"Everyone else communicates with words. I can’t. I use music.”
Daniel Johns was ‘silent’ for 8 years but today he announced that his long awaited album will be called TALK. People can hear it from May 22. TALK will be launched with two special shows at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on May 28 and 29 as part of the Vivid Festival. In the meantime there’s an uplifting and uptempo love song … “Cool On Fire” … co-written and produced by Lorde/Jarryd James collaborator Joel Little. That new single is released today.
During those long, silent years there was lots of speculation about what Daniel was doing. The enigmatic singer/songwriter removed himself from the radar. Rumours were rife.
“Some of the rumours were probably true”, he chuckles. Which ones? “Well, anyone who wants to listen to the new songs will figure it out pretty quick. It’s been an interesting ride."
TALK tells that story in a brand new way. Gone are the big guitars and roaring rock vocals; in their place, urban beats and aching falsetto croons. Dollops of lush R’n’B are laced with cruisy electro flavours and some dark glitchy bedroom production touches to create a stylish take on modern soul.
Asked to explain this Bowie-esque genre hopping and he eventually says, “music’s the best way I know to express how I think and feel but over time you don’t think and feel all the same things in the same ways, so the music has to change.”
The eclectic mix of sounds and styles on the new album reflect the array of collaborators that Daniel brought on board including Joel Little, Melbourne underground duo Damn Moroda, influential writer/producer Louis School, Presets main man Julian Hamilton, and local hip hop icons Styalz and M-Phazes.
Aptly enough the first songs to be lifted from “Talk” have already provoked mountains of online chatter. For every music lover excited to hear radically different work by Daniel there are a couple of others 'trolling' him for not endlessly churning out the same sounds since his mid-teens.
“I’ve always felt like most people hate everything I do but thankfully there’s always been an enthusiastic minority who seem to ‘get' it. That’s fine with me. Anything that appeals to everyone tends to suck anyway.”
“What’s funny is that when Silverchair released “frogstomp" most people went out of the way to tell me how much it sucked. Then when we made “Diorama” a few years later everyone started telling me how I should go back to making “frogstomp”. I guess now I’ll be told to go back and make “Diorama” again!”
"That was part of why I picked the album title too by the way. I don’t really care what most people think. Let them talk."
SEE DANIEL'S FIRST LIVE SHOWS AT THIS YEAR'S VIVID LIVE
WHEN: Thursday May 28 & Friday May 29
WHERE: SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, Concert Hall
TICKETS ON SALE NOW: from $59+bf
BOOKINGS: vividlive.sydneyoperahouse.com or 02 9250 7777
Silverchair’s debut album ‘Frogstomp’ has been remastered, expanded and reissued to mark the 20th anniversary of its release on March 27, 1995.
‘Frogstomp’ was recorded when Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou were 14 years old. The first single ‘Tomorrow’ was a number one song in Australia for six weeks from 24 October, 1994. ‘Frogstomp’ became the first debut act by an Australian group to debut at number one.
‘Frogstomp’ also reached no 9 in the USA for Silverchair and no. 49 in the UK. In America, it sold over 2 million copies.
The new edition of ‘Frogstomp’ is available as an expanded CD edition or collectors 2CD/DVD deluxe edition featuring a live concert from the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle from 1995.
To coincide with the 'Frogstomp' 20th anniversary, here's the original Silverchair feature that appeared in Australia’s Rolling Stone Magazine in April 1996.
It is a cold, cloudy and generally cheerless night in down-town Detroit. But for a brief moment, from the sidewalk outside St. Andrew's Hall, you can actually see a full moon – the bright white flash of 16-year-old Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies' naked ass stuffed through an open tour bus window.
Gillies' vertical smile is greeted with delighted shrieks and approving hoots from the shivering teenage girls and sweat-drenched mosher dudes who have been clustered around the bus since Silverchair wrapped up their feedback-laden encore of "Israel's Son" nearly an hour ago, but that's nothing compared to the celebratory testosterone now raging inside the vehicle.
"All right! Way to go, Gillies! The big brown eye!" raves the band's 16-year-old singer and guitarist, Daniel Johns. He's still breathless from the Australian trio's dash from the St. Andrew's backstage door, but his deceptively angelic features are bright with impish glee. Bassist Chris Joannou, who is also 16 and has his long, curly brown hair tucked up under a wool cap emblazoned with the logo of the band Korn, doubles over with laughter. The band's manager, John Watson, just rolls his eyes in bemused resignation while David Gillies, Ben's father, is spared the entire experience. He and the other Silverchair dads, Greg Johns and David Joannou, are still in the venue, packing up the band's gear. When they accompany their sons on tour, the elders double as guardians and roadies.
For full feature story go here.
Silverchair – Frogstomp
Leave Me Out
Tomorrow (from Tomorrow EP)
Acid Rain (from Tomorrow EP)
Blind (from Tomorrow EP)
Stoned (from Tomorrow EP)
Madman (vocal version)
Madman (Live At The Cambridge)
Blind (Live At The Cambridge)
Tomorrow (Live At The Cambridge)
Faultline (Live At The Cambridge)
Pure Massacre (Live At The Cambridge
The video for Daniel Johns' new single ‘Aerial Love’ was revealed today! Filmed on the Stockton Dunes just outside of Newcastle and created using new drone camera technology, the video takes you on a transcendent journey as Daniel walks across a deserted landscape.
Watch it here.
triple j premiered 'Aerial Love' this morning, the first single from Daniel's forthcoming solo album. For longterm Silverchair Fans who would like to stay updated on Daniel's new music, please sign up to his new mailing list at www.danieljohns.com
8 years after his last new music, Daniel Johns is finally ready.
His first step back is "Aerial Love"; an airy piece of modern pop he created with Lorde and Broods collaborator, Joel Little. The opening lines tell the story.
The song is in a different sonic universe from Daniel’s other work. And yet the unexpected is exactly what you should expect from this musical chameleon.
For the past few years Daniel's been working nonstop on solo material with a surprising array of collaborators. This March there will be an EP release and later in the year a full album will reveal the scope of that work. But as a first taste we’ve got this "Aerial Love”.
"Aerial Love" will be accompanied by a trailblazing video created by using drone camera technology. Directed by Lorin Askill (Flume & Chet Faker, Phoenix and Sia's "Chandelier" editor) the film replicates the song's weightlessness, timeless, slyly carnal feel.
It’s a new chapter in an intriguing story. Stay tuned for further details.
'AERIAL LOVE' EP - OUT MARCH 13
I'm finally ready and excited to share my new music with the world. Tune into triple j breakfast tomorrow from 7am for the first listen to 'Aerial Love.' Thank you for your patience to those who have been waiting. I hope you enjoy. Much love, Daniel x
For the latest news from Daniel Johns, sign up at www.danieljohns.com
20 years ago on the 16th of Sept 1994, Silverchair released their first single 'Tomorrow,' lifted from the debut album 'Frogstomp.' Wow ... how time flies! A huge thanks to fans for listening to the music.
Silverchair's hometown newspaper, The Newcastle Herald, ran an article in today's edition celebrating 20 years since the release of the band's first hit, "Tomorrow". Enjoy the read.