Chatting prog rock and tour life with Perth’s Voyager

Continuing Australia’s tradition of killer prog rock, Perth’s Voyager has just taken the country by storm with a national tour, with a US on the horizon. Front man Daniel Estrin phoned in to chat the best the genre had to offer, crafting a record and future ambitions.

Voyager Illustration

This awesome illustration of Voyager comes from Rob Appleby.

HAPPY: What’s been going on?

DANIEL: Bit of touring, bit of music, bit of jamming out while touring around the world.

HAPPY: Nice. Where has been sweet to jam out at the moment?

DANIEL: That’s a tough one… as we just did Europe. We played some shows in the UK and headlined a festival in the Netherlands and did Euroblast in Germany. They were some pretty sweet places. We did a run with Dead Letter Circus around Australia. They’re all good places to jam out. We’re about to start another run this week.

HAPPY: Who were some sick bands playing at Euroblast?

DANIEL: At Euroblast we had TesseracT, we had Animals as Leaders, and we played with Chimpspanner. A whole bunch of pretty awesome bands!

HAPPY: Yeah, they are a bunch of pretty fucking sick bands! What do you want to talk about? I’ve got some questions but I’m sure you’ve got a few things to get off your chest

DANIEL: We’re excited about doing another tour, the headliner, we’ve done a lot of supports and stuff in the last few months or so. After doing the Dead Letter Circus and Sleepmakeswaves tours it’s going to be really nice to do a headline run where we can play a bit longer and we can really make it a Voyager show by doing a mash up thing, play our older songs play our newer songs. It’s something to give back to the fans, both new and old, so that’s what I’m really looking forward too!

HAPPY: Give us the low down on the upcoming tour, we wanna hear about Klone (France).

DANIEL: I can’t tell you too much about [Klone] I haven’t actually seen them live but I’ve seen some videos and I know they’re very keen to come out to Australia. We know how hard it is to get overseas and getting a new territory up and going so they approached us saying they wanted to do this and it’s going to be a bit of a wildcard I guess. It’s cool to have an international support during an Australian run. It’s a good way to get fans in touch with new bands and see what’s happening overseas as well.

You never know, there could be some reciprocal arrangement where we tour with them over in Europe. They’re a really great band and they’re pretty similar to us. We’re a bit more melodic and catchy but they’ve got the whole sort of prog vibe going and I know they’ve been making waves in Europe. They played Euroblast festival as well. It should be a good little package and there’s great supports as well for each city.

HAPPY: Where are you most keen to play around Australia in particular?

DANIEL: I don’t really want to favour any of the cities but we’re really looking forwards to what Sydney has to offer again because last time we did our run we played a small sweaty sold out show at the Factory and I was just watching a video that was posted on our Facebook page and it was just crazy. Sydney has a pretty bad rep, people say that crowds don’t get into it but that’s bullshit. We’ll see if Sydney can live up to last year.

HAPPY: What are some milestones you’re keen to knock out the ball park?

DANIEL: One of the touring dreams is to do Japan. I don’t know, I’ve never been but it seems like pretty cool place to do a tour. I think we’d go down really well there. South America’s another dream. We go back to the US for about twelve shows in September. In terms of touring milestones I think we just want to play to as many people as possible.

HAPPY: Tell us about the latest album. It’s a long one, not so many bands are packing up to 13 tracks into their records. What influences this decision?

DANIEL: I think it’s value for money. One of my favourite albums is October Rush by Type O Negative and they had to cut songs short because they had so much material for the album. I’ve heard that a couple of times and I wonder “Is that a bad thing?”, having a longer album but I think it’s good. It’s good value for money when you’re listening to the tracks you’ve got and it all makes sense in a sequential order then why not whack em along?

HAPPY: That was a good part of the album, that it increases in energy with quite a bell curve throughout the album, it just keeps going up and up and up. It’s more of a journey. If you listen to individual tracks off of the Voyager record it wouldn’t exactly be in the same context as listening to the whole thing.

DANIEL: That’s right yeah. So it is an album experience.

HAPPY: It’s nice that you can actually sink quite a period of time into it and say to yourself this is how I felt at the beginning of the record and now I feel like this and towards the end sort of say “Hey now I feel like this“.

DANIEL: Yeah! A lot of fans won’t even listen to a whole album from beginning to end. I personally can’t remember the last time I did that with a new album I bought because a lot of it is, you know, on your phone or iPod that you’re just sort of listening to tracks here and there.

HAPPY: What themes is the record exploring?

DANIEL: A lot of it is about questioning the world and everything we do. It’s just a natural thing that I’m interested in. Why are humans the way that we are, why do we do the things that we do? It’s not necessarily a supernatural thing it’s just a curiosity to be inquisitive about why we do things.

HAPPY: Finally, what makes you Happy?

DANIEL: Uhm… What makes me happy? Good music, good food and good women.