Daniel Johns will release his first solo EP Aerial Love tomorrow, which sees him trade his rock guitar for a more down-tempo electronic sound.
Breakfast host Matt Okine asked Johns, “Is the Silverchair Daniel Johns, is that long gone?” The ex-Frogstomper responded: “I don’t know. If I was a betting man, I’d say I can’t see myself doing that for a while. I don’t know about ever; I always kind of pick up a guitar and noodle on it but for now it’s just exploring some new territory for a bit.”
“I just get really bored if I’m not trying something new, I don’t see the point in being an artist,” he continued. “So if it’s offensive to some people so be it, I don’t really give a shit.”
Johns admits he tried a number of sounds in order to settle on the right one. “I just wanted to get really weird for a while – it hasn’t been released so I think I succeeded,” he said.
“It went really brutal for a while, I don’t even know if it was music. Just avoiding writing anything with any kind of structure, just lots of distortion and drum machines – just noise.”
Aerial Love was produced by Joel Little, the mastermind producer behind Lorde and Broods. From what we’ve heard so far, John’s voice is in full-flight backed by beats and synths rather than drums and guitars.
It’s a far cry from even the latter days of Silverchair, where the band embraced their experimental pop side. According to Johns, the new direction is a reaction to the weight of expectation he was feeling towards the end of Silverchair.
“I started to feel like there was an expectation from people as to what I was allowed to release, especially at the end of Silverchair, when I decided to get out of that for a while,” he said.
It’s interesting to note that Johns said he was leaving Silverchair “for a while,” rather than leaving the band for good.
A full-length is already on the way with Johns saying he’s “finished the record.”
“There’s a bit of genre-hopping going on but I think it’s all quite cohesive in that it’s really electronic and quite vocal-driven, whereas in the past I’ve tried to hide my vocals quite a bit,” he said in regards to the debut album.
There’s no word yet on when we can expect the full-length, but you will be able to hear the full Aerial Love EP tomorrow. You can hear Surrender below, the third song to be lifted from the release following Aerial Love and Preach.
Listen: Daniel Johns – Surrender
Listen: triple j’s Matt and Alex interview Daniel Johns