Silverchair: Interview with Chris Joannou

Silverchair: Interview with Chris Joannou

from volume 02 issue 07 // Stephanie Bolling

Interview with Chris Joannou
Words: Stephanie Bolling
Photo: Nabil Elderkin

December 1, 2007
House of Blues, Orlando

Raising eyebrows once again, the boys from down under are back on the US charts with their 5th album Young Modern. Having sold over six million albums worldwide, Silverchair is finishing up the last leg of their US tour, a first in almost 9 years. Before they’re back on the road again, bassist Chris Joannou took a few moments out of his day to chat with us.

REAX: How does it feel to be Australian record breakers with five #1 albums, beating out INXS, AC/DC, Cold Chisel & Midnight Oil? Does that pressure you to continue succeeding?
Chris Joannou: We have always done it in the manner where we make the records we want to make, not make records to win awards; they come unexpectedly. It was pretty overwhelming the other night. It’s amazing that we are even in the same category as those bands.

REAX: This is your first US tour since 1999. Are you looking forward to any certain cities or venues?
CJ: The whole thing… really. It’s been so long since we’ve toured all these places so it’s like the first time again.

REAX: Since you weren’t able to tour the US for “Diorama,” are you giving it due concert play alongside “Young Modern?”
CJ: We’ve been playing a fair bit of Diorama. Someone over there said to us that Diorama kind of has a cult status, which is really cool because we felt it had disappeared and faded away.

REAX: Each album has been an evolution from the last. “Young Modern” is remarkably different, were you trying to experiment with your sound or does it evolve naturally?
CJ: We had a pretty clear picture of how we wanted the record to sound when we started. I think our sound naturally evolves through us trying to push ourselves harder each time and trying to and think of the best stuff we can. You go on that journey and experiment. That’s when you discover new things. YM is a little simpler than Diorama, but still as complex underneath with simple pop song elements.

REAX: When you started writing and playing the songs for “YM,” the album title was already fixed. Do you feel that made it easier or more difficult when creating the tracks?
CJ: It was somewhat easier because album titles are always that last thing you try to piece to the puzzle. Sometimes when you record, the songs are still fresh and they evolve into something completely different on the road and you end up wishing you recorded them that way. We had been playing most of these songs for at least a year before we actually recorded them so they had a feel of a band that had been playing them for ages. We got out of the city for a while and rented this little house in the country and sat up in the lounge and played music all day.

REAX: Did self-funding “YM” a