Savage Garden Biography
Savage Garden was formed in 1993 when Daniel placed an add in a Brisbane music publication Time Off looking for a lead vocalist for the then covers band "Red Edge", Darren replied and they clicked immediately. After a while they got sick of performing other peoples music and left Red Edge. They began writing music together and they clicked. Savage Garden was born. The music of Savage Garden is written by both Darren and Daniel. Today they are enjoying major success around the world.
To the Moon and Back was actually a piece of music that Daniel had written. Darren took it away and came back the next day with the song as it is to day. It was one of the first songs they wrote together and was inspired by a girl called Ainsle. This song won the ARIA Award for Australian Song of The Year in the 1997 ARIA Awards. Their band name, as many have guessed, is inspired by Anne Rice's vampire novels. The inside covers of the debut album are from The Garden Of Earthly Delites.
Response from publishers and record companies came fast. Soon they were sitting in a recording studio, sleeves rolled up and heads to the control board in the process of recording an album that would take almost 8 months to complete. "It was the biggest learning experience," explains Daniel. "We were still desperately trying to come to terms with the fact that we had begun the journey. We were in the process of actually doing what we had dreamed about all our lives." The passion and enthusiasm for the music that Daniel describes is evident in the sweeping diversity of style and emotion on their eponymous Columbia debut. Incisive wordplay, sweet love songs, and an avant-garde sonic palette all merge together in a smooth bed of lush electronics and moody rhythms, a refreshing and intelligent mix of tradition and technology. This fusion of sounds perhaps explains the chemistry between Daniel and Darren, who have often been described as chalk and cheese.
"I Want You," the pulsing 80's Europop-influenced first single became the highest-selling Australian single for 1996. The follow-up second single, "To the Moon & Back," quickly went to Number 1, surpassing the sales of the previous debut single. Suddenly an international deal with Columbia Records materialized. As Darren explains, "it seems like only yesterday I was sitting there praying for this. It has literally come from nowhere. If I sat and really thought about this I'd probably go crazy. We are just holding on for the ride, and so far the ride has been amazing."
The genuine thrill and unaffected enthusiasm this pair exhibit (they are after all, only in their early 20's) comes through in the music. One listen to the album and you know Savage Garden is going for broke. Brimming with urgency of love itself, many of the album's tracks explore the intricacies of relationships. "To the Moon & Back" addresses the insecurities of a teenage girl while musically it suggests a theme much older and wiser. In Darren's plaintive vocals and in Daniels's surging melodies, one can feel the confusion, the hurt and longing. The mood swings in the opposite direction with the aptly-titled "Truly Madly Deeply," a love song distilled from the purity of the heart. Acting as contrast and compliment, there's the biting snap of the bass guitar alongside wailing guitars and nasty sentiment in "Break Me Shake Me" and the overwhelming feeling of betrayal in the brooding "A Thousand Words.
The diversity of the songs has as much to do with the differences in the pair's personalities as it does to the recording process. As Daniel explains, "'Universe'" was originally just an instrumental track. It was written for guitar and sounded like Clapton meets Steve Vai. Then Darren got his hands on it and now it sounds like Motown." Indeed, the sexy groove and sweet crooning give the song a distinct Smokey Robinson feel. "We understand that we have had a couple of hits in our home town and it's only now that we're venturing out into the world. I think we realized from an early stage that this career is not predictable. You never know where you'll be tomorrow and there are no guarantees that we will achieve all the goals we have set out. We have had some amazing breaks and good fortune. All we can do now is continue to write songs and do what we do best."
Savage Garden's success spanned two albums (Savage Garden and Affirmation) which so far have sold over 20 million copies between them worldwide. In October 2001 Savage Garden split and Darren has gone on to a successful solo career and Daniel has produced and written for some new and upcoming Australian Artists (Aneiki (Producer and Writer) and Bachelor Girl (Co-Writer for one song)). Both have a great future ahead of them.
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2013, Toby Harnisch.
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