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Savage Garden star Darren Hayes dishes on acrimonious split with Daniel Jones at height of band’s fame


They were one of the biggest bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but then it all came crashing down.

Former lead singer of Savage Garden, Darren Hayes, has dished on what caused the band’s break-up at the height of their fame, calling bandmate Daniel Jones’ decision to quit a “major betrayal.”

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Speaking on the Kyle and Jackie O Show on Thursday morning, Hayes admitted the pair hadn’t spoken in years.

When Kyle Sandilands briefly referred to Hayes “leaving” the band, he was quickly corrected.

“Well, hang on, let me clarify that – Daniel left Savage Garden,” he said.

“I loved it. I would have been in that band forever.”

Daniel Jones and Darren Hayes of Savage Garden in 1997. Credit: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

By 2001, Savage Garden had released two albums – their self-titled debut (released in 1997) and Affirmation (1999) – and were riding the crest of a wave with a string of hit singles that including I Want You, Truly Madly Deeply and To The Moon And Back.

They had broken into the US market and had a number one hit globally with Knew I Loved You when Jones had a “crisis.”

Darren Hayes during the Savage Garden years. Credit: Getty

“I was really supportive of him (because) he absolutely hated the experience of being famous,” Hayes told Jackie O.

“He decided before the release of that second album that he didn’t want that life – which is totally his right.

“A week before Affirmation came out, we had the number one single around the world, and Daniel had a life crisis and decided he didn’t want to do it anymore.

“We had to convince him – ‘Could you just maybe tour the album, and let’s work this out later on?’”

Savage Garden performing in 2000. Credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

The band stayed together for another two years before breaking apart in 2001.

“His leaving was a huge rug pulled out from under me, and for contractual reasons we couldn’t really talk about it,” Hayes explained.

“He held that press conference where he said, ‘Oh, this is the first I’ve heard of it,’ which was such a stupid thing to say, because people thought I’d left the band.”

Hayes is referring to a press conference Jones held in Brisbane in October 2001 in which he said he was “disappointed” the band was breaking up and claimed Hayes that made the decision without consulting him.

Hayes has vehemently rejected that claim, noting: “He’s never made music since.”

Jones now works in the real estate industry, while Hayes continues to perform and release music.

Darren Hayes now. Credit: The Morning Show

He said he “forgives” Jones but they hadn’t reconnected.

“When someone does that to you and doesn’t apologise – I mean Kyle still believes the lie (that Hayes broke the band up).

“That’s a pretty major betrayal.”

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