Daniel Johns claims he was pressured to go on tour with Silverchair despite his secret health battle and recalls the moment he knew he was gravely ill during a Big Day Out performance
Daniel Johns has revealed he was pressured to tour at the height of his fame with Silverchair even though he was gravely ill.
In the lengthy Facebook post this week, Johns, now 42, recalled how he was diagnosed with reactive arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that gave him crippling pain, just as the band was launching their fourth album Diorama.
At the time of developing the painful condition, Johns was suffering from anxiety over how the record would be received as well as anorexia.
Needing a friend: Daniel Johns says he was pressured to tour at the height of his fame with Silverchair even though he was gravely ill. Pictured here during Silverchair’s performance at the Big Day Out in 2002
‘My immune system combined to attack me,’ he said.
‘I really needed a friend back then. Instead, I had disgruntled colleagues.’
Inserting a trigger warning on the post, he continued: ‘This gets dark but I feel safe sharing it here.
‘When my phone would ring it was usually someone asking me if I was ready to tour again.’
He recalled how one member of the Silverchair team even questioned if he was sick at all.
‘Maybe I just didn’t want to promote the album and I should be made to tour,’ Johns said. ‘Like who the f**k wanted Diorama to be more successful than I did?’
Struggling: Johns said the first sign of health trouble began while Silverchair were playing at the Big Day Out music festival in 2002
He went on to say that his debilitating condition created feelings of guilt.
‘At this moment I realised that the Silverchair machine was more of a business than family…I felt personally responsible for people in our crew who couldn’t work because of my illness.’
Johns said the first sign of health trouble began while Silverchair were playing at the Big Day Out music festival in 2002.
A video of the performance shows Johns finding it hard to maintain a high level of energy as he moves around the stage while he was suffering unbearable joint pain.
Hit-makers: John says today that at the time of his illness Silverchair were more of ‘a business than a family’ Pictured bandmates Chris Joannou (centre) and Ben Gillies (right)
‘I struggled to make it through those shows,’ he said.
For those years he was advised to suppress his feelings and not discuss his trauma.
‘I understand everyone was under pressure…but this was too much for me. I was 22,’ he said.
Diorama became Silverchair’s fastest selling album in Australia, going triple platinum and Johns has now made a complete recovery.
FutureNow, Johns second solo album, will be released in April 22.
Truth telling style: Johns – pictured here – says that for years he was advised to suppress his feelings and not discuss his trauma, ‘the truth is beautiful…I’m not resentful, I understand everyone was under pressure…but this was too much for me, I was 22’