Silverchair drummer's heart beats for Hayley

By Samy Edwards (The Herald)


SILVERCHAIR drummer Ben Gillies and long-time girlfriend Hayley Alexander are engaged.

Gillies "popped" the question during a romantic holiday in Florence, Italy, this month.

The Newcastle-based couple have been together for more than six years and have been great supporters of one another's careers.

Gillies and Silverchair bandmates, frontman Daniel Johns and bassist Chris Joannou, are nominated for two ARIA Awards this Sunday.

Silverchair is up for Best Group, which they won at last year's awards, and Best Music DVD along with touring buddies Powderfinger for their joint Across The Great Divide DVD.

Alexander is a former ballerina who now owns a pilates studio in Newcastle.

The former Whitebridge High School student studied for three years at The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne before returning to Newcastle.

Alexander first learnt pilates at the age of 13 as a body-conditioning tool to gain more flexibility and strength for ballet.