Daniel Johns

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Daniel Johns

Daniel Paul Johns (born 22 April 1979) is an Australian vocalist, composer, guitarist, and pianist, best known as frontman of the rock band Silverchair.

On Stage[edit]

  • This next song is about... fish... just one singular fish... he was a lonely fish, but he died happy.
    • 31st of August, 2007 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, introducing "Tuna in the brine"
  • Thanks for coming tonight, on a Sunday night. Sixty-Minutes is on and there are probably some good stories you're missing. Thanks for choosing Silverchair over Sixty-Minutes.
  • If I were a fisherman, i would catch fish. If i were an octagon, I'd have many sides and if I were a prostitute, I would fuck and fuck and fuck and fuck and fuck!


We were really kind of nervous. You know when you're talking to someone who you really like and you forget everything you want to say. I was just going, 'Hi,' and Chris goes, 'Hi." Then I went, 'Oh fuck, I don't know what to say.' I wasn't going to go, 'You're real cool man,' so I said, 'Can you sign this?' I got him to sign this bank withdrawal card and he filled it all in and everything. It was a classic. Chris wrote 'Tough Guy' for his name and the withdrawal was for like three million dollars or something.

We also played in Seattle. Seattle was hell fun. Krist Novoselic from Nirvana came and watched. He was sitting on the side of the stage with his girlfriend. He was talking about the dentist for ages. He kept telling us about his toothache! It was so funny. Kris is a good guy as well."

  • This guy, he just taught me chords and stuff. And after a year, I thought, I can't be bothered having lessons. So I just decided to figure out my own stuff. I never wanted to play all those fast solos. I just thought, I'll be like Pete Townshend of The Who. I'll do what he does and play powerful chords and stuff.
    • On how he learnt Guitar, Guitar School magazine, "Rock n' Roll high school" February 1996.

  • It actually went like this: we were at school and Ben said he didn’t like Nirvana so much. Then one of our friends said: You should listen to Sliver. So he wanted to request Sliver for himself on the radio. And I wanted to request a song of an Australian group(You Am I), Berlin Chair. We told Chris to write Sliver Chair, but he wrote it as Silver Chair. Then we thought: That’s a good name. That’s how it went.
    • On the name 'Silverchair', Press interview, April 1996

  • Rock Sound: Did you have an imaginary childhood friend?

Yeah, for two years Mum and Dad took me to a psychiatrist cos I was a real crazy arse. I used to have fits when I was about two years old and that's when I started to have my friend, Robin. It was really serious. If I sat down for dinner and it was just my family that had plates, I'd cry and throw tantrums 'cos they hadn't made food for Robin. And if Dad went to sit down I'd scream, "You're going to sit on Robin." And Dad would be like "OK." If he ever bought me chocolates he had to buy one for Robin. I could actually see him. I swear to God, he was so real.

I'm actually a vegan, although I love the smell of chicken. When I was 16 I because a vegetarian and six months later I did the full thing and became a vegan. It's not as hard as you'd think 'cos I have simple tastes, just fruit and vegetable and cereal. I take protein tablets to keep me healthy so I very rarely get sick. I don't drink alcohol either because of a stomach ulcer, but I'm definitely not straight-edge. I mean, I'll take certain stimulants if you know what I mean, when I'm at parties but nothing too out of control. A lot of people get drugs and drug addicts mixed up. I'm not hugely into drugs, but it's good to experiment now and again.

  • Rock Sound Magazine: Have you ever been attracted to anyone of the opposite sex?

Um…not in a sexual way. I've been extremely interested in the people of the same sex but I don't really go looking for sex. Like, I've never had a groupie shag in my life. I don't believe in taking advantage of people.

  • I am very scared of being outside my home for long periods of time. I start sweating and shaking and having panic attacks if I am not at home. I get very anxious and am scared in crowds and things like that. Before I go onstage I just take medication and I'm alright.
    • Metal Hammer magazine, "Growing Pains" March 1999.

  • Leaving school had a big impact on me, because it was the only place I could go and maintain normality and feel a part of something and not be Daniel from silverchair. Once that safety blanket had gone I felt uncomfortable about only being Daniel from silverchair.
    • Rolling Stone magazine, 1999

  • When we were first playing, even though it was derivative, playing music was the best, there was nothing better. And then by the second album (Freak Show) we were like, playing music makes me angry, and by the third album (Neon Ballroom) I was like, I need to play music cos life sucks. And now all of a sudden there's this really youthful enthusiasm in the band, everyone around us, there's this real positivity and everyone's vibing off the music.
    • Kerrang! magazine, April 2002

  • I'm aware that if you keep shifting there are going to be people who really respect you for it and just as many who go: 'There's no stability with that dude. I'm going to buy Nickelback's new album.'
    • The Australian, "Pop goes sad boy of rock" June 2004

  • Not being able to tour for Diorama was definitely a huge disappointment. I was (and still am) really proud of that record but i also feel like the response to it was better than expected given the circumstances. It inspired me to top it with Young Modern.

