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"Freak" is a 1997 song by Silverchair, released as the first single from their second album Freak Show.

Single by Silverchair
from the album Freak Show
Released13 January 1997
FormatCD single; 7" (Australia/U.S.)
10" (UK)
GenreGrunge, alternative metal
Songwriter(s)Daniel Johns
Producer(s)Nick Launay
Silverchair singles chronology
"Abuse Me"

The song reached number one in the Australian charts; it was the second single by Silverchair to do so, after "Tomorrow" in 1994. The band would not have another number-one hit until "Straight Lines" in 2007.

One of the B-sides of the single is a cover of "New Race" by Australian band Radio Birdman.

Music videoEdit

The music video for this song was directed by Gerald Casale, a member of Devo who also directed the majority of their videos. The video was filmed in Los Angeles, California, in 5 and 6 December 1996.

The video features the band playing in an oven-chamber, monitored by a scientist in a control room. Their sweat is collected by a doctor and taken to an elderly woman in an adjoining room. The doctor touches part of her flesh with the sweat, and it smoothens. The doctor injects a large amount of sweat into the woman, and she regresses to being middle-aged. The doctor calls for more sweat, so the scientist turns up the heat, as high as 175 °F in the oven-chamber, causing the band members to sweat even more. Their sweat drains into a sort of water cooler, where the doctor collects a glass of it. She gives this to the woman, and when she drinks it, her youth returns. However, she is still not satisfied, so she orders and drinks another dose and turns into an alien mutant. She loves the new look and pays the doctor. When this is all done, the heat lamps are turned off, and the room now seems to appear very cold. The band punch out their time cards and walk out.

The heat lamps in the video were actually just orange lights; the band members were sprayed with water to make it look like they were heavily sweating.

The scenes featuring the old woman were filmed separately at another studio.[1]

The video for "Freak" won the International Viewer's Choice Award for MTV Australia at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards

Live performancesEdit

The song is one of the few songs from the album Freak Show that Silverchair played live in the years prior to the band's "indefinite hibernation" in 2011. These versions often differed significantly from the studio version. In addition to being played a half-step down in key, the song would often be extended, featuring a whammy pedal for the solo, often improvised. The vocals would often feature addition improvisation, featuring screamed, death growls, and falsetto that were not present on the original recording. One version featuring these changes can be found on the Live from Faraway Stables album/concert film in 2003, and another on the Across the Great Divide Tour concert film in 2007.

Track listingEdit

Australian CD single (MATTCD040)

  • Australian limited 7" vinyl (MATTV040)
    • UK limited 10" vinyl (664076 0) (Includes collectible 10" cards)
  1. "Freak"
  2. "New Race"
  3. "Punk Song #2"
  • (The Australian vinyl version of the single comes in various extremely rare coloured editions: gold/yellow (only 40 pressed), clear, semi-clear/various colour, pink-marbled clear, smoked yellow, smoked red and "no one knows which other colors". All these versions are extremely rare and very hard to find).

UK CD single (6640765) (with collectible cards)

  1. "Freak"
  2. "New Race"
  3. "Undecided"
  4. "Slave" (Live)
  • "Undecided" is not the Silverchair track included on Frogstomp: this is a cover of the 1966 single by the Masters Apprentices.

US 7" promo (ES7 9355) (red cover and vinyl)

  1. "Freak"
  2. "Punk Song #2"
  3. "New Race"

European CD single (6640762)

  1. "Freak"
  2. "New Race"
  3. "Punk Song #2"
  4. "Interview"

Promo 1-sided 12" vinyl (4950201A1)

  1. "Freak (Remix for Us Rejects)"
  • This is a promo given to radio stations for promote the single "The Door" in Australia.

US promo CD (ESK9342) (red cover)

  1. "Freak"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[12] Platinum 70,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

In popular cultureEdit

The song appears during the closing credits of the animated television show Daria episode "Malled".[13]


  1. ^ Silverchair - News Archive - BACKSTAGE AT THE "FREAK" VIDEO SHOOT
  2. ^ " – Silverchair – Freak". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3217." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3223." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  5. ^ " – Silverchair – Freak". Top 40 Singles.
  6. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Silverchair Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Silverchair Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1997". ARIA. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  12. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  13. ^ Soundtrack Daria

External linksEdit