Daniel Johns Responds To Ben Gillies & Chris Joannou's 'Australian Story': 'Here Are The Facts'

25 September 2023 | 2:19 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I’ve got it wrong please provide the evidence or kindly please stop the unhelpful speculation."

Daniel Johns

Daniel Johns (Credit: Luke Eblen)

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Silverchair vocalist and solo artist Daniel Johns has addressed his former bandmates, Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou, and their Australian Story special, A Silver Lining, as the documentary was pulled from ABC iView.

A Silver Lining, split into two episodes, won’t be added to ABC iView, with part one, which aired last Monday, removed from the streaming service over the weekend. Part two will play on the ABC tonight, but that’s viewers’ last and only chance to watch it.

Over the weekend, The Daily Telegraph reported that Johns – who wasn’t interviewed in the two Australian Story program – and his music industry brother Heath, who is in charge of the singer’s business affairs, allegedly permitted Silverchair songs to be used on the ABC, but not for its streaming service, iView.

Addressing the growing speculation head-on, Daniel Johns took to Instagram yesterday (24 September) to clear the air and share the facts.

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Australian Story reached out to me via my team ‘as a courtesy’ on Aug 11 to let me know that they were doing a story on Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou,” Johns wrote in the Instagram caption alongside an old screengrab of himself appearing on the ABC.

Johns stated that he “was and remain incredibly supportive of them telling their story” and continued, “I was asked at the end of filming to be interviewed about their contribution to the band and although I wished them all the best, I respectfully declined for one reason.”

Johns wrote that he hadn’t read the contents of the book Gillies and Joannou are promoting, Love & Pain, and claimed that he asked “on many occasions to read the book but haven’t been sent a copy”. As a result, he felt “uncomfortable being interviewed to help promote it.”

“I was later asked by ABC TV via Silverchair’s label Sony Music Australia to clear 7 songs for iView, (most of which were composed solely by me) to soundtrack a 2 Episode series,” Johns wrote. One instance he was asked about was using Ana’s Song as his former bandmates discussed his experiences with anorexia.

According to his post, the singer told Sony and ABC that he would be “open” to approving all songs, “provided I received a copy of the book to ensure I wasn’t having my songs used to promote something I had no visibility on.” He claimed that Gillies and Joannou declined giving him a copy of Love & Pain to read, and thus, “That’s why the iView use was denied.”

Johns continued, “[Australian Story host] Leigh Sales posted on Sept 12 that the Australian Story would not be available on iView due to ‘rights issues’, she later deleted this post and ABC proceeded to feature the story on iView without a license in place.

“Sony reached out to have them take it down, it took ABC 3 days to remove it at which point most people had already viewed the story.

“I’ve also been affected by Silverchair rights not being approved, I re-recorded my own compositions for many applications including my podcast because the recordings were denied by another band member.”

Concluding the post, Johns wrote that he wishes his former bandmates “nothing but success and happiness”. “I have never sought to block their book, I merely asked to receive a copy in advance to fact check it. I was concerned about my personal health records being discussed; I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

“Everyone is tagged, if I’ve got it wrong please provide the evidence or kindly please stop the unhelpful speculation.”

You can watch part two of A Silver Lining on ABC at 8 pm tonight.

Love & Pain will be published by Hachette Australia on 27 September, with pre-orders available from the publisher’s website. Yesterday’s Instagram post is the first time Johns acknowledged the book.

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