wie er im Buche steht, treffen wir Scott Hutchison im Lido, wo er am Abend mit seiner Band Frightened Rabbit performen wird. Nachdem er extra für uns aus dem Schlaf gerissen wird, erscheint er freundlich lächelnd mit einem Kaffee in der Hand und bemüht sich so absolut ehrlich, alle unsere Fragen zu beantworten, dass wir danach ganz verliebt nach Hause gehen. Noch viel verliebter stehen wir beim abendlichen Konzert in der ersten Reihe und lauschen seiner rauen Stimme, wie sie über Herzschmerz, One-Night-Stands und Panikattacken singt. Das alles gelingt ihm, ohne dabei ein Gefühl der Hoffnungslosigkeit zu vermitteln.
Ruhmsucht: When you’re on tour, we suppose you get drunk a lot.
Scott: Oh yeah, I used to.
Ruhmsucht: Who remains or remained reasonable while the rest of the band isn’t sober anymore?
Scott: These days it’s probably me, my brother and Simon. I took two months alcohol-free recently and after that I was aware of the fact that drinking every night is not a good idea. So, I’ve become much moderate, which is a good thing. I should have discovered this many years ago (laughs).
Ruhmsucht: What do you think about Brexit and the potential Scottish independence?
Scott: Since Brexit, there seems to be a wave of people calling for another independence referendum which I think would be great. In Scotland, most people voted for remain in the EU and I agree with that. First, Scotland missed out when we voted “no” two years ago (concerning the Scottish independence Anm. d. Red). Second, I think it would be a good opportunity for Scotland to govern itself. Personally, I have nothing against England or English people. I just think as a country, we have a right to govern ourselves and make our own decisions. If that decision is to remain in the EU I would support that, too. So, I think there is a wave of people looking to achieve change. Brexit is a symptom of dissatisfaction with the current state of things. I can’t disagree with that. But I disagree with the way changes are trying to be achieved.
Ruhmsucht: Are you afraid of the consequences as well?
Scott: Personally, as a musician touring, yes. The consequences could be quite bad. We would perhaps have to apply for visas to work for every country in the EU. Right now, we have the freedom to play and tour without any expensive ramifications but it’s still expensive enough for us. So, it could be bad for artists and musicians to work where they please within the EU.
Ruhmsucht: Do you remember another time when you were really afraid of something and wished you’d been a little braver afterwards?
Scott: Many times (slightly smiles). That’s a good question (laughs). I find that constantly in life. I have social anxiety (hesitates). When I was younger, even in college, I wished I’d been more outgoing. I wished I’d talked to people more. Those situations, I still find very hard. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a dangerous situation really where I had to be physical (laughs). I don’t know how I would act under those circumstances. But certainly, a bit bravery socially would have been handy.
Ruhmsucht: When you think of the new album Painting Of A Panic Attack, which word comes into your mind immediately?
Ruhmsucht: Why is that?
Scott: The album was built out of an obsession with one person, an obsession with achieving a sound and an obsession with continuing the band. It wasn’t an obsession with literally achieving all those things but it’s still something that sums up the album for me. It’s just a deep, deep love for everything that was involved in it.
Ruhmsucht: I still remember the day when a friend first told me about you as a band and also send me one of your songs as a YouTube link. It was “Keep Yourself Warm”. I was wondering whether there is a difference in what you connected with the song back then and what you associate with it today.
Scott: With that particular song? That’s a funny one! At the time, I wrote that song it was not about my life. At that time, I was in a longterm relationship but I had friends going out and “meeting” people (slightly smiles) but not finding satisfaction in that. Satisfaction in meeting people, sleeping with them. I also had friends who were lonely and couldn’t find love, I suppose. Since then, I’ve made my own mistakes. I think, the song applies more to my own life at certain points. Short periods of time, where I’ve attempted to find love in that way and it didn’t work.
Ruhmsucht: If it wasn’t music, what would be your method to channel your emotions?
Scott: I draw (corrects himself), I make art. That’s actually what I trained for. I studied at the art school in Glasgow for four years. It wasn’t quite as genuine an expression of myself, I found out. At the beginning of my studies, music was a hobby. Then it became something I was obsessed with. Art then felt a little less genuine to me. Even though it’s not my main outlet, I still find ways of expressing myself through art.
Ruhmsucht: Imagine you could live in another, totally different parallel world. And you could switch between our world and the other world whenever you feel like it. What would this other world look like?
Scott: In the other world I would not be touring. I would have a home where I lived in all the time. I would do something that allowed me to stay at home and work constantly. I would probably have some collection of goats, maybe a couple of ducks and some other farmyard animals (laughs). And I’d love to learn how to make cheese. I think I would do that. Everything would be quieter than what I do now.
Ruhmsucht: Do you think it is important to talk about mental health problems such as panic attacks or depression more openly?
Scott: Yes, it is! I had ways of depression without even knowing it through a lot of my life. I’ve had different ways of dealing with it. We mentioned alcohol before. Recently, I found out that alcohol was my method of covering these feelings. Now, I’ve discovered that it only made things worse. I had a couple of incidents this year where I sort of regretfully spoke out over Twitter. Social media, depression and alcohol do not mix. But what I got back was a wave of people who had felt the same things. I realised then what an epidemic almost mental health problems are and how many people go through these things in life. It’s difficult to be a human, no matter what you do. Even someone like Kanye West is getting taken to the hospital. You have to have sympathy for people. I cannot comprehend what it feels like to be Kanye West. As strange as that man is, I have a huge amount of sympathy for the position he is in. He obviously suffers a lot. I think, creative people are more prone to suffering from this. They’re more in touch with their feelings and closer to the surface. But it’s not just creative people. It’s everywhere. Talking about it is the best thing you can do. Be open (smiles)!
Ruhmsucht: Is there a question that you really want to answer but no one had the idea to ask you about it, yet?
Scott: Oh (laughs). My goodness (laughs more). I’ve been asked so many questions over the years (thinks). Nobody asks about my mum and dad (sounds surprised). I’m very proud to be their son and I’m very grateful for everything they’ve done for me (smiles). That’s not a question, I suppose. But I don’t bring them up often enough. They’re still the most supportive people in my life.
Ruhmsucht: Let’s talk about your parents then. What do they do for a living?
Scott: They’re retired. My mum used to be a teacher and my dad used to own a glas factory. They put everything they had into making sure their sons were happy and fulfilled individuals. I’m extremely grateful to them.
Ruhmsucht: As a last favour we would like you to draw yourself for us!
Scott: Oh yeah. Great (starts drawing)! I want to get this right (laughs).
Interview: Alena Haslinger und Renée Leifermann
Fotos: Nina Sartorius