While Daniel Johns, the former frontman for beloved Australian act Silverchair, has released his first new material since the band’s split over a year ago – penning a symphonic instrumental for a new Qantas ad campaign to update their age-old “Still Call Australia Home” campaign.
Now Johns isn’t the only member from the Silverchair camp to get back into music, with news that Johns’ former bandmate/childhood mate/co-founder Ben Gillies has announced a new musical project and album.
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 a debut album, Diamond Days, already completed and due for release later this year.
“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.”
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.
Speaking of sharing, this morning Bento unveiled the title track and lead single of the Bento record in a new video (which you can watch in the banner up top), featuring Gillies singing his heart out against a tinkling piano-led pop/rock anthem.
Speaking to The Herald Sun, Gillies admitted that he was nervous about making the official move to being a frontman. “The other scary thing was singing,” he admits. “I did actually do a couple of practices in front of the mirror before we shot the video to see what I looked like singing.”
Just don’t call Bento a side project, “whatever happens with Silverchair in the future will be exciting but this is my baby… I see this as a long-term career move,” Gillies says.
‘Diamond Days’, the single, will be officially released Monday 17 September, while the full album is scheduled for release on October 26.