  • Being someone who has been the frontman and the songwriter for a band that has been together since I was 12 years old, you do get to that point where you think: 'If I keep doing this for too long it's going to be all I can do' … which is why in Silverchair I kept changing.
    • The Australian, "Pop goes sad boy of rock" June 2004

  • I mean we're living in the world of iTunes; I really hate that. What's going on now is that a lot of people just release three or four singles and the rest of it is just filler and boring.
    • July 2007

  • As soon as you have a man who has no problem with maybe even alluding to androgyny and who's known for having gay friends, the media jumps on it and says, 'He's gay,' or 'He's bisexual'. I'm embarrassed for them. It's 2015 and I have heaps of gay friends and I don't care about being flamboyant. If I was bisexual, I'd say I was bisexual. If I was gay, I'd say I was gay. I wouldn't be ashamed of it. I'd celebrate it. I'd headline Mardi Gras and milk that puppy!

  • I was about 14 when I realised I didn't have the same personality type as the people I grew up with. I wanted to be a really amazing artist – I wasn't like, humble, you know? I don't really have a logical comprehension of other people, I don't understand how other people are. I knew I was never going to be normal: white picket fence, get married, have three babies. I just wanted to nurture animals and have a miniature pig and miniature horse and a little cow and a couple of puppy dogs. That was way more interesting.

  • There's a theory someone told me that the age you become famous is the age you're mostly going to stay forever. Which is kind of offensive! But there's a grain of truth to it. I'm always going to have that moment where I felt like, 'It's not going to be normal ever again.' Which is not a bad thing. There are heaps of good things that come with it. Now I can write whatever music I want, record wherever I want, pretty much work with whoever I want … I'd take that above being able to go to Bondi Beach any day.

Song meanings[edit]

  • That was on a TV show. There was this poor guy taking a rich guy through a hotel to experience the losses of the less fortunate than him. The rich guy is just complaining because he just wants to get out and the poor guy is saying you have to wait till tomorrow to get out. That's one of our least serious songs but it still has meaning to it.

  • That [song] was about an execution I saw on tele, that was an ad I saw on tele. I got this video of an execution, and I just saw it, and I was watching it one night, and I had a dream about it, and I woke up and thought, 'Oh yeah, that's pretty cool', and I wrote a song about it.

  • With 'Abuse Me', I just wanted to get all the feelings off my chest, the feelings I'd had when I read all the negative commentary. The song is basically saying, 'Say what you like. We don't give a fuck what you think. We're just playing our music.

  • It's influenced a lot by Led Zeppelin and anything from that era really. Before the album, when I actually wrote it and showed Ben and Chris, Ben and Chris liked it and they wanted to continue working on it and write a bit more, and I didn't really like the song. And they were like, 'oh, come on, we'll just use it' and so I said, 'yeah all right,' just to see how it would turn out. And it ended up changed a little bit and now I'm really happy with it.
  • On "The Door", quoted in *"The Door" Single. chairpage.com (September 11, 1997).

  • The whole thing is about youth rebelling against people who are supposedly more important. It's about youth having total control over their own minds. They do not need overweight people in suits telling them what to do and how to act. It is all about just being yourself. The chorus is very sarcastic. It is not supposed to be taken seriously.
  • On "Anthem for the Year 2000", quoted in *"The Door" Single. The Sunday Herald-Sun (February 21, 1999).

  • I wanted a song that people could perceive as a love song, while the lyrics are actually very angry," he reveals. "That song is about not being able to establish a relationship with anyone, not being able to experience love outside of family. I've been with girls but only for short periods of time because I'm a but scared of commitment, so after a month it's like... I'm scared that if I really like someone it won't happen, so I cut it short. A lot of the time it just feels like it's not real love. We've got girls screaming and stuff, girls saying they love us, but I think they're in love with the idea of being in love with someone onstage or in love with people they see in magazines or on television. That's not real - it's totally false.
  • On "Miss You Love", quoted in *Growing Up The Hard Way. Kerrang! (March 13, 1999).

  • "The Greatest View" is a song that really focuses on people's perceptions of the same problem or the same scenario. Basically what was going on in my mind was that I had a lot of people who were watching over me and watching my every move making sure that I didn't fall back in to the heap that I fell in to whilst writing Neon Ballroom. Because I was aware of that I felt like I had the greatest view from where I was from because I could see what was going on. I was aware of the situation, I was in control of my own destiny really.

Song lyrics[edit]

Frogstomp (1995)[edit]

  • The water out of the tap is very hard to drink
    • Tomorrow

Diorama (2002)[edit]

  • All the bridges in the world won't save you if there is no other side to cross to
    • World Upon Your Shoulders
  • Bleach the green from the pastures
    • My Favourite Thing
  • Love me for my mind, because I'm a dangerous heart
    • One Way Mule
  • I don't want to be lonely, I just want to be alone
    • Across the Night
  • You'll come along for the sun if you come at all
    • Tuna in the Brine

Freak Show (1997)[edit]

  • If only I could be as cool as you
  • Lost my soul, lost my confidence in me
    • Slave

Neon Ballroom (1999)[edit]

  • Take the rope to my heart and fall
    • Black Tangled Heart
  • Sex, drugs, and image is just enough to get you by in the real world
    • Dearest Helpless
  • Liberate the people that you hate
    • Point of View
  • She tastes the candy, sugerless, cancerous
    • Paint Pastel Princess
  • She tastes the candy, sugerless, cancerous
    • Paint Pastel Princess
  • Please die Ana, for as long as you're here, we're not
    • Ana's Song (Open Fire)

External links[edit]

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