Andrew Denton first interviewed Daniel Johns 14 years ago on his ABC series Enough Rope. On Tuesday night, Denton caught up with the singer for his new Seven series Interview. Although Johns, now 39, described the updated chat as “really intimidating,” he told Denton, “But I like talking to you. I’ve talked to you before and I remember it was good." He added with a laugh, "I think I described it as 'gently probing.'"
As with Enough Rope, Denton, 58, mixed questions about career and craft with more personal queries, eventually leading Johns to discuss past addictions and public troubles with a mix of wary and candor. “What it looks like and what people thought it was was an addiction issue … did you have a problem with addiction?” Denton asked. “I was medicating my anxiety with alcohol a lot,” Johns replied.
The musician and songwriter went on to reveal how his struggle with alcohol started as a coping mechanism. “I was misdiagnosed with a lot of things,” he said. “I didn’t know what I had, so I didn’t know how to deal with it and the only thing I found that worked was alcohol, so I was drinking alcohol to keep that at bay but it didn’t.”
What was plaguing Johns was actually anxiety, he said. “I got diagnosed with this … I don’t want to say what it is, but this anxiety disorder, and now I’m a perfect specimen,” he said with sardonic humour.
While things haven’t always been easy for Johns, he told Denton that his family has been a constant. “I’ve got great friends, a great girl, a great family … I’ve got a lot of supportive people around me who have been through everything with me,” he said. “Yeah, I have got a really great group of people, so I really shouldn’t be bitching and moaning on television.”
'Interview with Andrew Denton' airs Tuesdays at 8.45 PM on Seven.
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