Chapman Radio got the opportunity to sit down with Robert, the lead singer, and Spencer, drummer, of the British band A Silent Film at their show in the Constellation Room (at the Observatory) March 2 . They talked about their latest album Sand & Snow, what it’s like touring in America, and their success with American radio.
On their success with Sirius Alt Nation: (Their first single “You Will Leave A Mark" off of The City That Sleeps picked up first place at the Sirius Alt Nation awards for ‘Best In Studio Performance’ & No. 4 for ‘Song of the Year’)
S: I think Alt Nation has been massive for us. I think we are really fortunate that the first single got picked up by them and it seems that we have a really good repoire with their audience. I know a lot of bands don’t even do the Sirius thing but we love it. Sirius is an amazing model for radio, the whole subscription thing. It feels pretty good.
R: It is one of the only platforms for alternative musicians like us to actually get music across the whole of America, because all of the other stations will be largely just local stations to the state or whatever.
On their latest album, Sand & Snow:
R: We wrote that a lot out here in Arizona and we just had come off a big tour, and it just seemed like a great idea while all the momentum was there. We thought if we went home we might lose all of that so we thought we would just stay and make the album here. We picked Arizona probably because it is so polar opposite probably to anything you’ll find in England whatsoever. You don’t get desert, you don’t get animals that can kill you, so it kind of kept us on our toes. It was a good inspirational place to take us out of our comfort zone and give us something completely knew.
R: It is ordinary stuff, I guess (laughs)
S: Emotional journey stuff, nothing too specific. We tend to just write when we feel inspired.
R: It is no where a concept album, but definitely an album that for us was inspired by the experience of getting out of the UK and traveling around America so we feel like there is a lot of America in the album.
S: Another big thing is the contradiction of going away and doing something you love but being taken away from the people you love as well. Which is very strange, when you are so far away from your friends and family but you’re doing what you really want to do. Trying to weigh out those two opposites is interesting.
What they like most about coming to America:
R: I like the optimism. I believe there’s optimism here and you can really feel it. In England, it’s less so. There’s drama.
S: There’s drama. British people are very cynical, their very sarcastic. I am not saying any of these things are bad things, I am very cynical and sarcastic. But it can be, we found it, especially I think at our live show really benefited from coming out and touring here. The touring is twice as hard because of the distances involved, obviously you are in this alien place. I think we felt very liberated when we arrived here, our live show just blossomed in this environment, so thanks for that! We appreciate it.
What shocked them the most:
S: How different everything between each area in the country. There is no running theme with this country. I think we always imagined it’ll all be like Hollywood.
On their current tour with Royal Teeth and Gold Fields:
R: It’s great. It’s been our best performances yet as a headline band. It’s a pleasure to see the room filled tonight, it’s sold out, which s just mind-blowing. It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s different being a support band, you spend most of your performance trying to win over an audience, trying to break down the imaginary barrier that might be there, because they don’t know who you are, they don’t know what to expect. But now people turn up knowing what to expect, they are fans of the band already, and it is a case of delivering something really meaningful rather than just trying to prove your point that you are a good band, now we are trying to do something that is really meaningful, which is a good challenge.
On their plans for this coming year:
S: There will be more touring. We have had a great experience with these bands. We are doing some festivals, we are also going to be doing some writing, cause we are kind of conscious that we are feeling in a good place about moving forward and getting material down.
R: Got to keep feeding the beast, you know? People need the music, we need to give them the music.
S: We’ll be around. We are getting used to it now, the whole getting around this country thing, you know. It is an amazing place to tour, every city has something different.
Watch their video for “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” here: