By Rod Whitfield
Legendary Perth progressive rock/metal band Voyager are heading out on the road again very shortly, although this time they are taking a bit of a risk. They are bringing excellent French band Klone with them on a seven-date tour of the nation. Klone may be excellent, and may have been around for twenty years, but they are not necessarily the best-known band in this part of the world.
Voyager’s enigmatic frontman, Daniel Estrin, speaking from the western capital, admits that they are going out on a bit of a limb bringing the Frenchmen out, but they are happy to take the risk nonetheless.
“I’ve never seen them live,” he concedes, “they’re good, it’s a wildcard. Who knows? It’s a bit of a risky thing getting an international band to support us, especially an international band that have pretty much no following in Australia. Hopefully they’ve created enough buzz to attract people, they just need a little push.
“But we’ll give it a go, I’m looking forward to it. They sound great, the music’s great, and they sound like they’ll be a pretty intense live band. They’re making some waves in Europe, so hopefully they’ll make some waves here.”
Being that Klone don’t have the biggest following Down Under, how did this tour come about? “Certain booking agents make certain suggestions, and certain suggestions are taken on board, and certain suggestions aren’t,” he explains, “and this is one that we’ve taken on board and executed.
“I know how hard it is as a band when you’re trying to enter into a new market, how hard it can be. It’s a bit of a global fraternity/sorority of heavy metal, and I think it’s good. Stylistically we’re not that far apart, and hopefully they can make some waves here and we can do a bit of a tour swap over there in Europe, and it’s cool to have a French band on the line-up.”
There has been no formal talk of that kind of tour swap at this stage, but Danny definitely doesn’t rule it out. “Not at this stage, no, I’m still brushing up on my French. And the language too!” He says with a smile and a wink.
“But you never know.”
A tour with the might and majesty of Voyager and Klone is more than worth the price of admission alone, however, incredible line-ups of local supports have been arranged in every city, making this tour an absolute must-see.
“I agree, I agree,” he states whole-heartedly, “I think it’s going to be good, and I think for this one, because we’re still milking the last album, this one we’ve put it out to fans on social media to say what sort of songs do you want to hear.
“So there’s been some old songs and new songs that have been requested, the whole mixed bag. Even the old school, die-hard Voyager fans will get a good walloping of the old Voyager I think. So ‘mixed bag’ is the order of the day.”
The band’s latest album, ‘V’, came out almost a year ago, and they have been riding a wave of incredible reaction and high demand ever since, having toured the country multiple times, been to Europe, played with the likes of Orphaned Land, Dead Letter Circus, sleepmakeswaves and Opeth, no less, and generally had an amazing time.
“It’s not-not work, I assure you!” He laughs again, suggesting that playing in a high demand heavy band may seem very exciting from the outside, but can be a grind at times, too.
It’s not about to end any time soon either, with the band heading to the USA in September to play the ‘Progpower’ Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, plus a whole bunch of dates across North America with a very high profile progressive metal band.
“Yep, we’re doing Progpower, and then we’re also doing 10 dates across America with Evergrey,” he informs us, “Canada and the States, east coast, Chicago and Denver, I think. And then at the end of that run is Progpower. So it’s going to be nice.” He understates it.
“So we’ve kinda come full circle, we sort of started our little illustrious US career there (at Progpower) in 2011, and now we’re coming back to hopefully show that we’ve still go it.”
Thursday, May 21: Adelaide – Jive
Friday, May 22: Canberra – The Basement
Saturday, May 23: Sydney – The Factory Floor
Friday, May 29: Melbourne – The Evelyn
Saturday, May 30: Brisbane – The Brightside
Friday, June 5: Perth – Amplifier
Saturday, June 6: Bunbury – Prince Of Wales