We interviewed Voyager, who will represent Australia with their song “Promise” at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to be held in May. Daniel Estrin and Ashley Doodkorte answered our questions.
-Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Voyager?
Ashley Doodkorte: Hello there, we are VOYAGER, an epic electro progressive power pop synth metal band from Perth, Western Australia. We live to write songs, play shows, and travel the world gracing as many stages as possible! We take our music very seriously, but ourselves… not so much.
Daniel Estrin: Merhaba, Nasılsınız! (Turkish). So great to be talking to Eurovision Turkiye and I’m so sad that Turkiye isn’t in this year – I’m a big fan of Turkish music and have always loved Turkiye’s entries. I’m actually a huge fan of Baris Manco and have listened to his albums for two decades. He’s been a big inspiration for early Voyager actually! I also love the classics – Tarkan, Sertab Erener, Mustafa Sandal etc. There’s also a fantastic Turkish kanun player called Göksel Baktagir whom I’ve been following ever since I visited Istanbul many years ago!
-You are a group founded in 1999. Normally, they say that the groups disbanded within a few years, even though there were differences in the group, you continued. What do you think is the biggest secret of keeping a group together?
Ashley: I wish I could give you a simple answer. It feels pretty effortless to us, I think because we were all friends before being bandmates, so we already enjoyed each other’s company! I think as well, Voyager is a place where we can be musically free. We all come from different musical backgrounds and we’re all keen to share, experiment with, and incorporate our musical influences into our songwriting process.
-You are a well-known band in Australia and Europe and have many notable achievements. How do you define music?
Ashley: For me, music is an expression of an idea and mood, not just in the sound and lyrics, but also in the performance. I want the crowd to feel what I’m feeling when I play Voyager songs.
-You came second in Australia Decides last year. How did you feel when the Eurovision offer came to you this year, did you accept it right away? Can you tell us a little about the process?
Ashley: For the longest time we didn’t really know what was happening with Australia and Eurovision 2023. But Danny came along with a little melodic idea that was the beginnings of Promise, and we just chased that idea until we had a song that was ready for Eurovision domination!
-Can you tell us something about the story behind “Promise”?
Danny: I’m generally an optimist, but the last couple of years have been difficult for many and seeing the chaos of the world (and especially the hardships your country has endured recently), it’s about seeing what’s around you and seeking reassurance from whatever you can find. Doesn’t have to be a person, it can be nature, a beautiful song, a picture that you can derive some joy from and find certainty that it’s going to be alright. Promise is a positive song, but it’s filled with a lot of melancholy.
-How will your stage performance be at Eurovision? Can you give us some information?
Ashley: All I can say is that it’s going to be as massive as the stage permits…. and we all know the Eurovision stage can handle a BIG show!!
Danny: We want to do something a little extra to really get that ‘80s synth metal feeling across on the big screen!
-Australia has been participating in Eurovision since 2015. According to the agreement with the EBU, this year is the last participation of the country, but we do not know if the contract can be extended. What do you think about Australia’s participation and your being the last representative?
Ashley: Eurovision is so popular in Australia (even if we do have to get up at 3am to watch the finals!) We’re living in the moment and focused on doing Australia proud in Liverpool.
-Did you find any chance to listen to the other songs, Did you like any of them? If your response is ‘yes’ who?
Ashley: We’ve listened to all the songs many times, and really what’s not to like? What’s great about the contest is that everyone is trying to write the best, catchiest songs that the three minute time limit will permit… so pretty much every song is a massive earworm that won’t leave your head. In particular, I like Luke Black’s dark, industrial stomp in Samo mi se spava, the epic ending of Remo Forrer’s Watergun, Vesna’s absolute banger My Sister’s Crown… I could go on.
Danny: I absolutely love Austria’s entry – it’s quirky, beautiful, fun, melodic and Teya and Salena are awesome talents. Vesna are also brilliant and Let 3 are exactly what Eurovision needs this year! France is just the most quintessential French song, Spain’s Blanka Paloma is mesmerising and Finland brings the crazy party!
-There are many iconic bands participating in Eurovision, such as Maneskin, Go_A, Kalush Orchestra. In recent years, bands have come to the fore in Eurovision. What do you think about this subject?
Ashley: Eurovision is a song contest, and amazing songs can come from anywhere – not just solo artists! Whether it’s a band, singer-songwriter, duo, dj, family act – it’s all about the music!
-Finally, do you have a message to our followers and your fans?
Ashley: We’re unbelievably excited to be here, and it wouldn’t happen without your support! Thank you so much and keep your eyes and ears open for new music and tours this year!
Danny: Tessekur ederim Turkiye, (Turkish) we thank you for your support and can’t wait to come and tour in your country. We hope you enjoy our song Promise and our new album coming later this year. In the meantime, enjoy the picture of a younger Danny in the iconic Voyager car (that has featured in many videoclips) and a Turkiye shirt!!!