Daniel Johns of Silverchair

Q: At what age did you guys pick up your intstruments? (Patrick Dennis, Hillsboro HS, Hillsboro, OR)
DANIEL: Ben started playing drums when he was about 7 or 8 and I started playing guitar when I was nearly 12 years-old. Chris probably started a year after that.

Q: How was the group formed? (Cynthia Kong, Archbishop Mitty HS, San Jose, CA)
DANIEL: Ben and I started jamming when we were about 11 or 12 years old. We had a little band called SHORT ELVIS. We got Chris when we were about 13 years old and started writing.

Q: What genre of music do you consider your songs? (Cynthia Kong)
DANIEL: I'd just consider it rock and roll music. The first two albums were kind of traditional hard rock music, inspired a lot by SABBATH and ZEPPELIN, stuff like that. We're trying to take it somewhere no other band's really taken it yet.

Q: What exactly were you doing for so long between albums? (Katy Aderholt, Auburn HS, Auburn, AL)
DANIEL: Basically touring and writing. The first half of '97 (note: i think he means '98 here...), Ben and Chris did a lot of surfing. While they were doing that, I was just writing material for the new album.

Q: What inspired your lyrics for this album? (Rebecca Gouker, Hallandale HS, Hallandale, FL)
DANIEL: Psychological things that I was dealing with at the time of writing. I just wanted to express myself through poetry. I was writing lots of poetry. It wasn't really intended to be silverchair lyrics, but I really liked the words, so I changed them into a more lyrical format and wrote music around that. It's basically just things I'm dealing with.

Q: Songs like Anthem for the Year 2000 make me feel like your band is making a statement about our generation's stigma as "Gen X" or the "MTV Generation." Do you think those are accurate stereotypes? Are we as bad as everyone says we are? (Sheila Bapat, Mountain View HS, Mesa, AZ)
DANIEL: I think we used that title and those lyrics to have an element of sarcasm and irony in the lyrics. It's basically just very sarcastic, but it's about a political party in Australia that's trying to impose restrictions on young people.

Q: How do you like this album compared with the other two? (Megan Mooney, McFarland HS, McFarland, WI)
DANIEL: I like the first two albums, but I never really got the level of creative satisfaction that I've wanted to get from them. We were in school and I didn't really have the time to do what I wanted to do with music. Once we graduated from school, I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do with the writing this time. I guess this is definitely my favorite album because it gives me a level of satisfaction that the other two haven't.

Q: What was it like working with classical musicians? (Kara Donnelly, Old Lyme HS, Old Lyme, CT)
DANIEL: It was good. It was interesting, especially working with David Helfgott*. That was pretty crazy. We were all [retty excited about getting to work with him and he was really excited about playing on the song, a style of music he had never played before. It was just really positive energy.

Q: Have you ever sung in choirs or any other "traditional" forms of music? (Shelly Anderson, Assumption HS, Lousville, KY)
DANIEL: No, I haven't.

Q: When you look back to your two first albums would there be something you would like to do differently? (Mary Nicolaou, Grosse Pointe Woods HS, Detroit, MI)
DANIEL: Yeah, there's things you look back on like, I dunno, most people look back to what they were doing when they were 14 or 15 and they kinda, well there's not too many people who are 19 or 20 now who think that what they did at 14 was cool. That doesn't bother me. It's all just a learning curve. We just happened to grow up where people could see us growing.

Q: Do you think that as a songwriter you are now starting to be taken more seriously than before or do you still feel that people are focusing more to your age and trying to find similarites between silverchair and Nirvana? (Mary Nicolaou)
DANIEL: I don't think age is such an issue anymore. People don't tend to bring it up. They only make refernce to it when they're speaking about the previous two albums. I don't think it's too incredibly strange to be 19 and writing songs with a band. People still bring it up, but it's only because it's part of the silverchair story, I guess.

Q: Who are your influences? (TJ Rafferty, Milford HS, Milford, OH)
DANIEL: (Besides SABBATH and ZEPPELIN) I'm very influenced by 80's hardcore music. I like BLACK FLAG, MINOR THREAT, STATE OF ALERT...stuff like that. Ben's really into electronica and drum and bass music. Chris is into old school jazz and blues music.

Q: Are there any new bands that have come out that you were like, "hey, this is cool?" (Melissa DiGiacomo, Northport HS, E Northport, NY)
DANIEL: No, the only artist that I really listen to that's kind of contemporary is FUGAZI and PJ HARVEY's new album. I don't listen to much modern music, not because I don't like it, but because I don't really listen to the radio or get exposed to it very much.

Q: This being your 3rd big album and still at a relatively young age, do you ever think you'll get burnout and be sick of the music industry and putting albums out, etc? (Connie Tran, San Gabrial HS, Monterey Park, CA)
DANIEL: I do think we'll get sick of the music industry, but as soon as we do, we'll stop playing; stop doing it. The thing that's kept silverchair kind of fresh is that we do it because music is our passion. It's what we're passionate about. As soon as we start getting annoyed by the industry, we'll still be playing music; we just won't be doing it in such a high profile. We don't want to be silverchair for the rest of our lives.

