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Daniel Johns reveals he was ‘going the way of Kurt Cobain’ as his mental health deteriorated

Iconic musicina Daniel Johns has lifted the lid on his crippling battle with anorexia in the late ’90s. 

The Silverchair frontman, 42, detailed his harrowing ordeal in this week’s episode of the Who is Daniel Johns podcast, telling interviewer Kaitlyn Sawrey that he would go on three-hour walks to ‘lose weight‘ at the height of his anorexia.    

‘I used to wait until everyone went to bed and then I would take her for walks at 2am for like, three hours, because I was anorexic so I was trying to lose weight,’ Johns said.  

‘I couldn’t control anything but I could control what I ate’: Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, 42, (pictured) has revealed he was ‘going the way of Kurt Cobain’ as his mental health deteriorated amid his anorexia battle in the late ’90s

Johns said he became a recluse in his late teenage years, only leaving his bedroom at night to exercise.

The singer, who was just 15 when Silverchair’s first single was released, explained that starving himself was the only part of his life he could control as a global teen sensation. 

‘That’s eating disorder 101. I couldn’t control anything but I could control what I ate,’ Johns explained. 

'I was anorexic so I was trying to lose weight': Johns detailed his harrowing ordeal in this week's episode of the Who is Daniel Johns podcast, telling interviewer Kaitlyn Sawrey that he would go on three-hour walks at night to 'lose weight'. Pictured in 1999

‘I was anorexic so I was trying to lose weight’: Johns detailed his harrowing ordeal in this week’s episode of the Who is Daniel Johns podcast, telling interviewer Kaitlyn Sawrey that he would go on three-hour walks at night to ‘lose weight’. Pictured in 1999 

Iconic: Daniel was just 15 years old when Silverchair shot to fame, and several of the band's songs were about the serious illnesses he contended with while growing up. Pictured with drummer Ben Gilles (centre) and bassist Chris Joannou (left)

Iconic: Daniel was just 15 years old when Silverchair shot to fame, and several of the band’s songs were about the serious illnesses he contended with while growing up. Pictured with drummer Ben Gilles (centre) and bassist Chris Joannou (left) 

John spoke about his anorexia battle in his 1999 single Ana’s Song (Open Fire), which contained lyrics such as: ‘You’re my obsession / I love you to the bones / And Ana wrecks your life like an anorexia life.’ 

Reflecting upon the raw lyrics, John explained: ‘People didn’t talk about mental health in the late 90s, that was not a thing. It made you look like you were weak. Now, you can talk about it, it’s fine. But over time, I used to just have to sit and figure this **t out by myself.’ 

‘Otherwise I was going to be f***ing Kurt Cobain, I felt that bad. I didn’t want to be that way and I wanted to forge my own future.’

Raw and vulnerable: John spoke about his anorexia battle in his 1999 single Ana's Song (Open Fire), which contained lyrics such as: 'You're my obsession / I love you to the bones / And Ana wrecks your life like an anorexia life.' Pictured in 2007

Raw and vulnerable: John spoke about his anorexia battle in his 1999 single Ana’s Song (Open Fire), which contained lyrics such as: ‘You’re my obsession / I love you to the bones / And Ana wrecks your life like an anorexia life.’ Pictured in 2007

Kurt Cobain was the legendary frontman of American rock band Nirvana. 

He killed himself in 1994 at age 27 following a lengthy battle with his mental health and drug abuse. 

Johns’ eating disorder was previously detailed in The Book of Daniel, a biography written by author Jeff Apter.  

Laid bare: The Who is Daniel Johns podcast is available for streaming on Spotify

Laid bare: The Who is Daniel Johns podcast is available for streaming on Spotify 

Legend lost: Kurt Cobain (pictured) was the legendary frontman of American rock band Nirvana. He killed himself in 1994 at age 27 following a lengthy battle with his mental health and drug abuse

Legend lost: Kurt Cobain (pictured) was the legendary frontman of American rock band Nirvana. He killed himself in 1994 at age 27 following a lengthy battle with his mental health and drug abuse

‘[Johns] started to test himself, seeing how little he could eat and still get by and his weight slipped to 50kg,’ the author wrote. 

Johns is quoted in the book as saying he didn’t realise ‘how bad his illness had gotten’, adding: ‘I was just eating so I wouldn’t collapse.’ 

Eventually overcoming the disorder, Daniel faced another health crisis when he began suffering from arthritis in 2002.

'I was just eating so I wouldn't collapse': Johns' eating disorder was previously detailed in The Book of Daniel, a biography written by author Jeff Apter. Pictured with Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou in 2002

‘I was just eating so I wouldn’t collapse’: Johns’ eating disorder was previously detailed in The Book of Daniel, a biography written by author Jeff Apter. Pictured with Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou in 2002 

Silverchair’s last album was released in 2007, and the band announced an ‘indefinite’ hiatus in May 2011.

The band, known for their hits Tomorrow, Straight Lines and Anthem for the Year 2000, have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. 

In 2017, Johns started a new band called Boom Tish. The group has only released one song – a cover of The Easybeats hit Hello, How Are You.  

For confidential support call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on: 13 11 14 

End of an era: Silverchair's last album was released in 2007, and the band announced an 'indefinite' hiatus in May 2011

End of an era: Silverchair’s last album was released in 2007, and the band announced an ‘indefinite’ hiatus in May 2011


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