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Ben Gillies

Ben Gillies
Ben was born on Wednesday,
October 24th, 1979. He is 23
years old presently.
To understand the "wild boy"
of silverchair, perhaps you have
to understand where he comes
from and what he has lived
through. Ben has his mother's
smile. Annette Gillies (his mum)
she worked as a cafeteria lady
at Newcastle High School. It's not
known if she still works there.
Ben's father, David, is currently
a plumber. He even has an older
sister named Kristy. Unfortunately,
he doesn't have any pets, but a
long time ago, he mentioned that
his sister had two parakeets.
An interesting thing to note is that
the Gillies family is part of the
Surfrider Foundation, which
promotes clean ocean waters.
silverchair covered the Radio
Birdman song "Surfin' Bird" for the
Surfrider Foundation's MOM CD
back in 1996. Ben's childhood is full of interesting excitement. His funloving
nature is pretty abundant as well as the signs of what will be the musical history
behind silverchair's drummer!

First, a pretty pointless fact...Ben used to have braces when he was little. Who cares? He also used to be a fast bowler (a position in cricket) and he played local cricket with Daniel. On to his musical history...Ben said in an interview, "I started playing when I was about eight years old and bought my first drum kit for $75. It wasn't too bad and I went on to sell it for $380, so I got a pretty good deal. I got lessons for a few years and learnt all the technical stuff. When we started getting into Led Zeppelin, I used to try to copy the simpler John Bonham parts on their records." (The drum kit was acquired from an older teenager across the street). He had drum lessons for 5 years with two different drum teachers. After Ben started getting into drums, he was a quad drummer in "The Marching Koalas," a combined high school marching band in 1993. "It was good fun but those drums were pretty hard to carry," Ben recalls! Many people also don't know that Ben also learned how to play guitar and bass. In fact, he taught Chris how to play bass in 3 months! As Ben reached 11 or 12 years old, he was nicknamed "Short Elvis" for obvious reasons...he was short and he listened to Elvis! His other nickname was "Gillies." As for school, he was a quite excelled student! Although his most hated subject was English ("I hate reading. It sucks! It's so boring," he said on February 4th, the day Freak Show was released), he took classes like advanced maths and marine biology. He dropped out of advanced maths after silverchair started touring.

Chris Joannou
On a wonderful Saturday, November 10th, 1979, a bassist for one of Australia's prized bands was born. Christopher John Joannou (and you pronounce his last name Joe-an-you) is presently 19 years old. He currently lives in Newcastle, Australia with his family in a house with a red brick garage. Who cares...
    Chris' family consists of his mother named Sue, father David (who owns a laundary and dry cleaning shop), and two sisters, one of which is Chris' twin. The Joannou's now have two dogs. One is a german shepherd named Khan. Quite recently (as in 1999), they aquired a pug.
    Chris' childhood is quite plain. He and band member to be Ben Gillies lived (and still live) on the same street since they were two years old. When he was very little, Ben and Daniel told Chris an orange crayon was a piece of cheese, so poor Chris actually ate it. What a surprize it was when he found out it wasn't cheese! He also used to wear glasses...if it really matters. If you know that Daniel played trumpet, you'd be interested to know that Chris played trumpet as well, before he played bass!
    The musical history of Chris' life begins with Ben. Ben, Daniel, and Tobin Finanne, who were already engaged in being part of a garage band (Innocent Criminals), needed a bassist. The three boys asked Chris to be their bassist. However, Chris didn't have a bass so he bought one off his longtime friend, Ben Gillies, for $100. Ben did teach Chris some of the basics. "I pretty much started when I joined the band. I used to go around to this guy's house and he'd teach me stuff," Chris recalls. In a total of three months, he learned how to play bass.
    The band gained a new name due to the bassist's song request mistake. Tobin had relocated to England while the Innocent Criminals entered the Pick Me demo contest, hosted by Triple J...and won. They were signed to Murmur, the new Australian division of Sony Music Inc., but the band needed a new name, due to the urging of the record company. So, one day the guys were requesting songs on the radio and they told Chris to write down "Sliver" (by Nirvana) and "Chair" (Berlin Chair is the full name of the You Am I) and instead, Chris wrote "silverchair"...a band name that would be recognized around the world a few months.
    Frogstomp came out a success and Chris was the bassist who gave each song depth and "tightness" (that's what Ben says). Many things were learned about Chris during this time. Musically, he simply used G+L guitars with Ampeg amps. Some interviewers asked him if he wrote lyrics and if so, why they weren't included on Frogstomp. Chris replied that he did write lyrics, but they weren't considered "the silverchair style" according to Ben and Daniel. His musical preferences were and still are Led Zepplin, Sausage, You Am I, Korn,  Primus, Unwritten Law, Bachmarket, Deftones, and Bob Marley, and Ammonia. Now, on to the pointless facts (that ironically will come up again two years later when Freak Show is released)...he gained the reputation of being the quiet member of silverchair. "You vocal chords only allow me 2 hours of talking a day so I kind of have to limit it,"Chris said in an interview. If he wasn't in silverchair, he said he'd probably be a motor mechanic. At the start of silverchair's spiraling career, he acquired his dream car- a 1968 Ford Mustang. It's blue with a white interior for anyone that cares. Many silverchair fans (as well as early articles) remarked about Chris' familiar bass-walk and long, wavy brown hair that he would swing forward and then fly backwards. But in January of 1996, he shaved it all off. Daniel said, "He's rebelling against metal. So, he's shaven his head to avoid a metal kind of image." Interviewers seemed to ask Chris light questions, mostly about school and what he liked to do. They oddly did not ask him technical questions about the music, as they did Daniel and Ben. Speaking of school (or after school for that matter), Chris once said, "As for college, I don't know. Probably get that high school certificate and run," which would be a very true statement later on.

