Silverchair's frontman says that he's definitely 'on the mend' following several weeks of intensive treatment in Los Angeles.
"It's going really, really well," Johns said of his new treatments. "A lot better than I ever expected. (When I first got here) I was on a cane, and it took me 10 minutes to walk about 10 meters. I was literally that slow, and since I've been here I've been getting all alternative treatments and gradually coming off the Western medicine because it was just making me more dependent on the drugs and giving me less ability to actually get up. And yeah, since I've been here I'm off the cane and walking well. I can play guitar for about 10 or 15 minutes a day. It's definitely getting better. And it's getting better pretty quick, too. It's only been about six weeks."
According to the band's management, there is still a chance that Daniel might be well enough enough to return to Australia for the ARIA Awards on October 15 although "obviously his continued recovery is the main priority".
It was announced in Sydney today that Silverchair has been nominated for three awards at this year's ARIA Awards (Australia's 'Grammys'). The band is one of the five final nominees in the following industry voted categories: "Album Of The Year", "Best Rock Album", and "Best Group".
At the announcement ceremony a number of actual prizewinners were also announced in the so-called 'Artisan Categories' (best producer, best engineer, best video and best artwork). Only specialists in each field vote in these categories and the big news from this was that Daniel Johns was voted Best Producer for his work in Co-Producing "Diorama".
Daniel was unable to attend the presentation because he is still receiving medical treatment in Los Angeles. However, in a statement read by the band's manager, John Watson, Daniel said "given all the work that went into making "Diorama" and the medical problem I've had this year, it's particularly pleasing to win this award".
"Diorama" was also recognised with Darren Glindemann, John Watson, Melissa Chenery and Daniel Johns receiving an ARIA Award for Best Cover Art and Anton Hagop receiving an ARIA Award for Best Engineer. Squareyed Films were also nominated in the category for Best Video for "The Greatest View". This made Silverchair the only artist to receive nominations in all four Artisan categories.
Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou attended the announcement ceremony and were among the first to congratulate Daniel, Darren and Anton. Asked if Silverchair would perform at the Award Night in Sydney on October 15 Ben said that it was "not completely out of the question" although the band had "no plans to do so at the moment". "If Daniel keeps getting better then we'd be up for doing it but we'll just have to see how Daniel is feeling in the next few weeks", said Ben. "He's doing everything he possibly can to get better and he's definitely improving gradually so we'll just have to wait and see."
In a syndicated radio interview across the United States last night Daniel Johns confirmed that his arthritic condition is responding well to the intensive treatment he is receiving in Los Angeles.
While the singer/songwriter is not yet fully recovered, and is not yet able to perform live shows, chairpage can exclusively reveal that during the last week he has been able to walk on many days without a cane. This is the first time he has been able to do this for many months. He is also generally in less physical pain most of the time which is making the whole situation a lot better for him. While he still has occasional bad days these are gradually becoming less frequent. Doctors say that this is consistent with recovery from his condition but that it could still be a few more months before Daniel is well enough to commit to any public performances.
Daniel's radio interview on the popular show "Rockline" was scheduled to coincide with the US release of "Diorama" today. The album has received the best reviews of the band's career in North America but airplay and videoplay for the single have been limited due largely to the band's inability to support the release with radio and TV appearances.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world "The Greatest View" continues to do very well. The track was #1 on MTV Brazil this week and is top 10 on many radio charts in that country. It is also receiving high rotation radio and video exposure in many parts of Europe while other territories such as Canada are now moving on to "Without You" which is the second single from the album throughout the world.
In Australia, the third single, "Luv Your Life" will hit stores on September 2. The single will feature live versions of "The Greatest View" and "Without You" from the TV show ROVE[live] as bonus tracks.
Aussie Silverchair fans can vote for the song on triple J's net 50 and on the Hot 30.
It was also revealed today that Australian fans will be able to get a specially enhanced DVD of "Across The Night: the creation of Diorama" in mid-October. The release will feature the film about the making of the album as well as all three videos which have been made so far. Keep an eye on this site for more details on this DVD release as soon as they are confirmed.
Chris was recently quoted as saying it wasn't out of the question for the band to be touring before the end of the year. While it is not out of the question, a full-scale tour this year appears unlikely at this stage.
The good news is that Daniel's condition has improved enough in recent weeks, to allow him to travel to the US to seek further treatment. We don't know whether this is a general improvement or just a "better phase" for Daniel as the disease is by nature unpredictable - it can be so bad he can't move around on one day, and then be very much improved the next day. The doctors are still confident that this will pass and Daniel will make a full recovery in due course.
Silverchair's latest album has debuted at #12 in Germany this week making it the band's best EVER European chart result.
