Daniel Johns Signs ‘Landmark’ Global Publishing Deal With BMG – Billboard
Written by GRB on 31/10/2023
The worldwide deal includes all of Johns’ compositions on his second solo album FutureNever, which led the ARIA Chart in 2022, along with his Silverchair hits including “Straight Lines,” “The Greatest View,” “Ana’s Song,” “Freak,” “Tomorrow” and “many others reverting into the deal in 2025,” according to a joint statement (the rock trio’s catalog of recordings were united under one roof, at Sony Music Australia, in early 2021).
Confirmed Tuesday, Oct. 31, the new agreement expands on the recording deal Johns struck with BMG in 2017, ahead of the release of FutureNever, which became ARIA’s best-selling new Australian album of 2022.
Now, the independent music company represents the Newcastle-based artist for both publishing and records. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“There is nothing without a heartbeat that I value more than my songwriting catalog,” Johns says. “Bringing my life’s work as a composer to BMG signifies the level of faith I have in this company and their people.”
It was BMG that, in 2021, spearheaded the hit Spotify podcast Who Is Daniel Johns? And in 2022, the music company developed Past, Present and FutureNever, the immersive, award-winning exhibition in Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building. Next year will see the release of the “grunge sci-fi” featurette film What if the Future Never Happened?, starring Rasmus King (6 Festivals, Bosch and Rockit) as a young Johns.
FutureNever hit No. 1 on Australia’s chart in April 2022, then, with its vinyl release, returned to the top, a full 22 weeks later – a record-setting gap between stays at the chart penthouse by a solo Australian artist. The LP won for best independent pop album or EP at the 2023 AIR Awards.
Johns is the most ARIA-awarded artist of all time, with 21 pointy trophies, and his collection includes six APRA Music Awards, three of which are for songwriter of the year — a record-equaling haul. Across his recording career, Johns has sold 10 million albums and enjoyed six ARIA No. 1 albums, including all five Silverchair studio releases.
Formed in 1992 by Newcastle schoolmates Johns (vocals, guitar), Ben Gillies (drums) and Chris Joannou (bass), Silverchair enjoyed global success, starting from the tip-off with their grunge-influenced 1995 debut album Frogstomp and the powerhouse single “Tomorrow.” Frogstomp went to No. 9 on the Billboard 200, and its followup, 1997’s Freak Show, peaked at No. 12.
In 2011, still at the peak of their powers, Silverchair’s members announced they would go their separate ways.
Johns’ is also behind FutureNeverFund, a charitable organization to help raise money to create better futures for people and animals in need. The not-for-profit has now raised and disbursed more than A$100,000 from personal and public donations.
“Daniel is a true multi-talent and musical icon,” says Jodie Feld, BMG senior creative director Australia & New Zealand. “It’s an honor for the whole BMG team to expand our relationship with Daniel and to have the opportunity to work across not just a record, but a podcast, film, exhibition and now his iconic publishing catalog.”