Daniel Johns
Daniel Johns

Daniel Johns Announces Return With Art Exhibition and Docuseries, Says He’s Been “Processing Pain and Guilt”

Daniel Johns has announced a pair of projects. The first is an “immersive art exhibition” that will document the former Silverchair leader’s life and career through a comprehensive collection of personal memorabilia; the second is a three-part docuseries titled Inside the Mind of Daniel Johns.

The series’ first episode will premiere on Johns’ YouTube channel at 6pm tonight (22nd August). According to a press release, Johns will “break his silence” on the recent tumult in his personal life, including a “nervous breakdown” and a “struggle with self-medication” that led to a stint in rehab and a conviction for high-range drink driving.

Watch trailer for Daniel Johns’ new exhibition and docuseries

Today’s press release includes a quote from Johns taken from the series’ first episode, in which he addresses not being present to promote latest solo album, 2022’s FutureNever, due to his time in recovery.

“For probably the first time in my life, I’ve sacrificed the art for both my physical and mental health,” he says. “I had a nervous breakdown, I really fucked up — I’ve been processing pain and guilt. I’m going on the record now to talk about the dark but also the light. This is a healing journey, but I also need to talk about the music because it’s the only thing that pulled me through.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Johns reveals that he asked former Silverchair bandmates Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou to appear on FutureNever, but they turned down the offer. “I asked them because I wanted to make it clear that I don’t have an issue with them as people – I just didn’t want to play under the banner of Silverchair,” he explains.

“Once I’d established myself as an artist outside of Silverchair, I asked them to come again and then when they didn’t want to. I didn’t care. It was like, ‘I asked you, it’s cool, I’ll play the drums with spatulas.'”

Johns’ Past, Present and FutureNever exhibition is set to open at the Rialto in Melbourne this Friday, 26th August and run for two weeks.  The exhibition contains a “treasure trove” of Johns’ personal memorabilia, including original Frogstomp lyric sheets and a display of his guitars, along with murals and original paintings from Australian artists – including Johns –  and a range of interactive installations.

In a statement, Johns called the exhibition “the most ambitious project I’ve ever been a part of.” He continued, “For 45 minutes, people can physically time-travel back to my childhood and into the FutureNever in a way that provides a greater insight into my creative process and personal life than any live concert could ever hope to achieve. It’s literally a lifetime of work that has gone into it and I’m prouder of it than anything I’ve ever done.”

Tickets for Johns’ Past, Present and FutureNever exhibition are on sale now. A portion of proceeds from every ticket will go to his philanthropic endeavour, the FutureNeverFund, which has a focus on mental health, racial inequality, diversity in the arts and animal welfare.

Last month, Johns was handed a community-based, 10-month intensive corrections order after he pleaded guilty to high range drink driving in April following a collision with another vehicle the month prior. In a statement shortly after the admission, Johns said he took “full responsibility” for his actions that evening and that he was “deeply remorseful” and “working every day to make amends.”

During the hearing, Johns’ lawyer, Bryan Wench, argued that Johns had been suffering from panic attacks and had been self-medicating with alcohol, explaining that he suffers from complex mental health issues stemming from his time as a teenage celebrity.

Johns voluntarily checked himself into rehab directly after the accident. At the time, he wrote on social media, “I’ve been self-medicating with alcohol to deal with my PTSD, anxiety and depression. I know this is not sustainable or healthy.”

FutureNever, Johns’ first solo album since 2015’s Talk, arrived in April. Released without any singles in the lead-up to its arrival, the album features collaborations with the likes of Peking Duk, What So Not, Moxie Raia and Van Dyke Parks.

Further Reading

Daniel Johns Opens Up About Health Struggles Around The Time Of Silverchair’s ‘Diorama’

Silverchair Drummer Ben Gillies Releases Solo Single ‘On The Stereo’

Daniel Johns Launches “No Filter” Documentary Podcast ‘Who Is Daniel Johns?’

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