Australian Story on ABC
Australian Story On ABC - Silverchair Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies (image - Jack Fisher)

Tonight | Australian Story on ABC TV and ABC iview

Australian Story on ABC – When three Newcastle schoolboys became overnight rockstars in 1994, their world exploded.  And Silverchair, one of Australia’s most successful bands, was born.

At the age of 15, best mates Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou were living the dream – touring the world, topping the charts, winning awards. 

“It was like being in the eye of a hurricane,” says record company executive John O’Donnell. “They definitely had to grow up fast.”

The band played for over fifteen years and won more ARIA awards than any other Australian band. Five albums reached number one. 

“It’s been a hell of a ride,” says former base player Chris Joannou. “I would say we achieved the dream. But at what cost?” 

Their fame and success came with intense pressure and scrutiny. Old friendships became strained.

“I think at the heart of it … it’s men communicating badly with each other,” says O’Donnell. ​

“Working class Newcastle, you don’t talk about how you’re feeling, it’s not what you do,” says former drummer Ben Gillies. 

Until now, much of spotlight has been on former frontman Daniel Johns. But Ben and Chris felt it was time to tell their story as they saw it. 

“I look at Silverchair with love and celebration,” says Ben. 

“It reached a time where it felt right to stand forward and tell our story,” says Chris. 

Producer: Ben Cheshire.

Australian Story on ABC and ABC iview – Monday 18 September, 2023 at 8:00pm

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Australian Story on ABC

Australian Story on ABC
Australian Story on ABC

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