Johns Closer to The Restart of Silverchair

(The Sun-Herald)

Daniel Johns is slowly recovering from reactive arthritis - and may be ready to perform in the US by the end of the year.

The improvement in the Silverchair singer's health was flagged by his bandmate Chris Joannou during an industry gathering in Sydney last week.

Joannou expressed his hopes the band would play again soon, after small but steady improvements in Johns's condition.

But despite general optimism surrounding Johns's improved mobility, the singer is still struggling with arthritis in his knees and left wrist - and remains unable to play the guitar.

"It's true Daniel is a little bit better than he was a few months ago," an insider, close to the band, said.

"He would love to be able to dosome shows, but he still has a fair distance to travel before hecould think about committing to anything."

Silverchair manager John Watson was back in the US last week, drumming up continuous coverage for the band's album Diorama.

For the moment, Watson is promoting the band's virtual tour -which will take place from its website, www.chairpage.com.

But pending improvements in Johns's condition, Watson could be back in the US within a matter of months, renegotiating the band's real-life tour.

The 22-year-old singer has already signalled to fans he is making every effort to be back on the road as soon as possible. He recorded a video message for fans on Silverchair's website, saying: "I'm doing everything I can to get better.

"Sorry we can't be out there on the road at the moment. Thank you for all your messages to get well - I'll try to get well soon."

But during the web clip, Johns was visibly nursing his painful left wrist. Because he is unable to perform with the band - on stage or screen - Silverchair will use an animated video clip for their next single.

The cartoon clip for their tune LuvYour Life will be previewed in Australia next week, and the single goes on sale in early September.

The CD will feature bonus live tracks from Silverchair's performance on Rove Live earlier this year.