The three members of Silverchair have spoken out publicly against the Australian government's proposal to cut funds for youth television and radio programming, including the popular modern rock radio station Triple J .
Previously, silverchair have avoided public comment on anything other than their music. But according to a press release from John Watson Management provided to the innocent criminals pages, "the potential impact of these funding cuts meant that silverchair felt compelled to join the growing movement against this Federal Government initiative."
Triple J gave silverchair widespread exposure even before the band had secured a record contract. As Innocent Criminals, Chris Joannou, Ben Gillies and Daniel Johns won a competition in which one of the prizes was a session in Triple J's studios. The station played Tomorrow in heavy rotation, and the ensuing avalanche of positive listener reaction led to a recording contract with murmur and Sony.
"It it wasn't for Triple J and shows like Rage and now Recovery, we probably would still be just playing in the garage and struggling to get gigs," Gillies said in the press release, the complete text of which follows:
Silverchair Denounces Proposed Funding Cuts To ABC Youth Programming
Newcastle band silverchair have spoken out against proposed [Australian] Federal Government cuts to ABC youth programming.
Throughout their career the multi-platinum selling band has tried to keep a low media profile, generally avoiding public comment on anything other than their music. However, the potential impact of these funding cuts meant that silverchair felt compelled to join the growing movement against this Federal Government initiative.
Possible changes to the national youth broadcaster, Triple J, are of particular concern to the band as are proposed cutbacks to other important youth programming such as ABC TV programs Recovery and Rage.
"Triple J is the about the only place that most Australian kids can hear about things that matter to young people", said silverchair singer/guitarist, Daniel Johns.
"They play more new music than anyone else -- particularly by Australian bands," said the group's bass player, Chris Joannou. "It it wasn't for Triple J and shows like Rage and now Recovery, we probably would still be just playing in the garage and struggling to get gigs."
The band's drummer, Ben Gillies, added the following comment:
"Just because kids can't vote, the government probably thinks that it won't matter if they cut out things that are important to people our age. But I reckon the government should remember that people who are 16 or 17 at the moment will all be voting in a couple of years. If they cut things like Triple J then I don't think the government will be too popular with all these new voters."
Nick Launay is the producer of silverchair's new album, tracks for which are currently being laid down in an Australian studio. Launay and the band co-produced the new version of Blind for The Cable Guy motion picture soundtrack at Megaphon Studios in Sydney. Launay also produced Automatic's What If... single for murmur.
Andy Wallace, who mixed Sepultura's Roots album, will mix silverchair's latest CD. Wallace worked on the Sepultura album with producer Ross Robinson, who also performed the same duties for KoRn.
silverchair's highly successful debut frogstomp was produced by Kevin "Caveman" Shirley. The change in producers to Launay could be seen as a move by the band to complement the heavier, darker sound they are trying to achieve with their latest songs.
Silverchair spent much of the month of December 1995 in the United States before returning home for the holidays and a New Year's Eve show in Perth.
One of the highlights of the month was an appearance as the musical guests on NBC's Saturday Night Live. The band performed two songs -- Tomorrow and Pure Massacre, both of which can be seen in RealVideo in the Reports from the Road section.
Silverchair were honoured with five awards at the Ninth Annual Australian Record Industry (ARIA) ceremony at Sydney's Darling Harbour convention centre on Oct. 2, 1995.
The band were nominated for eight awards and won in the following categories:
Best Australian Single (Tomorrow)
Best Australian Debut Single (Tomorrow)
Highest Selling Australian Single (Tomorrow)
Best Australian New Talent
Best Australian Debut Album (frogstomp)
In typical silverchair style, the band members chose not to go to the podium to accept any of their awards, instead sending up Josh Shirley, the young son of frogstomp producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.
silverchair did make an appearance on stage, however, teaming up with You Am I lead singer Tim Rogers for the ARIA Awards closing number, a performance of the Radio Birdman track New Race.
At the end of the song, Ben Gillies decided to take a header at the front of his bass drum. A slit was supposed to have been cut in the drum skin but it wasn't, so Gillies was left seeing stars for a moment.
Epic Records Release
In June of 1994, this power-grunge trio from industrial Newcastle, Australia entered a national demo competition. Their song, Tomorrow, was chosen from over 800 entries, and the prize was a day in the recording studio of Australia's national alternative radio network 2JJJ-FM. silverchair recut Tomorrow and handed over the tape to the station; the song was added to the playlist, and listener response was so overwhelmingly positive that soon Tomorrow was bumped up to heavy rotation.
By December, Tomorrow was the #1 song in Australia -- and silverchair were one of the most popular bands in the country.
Mind you, this was before the trio had signed a proper recording contract, much less released an album -- certainly an unusual sequence of events. By the time of their pact with the Sony-affiliated Australian indie Murmur and the release of a four-song EP, silverchair had amassed a large and devoted following. Still, no one expected their next single, Pure Massacre, to follow Tomorrow up the charts, leapfrog over the earlier track, and claim the #1 position even as Tomorrow remained in the Top 5. But that's exactly what happened.
frogstomp, silverchair's debut album, entered the Australian charts at #1 -- the first debut album by an Australian artist to do so. Within a week of arrival in stores, frogstomp was certified platinum; it is now double platinum, having remained #1 for six consecutive weeks. [Editor's Note: By the end of 1995, the album was certified triple platinum.]
frogstomp is a stunning debut, and a portent of even greater things to come from the band called silverchair.
Frogstomp March 20th for 'Chair
By Casey Bennetto
I don't know whether this has been posted before (and fallen off), but anyway, silverchair's album is out on March 20th. Titled frogstomp, it will be released in the U.S. through Epic. I'm getting this info out of the Melbourne trades, so sorry if it seems like I'm shipping coal to Newcastle (as it were!)
Leave Me Out
Stranger Than You (working title)
Let's hope it's a sharp release from them. It'd be a shame to see this momentum (that has every band in Australia drooling with envy) go to waste. On the other hand, it's a fair bit of pressure on them, isn't it? Still, I bet they had a better summer holiday than any other kid at their school!
By the way, Tomorrow has gone double platinum and Pure Massacre is gold. Not bad for "Nirvana in pyjamas!" Good luck, 'chair!