The Massive Interrogation

By Mel Bradman (Massive Magazine)

We turn the spotlight on Mr Daniel Johns, vocalist/guitarist with silverchair, and let us ask you all sorts of embarrassing questions...

Who did you admire when you were a kid?
Anyone who played football.

What do people ask you when they first meet you?
"How are you?"

If your house caught on fire, what would you save first?
My guitar.

Do you travel on public transport?
Yeah, quite a bit, on buses, taxis... nobody recognizes me.

If you gave up the music business, what would you do?
Play football.

What's the best thing about being in silverchair?
Playing gigs, having fun.

Has your mother ever seen you play, and what did she think?
Yep, she doesn't mind us. She doesn't dance, she just sits and smiles.

What do you think of body piercing?
It's OK, I just can't be bothered doing it myself. I can't even be bothered be bothered to get my ears pierced.

What do you regret about your past?
Nothing. I've done heaps of dumb things, but I don't really care.

If a waitress in a restaurant asks you what your band sounds like, what do you tell her?
It's just rock 'n' roll.

What do you wear in bed?
A pair of board shorts and a T-shirt.

Favourite person in the world?
Page Hamilton. Helmet's my favourite band.

And your least favourite persons?
Ben and Chris.

What kind of a drunk are you?
I'm not answering that 'cos my mum might read it.

How much does a CD cost in the shops?
$30 in Australia.

Have you ever quit a job in spectacular fashion?
No, 'cos we started the band when I was 12.

Describe your ideal date?
Going to a Helmet gig, or sitting at home doing nothing.

Who is your favourite soap character?
I hate soaps. I only watch them when I'm really bored and vegging out.

Which album do you hide at the back of your collection?
None, because I only started getting records when I was 12. I started listening to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and I still like all that stuff.

Where, when and at what age did you lose your virginity?
I'm not answering that question 'cos my mum's gonna read this. I'll get in trouble.

Most stupid thing you've done on stage?
When we were playing in France I had to stop and put my guitar down and run backstage to take a piss. I left Ben and Chris standing there for about three minutes. I just couldn't wait.

Which band/star would you least like to share a dressing room with?
I don't know any famous people, so I can't say. Just any band that's got members that are really full of themselves and think they're better than anyone else.

How did you find out about the birds and the bees?
I just listened to people talking about it.

Worst thing about being in silverchair?
Going on lots of planes, waking up really early, never seeing new countries apart from the concert venue.

How would you describe yourself on a computer dating form?
I wouldn't be able to think of anything good to say. I'd have to make it up.

What do you argue with your band members about?
We don't have serious arguments. We just muck around, and decide who's gonna hit who first.

What pre-gig rituals do you observe?
We sit in a room, chucking food and drink at each other. We push each other and try to hurt each other before we go on stage.

Groupies -- a good or bad thing?
They're all right. We don't have any. I don't really know what they are. (Interrogator enquires what Daniel would say if one approached him.) I'd say, "Hi."

Do you sympathise with tortured artists like Eddie Vedder or Kurt Cobain?
I don't know a lot about them, so I can't really say. I'm sure that it was really bad for Eddie and Kurt 'cos they're really big and everyone knows who they are, so I can sympathize. I wouldn't have any advice to give Eddie, 'cos he knows more than me.

If an audience member has paid $30 to see silverchair, have they the right to heckle you?
We only charge about $15, but whoever comes can do whatever they want. It doesn't bother me. If they want to come and waste their money I don't care. It could be pretty fun. I'm the one with the mic!

Favourite chat-up line?
I'd just look at them and hope for the best.

Who would you take on the pub crawl from hell?
Anyone that wanted to come.

Biggest fear?
The earth blowing up.

Have you ever been arrested?
I've been fined $40 for not wearing my helmet on my pushbike. (Interrogator enquires if this made Daniel learn his lesson.) Not really.

Proudest moment of your life?
Getting a good guitar about five months ago. It used to be Page Hamilton's. I got it through the same company he gets his guitars from and they told me that he traded it in so I could have it. I use it on stage.

[Note: This article also appeared as "The Confession Box: The Cutting Edge Questionnaire" in Raw magazine's Sept. 27, 1995 issue. Massive! excluded the following questions: Does having sex in peculiar places turn you on, will the growth of MTV and computer games eventually wipe out live music, do you know how much a T-shirt costs at one of your gigs, drugs -- a good or bad thing, and if the tables were turned what would you ask me, as a journalist. Thanks to Amanda for the transcript.]