 Daniel Johns
was born on Sunday, April 22nd, 1979 and is currently 20 years old. He lives in Newcastle, Australia in a white house with a large porch. Inside his house is a very "country-like" atmosphere, with wooden floors, wooden cabinets, and glass figurines. His room contains a lot of guitars ("23" as of 1997, but I'm pretty sure Daniel has obtained a lot more since then). Outside his room is another room with a television and exercise equipment. These are random, pointless facts.

    Daniel's family consists of his mother (who once kept track of silverchair's careers when they were underage), his father (who Daniel has "borrowed" many records from. Daniel's father currently works at a fruit market), his brother named Heath (he must be about 17 or 18 years old now), and his sister named Chelsea (11 years old). Heath is also in a band and I've heard that he's into basketball and rugby. It was also once said that Heath and Daniel share a bedroom, but I don't know what their "living status" is at present. Daniel's brother is into bands like Alice In Chains and Green Day, as far as I know. He also recently turned vegetarian. Chelsea takes care of Daniel's precious dog, Sweep, when he's away on tour.
    Which brings us to the story of Sweep. "I found my dog in a garbage bag along with some dead puppies. There were three that were alive, so I took her home, fixed her up and now she lives like a queen. With animals it is different to when you're with people, as animals don't like you because you've got money or because they can get something out of you. They either like you or they don't and they can feel love a lot more. You don't have to tell them that you love them - they can just feel it and they know it. Me and my dog are best friends," says Daniel. In fact, Sweep played a roll during the recording of Neon Ballroom, silverchair's third album. She barks somewhere in Steam Will Rise (Track 12). Trivia fact- Sweep misbehaved with Nick Launay during the mixing of Neon Ballroom. Another odd fact is that Daniel has some "interesting" pictures of Sweep in his wallet.
    Past pets Daniel has had include a border collie, a goldfish that died in two days, and a mexican walking fish. That's a type of lizard for those of you who don't know.
    Johnsie or "Jasper" (those are two of Daniel's nicknames....In an interview Daniel said, "But I used to get called Jasper because everyone thought I looked like Caspar the ghost!") had a good childhood. Very little is known about his childhood, though, other than a few things. First, he used to play trumpet in the school band. (Pictured here) When Daniel was younger, he fell over and a watering can went in his mouth and he had to get stitches. This is another pointless fact. He used to have braces...even more pointless, but many poeple have remarked about how perfect his teeth are. His fondest memory of being a kid is during Christmas and being surrounded by people, watching him opening his presents.