This success in the world's second biggest market for English speaking music has been achieved without any of the touring and promotional visits which have accompanied each of Silverchair's previous releases. Plans to perform on national television and radio in Germany as well as some high profile concert appearances were cancelled due to Daniel Johns' ill health. However, the local record company and media has continued to strongly support the album leading to this very strong chart debut.
"I'm really glad that Diorama is still managing to get heard in spite of the fact that we haven't really been able to do very much to let people know about it", said Daniel Johns.
Daniel is continuing to recover slowly from the reactive arthritis which forced the band to cancel all touring activities over two months ago. However, he still lacks mobility in various joints including his left wrist and this is still preventing him from playing guitar. He is currently seeking some new treatments and remains hopeful that he will eventually be able to make a full recovery and undertake some live performances in support of "Diorama".
CANADA - Commercial single on "The Greatest View" remains ranked at #4 (5) on Canadian soundscan! - Single ranked #35 (32) at Canadian rock radio - Video in light rotation on MuchMusic and Heavy on MuchLoud - Album releases July 2
EUROPE - Album release date July 29 - Single at radio now. Airplay now on Radio Eins, Delta, Fritz, Sputnik and Eins Live in Germany - Commercial single release dates: July 1 (Germany) 15th (UK, Sweden) 24th (Holland) - Video is in N3 rotation on VIVA Germany, POWERPLUS rotation on VIVA Plus, N2 Rotation on Viva Switzerland - Active Rotation on MTV Germany, B-list on MTV2 UK, The Box/UK (ranked #28), and Kerrang! TV UK (ranked #33) - Added to VIVA Poland - Press: Cover stories to run on Kerrang/UK (July), WOM Germany (July), Visions Germany (August) and Rocksound France (September)
LATIN AMERICA - Album releases in Mexico and Brazil simultaneous with U.S. Rest of South America is July 15 - Single is out now across the region. Video added to MTV Latino South in Light
BRAZIL: "Greatest View" is ranked #5 airplay single Sao Paolo, #8 in Rio Video remains in High Rotation on MTV Brasil.
JAPAN - Album releases August 7.
U.S. - Album release date now August 27 to accommodate additional setup.
"The Greatest View" has debuted at #5 on the Canadian single charts this week. This is the band's first top 5 single in a country outside Australasia.
The track has been receiving strong alternative and rock radio airplay in Canada and is in rotation on music TV channel - MuchMusic - Click here to e-mail in your vote.
"Diorama" is due to be released in Canada on July 2 - four weeks before the US and European street date.
In Brazil "The Greatest View" is in high rotation on Radio Cicada FM, 89 FM, Mix FM, Brasil 2000 FM and Transamerica. It is already ranked #10 airplay in Sao Paolo and #14 in Rio. Video will premiere on MTV BRASIL June 17th.
The song is also receiving early radio airplay in Europe and the US where the song has only just been serviced to stations.
In other Silverchair news, Daniel Johns has been inundated with get well cards, good wishes and treatment suggestions from people throughout the world since announcing his current illness.
"I want to say thanks to everyone who has got in touch over the last week or so", said Daniel. "It's been overwhelming to receive so much positive support from so many people and I really do appreciate it."
Silverchair have cancelled all their concert engagements due to further deterioration in the health of lead singer and guitarist, Daniel Johns.
Persons holding tickets to the band's sold out New York and London dates over the next two weeks will be offered full refunds from the point of purchase as will ticket holders to the Sydney concert which was postponed last week.
The band was also scheduled to perform a series of shows in the US, Canada and Europe including several major festival appearances over the coming months. All of these dates, without exception, have now been cancelled until Daniel has fully recovered.
"I am truly sorry that I am not able to do the touring we had planned for so long", said Daniel Johns. "I apologize for the inconvenience these cancellations will cause. I am doing everything humanly possible to try and get well but lately things have just kept getting worse."
"These cancellations are a major disappointment to the band", said the group's manager, John Watson. "The guys were really looking forward to finally getting out there and playing shows. However, the rapid decline in Daniel's health over the last two weeks in particular has simply made this physically impossible for him."
"Silverchair know that their fans and some other people will feel very disappointed that the band is unable to tour for the foreseeable future but those feelings are nothing compared to the deep disappointment and frustration which Daniel is feeling right now. Daniel has spent the better part of three years creating the songs for this new album. These cancellations will clearly mean that less people will get to hear the new music in which he has invested so much time and effort. It's really upsetting for him and for everybody involved."
As previously announced Daniel Johns is suffering from a severe case of reactive arthritis. The condition's primary symptoms are chronic swelling of the joints resulting in impaired movement and extreme pain. These symptoms are caused by the body's reaction to an underlying virus - hence the name 'reactive arthritis'. About 6% of males have a genetic predisposition to suffer from this condition once in a lifetime and DNA tests have confirmed that Daniel Johns is part of that 6%.
