Silverchair Drummer Working At Record Store

Silverchair is into the third month of its planned one-year sabbatical from the road and recording studio, and drummer Ben Gilles is spending the downtime by working behind the counter at a record shop.

According to the Australian newspaper "The Sunday Telegraph," Gilles has been working at the Sound World record store in Newcastle for the past two weeks, trying his hand at what one co-worker described as a "real job."

The 20-year old drummer is financially well-off, based on the sales of Silverchair's three studio albums, all of which have sold at least 500,000 copies here in the U.S., in addition to the tour revenue the band has earned since the release of its double platinum 1995 debut, "Frogstomp."

But at Sound World, Gilles has been earning approximately $7.28 an hour during his five hour, twice-a-week shifts and is not allowed to sign autographs for fans -- who have been snapping up the store's back copies of Silverchair singles -- while on the clock.

The band, which released its most recent LP, "Neon Ballroom," last March, played its last show in Sydney, Australia in December before taking its announced break (see "Silverchair Plays Last Gig Before Its 2000 Time-Out").

However, the Silverchair trio of Gilles, singer-guitarist Daniel Johns, and bassist Chris Joannou have said that there are a few completed band tracks that may pop up on soundtracks or compilation records during the band's absence from the music scene.