Gig preview: Frightened Rabbit at Leeds University Stylus
The YEP took a moment to speak to guitarist Simon Liddell, ahead of their upcoming tour and album, Painting of a Panic Attack.
1: Your new album, Painting of a Panic Attack is your fifth album, released 10 years after your debut. Most mid-2000s guitar bands have been and gone, what drives your creativity and longevity?
I think the consistency of Scott’s lyrics allows fans to stay engaged with the band from album to album. Obviously the music plays an equally important part but great lyrics can form a bond between artist and audience that is hard to shake, and allows a band to become more than just a passing fad.
Which album are you the most proud of from your discography?
Painting of a Panic Attack was the first record I contributed to, having previously just been a live member. So I’d have to choose that one!
Yorkshire and Scottish crowds appear to be the most animated fans for most bands on tour, are there similarities between the two regions in terms of hunger for live music?
Scottish and Northern crowds have a lot in common. A shared enthusiasm that is sometimes lacking in bigger cities. I think this stems from a few years ago when bands toured less, so were less likely to visit the smaller cities, and opted for just a small handful of UK dates instead.
Although not a political band, you have historically mentioned your desire for a Scottish independence vote (that evidently never came to fruition), can a man who moved to America have a say in domestic politics?
It would be unusual for someone to abandon any interest in the politics of their homeland simply because they’ve moved house.
You are given the opportunity to curate your own festival, who headlines? (they can be living, dead or a fantasy super-group).
The Jimi Hendrix Experience playing a set of MC5 covers.
Are there any more solo plans in the pipeline?
Myself and Andy helped Scott produce his solo record, under the name Owl John. It was a fun process, and we were proud of the end product, but I don’t think there are currently any plans to revisit it.
Which bands do you rate from Yorkshire and who should we be listening to from Scotland?
I’ve always been a big fan of Rolo Tomassi. They’ve been releasing great records since they were still at school, always with an ever-changing sound. As for Glasgow bands, Errors and Lau are the top dogs in my opinion. Also, Sarah Hayes from Admiral Fallow released a solo record recently that is worth checking out.
Leporiphobia, is the fear of rabbits. What fears or superstition’s do you have?
I fear what might happen if Donald Trump becomes US president. But I also fear what might happen if I exit a building through a different door than I entered.
As a fan of The National, my favorite album is High Violet. They are also fans of your band, isn’t it time you collaborated?
Aaron Dessner from the National produced our latest record, so in a sense that was a collaboration. He had a huge influence on how the record was shaped, in terms of arrangement and musicianship. It was a great experience working with him in the studio – an extremely talented gentleman.
Finally, who’s rabbits are harder? Scottish rabbits or Yorkshire rabbits?
Ask me after a few pints of Tennants.
Frightened Rabbit play at Leeds University Stylus on December 2. frightenedrabbit.com