About Silverchair

It’s still hard to believe that Silverchair were mere teenagers when their 1995 debut, Frogstomp, became one of post-grunge’s first global blockbusters. For a band that formed when they were still pre-teens attending school in Newcastle, Australia, the trio of Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies, and Chris Joannou knew exactly what they wanted and how to achieve it. All those fantastic early hits—“Tomorrow,” “Pure Massacre,” “Israel’s Son”—are expertly sculpted slabs of angst-driven vocals, metallic riffage, and hooks as barbed as anything that contemporaries like Bush and Candlebox were dropping. If ever there were a textbook definition of precociousness, mid-’90s Silverchair certainly were it. Yet they were just kids, and over their next handful of releases, their music was defined by a tension between increasing sonic maturity and lyrics (courtesy of Johns) that ruthlessly grappled with the pressures accompanying youth celebrity. This became all too clear on their second album, 1997’s Freak Show, a harrowing set rooted in psychic alienation, as well as 1999’s Neon Ballroom, an exquisitely textured (if no less emotional) epic packed with the kind of strings, electronics, and psychedelic effects heard all over the mid-’70s classics from Led Zeppelin (a key influence for the trio). By the mid-2000s, Silverchair were in a good place, creating truly ambitious art, such as 2002’s baroque-informed Diorama, that pushed them far beyond post-grunge. But though they were barely in their mid-20s, the group were already weary veterans for whom fame had become an obstacle to personal growth. In 2011, Johns, Gillies, and Joannou placed an already slowing-down Silverchair on hiatus while going their separate ways, leaving behind one of the most artistically impressive catalogs of their era.

    Newcastle, Australia

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