Voyager: "Seeing the reaction to a death-metal growl in a Eurovision song is awesome."

Voyager, the synthpop metal quintet from Perth came 2nd in Australia Decides 2022 last year, not to mention, winning the public vote. This year SBS has given their new song, Promise, a direct pass to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest this May. On stage, there’s usually a keytar in the hands of lead vocalist Danny Estrin, and he’s joined up there by Simone Dow (guitar), Scott Kay (guitar), Ashley Doodkorte (drums) and Alex Canion (bass, vocals).

ESC Bubble’s Cain, hopped on their voyage to Liverpool, to see how these long time Eurovision fans are ‘promising’ to rip up the stage… hook, line and growl!

DNA: Voyager will represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest with your new song Promise. Is this the culmination of your #VoyagerForEurovision campaign?
Ash: We started that hashtag before Australia could even enter. People at our shows kept saying, “You guys would be great for Eurovision!” Then in 2015 we checked it into overdrive – everything we did had the hashtag. Coming second in Australia Decides last year was exciting, but people kept encouraging us to have another crack.

Tell us about the evolution from last year’s song, Dreamer to Promise.
Danny: Dreamer was a Voyager song we already had, moulded into three minutes for Eurovision. Promise was written entirely for Eurovision. Having done Australia Decides we realised we needed to do something that’s more for the stage. You don’t usually think of how a song will look on stage unless you’re writing for theatre. We approached Promise in a way that allowed us to add things and make it more exciting.

This song will be on everyone’s Spotify wrap-up by the end of the year!
Danny: That’s the goal!
Alex: It’s nice to see the reception and people getting involved in our back catalogue.
Ash: We’ve never worked harder on a song… to take Promise where we wanted to in the most efficient fashion and not have it be too jarring was a huge song writing challenge.

Voyager’s music video for Promise


My favourite part is when Danny inflects on “human… touch!” It disarms you and you want to listen again… then there’s the growl!
Scott: Seeing that reaction to a death-metal growl in a Eurovision song is awesome.
Danny: Heavy music doesn’t get out there as much as other genres so they think it’s going to be Cookie Monster growly stuff.

My friend’s six-year-old loves the growl.
Scott: We have a thing with kids. We’re the Wiggles metal band. I think kids feed off the intensity and the energy of it. Every kid is high-octane. They want to do crazy stuff and have fun and that’s what we do.

Scott, Cain and Simone attempt a growl, and Cain gets a head-banging lesson from Danny.


Simone, your socials were hacked a while back. When you get hacked, it’s kind of like, you’ve made it, right?
Simone: Well, on that… we played a festival in America and did a signing afterwards and all these people came in with a copy of our third album but when we opened the centre of the booklet, which Ash had designed, it was blank. It turned out that a Russian bootlegger had printed his own copies of our album and everyone had bought it from Amazon.

You’ll soon be on the global stage for Eurovision. How are you preparing for that?
Alex: I’m expecting to feel what I felt on stage at Australia Decides, only a greater feeling of destiny and the realising of a career I’ve spent 19 years chasing.
Danny: We want to stage it similarly to the video… just on steroids. There’s going to be some fists on the ground, for sure, and an epic, glorious ending that needs to be uplifting.

You’ll be fit after two weeks rehearsing at Eurovision. Do you need a strong core to keep up all that drumming?
Ash: We were on tour last year in Berlin and Danny’s parents came to the show. Danny’s mum said, “Oh, you hit so hard. It must be like your workout.” Many professional drummers do have a workout routine. Mine is playing the drums. It’s very physically demanding.

Moroccan Oil – Eurovision’s major sponsor – is going to have a field day with all the hair in the band. Alex and Scott should get a soothing balm…
Danny: They better! And we want to do a bald awareness campaign because that transition from having hair to baldness – a lot of men go through it and it’s not talked about. Hair is a huge part of your identity and then it’s gone. You don’t realise what a journey it is.

What’s the social media strategy moving forward? Are you covering other contestants’ songs like you did during Australia Decides?
Danny: We want to do that again. That’s part of what Eurovision’s about because, yes, it
is a competition but it’s also about getting to know the other artists and covering their songs. You’re exploring your own musicality and you’re covering genres that you wouldn’t otherwise. I’m waiting for someone to cover our song – I want a Balkan beats version! Or if Andrew Lambrou did it! You know, Andrew’s a big metal fan.
Ash: Yes, we’re on all the socials @voyagerau.

Is Andrew Lambrou a comrade or the competition, or is there even a competition?
Alex: We feel we’ve won the competition already. The experience is its own reward. Meeting all these amazing new people really is, and it may be a cliché to say this, the journey. Last year at Australia Decides, I was standing on the stage, waiting for the song to click in and there were cameras moving into position and I just thought, “I have this.” Nothing has ever felt more right.
Danny: It’s good to spice it up with sequins, glitter and colour. If you’re just there in your jeans strumming a little guitar, what are you doing? This is entertainment and it’s got to be entertaining. People have paid good money for this shit.

It’s good to spice it up with sequins, glitter and colour. If you’rjust there in your jeans strumming a little guitar, what are you doing?

Loreen is back this year!
Danny: She’s everything. Euphoria is one of the greatest songs of all time. It’s got everything you want and it takes you on a beautiful journey. Simple.

Alex and Ash get photographed individually by Nick Wilson, courtesy of SBS Australia.


Have you heard from Sheldon Riley?
Alex: Yeah, he’s been in touch. He’s been very supportive. We’re very happy that he went to Turin last year because he’s a fantastic performer – so special at what he does.

That’s what’s nice about Eurovision: 40 cultures gathering in one place, it’s loosely competitive, but everyone just crushes on everyone else.
Alex: We’re so lucky to have the opportunity to do this and, for Voyager, most of our fan base is in Europe. This feels like we belong there. Europe is part of the lifeblood of Voyager.

What is your hope, post-Eurovision?
Alex: Eurovision opens the door for so many things that we’ve been wanting to do with Voyager. Being on stage with my mates is the ultimate. Magic happens when we come together. We’re like the Power Rangers!
Danny: If you’re living in Denmark you can hop on a tour bus and do a European tour. But for us to do a European tour, that’s $12,000 and you’ve spent it just on flights from Perth and you haven’t even played a single night. Making it worthwhile and making music sustainable is one of the greatest challenges. Eurovision will open doors.

What if Perth wins Eurovision?
Simone: That would be so insane.
Scott: One thing about Voyager is that we love representing our country and we love representing our state because Western Australia is a unique melting pot of the best music in the country. I think Perth’s music scene is second to none in a lot of ways due to the isolation. That was one of the great things about the music video, showcasing the natural wonders of Western Australia.
Danny: It was awesome. The fact that the WA government and Tourism WA jumped on board was perfect. They were like, we’re using you guys as a platform. We’re using them, they’re using us. Why not? It’s great.
Ash: When the British came over to document Australia, they didn’t have the right colours in their paint palettes to capture the vibrancy of our natural colours. Looking at Pink Lake, the rocks in Kalbarri, I’d like to see some of that on our stage. The colours, the roughness…

Voyager showcase Hutt Lagoon in the Promise music video. Credit: Tourism Western Australia
Voyager showcase Hutt Lagoon in the Promise music video. Credit: Tourism Western Australia


We’re stoked for you repping Australia this year. Good luck and have a great time.
Danny: It feels so right. Having been a huge Eurovision fan for as long as I can remember, it’s so good that my worlds are finally crossing. This is supposed to be so!

Watch our public reactions video for Australia here:

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