Darren Hayes discusses Savage Garden split, says Daniel Jones’ departure was a “rug pulled out from underneath me”

"When someone does that to you and doesn't apologise... that's a pretty major betrayal. It affected my career. It affected my life"

Darren Hayes has opened up about Savage Garden‘s public split in 2001, disputing the suggestion that it was his decision to end the band he co-founded with bandmate Daniel Jones.

Hayes and Jones formed Savage Garden in Brisbane in 1993. They released their acclaimed self-titled debut in 1997, buoyed by singles like ‘To The Moon And Back’ and ‘Truly Madly Deeply’. The album led them to a record-breaking 10 wins at the 1997 ARIA Awards, taking home Best Album, Best Single, Best Group, Song of the Year and more.

Savage Garden released their second and final album, ‘Affirmation’, two years before they announced the band had come to an end.

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Yesterday (September 1), the former frontman appeared on The Kyle & Jackie O Show to promote recent single ‘All You Pretty Things’ and forthcoming solo album ‘Homosexual’. At one point, co-host Jackie O said that Hayes had left Savage Garden, at which point he swiftly interjected.

“Well, hang on, let me clarify that. Daniel left Savage Garden,” he replied. When asked about his experience of being in the group at the height of their fame, Hayes replied, “Loved it. The thing is, I would have been in that band forever.” Hayes was then asked if that meant he and Jones had been “supportive of each other”, to which Hayes responded, “No.”

“I was really supportive of him and loved the band. He absolutely hated the experience of being famous, and decided before the release of that second album that he didn’t want that life,” Hayes continued, echoing comments he made following the Savage Garden’s split about Jones’ dislike of fame contributing to the band’s end.

“Which is totally his right, but my experience of that band experience was that we got to the top of the mountain,” Hayes said. “A week before our ‘Affirmation’ album came out, we had the number one single around the world with ‘I Knew I Loved You’.

“And Daniel had a life crisis and decided that he didn’t want to do that anymore and we, meaning the management, whatever, we sort of had to convince him to just, like, ‘Could you just maybe tour the album and let’s just work this out later on?'”

Darren Hayes. Credit: James Reese
Darren Hayes. Credit: James Reese

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In October 2001, shortly after Savage Garden announced they were disbanding, Jones held a press conference in Brisbane, where he asserted that he was disappointed about the split, and that it had been Hayes who had chosen to end the band without consulting him in advance.

During yesterday’s interview, Hayes said that Jones’ departure was a “huge rug pulled out from underneath me”, adding that he wasn’t able to speak publicly at the time due to contractual reasons. Addressing Jones’ 2001 press comments, Hayes called them a “stupid thing to say”, as it led to the impression that it had been Hayes’ decision to end the band.

After announcing the band’s end, Hayes embarked on a solo career, releasing his first album under his own name (‘Spin’) in 2002, supported by lead single ‘Insatiable.’ Jones remained involved in the music industry for a time, building his own studio, launching a record label and collaborating with other artists. He later exited the industry, going into real estate.

“I don’t want to speak for him and I have so much forgiveness now in my heart,” Hayes said during the interview. “Honestly, we’re not in each other’s lives, but I totally reserve anyone’s right to do whatever they want in their life. I don’t like the way he went about it but I’ve forgiven him.”

When asked if he and Jones ever spoke, Hayes said they did not. “I mean, when someone does that to you and doesn’t apologise… that’s a pretty major betrayal. It affected my career. It affected my life.”

However, Hayes went on to say that he valued Jones’ contribution to Savage Garden’s success. “I am not greater than the sum of the parts. I’m totally aware that what Daniel and I had was lightning in a bottle. I give him so much respect for his equal part in what we did.”

‘Homosexual’, Hayes’ fifth solo album, is set to arrive on October 7 via his own Powdered Sugar Productions label. The follow-up to 2011’s ‘Secret Codes And Battleships’ has been previewed with four singles so far: ‘Let’s Try Being In Love’, ‘Do You Remember?’, ‘Posion Blood’ and ‘All You Pretty Things’.

In January next year, Hayes will kick off his ‘Do You Remember?’ arena tour, celebrating 25 years since he rose to prominence as one half of Savage Garden, with shows in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

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