Silverchair is an Australian alternative rock band, formed in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1992. The group has had more top twenty hits in Australian charts during the last decade than any other local artist. Additionally, they have sold over six million albums worldwide. Every album released by the band to date has spawned at least one top 1 single and debuted at the #1 position on Australian charts. Silverchair is also one of only three Australian bands to have three number 1 singles on the Australian Singles Chart, and the only Australian band to have their first albums chart at #1 in the Australian Album Chart. They are the most successful act at the ARIA awards, having won more awards than any other act.
In November of 2006, Silverchair announced they were working on the music for their fifth studio album, Young Modern. Bass player Chris Joannou wrote a short overview about how the recordings for Young Modern went, which was published on the band's website on July 27, 2007. He wrote that the band spent five weeks in the Hunter Valley, in late 2005 to play some new tunes together. Prior to that Johns had been busy recording home demos on his own. Then the demos were recorded in a recording studio in Sydney and once the band had put it all together they headed for L.A. to start recording the songs at Seedy Underbelly Studios as they would appear on the album. Nick Launay was hired to produce the album together with Johns and during the time in L.A., some more songs were written (and possibly recorded). Van Dyke Parks was hired to do some orchestral arrangements for three new songs and these orchestrations were recorded in three days in Prague. The band mixed the album in Toronto ON at Metalworks Studio in January 2007 with Diorama co-producer David Bottrill.
They played a limited number of 'warm-up' concerts (with Paul Mac on keyboards at the Great Escape festival, the Clipsal 500 and the Rock-It festival) to showcase some of the new material and fund the recording of Young Modern. They originally aimed to release the album around December 2006, but delays pushed it into being released on March 31, 2007 in Australia.
In the build up prior to their Homebake performance, Silverchair performed a cover of Midnight Oil's "Don't Wanna Be the One" at the 2006 ARIA Awards as part of Midnight Oil's induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame. During the end of the performance Johns spray painted PG4PM (Peter Garrett for Prime Minister) on a stage wall, paying tribute to the Oils' frontman who is now a federal MP for the ALP.
The band played at Homebake on December 2, 2006 in Sydney; at Phillip Island on December 30, as part of The Pyramid Rock Festival; and the Queen's Wharf Brewery in Newcastle on New Year's Eve. They also played some showcase events in the U.S. and Canada in early 2007, in order to attract record companies to distribute Young Modern. It was recently stated by Johns on a Channel V broadcast of Silverchair's Homebake performance that Paul Mac is his "musical soulmate" and he finds it difficult to perform without him" and that Silverchair becomes a "supergroup" with his presence.
"Straight Lines" was chosen as first single from the new album Young Modern. Footage for the video was shot in Sydney, in which fans were invited to appear. The single was released on the band's official website and their official MySpace page on February 2nd. The physical single was released on March 10th and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA charts. Silverchair became only the third Australian band to have three number 1 singles on the ARIA Charts, the other bands being The Easybeats and The Seekers.
Young Modern debuted at number one in the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming their fifth consecutive studio album to top the chart, making them the only Australian band to ever reach five number one albums, surpassing Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil with four. It was certified double platinum by ARIA in only its third week charting. Young Modern continued to claim the number 1 position for a fourth week, becoming their fastest-selling album and holding off the Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare.
Silverchair cleaned up at the 2007 ARIA awards, taking the coveted "Album of the Year", "Song of the Year" and "Best Group" songs among their five awards for the evening.