Interview With Christopher McIntosh from UK Indie Band Silent Sleep

When Liverpool Football Club (LFC) added 2 Australian away games to their schedule this summer, award-winning podcast and radio show, The Anfield Wrap (TAW), announced a mini-tour down under to bring together all the diehard LFC fans traveling abroad to see their favorite team play.

The mini-tour, being billed as The Anfield Wrap Down Under, features 3 (sold out) nights of music and football, sponsored by Red Touch Media, and will take place in both Sydney and Melbourne.

One of the popular bands from the UK being brought along on tour with The Anfield Wrap, is Silent Sleep. Getting the opportunity to interview Silent Sleep’s Chris McIntosh, was a delight. Chris McIntosh’s music weaves soulful melodies with the strike of every chord. If you’re a fan of bands like The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons and Ben Howard, then you will really enjoy listening to Silent Sleep.

Here’s MethodShop.com’s interview with Silent Sleep frontman, Christopher McIntosh.

Are all the members of Silent Sleep big LFC (Liverpool Football Club) fans?

Yeah, I’ve been a Liverpool fan since forever. My first kit was the yellow Crown Paints kit, about 1986, so I was 5 then. You’re either a red or a blue in Liverpool and I think I’ve got my mother to thank for being a red – my family pretty much split down the middle.

Is playing for a crowd of football fans different than playing for your regular crowds?

It absolutely is. To be honest though, the fans that we’ve been playing to whilst on tour with The Anfield Wrap guys are all really nice people – I think the podcast itself attracts decent folk. The first show was a bit rowdy and when I’m just playing with an acoustic guitar it can be difficult to get people’s attention, especially when they’ve had a few drinks and it’s a bit later in the night. You have to realize that they’re not there necessarily just to see you so you have to make a bit more of an effort to win them over. The second and third gigs out there were amazing though – obviously it’s pretty delicate stuff I’m doing but you could hear a pin drop during our set for one of them – it was beautiful. The third show was just insane though as we’d managed to convince Alan Fletcher (aka Dr. Karl Kennedy from the Australian TV show Neighbours) to come and join us for a song with his band and that was pretty much the singular most surreal moment of my life – I grew up watching him on TV!

Sundance 2014 [RTM] 228

How did Silent Sheep come together?

The band started out as a bit of a solo project for me. I’d been in a couple of other bands before but never really done my own thing. I was living in Berlin at the time so I started writing the songs that you hear on the album now. For a year or so I was playing them in Berlin bars and cafes and out on the street just alone with a guitar but I was always planning to eventually record them and fleshing them out with different instruments such as trumpets and harps and violins. It was only when I returned home to Liverpool that I got my shit together and ran with a pledge music campaign to fund the recording. Once that was in place I went about finding various musicians who could help me record it and then went into Whitewood Recording Studios here in Liverpool to get the record done.

What/who has influenced your music?

Lots of different things have influenced my music, too many bands to mention! I look to great songwriters and I appreciate good songs more than anything that could be from any genre. My time in Berlin certainly influenced the album, the people there, the markets, the life-style but also Liverpool, too. It’s such a huge part of my life and it’s impossible not to be influenced by the city, it’s a very creative place. Both cities are.

The Anfield Wrap Melbourne
The Anfield Wrap Melbourne (Photo credit: redtouchmedia)

What instruments do you play?

At the moment I play a Yamaha acoustic – I’ve had it for years now and it has specks of blood on the inside from nights spent playing for hours, literally until my fingers have bled! It’s about time for a new one though. I’d love to get my hands on a really nice Gibson 335 someday. I can play piano and bass too but I’m keen on learning how to play the violin next.

Other than SoundCloud, how do you distribute your music?

I released the album only on vinyl. I chose to do this for a number of reasons. The main reason was that I’d always wanted to have an album pressed on vinyl but it’s fairly expensive to do that and I’d need to make some money back on them so I thought that if I release it ONLY on vinyl then people would be more inclined to buy it as if it was available to download too, then a lot of people would just do that and once it’s on the internet then some people might not even need to buy it. When you’re running an operation as small as the one I’m running it’s important to keep some revenue coming in to allow it to continue what you do, to continue writing songs and recording them. Same with any small business – you have to run a tight ship. I got 250 copies of the album made and they’ve nearly all gone now which is incredible when you consider that we’ve only really played about 15 shows with the full band and none of those have been outside of Liverpool.

Do you use a computer when compiling your ideas? If so, are you a PC or Mac users? What type of software do you use?

I normally do my writing, whether it’s just really rough ideas or recording demo versions of songs, on my Mac using GarageBand – everybody tells me I should upgrade and use something a bit more serious and pro but it completely fulfills my needs! I have little interest at this moment in time in learning to record properly and if I’m honest, I’m not that great when it comes to technology! I can’t really operate my TV properly and I’m not even joking, so GarageBand is perfect for me.

End this statement… “We want all our fans to…”

We want all of our fans to be able to see us play somewhere not too far away for them and to enjoy listening to our records for a long time to come.