Can't Believe It's Not Rock" is an EP that happened by accident.
contains five songs that were written and recorded at home
by Daniel Johns and Paul Mac entirely for their own amusement.
Only when the tracks had been completed did the two musicians
begin to contemplate sharing their work with other people.
pair come from very different backgrounds - Daniel from
multiplatinum rockers silverchair (www.chairpage.com),
Paul from seminal dance acts like Itch-E and Scratch-E - but they have been friends
for years. The two first met back in 1997 when Paul remixed
silverchair's "Freak". Later that year he appeared onstage
with the band in Sydney as guest DJ and in 1998 he contributed
some keyboard stuff to their album "Neon Ballroom".
this year, with silverchair taking a break, Daniel went
up to Paul's house in the Blue Mountains for a weekend's
R&R and the pair recorded a song called "Rain" in his home
studio. Daniel had already been working on the piece but
Paul contributed a lot of additional dynamics to it - creating
a distinctive moody hybrid of the pair's diverse musical
influences. Both of them really enjoyed the experience but
at the time they had no intention of ever playing their
sprawling creation to anybody else.
months later Paul travelled to Newcastle to help Daniel
install his eight track home studio. This time the pair
created two songs together from scratch. The lilting "Home"
was recorded completely live in one take with the multifaceted
"Staging A Traffic Jam" evolving over a couple of days.
As with "Rain", these tracks illustrate the disparate backgrounds
of their creators. At the time these recordings were little
more than an enjoyable experiment but in the weeks that
followed the pair both realised that they were really happy
with the fruits of their casual labour. They felt that they
had hit upon a sound which was creatively different from
anything either of them had achieved before.
they got together one more time and recorded the mellow
instrumental "3" and the hard edged "Take Her Out" - creating
two even more extreme bookends for the evolving project.
was only then that Daniel and Paul had their first conversations
about possibly releasing these five songs, somehow, some
way, somewhere. They kicked around several names for the
project including "The Agoraphobic Laptops" and "Scrum"
before settling upon the suitably self effacing monicker,
"I Can't Believe It's Not Rock".
we were making this music we never thought anybody else
would ever hear it. It was just stuff we were doing for
ourselves", explains Paul Mac. "Once it was done though
we liked how it had turned out so we started talking about
releasing it even though, as the name suggests, it probably
isn't what people expect from either of us."
both Johns and Mac signed to their manager's new record
label, Eleven: a music company, the idea was hatched to
release "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" online. The five
songs will be streamed for free from the website icantbelieveitsnotrock.com
and will be downloadable for a small charge from December
1, 2000. A very limited number of CD's will also be available
for mail order to ensure broader access for fans. More details
about this mail order will be posted on the duo's website
once the downloads are posted.
Daniel Johns: "I had a lot of fun making this music with
Paul and I'm really proud of how it sounds but it's obviously
not going to appeal to everybody. We were both concerned
that if we released this CD in the usual way some people
would have the wrong sort of expectations. It's a different
sort of project so it makes sense to release it in a different
sort of way."
are no plans for "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" to tour
although the pair has taped a guest appearance for the forthcoming
ABC TV program "Love Is A Four Letter Word" which will air
for future recordings by this accidental duo … who knows?
never actually intended to make this EP", explains Daniel
Johns, "at the moment we don't intend to make another one
either so maybe that means it's possible."