Q: Why are you only hitting limited venues on your North American tour? (Matt Kimmel, Western HS, Weston, FL)
DANIEL: 'Cause we're coming back later in the year. We're doing it in two tours rather than doing it all in one this time 'cause we're going to Europe as well. We're going to be away for 2 & 1/2 months, then we go home for 2 weeks and then we do Canada and come back to America.

Q: What is life on the road like for you? (Shelley Anderson)
DANIEL: Everyday is pretty much exactly the same: You wake up, do some interviews, do a soundcheck, do some interviews, play a show, get on a bus, drive to the next city, and then commence the same thing once we're in the next city...for 2 & 1/2 months. (laughs)

Q: What Australian stuff do members of the band miss while touring in the US? (Katie McClendon, Las Lomas HS, Walnut Creek, CA)
DANIEL: Ben and Chris really miss the surf, especially Ben. It's his lifestyle. He gets up at 5 or 6AM every morning to go surfing. I just miss being at home. I miss trying to maintain a level of normality.

Q: How is the response from America in comparison to other countries? (Cynthia Kong)
DANIEL: It (Neon Ballroom) debuted at #1 in Australia. That's the only place we've got a result from yet. In Canada, it's doing really well. In America, we've gotten some good feedback, so we're really happy with the way it's going.

Q: Out of all the places you've travelled, which place was most memorable? (Melissa DiGiacamo)
DANIEL: South America. We played some shows there with the SEX PISTOLS and BAD RELIGION. That was really good.

Q: DO you ever regret becoming popular? (Kelly Murray, Bayshore HS, Brightwaters, NY)
DANIEL: Yeah. There are times when I look back and say I wish we had done it a different way. We were really young and missed out on a lot of things we maybe shouldn't have missed out on, but we also did a lot of things that we would enver have gotten the opportunity to do.

Q: How do you feel about the millions of girls chanting your name and bombarding you after a concert? (Kelly Murray)
DANIEL: I dunno. I don't really feel anything about it. It's not really sincere the majority of the time. They're just carried away with seeing someone they've seen on television. It doesn't do anything to our egos.

Q: Out of all the experience of being stars, what was the biggest thrill for you? (Melissa DiGiacamo)
DANIEL: I guest just the best thing is being able to play your music to large numbers of people who actually appreciate what you're doing and understand what you're there for.

Q: What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done to you or for you? (Aiwa Saturn, Assumption HS, Lousville, KY)
DANIEL: We've had a few stalkers and stuff, but I dunno. There's lots of crazy stuff, nothing that stands out. We get gifts sometimes, which is good.

Q: What is your most embarrassing public moment? (Aiwa Saturn)
DANIEL: I don't really have an embarrassing public moment 'cause I very rarely go in public. The only time I'm in public is when we're doing stuff related to silverchair. I'm usually at home with my dog watching telly.

Q: What did you want to do before fame? (Kevin Lynch, Old Lyme HS, Old Lyme CT)
DANIEL: Always, since I was 6 years old I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be in a band. I was always into rap music and break dancing and studd when I was really young. Then when I heard BLACK SABBATH when I was 11 years old, I decided I wanted to be in a rock band.

Q: Do any of you guys have girlfriends? (Cynthia Kong)
DANIEL:Ben and Chris have girlfriends. I haven't for a very long time.

Q: Do you still live with your families or did you move out? (Melissa DiGiacamo)
DANIEL: I moved out for awhile, but I got kicked out because I had a dog and I wasn't allowed to have a pet. Ben and Chris are in the process of moving out.

Q: Since you'll be leaving your teenaged years in about a month, do you have any birthday plans? (Melissa DiGiacamo)
DANIEL: Not really. I think that on my birthday this year, we're going to be on the road. So, I don't expect anything special to be happening.

Q: Do you think it would be more appropriate if the Beastie Boys changed their name to the Beastie Men? (Ariel Nelson, Syosset HS, Syosset NY)

Q: Can you name the 3 tenors? (Ariel Nelson)
DANIEL: Nah...Pavarotti.

Q: What do you think of the high level of drug use that is prevalent in the music industry? (Sheila Bapat)
DANIEL: I don't really have an opinion on that. As long as it's not affecting anyone close to me, I don't care.

Q: What caused you to become anorexic? (Kelly Murray)
DANIEL: I don't think that when you've got an eating disorder you realize that you've got it until you've kind of made some sort of a recovery. I didn't realize there was anything wrong with me until I looked back. It's just a really confusing state of mind. Everything's distorted. You don't have a grasp on reality anymore. The only thing you have control over is what you eat. So, I guess I just wanted to maintain control in some way.

Q: When did you realize you were depressed? (Kelly Murray)
DANIEL: I was very aware of the depression. You get aware of it and deal with however you can deal with it. I think antidepressants help a lot.

*Classical pianist David Helfgott was the inspiration for the Oscar winning movie, "Shine," as well as a guest player on Neon Ballroom. Dacid is heard alongside the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the album's opener, Emotion Sickness.

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