When Silverchair announced their “indefinite hiatus” over a year ago, it was widely interpreted as a nice way for the band to let fans know they were splitting up.
An idea that was reinforced when the band’s various members began turning their attentions to a variety of other projects. Drummer Ben Gillies began work on a solo album under the moniker of Bento, who release their debut album Diamond Days today, and frontman Daniel Johns wrote and released a symphonic track for a Qantas ad, while bassist Chris Joannou has turned his attentions to brewing his own line of boutique beer.
All this activity has left fans believing that there was a good chance 2009’s Young Modern would be the last Silverchair record for them to enjoy.
But in an upcoming interview with Tone Deaf, Gillies has hinted at the possibility of a reunion and a new album from the beloved rock trio.
The band were in the middle of recording when the decision came for them to part ways, and Gilles has said of the unreleased album “it will happen one day.”
“We started working on a record and it definitely felt like we hit a bit of a brick wall and it was kind of like we just need a bit of distance from it to move forward,” he explained.
“Over the years we’ve taken a lot of big breaks between records in order to keep our inspiration and freshness inthe band. You go out and get re-inspired and come back refreshed. I think a lot of bands bust their guts working record to record and I don’t think that works so well.”“We could have come out with an album that we weren’t happy with and then break up legitimately… but we’re all happy where we are so one day, one day it will happen.”
“It’s like a relationship, a marriage between a lot of people, personalities and opinions and we just needed to take a step back away from the band and do something else for the time being,” he added.
“We could have come out with an album that we weren’t happy with and then break up legitimately only to turn around and say ‘oh well, that was a mistake’, but we’re all happy where we are so one day, one day it will happen.”
The fact that they have an album’s worth of unreleased songs to work with would make it seem like putting out a new record wouldn’t take too much effort. But Gillies says that isn’t Silverchair’s approach.
“Look at “Without You” from Diorama, that song was actually around in Neon Ballroom but on the same token you move along pretty quickly so for a whole bunch of songs it could be a different thing. When we come back to Silverchair we might just be like ‘fuck it, let’s start again’, how longs a piece of string,” he said.
“Those guys are like my brothers from another mother and there are a thousand and one different elements that come into it, and we’ve been doing it for so long from such a young age that even if we’re like, completely freaking over each other we can still say we love each other and this band.”
The ex-Silverchair drummer’s new outfit finds Gillies coming out from the drum stool to take centre stage on vocals under the solo moniker of Bento, with their debut album, Diamond Days out today.
“It’s an album of self-discovery, of finding myself,” says Gillies. “I’ve always written songs and over the years I’ve kept a log of every idea. It’s exciting to finally see some of these ideas fully realised.”“We started working on a record and it definitely felt like we hit a bit of a brick wall and it was kind of like we just need a bit of distance from it to move forward,”
The results of those sketches have become the 12 tracks that form Bento’s debut, co-produced by Ben Gillies along with Eric J Dubowsky, whose CV includes work for Faker and Art Vs. Science. Bento features an array of Gillies’ musical mates, including Papa Vs Pretty guitarist Thomas Rawle.
Speaking on life post-Silverchair, Gillies says: “Being part of something as awesome and mammoth as Silverchair required so much of myself and at times there was very little energy left for other things.”
“Now I feel as if I’m freed up and can satisfy my own creative output and get about doing what makes sense for me at this point. It’s been a while in the making and I’m excited to finally share it,” says Gillies. “Whatever happens with Silverchair in the future will be exciting but this is my baby… I see this as a long-term career move.”
The debut album from Ben Gillies new project Bento, Diamond Days, was released on Friday. You can pick up a copy of the album here.