Daniel Johns Announces Immersive Time-Travelling Art Exhibition, Breaks Silence On Rehab Stint & Silverchair Reunion Rumours!
Today Daniel Johns announces two new pillars in his ever-evolving ARIA #1 FutureNever multiverse – a ‘world first’ immersive event experience and a revealing new docuseries.
‘Past, Present & FutureNever’, a ground-breaking art experience, lands in Melbourne from 26 August – 9 October 2022. Exploring the height of ‘90s Australian grunge culture through to Johns’ history-making album ‘FutureNever’, the showcase is set to unlock the vault of personal memorabilia from the rockstar and introduce an array of experiential exhibits from the future.
“I can say without a hint of exaggeration that ‘Past, Present & FutureNever’ is the most ambitious project I’ve ever been a part of. For 45 minutes, people can physically time-travel back to my childhood and into the FutureNever in a way that provides a greater insight into my creative process and personal life than any live concert could ever hope to achieve. It’s literally a lifetime of work that has gone into it and I’m prouder of it than anything I’ve ever done.” – Daniel Johns
The announcement comes as episode one of ‘Inside the Mind of Daniel Johns,’ an intimate three-part docuseries premieres at 6pm AEST today on YouTube. Alongside announcing the arrival of ‘Past, Present & FutureNever,’ the revealing first episode sees Johns break his silence on his nervous breakdown, struggles with self-medication, rehab stint, his invitation to his former Silverchair bandmates to appear on album ‘FutureNever’ and his ultimate response to their rejection.
A quote from Daniel, about Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou declining to play on his latest FutureNever album, from this evening’s episode has been revealed today: “I asked them not out of necessity, I asked them because I wanted to make it clear that I don’t have an issue with them as people – I just didn’t want to play under the banner of Silverchair. Once I’d established myself as an artist outside of Silverchair. I asked them to come again and then when they didn’t want to, I didn’t care. It was like, ‘I asked you, it’s cool, I’ll play the drums with spatulas’.”
Daniel’s new #1 ARIA album ‘FutureNever’ (BMG) has broken chart records, becoming the longest-reigning Top 2, Top 3, Top 5 and Top 10 Australian release of 2022, all while he has been conspicuously absent from any promotion. The album has captivated the hearts of fans and critics alike, becoming the most critically acclaimed album in the career of Daniel Johns, the most ARIA-awarded artist of all time and also a Grammy, Emmy and multi-APRA winning composer.
Speaking on his absence during the album’s success in today’s episode, Daniel says: “I haven’t been there at all to promote ‘FutureNever’, so for it to become the chart success it has is testament to the people who have been supporting me and I’m eternally grateful for the love. For probably the first time in my life, I’ve sacrificed the art for both my physical and mental health. I had a nervous breakdown, I really f*cked up — I’ve been processing pain and guilt. I’m going on the record now to talk about the dark but also the light. This is a healing journey, but I also need to talk about the music because it’s the only thing that pulled me through.”
Arriving at a multi-level standalone showcase in Melbourne from 26 August – 9 October 2022, ‘Past, Present & FutureNever’ sees Australia’s most innovative record label BMG and award-winning exhibition creators Radio Velvet join forces with pioneering artist Johns to deliver a new experience defying convention and boundaries.
A journey steeped in grunge nostalgia, the exhibition begins in the teenage bedroom of Johns, exploring intimate musings from the artist’s adolescent diary, school reports, an extensive throwback wardrobe and original handwritten lyrics of global hits including ‘Freak’ and ‘Tomorrow’, before being whisked away to tomorrow and beyond.
In a takeover of Melbourne’s landmark Rialto skyscraper, the exhibition brings the creative genius of Daniel Johns to life, as his enchanting, and often haunting, vision is explored and curated through not only a treasure trove of memorabilia, but multiple interactive instalments including a custom DeLorean (aka ‘DanieLorean’) transformed by a ‘FutureNever’ soundscape synchronised with projection mapping and an eery live pianola experience.
Angus Kingsmill, Founder and Managing Director of Radio Velvet, the team behind some of Disney’s most creative collaborations for iconic brands including Marvel, Mickey Mouse and Star Wars, explains: “As a fan of Daniel’s musical genius for decades, I was stoked when he reached out personally to request that Radio Velvet bring his vision to life.”
“We have been privileged to work with the biggest entertainment properties on the planet in recent years, but this exhibition stands alone in terms of detail and storytelling. Our biggest, yet most personal, spectacular and immersive to-date.”
Speaking on the ambitious feat, award-winning Curator and Radio Velvet Creative Director, Eddie Zammit adds: “A trip to Newcastle to spend time with the Johns family led us to discover the pristine chronicle they had lovingly preserved for 30 years. It’s truly the most extensive archive of Australian music memorabilia we have ever seen!”
“Pairing this historic narrative with the infectious creativity of Daniel, alongside ground-breaking technology and special effects, has enabled us to morph fantasy and reality to create something truly special.”
“If you’ve only listened to a Daniel Johns song or album, you’ve only scratched the surface. Any good exhibition uncovers something new — this is no exception!”
A host of creative collaborators join Johns and Zammit on this journey, including mega mural artist Adnate with an emotional portrait of Johns looking to the future, yet reflecting on the ‘Frogstomp’ era through his eyes, and in-demand street artist Claire Foxton with a portrayal of a youthful Dan brimming with teen angst as he climbs the ladder in the music industry, along with work from Celeste Mountjoy, George Rose, Travis Price and more.
“Daniel’s creativity is limitless, his vision is simultaneously vast and laser focussed. This era is Daniel Johns at the peak of his powers and ‘Past, Present & FutureNever’ is a spectacularly ambitious statement from an artist who has broken every shackle the industry has dared place upon him. In a world where artists are being asked to truncate their vision to create social media soundbites, Daniel has dared to build a multi-level sensory experience that is equal part art exhibition and theme park. The team at BMG is beyond proud to partner with our pioneering friends at Radio Velvet to bring Dan’s technicolour vision to life — I promise you will leave with your jaw on the floor” said Heath Johns, BMG Managing Director (Australia and New Zealand).
‘Past, Present & FutureNever’ lands at Rialto Melbourne (525 Collins Street) from 26 August – 9 October 2022, with tickets on-sale now. To find out more and to purchase tickets, head to radiovelvet.com. $5 from every ticket sale will go towards the FutureNeverFund, a charitable fund from Johns to help raise money to create better futures for people and animals in need. FutureNeverFund recently announced a partnership with Animals Asia where Daniel became a ‘bear guardian’ funding for the rescue and rehabilitation of a moon bear named Sweep in Vietnam.