Van Dyke Parks Interview

Legendary composer/arranger Van Dyke Parks, famous for his orchestrations on records by The Beach Boys, Rufus Wainwright, U2 and Silverchair has been interviewed by Doug Wallen. The interview probes, amongst other things, Van Dyke's current Australia visit, his involvement with Silverchair and his upcoming appearance at the Adelaide Festival.

Van Dyke Parks will perform with Daniel Johns, Kimbra and other guests at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide this Friday, March 8.

UPDATE - First reviews are in for this show here and here. Well worth the read!


Ben Gillies to perform for troops

Ben Gillies’ new musical project "Bento" will perform for Aussie troops in the Middle East in March. He will be joined by science guru and TV and radio personality Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and comedian Justin Hamilton.

The tour includes five shows to entertain soldiers, sailors, airmen and Australian Federal Police men and women.


Chris Joannou participates in Rock ‘N' Ride to raise awareness for headspace - National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Chris Joannou will be taking part in Rock 'N' Ride, riding his motorbike from the Big Day Out at the Gold Coast to the Adelaide Big Day Out, a race through 4 states over 5 gruelling days all in the name of raising awareness for headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Grinspoon frontman, Phil Jamieson will be leading 'Rock 'N' Ride which is presented by the Big Day Out. Chris and Phil will be joined by up to10 musician and media personalities, including co-founder of Rock ‘N' Ride CEO of Big Day Out, Adam Zammit, Jamieson's wife, Julie, and mates Paul Mac (Musician/Producer on Big Day Out lineup), Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta Eels and Australian Rugby League legend), Kate Peck (MTV Presenter) and Steve Andrews (Black Dog Ride) in a mammoth 5 days of music and motor biking largess.

headspace provides young people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, bullying, drug and alcohol problems with support and services across Australia. The Rock ‘N' Ride group will be stopping into headspace centres in QLD, NSW, VIC and SA regional towns.

During the town stops the Rock ‘N' Ride riders will meet and greet the local community, media and youths of  headspace joining them for lunch, autograph signing, photo opportunities, acoustic performances from Phil Jamieson, Paul Mac and Chris Joannou plus other giveaways. The riders will also be talking to the local community and media about headspace and how important their centres are to the local youth and their families.

"Every year we get involved with Big Day Out festivals across the country and this year we're excited to take this partnership to another level. Rock ‘N' Ride gives us the chance to engage regional young people in their communities and at headspace centres to create awareness of the mental health issues young people face and where they can go to get support." -  headspace CEO, Chris Tanti.

Sunday 20th January: Gold Coast Big Day Out ~ Rock ‘N' Ride departure
Monday 21st January: headspace centre, Warwick ~ Connabarabran - live performance
Tuesday 22nd January: headspace centre, Bathurst ~ Headspace centre, Wagga Wagga
Wednesday 23rd January: headspace centre, Bendigo ~ Swan Hill - live performance
Thursday 24th January: headspace centre, Berri  ~ Headspace centre, Murray Bridge
Friday 25th January: Adelaide Big Day Out ~ arrival into show grounds

For further information on headspace or Rock 'N' Ride visit www.headspace.org.au


Ben Gillies unveils Bento!

These are and this is DIAMOND DAYS, the sparkling debut album by Bento – the new musical creation from Ben Gillies, drummer and co-founder of Silverchair.

DIAMOND DAYS is twelve new bristling and glistening rock & roll songs, with Ben up front, singing his heart out, singing his own songs, and opening up like you’ve never heard him before.

“It’s an album of self-discovery, of finding myself,” says Ben. “I’ve always written songs and over the years I’ve kept a log of every idea. It’s exciting to finally see some of these ideas fully realised.”

Adds the former APRA Songwriter of the Year: “Being part of something as awesome and mammoth as Silverchair required so much of myself and at times there was very little energy left for other things. Now I feel as if I’m freed up and can satisfy my own creative output and get about doing what makes sense for me at this point. It’s been a while in the making and I’m excited to finally share it.”

Honest, uncluttered, open-hearted, Bento is Ben’s baby, but it sounds like a full band that has been playing together forever. Pulled together from a thousand ideas Ben has collected over the years, there’s a distinctive sheen to the twelve tracks that make up DIAMOND DAYS, a unique cohesiveness and melodious energy.

Prepare yourself – Bento sounds nothing like Silverchair. And if you happened to have heard Ben’s short-lived Tambalane project from a few years back, well, Bento sounds absolutely nothing like that either.

The immediacy of the lead track, the title track Diamond Days, will give you a fair indication of what Bento is all about. But there are a dozen different moods and views present on the album.

Co-produced by Ben Gillies and Eric J Dubowsky (Faker, Art Vs. Science), and featuring an array of Ben’s muso mates throughout, including Papa Vs Pretty’s gifted frontman and guitarist Thomas Rawle as a lead player, this is Bento, and this is … these are … DIAMOND DAYS. Enjoy!

The first single from the album, Diamond Days, goes to radio on Monday, 17 September and will be available to purchase (from all good online retailers/iTunes) on the same day and the video is available to view now at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H96wLcGXwg.

The Diamond Days album is scheduled for release on Friday, 26 October, 2012.

Check www.wearebento.com for more info.



