Brooklyn based six-piece rock ’n’ roll band White Rabbits have hit the road on their fall tour with the Brooklyn duo Glass Ghost. White Rabbits are making waves with their latest full-length, It’s Frightening, produced by Britt Daniel of Spoon and featuring their big hit, “Percussion Gun.”

Although they’re on many indie music blogs and most often categorized as indie rock music, singer Stephen Patterson does not think the classification is appropriate for them.

“I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as indie rock, as we often get classified. I’m not really a huge fan of indie rock. We’re not trying to go for a jangly guitar pop thing. I don’t ever try to sing like a typical indie rock singer. I think we are just naturally inclined to a lot of drums and a heavy written aspect to our songs,” he says.

The music, especially It’s Frightening, is extremely layered and propelled by an incredibly percussive rhythm section, texture-rich piano and vocal harmony. It is frightening.

The 10-track, 35-minute album starts off with the catchiest machine gun-like attack duet of tribal drumming, leading into increasingly dynamic vocals, but extremely refined. The inception of guitars in the song is always bone chilling. The rest of the record is most definitely cohesive. The influence of Spoon and Radiohead is felt on the record, though probably not contrived or intended, but simply by osmosis and proximity.

“There definitely seems to be a cohesive sort of vibe and arc to it that we consciously work towards – and a general sound arrangement – instrumentation wise,” says Patterson. “We demoed a lot of these songs before we went to the studio on this record, which we didn’t do last time. We were able to write, and record as we were writing. Record an idea in one take, and play it back. That made real good listeners out of us, as it came right out of the speakers.”

Their previous album, Fort Nightly, went fairly unnoticed in the mainstream – as did the band as a whole – until they toured with the Walkmen, got picked up by TBD Records and made a national appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” just before It’s Frightening’s release in May 2009.

With roots in ska, punk, R&B and jazz, each of the group’s six members brings something very unique and intricate to the table.

“All of us were in crappy punk bands at one point or another. That’s pretty much where we all have common ground,” shares Patterson.

Just when you thought every song had been written, there are endless possibilities with these guys. When you put different people like Stephen Patterson, Gregory Roberts, Alex Even, Brian Betancourt, Matt Clark and Jamie Levinson together, all coming with different musical backgrounds and ranging tastes, anything can happen, really.

The band essentially launched at Austin’s South By Southwest music conference in 2007 with their discovery by Phil Costello of TBD Records (Radiohead, Other Lives, Hatcham Social, Local Natives). According to Patterson, Phil was checking out Bat for Lashes at a bar in Austin during SXSW.

“We played either before or after her set, and Phil really just stumbled on us. We had a lot of sort-of coincidental connections. We got to talking and kind of bonded over St. Louis and people we both knew,” he says.

The rest is history.

On the band’s name, we no longer have to wonder. No one is the hookah-smoking caterpillar, it’s not for their love of Jefferson Airplane and it is not for their exceptional baby-making skills. The name White Rabbits, essentially, means nothing according to Patterson.

“It’s not really a reference to anything. It’s not a Jefferson Airplane reference, or an Alice in Wonderland reference. It basically just sounded good at the time and wasn’t taken. All band names are pretty silly.”



It’s Frightening is currently available. White Rabbits will perform Nov. 2 at the El Rey. For more information, visit whiterabbitsmusic.com.