Scott Hutchison, lead singer and guitarist of the Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit, was found dead last Friday. It was reported that he had gone missing in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, two days before his body was found in a marina on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Although no official cause of death has been released, foul play was ruled out and Hutchison openly struggled with mental illness.
Many calls to action were released on social media by Scottish police as well as friends, family members, and fans when he had been reported missing. His bandmates posted on Twitter from the official Frightened Rabbit account, “We are worried about Scott, who has been missing for a little while now. He may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now. Please could Scott or anyone with any information on his whereabouts please contact Police Scotland (101).”
Hutchison’s family spoke about him and the circumstances surrounding his passing, “As a family, we are utterly devastated with the tragic loss of our beloved Scott.” The statement referenced the hardships Hutchinson faced and how he coped with mental illness, “Despite his disappearance, and the recent concerns over his mental health, we had all remained positive and hopeful that he would walk back through the door, having taken some time away to compose himself. Scott, like many artists, wore his heart on his sleeve and that was evident in the lyrics of his music and the content of many of his social media posts.”
In 2008, Scott Hutchison had written an unknowingly prophetic song, “Floating in the Forth,” about the very place where his body was found, powerfully ending the song with the line, “I think I’ll save suicide for another year.” The mental turmoil he battled was made evident throughout the Frightened Rabbit discography. His family commented on this, stating, “We are immensely proud of Scott for being so open with his struggles. His willingness to discuss these matters in the public domain undoubtedly raised awareness of mental health issues and gave others confidence and belief to discuss their own issues.”
Scott Hutchison fought his depression as best he could on his own while living, but his death is a prime example of mental health disorders going untreated, leading to destruction and devastation. His family understood this very well and even specifically mentioned it, saying, “Depression is a horrendous illness that does not give you any alert or indication as to when it will take hold of you.”
We have lost many musicians to addiction and mental illness in recent years and, as tragic as each loss is, those lives are not going in vain – the honesty surrounding their fights with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety are shedding light on common and fatal mental health issues. The Face the Music Foundation sends our condolences to Scott Hutchison’s family and loved ones and expresses immense gratitude for his use of music to tell his story.
“I wonder if they’d notice that I’m not around, the loss of a lonely man never makes much of a sound.” -Frightened Rabbit’s, Living in Colour.