“I highly recommend starting music on the piano,” shared A Silent Film frontman Robert Stevenson over Skype a few weeks ago. The piano is something that was “drilled” into him, but “I took what I needed and embraced it,” but it’s a good instrument to learn the fundamentals of music and songwritting. He found out just how powerful writing songs could be a little later. “Growing up, we had three little dachshunds,” he explained. “They were very sweet, but slowly, they passed away. When that happened I started writing about it — it was my way of working it out.” His first performance was shortly thereafter. “I played a cover of ‘Dive’ by Nirvana,” also an early influence.
A Silent Film came together after Stevenson and their drummer, Spencer Walker, were in competing bands. When one of the bands had a shake up, the two started playing together. And since then, it’s been “stratospheric.” Their first album, The City That Sleeps, came out in 2008 in the UK and a couple of years later in the U.S. Soon after they came off a U.S. tour for the album, they ended up in Arizona, working on their latest, Sand & Snow. “It was great to be in an inspiring landscape, out of our comfort zone. The themes on the record speak to that — missing home. etc.”
After a long east coast tour in support of that album, when we spoke they “were on their first proper break” since the spring, but by the time A Silent Film is on Hear it Now, they’ll be out on the road again, with dates along the west coast all fall. Touring is “incredible. I couldn’t think of a better way to see the United States.” After that, the band is “ready to start writing a third record. We want to put together what we’ve learned into something honest.”
As for what that will sound like, in general, “our lyrics need to have personal message and the lyrics determine the mood of the album.” The idea of honesty holds up for the advice he has for aspiring musicians. “Love what you do and don’t worry about others loving it too.” The great news is that it’s easy to love what A Silent Film does. Check out tracks from their album right here and keep up with the band on their Twitter feed and Facebook page.
“Queen of a Sad Land”
“Reach the Potential”
“Thousand Mile Race”