Spin Doctor and the latest album releases
Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, about to release his debut solo album, Talk, after fussing over it for eight years, might be a little apprehensive about how his new work will be received on May 22. Following the release of his song Aerial Love a few months ago, social media lit up with praise for his new neo-soul demeanour, but hardened fans of his grungy Novocastrian trio took umbrage. Chair tragics will most likely not be impressed with Talk, then, since it takes off in a few directions, none of which could be considered rock ‘n’ roll. Collaborations with Lorde producer Joel Little ( Aerial Love, Cool on Fire, Warm Hands), hip-hop gurus Styalz and M-Phazes ( Imagination, Chained, Faithless) and the Presets’ Julian Hamilton ( By Your Side, Dissolve) might give you some idea of what to expect. Johns, meanwhile, has been vocal about his latest incarnation and about the good old days he enjoyed with bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies in Silverchair. In announcing the album, Johns has said he appreciates that it wouldn’t be for everyone. “I’ve always felt like most people hate everything I do,” he says, “but thankfully there’s always been an enthusiastic minority who seem to ‘get’ it. That’s fine with me. Anything that appeals to everyone tends to suck anyway.” He gets on a roll with “suck”, even in reference to the Chair’s debut album Frogstomp, which, astonishingly, is now 20 years old and back in the charts thanks to a special anniversary edition. Johns again: “What’s funny is that when Silverchair released Frogstomp most people went out of the way to tell me how much it sucked. Then when we made Diorama a few years later, everyone started telling me how I should go back to making Frogstomp. I guess now I’ll be told to go back and make Diorama again!” One suspects, given his thirst for reinvention, going back is not an option.
As mentioned last week SD is at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, where the city has enjoyed (mostly) a heavy presence of Australian talent and industry bods. This afternoon (Toronto time) a host of up-and-coming Aussie acts perform together under the umbrella of Sounds Australia, the industry body designed to promote our music overseas. Included in the line up are Newcastle rockers Twin Lakes, Melbourne duo Sweet Jean, folk troubadour Darren Hanlon and alt country singer Caitlin Harnett. Later today headliners include the Psychedelic Furs and Faith No More.
This year’s National Indigenous Music Awards will be held in Darwin on July 25. The line-up for the ceremony at Darwin’s Amphitheatre includes Frank Yamma, B2M and the Painted Ladies, the last of which features Queensland singer Luke Peacock and guests reworking The Loner, the 1973 album by Aboriginal artist Vic Simms. Nominations for the awards are open until June 20 and you can find out more at nima.musicnt.com.au.
Happy birthday to Billy Joel, who is 66 today, and U2’s Bono, who turns 55 tomorrow.
Daniel Johns explores new directions