Aussie Trio Unveil 'Futuristic' Style


SilverchairSilverchair will release their third album, Neon Ballroom, through Murmur/Columbia in mid-March. And according to singer/guitarist Daniel Johns, the Australian trio have now moved away from the more straight-ahead style of their previous albums frogstomp and Freak Show.

"We've made an album that combines lots of different sounds and instruments which you don't usually hear together," says Johns. "we wanted to carve out our own little piece of turf, blending futuristic noises with more classic influences. We're fed up with all the usual comparisons that people keep making about our music."

Neon Ballroom will be preceded by the single Anthem For The Year 2000 in February. Both produced by Nick Launay, who also worked on Freak Show. All the recording was done at Festival Studios in Sydney, with the mixing taking place in Los Angeles.

silverchair brought in a number of guest musicians to work on the album. Shine pianist David Helfgott gives a manic piano performance on the epic Emotion Sickness, which also features [musicians from] the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The New South Wales Public School Choir are featured on Anthem For The Year 2000, while Midnight Oil guitarist Jim Moginie plays keyboards on several of the tracks.

Other songs featured on Neon Ballroom include Ana's Song (Open Fire), Steam Will Rise, Spawn Again (a reworking of Spawn, the band's contribution to the Spawn soundtrack album -- this has new lyrics) and Satin Sheets.

silverchair will bring in a touring keyboard player when they hit the road in support of Neon Ballroom.

"We were also thinking about getting in a second guitarist," says drummer Ben Gillies, "but it would have been too much of a change for us to become a five piece."

The band will announce full details of their world tour shortly. This will include a British tour later in the year. One date already confirmed is the Peaches 'n' Cream Festival in Cobram, Australia on January 23. This will be silverchair's first live appearance for 13 months.

silverchair work with Shine pianist

silverchair were more suprised than anyone when classical pianist David Helfgott agreed to guest on the track Emotion Sickness.

"We wanted to put a piano part on the song," says Gillies, "and someone said, 'What about David Helfgott?' We were like, 'Shit, yeah!'"

"None of us thought it would happen, but he had a listen to the song, and agreed to do it."

Helfgott spent a day with the band in the studio recording his part. "Being able to watch him work was a privilege," says Gillies.

silverchair got on well with the pianist, although they found him strange. "He kept mumbling, 'Very different, very different, very different'," adds Gillies.

(Thanks to Ariela for the transcript.)