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Voyager

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Listening to Voyager is a thoroughly enjoyable experience – seeing them play live is out of this world. Yes, hyperbole, but it’s damn well right. The Perth experimental rockers have a particular way of manipulating sound, defying genres and setting the band on a platform all their own. Yes, their music is an experience, but watching a member play solo and totally immerse themselves in the music is a real treat – and that’s exactly what guitarist Scott Kay has done. Ahead of the release of their new album Ghost Mile, Kay has been making Youtube videos where fans can see him stripped down to his strings, playing to some of the awesome tracks on the upcoming release. One such track is current single ‘Ascension’. In his video, Kay is so seemingly at ease, at the moment and one with the music. “We’ve been practising this stuff for quite a while, so the writing for this album has been quite long and quite extensive,” says Kay, “We’re pretty relaxed with at least that song now which is good, and I’m glad that translated.

“I see it as less of an internal thing and more of an external thing when I’m performing. When you’re doing something like a play through when it’s just you in the room, I can be more alone in that respect. When you’re in your zone on your own and your zone with the audience, the passion is the same; you’re just trying to involve more people.”

 

As a group, Voyager appear to have an aura about them that causes them to be lost in the moment, a true love for what they do that is emitted in the music – but does Kay feel that’s the kind of mantra they adopt in their live performances? “We’ve had this discussion quite often as a band, that at the end of the day, we’re entertainment. We’re there to put on a show. It’s better for people to say you’re bad than to say you’re bored. It’s probably the worst insult ever if you’re failing as an entertainer if what you’re doing is boring so we try and take that on board, we take that quite seriously, we try and project a fun and enjoyable vibe and part of that is knowing the music so well that we don’t have to be consciously thinking too much about it – last thing I want to do is internally freaking out about what I’m doing when really I’m there to project fun to the audience!”

 

Voyager is evolving. With the release of Ghost Mile, the band have intertwined some sombre undertones reminiscent of The Cure while breaking into a bit of Fair To Midland heaviness. Often characterised as prog-metal, it seems a shame to pigeonhole Voyager into such a limited category when they are clearly setting out for something in particular. “There is something about our sound that doesn’t make it too much of any one style,” muses Kay, “We’re taking bits and pieces from stuff we like and throwing them into the pot, and on top of that we’re not doing that consciously. We just go on gut feeling and roll with it.

“regarding classifying ourselves, we’ve given up – we don’t feel it’s useful. What is useful is trying to write the best music we can, and I think through the nature of what we like as individuals, it comes together and turns in to something that makes sense. It’s still cohesive, but there’s no conscious decision in what we’re taking inspiration from, it just turns in to a big melting pot.”

 

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Similarly to the group Fair To Midland, Voyager, both stylistically and melodically, are seeing this flexibility of style as an opportunity, a gateway to greater prospects. “What’s cool about that band [Fair To Midland] is again, I find them hard to pigeonhole but their songs are so cohesive, they have a with a pop structure but they do all this weird stuff within that that I think is really cool and in that respect, I guess that’s where we’re coming from as well – we like the songs to be cohesive and make sense, but we like to explore what we can do within that structure.”

Indeed, with exploration comes evolution and so comes progression, and perhaps that’s where the ‘prog’ comes into it all – Kay agrees. “I think that’s how we like to keep things interesting. The song has to make sense, we want people to follow us on the journey not get lost in it but along that journey, we might throw a curve ball, and that’s kind of what we’re hoping for the new album. It’s like nothing we’ve ever written before – it’s heavier, it’s darker, but I think it will still make sense to people even though it’s very much treading new territory for us. It’s the first thing we’ve ever recorded with a blast beat in it, but we think it works quite well.”

 

Setting out on a headlining national tour in support of Ghost Mile, this interesting new turn for Voyager should prove to be a point of interest for fans attending the shows, Kay hoping the new direction will translate well to the live stage. “I’m envisioning it as being more of an ebb and flow,” says Kay, “The record for me has this real dip in the middle where it goes into some darker territory, and I’d like to get that vibe happening with the set and have the set reflect the flow of that album as well.

 

“I’ve stoked that people are on board with it. I want Voyager to be a band that sets the standard for the way people consume music these days in the sense that, I think people should listen to music and decide whether they like it or not based on just listening, forgetting about ‘what kind of subgenre is this’ and just listen to it and say ‘do I like it’? That mentality is good for the listener, so they can just listen to whatever music they want to, whatever band they want to, without feeling either stigmatised for it or that they can or can’t listen to it based on their other tastes, so they can forget about all that and decide whether they like it or not – and it’s good for the bands because it means the bands can just evolve and do what they feel is true to them and I feel like that translates into music that’s just better overall. It would be better for everyone to just remove these labels and instead to just embrace whatever is going on to just decide very honestly whether they like what they’re hearing or not, not based on a label.”

 

Written by Anna Rose

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