Proving there’s no rest for the wicked, or the wickedly dressed, Empire Of The Sun’s Luke Steele has revealed he has a new collaboration with Silverchair singer Daniel Johns in the works, with the longtime friends set to release something “inspired” before the end of the year.
Speaking with Pedestrian.TV last week promoting the new album from Empire Of The Sun, the former Sleepy Jackson frontman revealed that he is close to finishing a full-length album with good friend Daniel Johns which is said to be loosely “inspired by African music”, with the result “sounding a bit like The Clash, [a]bit Talking Heads.”
Steele reveals his excitement of working with his longtime friend, saying it’s “good to do some tougher, kind of hard-edge kind of stuff”.
News of a collaboration between the two Aussie music bigwigs began back in 2008 when Steele revealed in an interview with Triple J’s Richard Kingsmill that the Silverchair frontman and himself had spend several weeks in Newcastle recording at Johns’ home studio.
The project, which has never seen the light of day since, “kind of started out a White Album thing because we don’t have a band, it was acoustics,” Steele revealed. “And from there it kind of went a bit haywire. It’s pretty pop. I guess it’s quite low down, there’s country songs…”
There’s no word whether the work from 2008 could be the same material released through the current collaboration, though Steele had already pondered a name for the duo five years ago, recalling “Dan is William Hathaway and I’m Walter Palmer so it’s going to be [called] Hathaway and Palmer.” …said to be loosely “inspired by African music”, with the result “sounding a bit like The Clash, [a]bit Talking Heads.”
Pop, country, Beatles-inspired? Whatever the collaboration between Steele and Johns is, it will surely be a solid return for the Silverchair singer who announced the Aussie rock band would be entering ‘extended hiatus’ mode almost two years ago.
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Alongside this new collaboration with Steele, Johns will also be appearing on the sophomore album for Melbourne hip-hop artist 360, with the MC dropping a conspicuous clue that Johns will provide guest vocals on a tune called ‘Impossible’.
Revealing a teaser video hinting at the collaboration, 360 introduces an audio snippet of ‘Impossible’, writing “guess who is singing this part?” later telling Triple J that it’s the voice of “one of Australia’s best singers and songwriters,” and the easy-to-unpack hint that “their name reminds me of Golden Table.”
Remaining relatively quiet on the music scene over the past few years, Johns eventually broke his silence with several collaborations with Australian airline Qantas, beginning with ‘Atlas’ a symphonic instrumental he penned for an ad campaign updating their “Still Call Australia Home” campaign.
Johns then offered a day’s worth of mentorship to the winners of the Qantas Spirit Of Youth Australia (SOYA) awards, with Sydney’s Caitlin Park, and runners-up Hayden Calnin and Courtney Barnett scoring an exclusive audience with the Silverchair musician.
Luke Steele, on the other hand, has been anything but quiet over the past year, having just dropped an epic-scaled, otherworldly, costume-laden clip Empire of the Sun’s new single ‘Alive’. Taken from their upcoming sophomore album Ice On The Dune, the video shows Steele and collaborator Nick Littlemore donning extravagant tribal costumes coming to the aid of an unconscious wolf-woman and injecting her with the essence of life, chronicling the narrative of lyrics “lovin’ every minute ‘cos you make me feel so alive”.
The former Sleepy Jackson singer alongside his PNAU co-star Nick Littlemore have also been announced as part of the Sydney Vivid LIVE 2013 lineup, which follows on from their appearance at this years Splendour in the Grass festival. The duo will hopefully be touring Ice On The Dune around the country closer to its release in June.