Rock is a music of the young, but rarely have its purveyors been as appallingly fresh faced as the lads in the Australian trio silverchair. Singer-guitarist Daniel Johns and his bandmates, bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies, were 15 when they recorded their debut album, Frogstomp, a brutally grim blast of teenage angst that went double platinum. While they’re waiting to see if the just-released Freak Show can do the same, the band edges ever closer to adulthood. In fact, now that Johns is 17 (he’s due to graduate from high school next summer), he’s even beginning to show signs of, gulp, boring maturity.
1. Have you ever considered writing a book called I Was a Teenage Rock Star?
No. I might write a book later on, but it won’t be called that.
2. How does it feel to make more money than your parents?
It’s one of the better sides to being in a band. It’s good to be able to afford a car.
3. Have you ever heard The Flamin’ Groovies?
No. But I haven’t heard of a lot of bands people talk about.
4. You’re young, good-looking, and rich. What are you so bummed about?
We’ve always liked really dark, aggressive music. When I write lyrics, I just like to focus on the negative side of what’s happened to us. We’re not interested in happy pop music; we just wanna write about negative issues.
5. Have you ever stomped a frog?
No, I haven’t done that. We got the title off the back of a ’60s pop compilation record. I forget the name of the guy, but he did this instrumental called ”Frogstomp.” We just thought it was really dumb, so we figured it was a good album name.
6. Is there life after high school?
I think that’s when life begins. As soon as we finish, we’re just gonna focus on music.
7. Now that you’re a star, is there any point to going to college?
I’ve never been interested in going to college. I always said once I finish school I’ll concentrate on doing what I wanna do, and what I wanna do you don’t have to go to college for.
8. Have you ever thought about getting a Mohawk?
I have thought it would be cool to have a Mohawk, but I’m not gonna get one.
9. Is Paul Hogan’s [Crocodile Dundee] career over?
I dunno. He’s a legend. Every time we go to America and people find out we’re from Australia, they go, ”Crocodile Dundee, man.” His career’s never gonna be over for us — we’re always gonna hear about him.
10. Will you leave home when you turn 18?
I’ll probably wait until I’m 19. I want to enjoy one more year of getting my washing done for me.