Iconic Australian musician, Daniel Johns, winner of 21 ARIA awards and three times winner of APRA’s songwriter of the year, has written, arranged and performed an epic new piece called “Atlas” in a unique collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Qantas.  The piece forms the soundtrack for the new Qantas brand and Olympic advertising.

"Creating ATLAS has been a unique experience for me.   When Qantas first approached me, I agreed to the project as I was really into the idea of creating a piece of music that represented Australia.   I wanted it to sound big, something special.  It was a conscious effort to create a good piece of music and not just a jingle.  I've also wanted to work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a long time now so it was great to be finally be able to do that.  I'm really happy with how the song turned out"    - Daniel Johns

View the behind the scenes for ATLAS - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-9MIvUOcxE


Watch 'My Mind's Own Melody' trailer with original music by Daniel Johns

'My Mind's Own Melody' is a cinematic modern musical created by Josh Wakely and Daniel Johns. A full feature film has been developed based on the concept but this trailer is for a short-film version. Keep an eye out for news of limited international screenings over the months ahead.

A film by Josh Wakely, original music and lyrics by Daniel Johns (Silverchair), featuring the talents of Golden Globe winner Lisa Gerrard, starring David Lyons, 'My Mind's Own Melody' is a Grace films Production www.gracefilms.com.au




My Art Kills Monsters Exhibition 2012

My Art Kills Monsters Exhibition 2012. Matthew Gillett. Great Artist. Great Man. Great Cause. Please support by liking his page & keep up to date on his forthcoming exhibition.




Daniel Johns & Chris Cheney join forces with WSPA & offer signed guitar to help dogs around the world

Two of Australia’s most prominent and successful rock musicians, Daniel Johns and Chris Cheney, have exclusively joined forces to raise funds and awareness for WSPA’s ‘Collars not Cruelty’ a campaign to help improve the lives of tens of thousands of street dogs around the globe. Both musicians are taking part in a competition to win a rockin’ Epiphone Les Paul Studio guitar signed by both and kindly donated by The Gibson Foundation.

Chris said, “Typically the only times where Daniel and I reconnect is for something purely for our own benefit, like at a gig or a festival. This is a cause, a mission, a message and something of importance.”

Daniel added, “This is something we could do on a selfless level, as soon as Chris and I heard about WSPA’s campaign and the 20 million dogs brutally slaughtered every year, we knew we had to ‘man up’ and do something about it.”

To enter the competition visit dollarsforcollars.org.au and buy a virtual collar for just $10 and tell us in 25 words or less why dogs mean the world to you. Two exclusive videos will then be unlocked featuring Daniel and Chris, one a more serious insight into the inhumane culling of dogs around the world, the other a candid and fun quiz where Daniel and Chris answer a series of dog-related questions with comical results.

All entries will be judged by Daniel and Chris and the most creative answer will win this fantastic piece of rock history. Each entry and virtual collar bought will donate vital funds to help convince the world to stop killing dogs in response to rabies and will help work with governments to stop the cruelty and instead run effective dog vaccination programmes.

Daniel will also personally sign a copy of Andrew Zuckermann’s acclaimed coffee table book ‘Music’ in which he is featured, as a special runner-up prize. Chris is generously providing a The Living End merchandise pack that includes a signed copy of Guitar Australia Magazine with him on the cover, a signed copy of ‘The Ending is Just the Beginning Repeating’ album, a signed The Living End t-shirt as well as a The Living End iPhone 4 cover, stickers and badges.

WSPA spokesperson Joanna Tuckwell said, “Every year up to 20 million dogs are inhumanely culled across the world - that’s the equivalent of 38 dogs every minute. These dogs are often poisoned, beaten or gassed to death as part of this culling process. Such cruelty is clearly unacceptable and we are proud and excited to have Daniel and Chris join WSPA as ambassadors for the ‘Collars not Cruelty’ campaign.”

Chris concludes, “The vital funds raised at dollarsforcollars.org.au will ensure that WSPA can campaign to let people know that vaccination and not culling, is the solution to the rabies problem. Upon vaccination these dogs are given red collars and communities then know that these dogs are safe from the disease, this is a noble and practical solution and you can help make it a success.”

To buy a virtual collar, unlock exclusive video content and a chance to win the signed guitar, visit dollarsforcollars.org.au.

To see a special teaser video featuring Daniel and Chris visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9DbnJqb0wI


Ben to Judge V-Drums Contest Final

Ben Gillies has taken time out of his busy schedule and agreed to be Special Guest Judge at the finals of the V-Drums Contest. A panel of experts, including Ben Gillies and Johnny Rabb, will see the best six Roland V-drummers from Australia and New Zealand go head-to-head in a live onstage battle.

The winner will go on to represent Australia & New Zealand in the V-Drums International Finals, held at the NAMM Show (Anaheim, California) next year.

It’s not too late to enter – the competition closes at 5pm on 31st August 2011. If you think you have what it takes, and want the chance for Ben Gillies and/or Johnny Rabb to give you advice on your playing, enter here.



Because Daniel loves all dogs (and not just his own), he has lent his support to an innovative campaign by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to help save them from a cruel death.

Please visit www.dollarsforcollars.org.au to see what Daniel has to say about the campaign.