Also, in the LIVE story about Silverchair, the day of the band's local performance was incorrectly reported. The Australian group will perform at Hammerjacks on Tuesday.
The Sun regrets the errors.
By almost any accounting, Silverchair would seem to be Australia's band of the year. Not only did the group's debut album, "Frogstomp," enter the Australian charts at No. 1, but Silverchair is up for five Aria Awards (the Australian equivalent of the Grammy), including Best Group, Best Album and Best Single.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
Things have been going pretty well for the band on this side of the globe, too, where "Frogstomp" went Top-10 and has so far clocked more than a million sales. Add in the fact that the trio's members are just 16, and it would be reasonable to expect these guys to be somewhat giddy with success.
Instead, they're "stunned," says guitarist Daniel Johns. "We're pretty surprised that it's gone as far as it has, really. We just don't really care if we get big or anything. We'll just keep doing what we're doing, as long as it's still fun."
Success clearly hasn't gone to this band's head. Ask Johns about the band's profile Down Under, and he shrugs away the question. "We're not really big in Australia," he says, over the phone from a tour stop in Detroit. "We're just another band."
And a lucky one at that. As Johns tells it, he and his mates -- bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies -- started out as three kids just wanting to make some noise. "We started out playing, like, Sabbath covers and Zeppelin covers," he says. "Deep Purple and stuff like that. And then we got more into heavy stuff like Tool and Helmet and the Rollins Band." Despite its sound, Silverchair didn't take the most aggressive route to marketing its music and did relatively little gigging back then. "We did play pubs, but we didn't ever really have crowds," he says, laughing. "We never played to more than, like, five people. Just a few drunk people sitting down, watching you play Zeppelin covers."
So how'd they make it to the top? Pure luck. "We won a competition, and we got to record our song and do a film clip for it," Johns explains. "The song started getting played, film clip got played, and the record company saw it. And we got signed up."
Of course, some critics in this country have suggested that Silverchair's sound bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Pearl Jam. Or, as Robert Christgau put it, the band sounds "almost exactly like Pearl Jam."
"We don't really think we sound very much like Pearl Jam," counters Johns. "Maybe 'Tomorrow' sounds a little like Pearl Jam, but the rest of the songs don't sound anything like 'em, really. But it doesn't really bother us, the comparisons we get, because everyone sounds like someone, and we just happened to get compared to Pearl Jam. I guess we've just got to live with it.
"We don't really pay much attention to it. The only thing we pay attention to is the gigs. As long as the gigs are fun, it doesn't really matter."
When: Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Call: (410) 481-7328 for tickets, (410) 659-7625 for information
To hear excerpts from Silverchair's debut release, "Frogstomp," call Sundial at (410) 783-1800 and enter the four-digit code 6109. For other local Sundial numbers, see the Sundial directory on Page 2A.