With new solo music on the horizon, Ben Gillies shares memories of his epic first release.
March 1995: Australian trio, Silverchair releases their debut album, Frogstomp. Lead single “Tomorrow” lit the record on fire out-of-the gate, with the song being the most played on U.S. modern radio, in addition to reaching number one in Australia for six weeks. Along with an epic album opener in “Israel’s Son” and gems like “Shade” and “Findaway” sprinkled throughout, Frogstomp became an instant classic and timeless collection of rock n’ roll that deeply connected with the story of so many around the world.
Frogstomp went on to achieve double-platinum (U.S.) and 4x platinum (AUS) success for Silverchair – – who would then additionally create four dynamic records plus a re-mastered addition of Frogstomp in 2015 .
I recently had the pleasure of having drummer, Ben Gillies as my guest on Artist Waves live. About half way through the conversation, Gillies spoke openly about the powerful resonance of Frogstomp now 25 years later.
Frogstomp and the Silverchair journey is really special. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It’s kind of where I’ve gotten to with my solo music. At that point, we were doing music because we just love the sounds and music we were making, and we were having a ball doing it. We were just making these songs and we didn’t have any preconceptions about what the band was going to do . I remember going to Dan’s (Johns) house when were young and we’d talk about being the biggest band in the word. We were definitely ambitious, there’s no doubt. But when you are 13 and 14 years-old, you don’t actually think that stuff is going to happen. Or maybe we did. Maybe that was one of the things that happened, we just believed it so much that we believed it into existence.
It was a really exciting time when Frogstomp came out and everything just went berserk. We went and did some shows and people were going bananas, like absolutely bananas. We were just three dudes from New Castle playing music and having a great time. Years later, like now, you kind of realize what kind of effect you had on people’s lives. That’s pretty awesome, to be just a pivotal point in people’s lives and be that musical reference point for people to look back on. It’s really cool to be part of so many people’s lives, people that you will probably never meet. It’s kind of like you’re a soundtrack for people’s lives, it’s awesome.
The whole Silverchair thing, Frogstomp and everything that came after that, that’s kind of my reality. From the outside you think about it, to anyone else it might look extraordinary but to me, it’s just my normal. Music is what I love to do so it doesn’t feel like this big amazing thing, it just feels like a moment that happened it my life that I really enjoyed. I don’t wake up in the morning and say, “Yeah, well, Frogstomp came out, that happened.” After Frogstomp, what happened with the band, a lot people starting getting involved; parents and record companies. We were always searching to keep that spark alive when Frogstomp came out because it was just so unrefined, it was just so raw. There was something magical about that we continued to try and capture. I think we did pretty well.
What do you recall from the release of Frogstomp and what is something from that time that you take with you now? Watch: