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Novocastrians are proud of many things; being named as Newcastle’s top tourism town, the Newcastle Knights winning the 1997 grand finale, and the Bogey Hole to name a few. But there’s something that tops just about everything… that award-winning, rock band Silverchair call our great steel city home.
At the heartbeat of Silverchair’s iconic sound was Ben Gillies, the powerhouse drummer whose beats echoed the spirit of Newcastle. His rhythms weren’t just music, they were anthems for an entire generation. From “Frogstomp” to “Diorama,” Ben’s percussive talent laid the foundation for Silverchair’s meteoric rise to stardom. His roots in Newcastle run deep, and his music became a defining part of the city’s cultural tapestry.
In honour of Father’s Day, we had the privilege of sitting down with Ben. We delved into the wonderful world of dads, spilled the beans on favourite traditions, and got the scoop on how he’s making fatherhood a rockin’ experience for his twin boys.
Hey Ben! Tell us, how did you celebrate Father’s Day growing up in your family?
Oh, crikey! Well, growing up in Newcastle in the 80’s and 90’s, Father’s Day was all about simplicity. A few pressies for dad, maybe a classic BBQ, some good tunes, laughter and just mucking about with the family in the backyard. Classic Aussie day, right?
Sounds lush. So, what does the day mean to you, especially now as a dad?
It’s like being on the other side of a vinyl record, you know? It was always about showing appreciation to my dad, but now, it’s this wonderful moment to soak in the love from the kiddies and Jackie. Every scribbled painting or baby-babble serenade from them is like a platinum record to me. It’s a reminder of this awesome gig I’ve got – being a dad.
Does music and creativity play in your relationship with your children?
Absolutely! Music’s in our blood! The boys love banging on the drums or piano in my studio. I can’t wait to start writing silly songs with them about breakfast cereals. I hope to pass on to them the idea that life’s better with a bit of rhythm and a lot of imagination.
We can see which path the twins take – a musical duo perhaps? Until then, what is the most rewarding part of being a father for you?
It’s the greatest show on Earth: watching them grow and discover the world! Every new thing they learn, every laugh and every challenge is a gift. And knowing I’m a part of their journey? Best feeling ever.
Lastly, if you could choose any destination in Australia to enjoy a family holiday with Jackie and the twins, where would it be and what makes that place special for you all?
Ah, good ol’ Oz has so many gems! But I’d have to say Byron Bay. It’s got that beautiful blend of surf, sand, and sounds. Plus, there’s a rich music scene which I reckon the twins would love (they’re probably too young at the moment, but eventually). We could lap up some beach time in the morning, chill at a local gig in the evening, and maybe even sneak in a spontaneous drum session. Pure magic.
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Looking for another way to celebrate Dad? We know a thing or two about Pop culture. Shop our full list of gifts and experiences here.
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