From Academic Kids

Missing image
L-R Ben Gillies, Daniel Johns, and Chris Joannou

Silverchair is a successful Australian alternative rock band whose music may be defined as "post-grunge". The band's lineup throughout its career has been singer-songwriter-guitarist Daniel Johns, bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies.

They were formed in Newcastle, New South Wales, originally as a four-piece group, but original member Tobin Finnane relocated overseas leaving the remaining three members to perform as a trio. The group met in Ben's garage to play covers of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and others, but eventually moved into writing their own material and gigging around their local area.

Silverchair came to national prominance after winning an SBS / Triple J Radio demo contest with the song "Tomorrow", and they enjoyed much attention during the post-grunge era of the mid/late 1990s. After the win Silverchair quickly released their debut album Frogstomp, which went platinum in the United States. Although the band initially showed a strong influence from current American 'grunge' music (with one critic waggishly dubbing the group "Nirvana In Pyjamas"), they soon developed a more individual style. Their discovery led to the official ratification of JJJ's 'new talent' programme called "Unearthed". Arguably, they were the first band to be 'Unearthed' by JJJ.

The follow up album Freak Show was much darker and heavier in tone, and did not reach the same level of success as Frogstomp despite the popularity of the single Freak. By this time Johns was reportedly having difficulty coping with his new-found fame, and he later admitted that he had suffered from bouts of anorexia nervosa during this period.

Their third album, Neon Ballroom, diverged from their previous two records by moving towards an experimental, progressive attitude, with the inclusion of more complex song structures and piano/string arrangements. The album is also notable for contributions by renowned Australian pianist David Helfgott.

Diorama, Silverchair's fourth album, was written entirely by Daniel Johns and was produced by Canadian David Bottrill and Daniel, yielding a positive and unique sound barely recognizable from their old days of grunge, featuring a considerable amount of string and orchestral elements (possibly influenced by the more recent work of English band XTC). Famed American musician Van Dyke Parks contributed orchestrations for three songs on the album. However, Just before embarking on promotion for Diorama, Johns was stricken with a crippling disease of the joints, reactive arthritis, which required months of rest and intensive treatment and necessitated the cancellation of most of the planned tour. However, once Johns recovered, Silverchair embarked on a magical world wide tour, full of theatrics and dizzying lights.

Silverchair announced an indefinite hiatus following the tour, but the tsunami appeal concert WaveAid saw them reform and hint at new work together. As lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter, Johns is effectively in control of the group's uncertain future.

After putting Silverchair in abeyance, Johns embarked on a successful collaboration with noted with Australian electronica artist Paul Mac, as The Dissociatives, and the resulting LP, also called The Dissociatives, was supported by limited touring. Around this time Johns was interviewed by Andrew Denton on the TV show Enough Rope, as well as performed live with Mac. More recently he has worked with his wife, former soap opera actress turned pop singer, Natalie Imbruglia on her Counting Down the Days album.





Year Title Label Chart Position
1995 Frogstomp Murmur #1 Australia
1997 Freak Show Murmur #1 Australia, #38 UK
1999 Neon Ballroom Murmur #1 Australia, #29 UK
2000 The Best Of Vol.1 Murmur #15 Australia
2002 Diorama Eleven #1 Australia
2003 Live from Faraway Stables Eleven #10 Australia


from Frogstomp:

  • "Tomorrow" (1994) #1 Australia, #59 UK (1995 release)
  • "Pure Massacre" (1995) #2 Australia, #71 UK
  • "Israel's Sun" (1995) #11 Australia
  • "Shade" (1995) #28 Australia

from Freak Show:

  • "Freak" (1997) #1 Australia, #34 UK
  • "Abuse Me" (1997) #9 Australia, #40 UK
  • "Cemetery" (1997) #5 Australia
  • "The Door" (1997) #25 Australia

from Neon Ballroom:

  • "Anthem For The Year 2000" (1999) #3 Australia
  • "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" (1999) #14 Australia, #45 UK
  • "Miss You Love" (1999) #17 Australia

from Diorama:

  • "The Greatest View" (2002) #3 Australia
  • "Without You" (2002) #8 Australia
  • "Luv Your Life" (2002) #20 Australia
  • "Across The Night" (2003) #24 Australia

External links

nl:Silverchair sv:Silverchair


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