SILVERCHAIR drummer, Ben Gillies, has for the first time publicly revealed how he suffered a drug-induced "acute psychotic break" during the height of the Newcastle band's success.
The revelation is revealed on Monday night in the first episode of Australian Story's two-part program, A Silver Lining, on the ABC.
The program features interviews with Gillies and Silverchair bassist, Chris Joannou, as part of their promotion for their upcoming memoir, Love & Pain.
While Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns' battles with mental health, anorexia and reactive arthritis have been well documented, Gillies was fighting his own demons during the making of the band's acclaimed 2002 album Diorama.
"What nobody knew is that when we started to record that record I was having a mental health problem," Gillies said.
"The pressure of another Silverchair record coming out just pushed me over the edge. I was smoking a lot of pot and I felt like the drug had a hold of me and that I couldn't stop it.
"And sometime around that time I was offered an ecstasy pill and I had what now I know was an acute psychotic break.
"I didn't tell a soul because I was scared that admitting it, was admitting that something was wrong and that I was crazy."
Silverchair's tour manager, Jake Denny, said it was obvious something was seriously wrong with Gillies at the time.
"By the time I got to see him that was one of the scariest things I've ever seen," Denny said.
"It was the guy I'd known since we were young, full of energy, naughty, cheeky, confident. It was just not there. There was this absence in his eyes."
Diorama is considered by many critics and Silverchair fans to be the band's creative peak, however, Gillies was riddled with anxiety during its recording.
"So the whole time during the recording of that record, when I had to do the drums, I was just trying my hardest not to fall into that anxiety spiral," Gillies said.
"Don't let Daniel and Chris down [I said to myself]. You've got to do this thing. But somehow I forged ahead. I don't know how."
The first part of A Silver Lining focuses on Silverchair's meteoric rise from being three Merewether school kids jamming together in their bedrooms as The Innocent Criminals, to becoming Australia's biggest band of the past 30 years while still students at Newcastle High School.
The program also sees Gillies and Joannou, both 43, revisit their old backyard rehearsal space in Gillies' former home in Merewether, the old Newcastle police station - now The Lock-up art space - where Silverchair filmed the video for their No.1 debut single Tomorrow and Newcastle High School.
Gillies' relationship with Johns is also briefly explored. The childhood best friends have endured an estranged relationship since Silverchair split in 2011. Last year during an interview to publicise his Past, Present & FutureNever Exhibition in Melbourne, Johns accused Gillies of being jealous of him.
"Daniel and I have communicated a few times over 14 years," Gillies said. "Yeah, we don't really have a relationship."
John O'Donnell, who signed Silverchair to Sony offshoot Murmur after seeing them perform at the Jewells Tavern, said it was sad Gillies and Joannou were no longer friends with Johns.
"I think at the heart of it, it's men communicating badly with each other," O'Donnell said.
However, both Gillies and Joannou make it clear in A Silver Lining that they're immensely proud of Silverchair's legacy.
"There were definitely some moments that were challenging. [Like] the end," Gillies said.
"But when I look back, I look at Silverchair with celebration and love."
Lifeline 13 11 14
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.