The Dissociatives are an Australian band formed by Daniel Johns (from Silverchair) and Paul Mac (Itchee & Scratchee) in late 2003. They first met when Paul mixed a version of ‘Freak’ or Silverchair back in 1997. Since then, he played on stage with them occasionally, and added music to the Silverchair albums ‘Neon Ballroom’ and ‘Diorama’. In 2000 Daniel and Paul worked together on an experimental EP- ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rock’, which is only available from the Silverchair website.

Their first cd as The Dissociatives was released in Australia on April 5th 2004 with the title ‘The Dissociatives’.
Track listing:

1. We’re Much Preferred Customers
2. Somewhere Down The Barrel
3. Horror With Eyeballs
4. Lifting The Veil From The Braille
5. Forever And A Day
6. Thinking In Reverse
7. Paris Circa 2007slash08
8. Young Man, Old Man (You Ain’t Better Than The Rest)
9. Aaangry Megaphone Man
10. Sleep Well Tonight

The singles released so far are ‘Somewhere Down The Barrel’, and ‘Young Man, Old Man’. Both have the craziest film clips to go along with them, matching the CD’s cover art which is pictures of the band, with things like giant lips and hands and smaller ears and hair than usual. Things in the background look like flowers and vines, but are really speakers and guitar leads which have been arranged in a way to look like plants and buildings in the background. It’s a bit hard to explain, you just have to see it. A few months ago I was very stoned, and sitting on the floor with my Friendy Penguin, and suddenly everything I saw turned into The Dissociatives film clips…people’s heads were huge, with big lips, teeth and hands with small bodies. The table looked like a giant rock, and things moved mechanically and slowly. It was fantastic.

The bands favorite song (and mine to) is ‘Horror With Eyeballs’ - to me it sounds like creepy carnival music, and I love it. I’ve heard that it is about being in a hospital or mental institution, and the feelings associated with it. I don’t really see the song this way, to me its about the way people use animals for experimentation and abuse, which would make sense seeing as Daniel is an animal rights activist, the film clip involves plenty of animals and he has written songs about this before (like the angry song ‘Spawn Again’ from Neon Ballroom).

The Dissociatives is much, much different from anything Silverchair have ever done. It’s the same sorts of lyrics, since Daniel writes for both bands, but the music has a very different feel to it, more upbeat like Diorama but with a lot more experimental sounds from Paul Mac. Daniel and Paul both stress that The Dissociatives is not just a side project for the two; they have become very close friends, and want to make much more music together. Silverchair haven’t broken up as a band, they are just having time apart, to do their own thing, and Daniel insists they will play together some time in the future, even though The Dissociatives and the type of music he creates with Paul looks as though that is the direction he is heading in musically. The two formed The Dissociatives to experiment together, both being from different backgrounds in music. Daniel letting Paul have more control over the musical side of it, with the electronic/dance music- something he hadn’t really worked with before.

Throughout this year The Dissociatives have toured Australia, I was lucky enough to see them perform in Canberra, for a relatively small audience. People who wanted to were right in front of the stage, they could have reached out and patted Daniels legs if they had of wanted to. They were amazing to see live, Paul sat at his keyboards with the hugest smile across his face for the entire show, while Daniel stood with his guitar, parading around in front of the audience while he was singing.

At the moment Paul is working on an album of his own, due out early next year.

I highly recommend you check out the filmclips the band have, on The Dissociatives website!


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