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.
Here are the current release dates:
While these dates are correct at the moment, it is possible that some of them might change by a week or two so we suggest you double check with your local music store.
Silverchair's new album has entered the Australian top 40 charts at #1 today. The disc was clearly the country's most popular release of the week, matching the chart topping feats of all three previous Silverchair albums. Diorama has already been certified gold and is well on its way to platinum sales success in the group's homeland.
These commercial achievements follow on the heels of the the band's best ever critical reception with their new album being broadly acclaimed for its artistic merit last week.
"Silverchair would like to thank everybody who has welcomed this new CD", said the band's manager, John Watson. "Very few artists these days would be able to go three years without releasing new music and still debut at #1 on the charts. This success has been made possible by their very loyal audience and this is something that is never taken for granted."
Silverchair's new album has received the best reviews of the band's career in Australia. Every single major publication has hailed the disc as a landmark piece of work and heaped praise on the group for their spirit of musical adventure. Here are just a few of the highlights ....
"the most ambitious, glorious piece of music ever by an Australian artist" (*****) (Daily Telegraph)
"the most accomplished and special Silverchair album ... a personal masterpiece ... simply intoxicating" (*****) (Herald Sun)
"Diorama might just be the best rock album you will hear all year .... comparing it with the band's teenage years as bleak grunge rockers is like comparing Sgt Peppers with the first Beatles album" (Courier Mail)
"Diorama mines exciting new territory that Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson would be proud to call his "Pet Sounds" own" (****) (Sunday Telegraph)
"Silverchair have created their first truly great album" (*****) (Kerrang)
"one of the boldest musical statements ever made by an Australian rock band" (****1/2) (Rolling Stone)
"Unexpected directions make Diorama a musical trip worth taking" (*****) (Smash Hits)
"Just when you thought they couldn't get any better ... there is something for everyone here" (*****) (Sunday Herald-Sun)
"Silverchair's previous albums only hint at the melodic sophistication of the album" (9 out of 10) (Juice)
"It's an ambitious, accomplished record that should already be considered a classic" (CD of the Week) (Drum Media)
"Music that can honestly be called revolutionary" (X Press)
The tracklisting for Silverchair's first new album in over three years ... "Diorama" ... has been unveiled today as well as more details regarding its Australian launch on Easter Sunday.
The highly anticipated disc will feature 11 brand new songs. All have been written and co-produced by Silverchair's frontman Daniel Johns and produced by Tool and Peter Gabriel collaborator, David Bottrill. The tracklisting will be:
Across The Night
The Greatest View
World Upon Your Shoulders
One Way Mule
Tuna In The Brine
Too Much Of Not Enough
Luv Your Life
My Favourite Thing
After All These Years
Legendary Beach Boys and U2 orchestral arranger, Van Dyke Parks, added his magic to three songs ("Across The Night", "Luv Your Life" and "Tuna In The Brine") while Paul Mac and Midnight Oil's Jim Moginie also played on the album.
"Diorama" sees Silverchair exploring lots of new ground including a much brighter lyrical outlook than that displayed on their previous works. The disc also really embraces melodies to create a disc which "Rolling Stone" magazine has already called "one of the boldest musical statements ever made by an Australian rock band".
"No matter what people have got going on in their lives, hopefully when they play this album it will make them forget about everyday stuff. When music does that it’s magical and, for me, that’s what "Diorama" is about", says Daniel Johns.
In other Silverchair news, the band's Australian record label, Eleven: a music company announced that "Diorama" would be available in two different packages in Australasian stores.
The "Special Edition" (cat# elevenCD8SP) will contain a 10 minute CDROM short film about the making of the album. This version will also include a bonus postcard, a slipcase and full colour booklet. The "Special Edition" is expected to be stocked mainly by specialist music retailers.
The standard edition of the album contains none of the extra features and has normal album packaging. This version (cat# elevenCD8) is expected to be carried mainly by chains and department stores.
"Diorama" will be instore everywhere from Easter Sunday. Rather than launching the album with a private, industry only event (as happens with most major releases), Silverchair has elected to make their album launch events readily accessible to the general public.
The band's album launch will actually happen live on Triple J from 7pm to 8.30pm on Easter Monday (April 1). Over the course of this event, the Newcastle trio will perform songs live on the radio and the internet and answer questions from the public in Australia and around the world.
The following night (Tuesday April 2) Silverchair will become the first artist to ever perform two songs on the Ten Network TV show, Rove (Live). Daniel Johns will also do his first ever one-on-one TV interview with host, Rove McManus, as part of this special program.
Atlantic recording group Silverchair has completed work on their eagerly anticipated label debut. The album - titled "Diorama" - is currently slated for a North America July 9th release. Other countries should expect release within a week of the North America release date.
Their first new album in three years, "Diorama" is unquestionably Silverchair's most multi-dimensional work to date. The Newcastle, Australia-based trio - singer/guitarist Daniel Johns, bassist Chris Joannou, and drummer Ben Gillies - recorded the collection in the fall of 2001 at Sydney's Studio 301 with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson). "Diorama" features guest appearances from Midnight Oil guitarist Jim Moginie and Australian electronica producer Paul Mac.
