When Silverchair won the SBS TV show Nomad back in 1994 as The Innocent Criminals, almost no one had any idea about the sort of influence they would have on Australian music over the next two decades. While they were somewhat of a musical oddity due to their young age, and the fact that they played grunge music (a genre which you usually need to be rather jaded to play, which is hard to do at a young age), they were often written off as a regular ‘Nirvana In Pyjamas’, as the US press called them.
To be fair though, the Nirvana comparisons were deserved. After all, they got their name by combining a misspelling of Nirvana’s ‘Sliver‘, and You Am I’s ‘Berlin Chair‘. But they did what few bands were unable to do, and that was to not only get their foot in the door a such a young age, but were able to back that up with immense talent, far beyond their years.
Of course, Silverchair’s age was a pretty big selling point at first. After all, they managed to write the song ‘Tomorrow’ when the members were 14 years old. There are musicians now who can’t write songs half as good at thrice that age.
‘Tomorrow’ was written about a pretty simple scenario, as frontman Daniel Johns explained; “I saw on SBS once this documentary about a poor guy that takes a rich guy to a poor persons’ hotel to experience what it’s like being a poor person and that. And the rich guy is complaining to get out and that, and he has to wait ’til tomorrow to get out of the hotel.”
For a group of 14 year olds to tackle such a simple, yet rofound topic, they were not only able to make a name for themselves as one of the finest young grunge bands around, but they managed to back it up with musicianship well beyond their years. Just listen to the guitar lines in tomorrow, the drumming, and the choruses. This song was made by some kids who knew exactly what they were doing. They had studied this music for years as an inspiration, and they were able to go out and make themselves known for their own unique take on it.
While I’ve used the re-recorded album version of this track for this entry, the original EP version is quite good too, but in my opinion, serves as something closer to a demo. Likewise, almost any song in Silverchair’s back catalogue is worth a listen to. From the brilliant ‘Pure Massacre‘, to ‘Israel’s Son‘, and even onward to ‘Straight Lines‘, arguably their biggest song in their career, from their final album ,Young Modern. I’ve grown up listening to this group, loving them every step of the way, and honestly I would recommend any track and album as something to know and love.