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It’s always brings back positive memories when I think about Silverchair, the pioneers of Aussie grunge.  Their album Frogstomp was -and still is- a staple of my musical enjoyment. But that was many, many years ago and now, with Silverchair on hiatus,  drummer and co-founder Ben Gilles has stepped out from behind the kit to front an entirely new animal: Bento.


Diamond Days is a outpouring of the sounds that Ben had bottled up and collected since around 2010. Then in 2011 it was announced that Silverchair was going on ‘indefinite hibernation’, But Gillies kept going. He enlisted the talents of a diverse array of musicians to help bring his vision of life, including Papa Vs Pretty’s frontman/guitarist Thomas Rawle as a lead player on the majority of the songs, plus keyboardist Scott Aplin (music director of Australia’s version of “The Voice”) and bassist Dave Symes (Missy Higgins’ music director) and Gillies himself playing all the drums on the record.


Bento is entirely DIY – an organic veggie patch to Silverchair’s apple.  Gillies has funded the entire project himself and has personally overseen every element, from artwork and videos through to the mechanics of releasing the album on his own label.  “It’s great to feel like I’m really in the driver’s seat on every detail with BENTO,” he says.  “That’s just not possible when you’re in a band.  It’s a totally different way of approaching things after years of adhering to a particular formula.  So that makes BENTO both exciting and a bit scary.”


The album is a strange blend of Stone Temple Pilots and The Wallflowers with a dash of Modest Mouse. There are no traces of the familiar Silverchair sound, the songs weave in and out of a sideways indie world. Some may find it difficult to swallow at first, but that’s exactly the way he wants it.


Gillies himself says in an interview with aaabackstage.com:

Go out and get the record and give it a minimum listen of three times because any good music you have to give it time to grow, it’s not McDonalds music. You know what I’m talking about, yeah? This is not fast food music, you need to sit down and taste the flavours.


Diamond Days is scheduled for release on Friday, October 26 on Gillies’ own Diamond Day Records label (MGM Distribution)


Here’s the video for the title track “Diamond Days”







And as for Silverchair, Gillies stated:

First of all, with Silverchair, we’re just on a … an indefinitely hiatus, we like to keep that door open until the time is right.

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