In addition, the legendary Van Dyke Parks contributed arrangements for orchestra, brass, and woodwinds. Parks, who has worked with such artists as the Beach Boys, U2, and Fiona Apple, is effusive in his praise for silverchair, noting that "Daniel Johns is the most talented person I've worked with since Brian Wilson."
The first single from "Diorama" will be "The Greatest View" which is set to hit U.S. airwaves in early May. The track was released in Australia late last year to unanimous critical and popular acclaim, debuting at #1 on the Australian Record Industry Association's "Alternative Singles" chart, as well as #3 on the "Top 50 Singles" ranking.
Silverchair recently played their first live shows since January 2001 with a series of dates on the 10th annual Big Day Out festival tour of Australia and New Zealand. The band is planning a full North American tour to coincide with the new album's release.
Since the 1995 release of their RIAA double platinum-certified debut, "Frogstomp" Silverchair has developed a worldwide reputation as an inventive and powerful rock combo. Recorded in just nine days, the album became a Top Ten sensation in the United States, driven by such radio and MTV hits as "Tomorrow" and "Pure Massacre," in addition to tours both as headliners and as support for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"Freak Show" 1997's RIAA gold-certified follow-up, saw Silverchair making huge leaps forward in terms of their potent rock sound as well as Johns's moving and effective lyrics. The album, which featured a pair of radio favorites in "Freak" and "Abuse Me," found the band continuing to expand their fanbase around the world, including Europe and their home territory Down Under.
Silverchair's third album, 1999's RIAA gold-certified "Neon Ballroom" saw the band progressing even further from their roots as a teenage alternative-rock combo in both their ever-expanding musical scope and Johns's increasingly personal songwriting. Tracks such as the haunting "Ana's Song" and the epic "Emotion Sickness" (which featured pianist David Helfgott, the inspiration for the film, Shine) - not to mention their always-robust live performances - led to Silverchair reaping reams of international critical acclaim, along with worldwide sales of over 1.5 million.
As previously announced Silverchair's fourth album, "Diorama", will hit Australian and New Zealand shops on Easter Sunday - March 31.
"Across The Night" was always the song which was envisaged as the opening of "Diorama". It's all about dreaming and has more than a touch of fantasy to it. Daniel says "it takes you into a different world and prepares you for what's to come".
"The Greatest View" is already familiar to Australasian fans as the lead single from "Diorama". In a way the song combines all the elements of this album - an epic and memorable melody, a crunching guitar part, an intricate and unpredictable arrangement, some different instrumentation plus a brighter lyrical outlook.
"Without You" was the first song written for this album in fact it was partly written around the time of Neon Ballroom. It will be the second single from the album in Australia and was previewed at all shows on the Big Day Out tour. It sees the band really locking into a pounding and relentless groove which carries you along.
"World Upon Your Shoulders" is Ben's favourite tune on the CD. "I just love playing it", he says. "The groove kind of chugs along and pulls you in and you can't get out of there - you have to hear the whole thing." The mid tempo tune has an undeniable chorus and is distinguished by the beautiful opening couplet "all the bridges in the world won't save you / if there's no other side to cross to".
"One Way Mule" was first aired at The Falls Festival and Rock In Rio back in early 2001. It's a big slab of rock in the classic old school Silverchair vein. Says Daniel: "sometimes I just wanna play something I would have loved when I was 12 years old and stood in front of the mirror with the tennis racket and played an air guitar riff over and over again".
"Tuna In The Brine" is probably the weirdest and most experimental song on the album. It's also Daniel's personal favourite track. This is one of the three tunes to which legendary Beach Boys collaborator, Van Dyke Parks, added orchestrations (the other two are "Across The Night" and "Luv Your Life").
"Too Much Of Not Enough" is one of the tunes which appeared as a bonus track on "The Greatest View" CD single. A mid tempo rocker with a twist it has a great fluid bassline in which all the band's rehearsals for this album is plainly apparent.
"Luv Your Life" is Chris's favourite tune on the CD. It's a good example of the more melodic approach that characterizes "Diorama". It's beautiful, catchy and irresistable. Like almost half the songs on the disc it was actually written on piano. Daniel used to always write exclusively on guitar and he attributes a large part of this album's newfound sense of melody to his discovery of the piano.
"The Lever" is a song for the people who have always been into that groove based, heavier aspect of what we did", says Daniel. This track really showcases the ever growing 'swing' that Chris and Ben bring to the band's rhythms.
"My Favourite Thing" is a more introspective piece - quieter and more brooding than most of the album. "I guess I've always had an obsession with love and with death", explains Daniel, "so I combined the two and this is what came out!".
"After All These Years" is the perfect closer to the record. It's a gentle ballad that showcases Daniel's newfound piano playing skills. "If you look at the album as a journey, everything is strategically placed to make you feel like you've just been somewhere magical. Then you end up at a place you would never expect to end up on Silverchair record and I think that can only be a good thing."
Silverchair's new single, "The Greatest View" has debuted at No.1 on the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) alternative singles chart and No. 3 on the Top 50 singles chart. Thank you to everyone who purchased the single for making it such a success.
In related news Chairpage was yet again Australia's most visited artist website in January. Thank you to everyone for your support. We appreciate it.