For close to 30 years now, Daniel Johns has been one of the most recognisable, memorable, beloved, and downright enigmatic figures in all of Australian music. From rising to fame as the frontman of Silverchair at a young age, to various other musical projects such as The Dissociatives, DREAMS, or his solo work, Johns has always maintained both a prolific work ethic and an air of mystery. Now, a new podcast hopes to let fans behind the curtain somewhat.
Launching today, new Spotify Original podcast Who is Daniel Johns? aims to dive deep into the life and times of “one of the most successful, controversial and mysterious artists in Australian music history”. Given his reluctance to interviews, it’s a rare opportunity for the revered musician to tell his own story in his own words as he addresses the tough questions that have surrounded his 27 year career.
With each episode introduced by actor Guy Pearce, the weekly podcast features production from Kaitlyn Sawrey, Amelia Chappelow, and Frank Lopez, and a soundtrack of yet-to-be-released music from Johns.
With five episodes set for release, a series of bonus episodes will follow, which sees Johns engaged in one-on-one conversations with key figures, collaborators, and luminaries in his life, including former wife Natalie Imbruglia, Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, Tom DeLonge of Blink-182, and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins
“I can see you at 15-16 years old singing on stage singing in the Australian sun many summers ago,” Corgan says to Johns at one point. “If you’d asked me ‘You think this kid’s got a future?’ I would have said ’No chance in hell’.”
The podcast’s first episode – released today – sees listeners able to experience the personal story of Johns’ life, focusing on the formative events that shaped his musical journey, how fame affected both his personal life and his artistic ability, and the very notion of a podcast venturing into his private life.
“I’m happy to do it because I think it’s a good vessel to release art,” Johns says of the podcast. “Above all things, I just want to make art, and I would really love for people to hear it. And the only way to get people to hear my art is through vessels like this because I don’t want to perform on stage.”