The revelation comes in the premiere episode of Johns’ three-part docuseries Inside The Mind Of Daniel Johns, titled ‘Reclaim Your Art’ which will land on YouTube at 6pm AEST (9am BST) on Monday August 22. A press release for the premiere also promises that it will see Johns “break his silence” on the nervous breakdown he faced over recent years, as well as his struggles with self-medication and subsequent stint in rehab.
Ahead of the episode’s release, Johns shared a preview in the form of a quote touching on his failed attempt to reunite Silverchair (albeit not formally under that moniker) for a song on ‘FutureNever’. He stressed that his aim in reaching out to his former bandmates – drummer Ben Gillies and bassist Chris Joannou – came “not out of necessity”, but because he “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 once I’d established myself as an artist outside of Silverchair,” Johns continued. “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.’”
Elsewhere in the ‘Reclaim Your Art’ episode of Inside The Mind Of Daniel Johns, the Australian singer expresses gratitude over the recent success of ‘FutureNever’. In his home country, the album – which arrived back in April via BMG – peaked at Number One on the ARIA Albums Chart, and went on to break records as the longest-reigning Top Two, Top Three, Top Five and Top Ten Australian release of 2022.
Such is especially notable because Johns was unable to promote the album itself in the weeks leading up to its release. As he explained in another preview quote from the docuseries: “I haven’t been there at all to promote ‘FutureNever’, so for it to become the chart success it has is testament to the people who have been supporting me and I’m eternally grateful for the love.
“For probably the first time in my life, I’ve sacrificed the art for both my physical and mental health. 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.”
Just under a month before ‘FutureNever’ was released (on March 23), Johns was involved in a car accident caused by drunk driving. The incident led Johns to admit himself into a rehabilitation centre, and he later pleaded guilty to a charge of high-range drink-driving. He avoided jail time when he faced a court in July, when he was ordered to complete 10 months of an intensive corrections sentence.
In a public statement released shortly thereafter his guilty plea in April, Johns wrote: “I take full responsibility for my actions on the evening of March 23rd, I am deeply remorseful and I am working every day to make amends.”
In a four-star review of ‘FutureNever’, NME’s Andrew Trendell praised the album for the way it “shows off [Johns’] range”, writing: “While there’s a lot of Daniel Johns at his best here, this isn’t ‘The Best Of Daniel Johns’. There’s rock bravado throughout, but you won’t get a whiff of ‘Frogstomp’. Styles and eras clash, but ‘Neon Ballroom’ it ain’t. There is, however, a vulnerability, curiosity and adventure that makes ‘FutureNever’ unmistakably Johns. That kid who once asked you to wait for tomorrow is living in it today.”
Following tonight’s premiere of ‘Reclaim Your Art’, subsequent episodes of Inside The Mind Of Daniel Johns will be released at 6pm AEST (9am BST) on Mondays. The second episode, ‘The Silver Chair’, will launch on August 29, while the finale, ‘FutureNever (Forever)’, premieres on September 5.