Ex-Silverchair Singer Daniel Johns Says Breakdown Led To DUI


Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, who pleaded guilty in April to a drunk driving charge in his native Australia, said he was suffering a “full-on nervous breakdown.”

Johns was three times over the legal limit for alcohol when the SUV he was driving crossed over into oncoming traffic and crashed into a van. Two people were treated for minor injuries.

“I got in a car, and I was barely even aware what I was trying to do. I just wanted to escape. It was the equivalent of just like running into the forests,” he said on Australian program The Project. “Everything was too much.

“I remember being lost. I remember being petrified. I remember being in the dark. I remember the colours – I even remember thinking, ‘This is how I’m gonna die.’ But I wasn’t suicidal.”

Johns said he is “so grateful” no one was seriously injured. “If someone had been hurt, I think I probably would have killed myself 'cause I can't live with that,” he admitted. "I am a good person ... If I hurt someone else, I would not be able to live with myself."

In July, the 43-year-old singer was given a 10-month “intensive corrections order” – a sentence served in the community under strict conditions. He is not allowed to drive for seven months and then will be required to have an alcohol-reading interlock device in his car for another 24 months.

After the accident, Johns announced via Instagram that he was admitting himself to a rehab centre because he was “self-medicating with alcohol to deal with my PTSD, anxiety and depression [and] I know this is not sustainable or healthy.”

But, the singer said he “didn’t go to rehab for alcohol”, but rather to deal with his mental health issues.

“I was like, ‘I need help, my brain is crazy.’ Like, I couldn’t tell what was real… I couldn’t even hear music correctly – and for me music is the truth, so if I can’t hear music correctly, if I can’t hear sound accurately, I lose my compass of what is real,” he explained.

“I haven’t written a note of music since I got back, and I don’t know if that’s a nail in the coffin… I don’t know what that is, but I can’t even play music at the moment because I’m so scared that it will start again.”

Artist Radio

Listen to music from Daniel Johns