In the majority of cases reactive arthritis lasts for around three months. Johns originally contracted the condition in December 2001 but in January 2002 he managed to fulfill his obligations on Australia's Big Day Out Tour. After that his symptoms got worse leading the band to postpone a mid-March concert. During April he improved significantly, allowing the band to tour New Zealand and do various promotional activities for their album in Australia. At this point it seemed that he was on the road to the full recovery that his doctors had predicted would probably occur after about three months.
However in recent weeks his symptoms have not only returned, they have spread into other parts of his body. While previously the swelling was mainly confined to his legs, it is now present in most of his other joints, including his left hand. This is causing him extreme pain and is severely limiting his movement. As a result he is unable to play guitar on most days and on some days he has difficulty walking for more than a very short distance.
Unfortunately, in spite of his best efforts Daniel has not responded to numerous treatments that have proved successful for other people. These have included a recent hospitalization and a wide variety of conventional and homeopathic medications.
Furthermore, new medical test results yesterday revealed a number of other complications relating to Daniel's condition. These complications involve some glandular and lymphatic dysfunctions, both of which require further intensive treatment. It seems that these other problems are preventing Daniel from fighting off the underlying virus that is triggering his arthritis. This may explain why he has not responded to all the various treatments he has received.
As a result of these new test results Daniel's Doctors have changed their longstanding prognosis of a short term recovery.
Their prognosis is now that it may be a year before Daniel has recovered sufficiently to allow him to undertake a normal touring workload. They remain certain that the condition is not life threatening and that he will eventually make a complete recovery. However, they have imposed a strict treatment regimen and categorically ruled out any possibility of touring for the time being.
The band's acclaimed new album "Diorama" is slated for global release in July and those plans remain unchanged. Daniel is expected to be able to perform some limited promotion duties for the album but for the time being all travel has been specifically ruled out by his Doctors.
"I hope that in spite of our current inability to tour, people will still get to hear the new album. I'm proud of it and I really wish I could do more to support its release," said Daniel.
Diorama was a #1, platinum selling hit in Australia and is still in the top 10 two months after its release. The disc has received the best reviews of the band's career and music industry bible, Billboard, has called it "a remarkably innovative and gratifying outing whose depth and color seem to grow with every successive spin."
Silverchair will be unable to fulfill two live performance engagements over the coming days due to a recurrence of Daniel Johns' reactive arthritis which first caused problems for the band in March.
Saturday's show in Hobart has been cancelled entirely and full refunds will be available to all ticket holders from the point of purchase. The band will also make a donation to the Pastoor Meningococcal Trust which was to receive any profits from this concert. Silverchair will attempt to include a new Tasmanian date on their national tour later this year.
Monday's secret show in Sydney as part of Triple M's Designer Concert series has been postponed until Monday July 15 at the same time and venue. Ticketholders for that event can obtain full refunds from point of purchase or simply hold on to their tickets and use them for the rescheduled date.
"I'm very disappointed that I can't do these shows and I am really, really sorry for the inconvenience it will cause people", said Silverchair's singer/guitarist/songwriter, Daniel Johns. "Nobody wants to be playing these shows more than Ben, Chris and I but I haven't been able to even pick up my guitar today so it's just physically impossible for me to perform these gigs."
"Silverchair have always felt a very strong obligation to meet the commitments they make to people so this situation is frustrating and upsetting for all concerned", said their manager, John Watson, "Daniel's inability to perform these dates could diminish the band's previously impeccable reputation for never canceling shows. It will also cost them a great deal of money so it's not a decision that has been made lightly. However, given how much pain Daniel has been suffering in the last few days and the problem with his hand there was simply no choice."
As previously announced, Daniel Johns is suffering from reactive arthritis. Unlike the more widely known types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis is usually not a degenerative condition. This means that nearly everybody who suffers from it makes a full recovery. It occurs in about six percent of the male population usually only once in a lifetime and, as the name implies, it is caused by a severe reaction to an underlying virus. The disease causes swelling of the joints and very considerable pain.
"Usually reactive arthritis only lasts for about three months but in Daniel's case he has now been battling it on and off for nearly six months. As with any type of condition involving a virus - such as the flu - some days are much better for him than others but he is going through a particularly bad patch", said John Watson.
The "Without You" CD single debuted at #8 on the Australian single charts this week making it Silverchair's tenth top 10 single in their homeland.
The song's radio and video play has pushed "Diorama" back up the charts and the album now sits at #12 with a bullet on this week's Aussie charts ... over two months after its release.