Late last night, it was confirmed that a body found at the edge of the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh, Scotland, was that of Scott Hutchison, lead singer and chief songwriter of the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. Scott had gone missing Wednesday morning, with his family and bandmates (or, in the case of drummer/brother Grant Hutchison, both) taking to TV and social media asking for help locating him. Scott had been described as being in a “fragile” mental condition, an omen that became all too real when the awful news broke about his death. That he once wrote a (wonderful) song called “Floating in the Forth” is too chilling to contemplate right now.
The news of the 36-year-old's death is a great shock, although Scott frequently discussed depression and sadness in his lyrics. Frightened Rabbit had a few dates lined up this summer, including a day-long music festival they had planned to host in their home base of Glasgow on June 1, called "The First Incident" after a track on their 2006 debut album Sing the Greys. The Mercury has loved the music of Frightened Rabbit for quite some time. I got to interview Scott on the phone on three separate occasions, and had opportunities to speak with him face-to-face before and after concerts in a handful of encounters that he probably experienced as routine annoyances but that I will cherish for the rest of my life. He was funny, intelligent, winning, brutally honest, and self-effacing in a way that always came off as charmingly modest. I'd become positively obsessed with the band Frightened Rabbit after hearing Sing the Greys, only to become more so after hearing their 2008 masterpiece The Midnight Organ Fight, and getting to talk to an artist of Scott's stature remains among the top professional thrills of my life. That I had so little understanding of his continual struggles with mental health—struggles he so movingly depicts in his music—encourages me now to be more cognizant of any similar struggles of people in my own life.
Scott Hutchison wrote emotionally and truthfully, and his beautiful songs had this way of fusing themselves inextricably to the hearts of thousands of fans. At the bottom of this article, I’ll link to a few things we’ve written about Scott and Frightened Rabbit over the years, even though it feels slightly tacky to do so; maybe those processing his tragic death or those wanting to learn more about his life will find them helpful or interesting. (At the very least, it's helping me.)
More importantly, there are resources for anyone who might be going through a difficult time. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, the Portland Suicide Lifeline is 503-972-3456. And for those outside of Portland, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-8255. You can also text "help" to 741-741.
Rest in peace, Scott Hutchison. You will be missed very much.
• Frightened Rabbit Is Kicking Against the Pricks (April 20, 2016)
• You Can't Be a Breakup Band Forever (March 6, 2013)
• Not Miserable: Frightened Rabbit Paddles Out (May 13, 2010)
• Rabbit Punches: Frightened Rabbit Hits Hard (June 19, 2008)