The band formed in 1992 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. In 1994, at the age of 15, Silverchair got their big break when the band won a national competition called “Pick Me” with the demo of their song, “Tomorrow”. The demo became one of the most played songs in the history of the Australian station Triple J, and they played that year’s Big Day Out as part of the prize for their win.
Silverchair’s earlier material is “post-grunge” and the huge influence of contemporaries such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam were incredibly obvious. Daniel Johns insists they have been inspired by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, however these claims are refuted by music fans and critics alike; for example, prominent publications, such as Rolling Stone and Guitar World were quoted as saying “Silverchair’s first two albums were radio-friendly, commercial derivatives of grunge music, which was popular at the time”. Allmusic.com, while praising the overall sound of the first two albums (both received 4 stars out of 5) and stating “for their age, their instrumental capabilities are quite impressive”, describes them as “concentrating too heavily on Pearl Jam and Nirvana” and “their songwriting abilities aren’t as strong”. Early on the band were also influenced by hardcore punk and alternative metal groups such as Helmet, Tool, Minor Threat and Black Flag, with the band even covering some of these bands songs.
From their third album (Neon Ballroom) onward, the band have tried to experiment with slightly more complex song structures, pop influences, and the usage of orchestral backing on a few songs, most notably on their fourth album Diorama with composer Van Dyke Parks contributing to three of the tracks. This change is shown on their performance in their only live album “Live at Faraway Stables” where the band plays two sets - the first comprising newer material where they are backed by two keyboardists to simulate orchestral arrangements, and the second containing their earlier material.
2007 saw the release of the band’s latest album Young Modern, featuring the lead single Straight Lines; the song reached number one on the ARIA singles charts. The album was supported by a full tour of North America (their first since 1999), and an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand with fellow Aussie post-grunge rockers Powderfinger, entitled “Across the Great Divide.”
To quote Daniel Johns, “I’ve been thinking a lot since we finished [Young Modern] about where this fits into the other stuff we’ve done. The way I see it, the first album was naivete, the second one was anger, the third one was depression and the last one was escapism. Young Modern is all about acceptance.”
The band announced their split in 2011.
* Daniel Johns (vocals, guitar)
* Chris Joannou (bass)
* Ben Gillies (drums)
* Tomorrow (EP) (1994)
* Frogstomp (1995)
* Freak Show (1997)
* Neon Ballroom (1999)
* The Best Of - Volume One (2000)
* Diorama (2002)
* Rarities 1994-1999 (2002)
* Live From Faraway Stables (2CD & DVD) (2003)
* Young Modern (2007)
Edited by Omnigraph on 19 Dec 2012, 22:18
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