Big Hit Magazine
"After the Freak Show tour, we were expecting to have a break,
but after two weeks I felt really uncomfortable not writing music,"
explains silverchair frontman Daniel Johns. "So I moved out of
home and lived in this houseand wrote heaps of songs, and before I
knew it, we were recording." And so silverchair's third album,
Neon Ballroom was born.
"I moved out with the intention of writing heaps of music," says
Dan. "But because I'd built it up so much, I had performance
anxiety and couldn't think of anything. So I was just sitting in this
room in front of a fire writing poems every night. I wrote about 150
poems, then got what I thought were the most captivating words
and stuck them together. With the last two albums, the lyrics are
really straightforward and powerful, but with this album I wanted to
do something totally different."
Although he was happy with the new tunes once he'd finished
them, Daniel was still reluctant to show bandmates Ben Gillies and
Chris Joannou. "I was really nervous. I didn't know whether or not
to keep them and do a solo album or whether to show them," he
laughs. "I thought they'd go, 'What the #$!% is that?!'. I thought
Ben would be like, 'No man, metal! We want metal!'. So I went in
there and showed them - and they were really into it."
While Daniel was writing songs, Ben and Chris made the most of
their time off. "I went to the beach and went camping," says Chris.
"I had a blast for six months." Ben did the same. "I surfed, hung
out with mates, went out -- anything fun," he says. Feeling relaxed
and rejuvenated, it was time to get down to business. "We
rehearsed the new album in my garage," says Ben. "It's called The
Loft and it's above the garage. It's a soundproof room, and we've
written and rehearsed all three albums there. It's a pretty famous
little spot, actually."
Neon Ballroom has been described as silverchair's new sound,
using plenty of electronic and classical instruments, but there are
other factors which make the album different. "We're different
people than we were a few years ago," Chris says. "These days
we do things like a normal band, we don't have any other things
tied into it, like school. It's a full-time occupation." And how will
the fans take the new silverchair? "Our fans are really loyal," says
Ben. "If we make a change, they're like, 'Oh cool!' and go with the
flow, which is really good."
But what's the deal with the title? "We wanted a title that was both
old and new," Daniel explains. "Neon is a very futuristic looking
thing. Although it's quite old, it was perceived as being very
futuristic when it first came out. And a ballroom is very old-