Welcome to the new weekly SPIN.com feature “Name That Band” in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists.
This week: Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit.
Why Frightened Rabbit?: “When I first started playing,” says singer-guitarist Scott Hutchison, “I was a solo act and, unfortunately, Scott Hutchison is not a catchy band name at all. I thought of Frightened Rabbit because it was a nickname given to me by my mum when I was younger. I was incredibly shy as a child, almost chronically so. My parents would take me to their friends’ houses and I’d be expected to play with their kids — I guess the idea was to socialize me — but I had no interest. These kids weren’t my friends. Why did I have to play with them? I’d end up just sitting silently by myself.
So out of that, my mum called me her frightened rabbit. When I started to play with the other guys in the band, we didn’t bother finding a new name.”
Previously Rejected Names: “Coming up with a new band name was such a low priority for us that we never even had a discussion about different names. We just immediately went with Frightened Rabbit. But back in high school I had a reputation as someone who came up with terrible names. Nixon was one that I remember. I also thought of the Rolling People, which is epically bad.”
Best Band Names Ever: “Scotland’s got some awesome band names right now. There’s the John Knox Sex Club; Black Rat Death Squad; We Were Promised Jetpacks; So Cow.”
Worst Band Names Ever: “If Nirvana had been a bad band that would’ve been a terrible name. Grunge in general had some bad names: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam. Thankfully those bands turned out to be good, so no one really cared about how strange the names were.”
Next Monday: Hot Chip