Following our review of Voyager’s excellent upcoming album V (see our review here), we caught up with Alex from the band for a chat. Check it out below!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Hey there! My name is Alex. I play bass in Voyager. The band was conceived in 1999 however I began my tenure in the band in 2007 soon after the album uniVers was recorded. We’re a metal band but focus heavily on melody and catchiness perhaps more than any metal band should! We love to tour and believe in being kind and professional people. We love to perform live and you really can’t know exactly what we’re about until you’ve seen us live!
You’re getting ready to release your fifth album V – can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process of it?
Most of the songs were written by the whole band collectively. We spent a lot of hours in our rehearsal studio going through ideas and fleshing them out. We started coming up with riffs and ideas not long after our previous album The Meaning Of I was released. As for the recording process, we tracked the guitars and bass at the guitarist Scott Kay’s house. The keys and vocals were recorded by our singer, Danny, himself at his studio. The drums were recorded at a studio and it was all mixed by Matt Templeman, who once finished working his magic sent it to Simon Struthers to master it. This time we kept it local – V was created entirely in Perth, Western Australia. I think this is fantastic, given that it is our most sonically bombastic release ever!
Were there any tracks that were more of a challenge to complete than others?
The Summer Always Comes Again was the most niggling song I think. It went through so many different versions. Initially the whole band played it but it just didn’t work. The way it is on the album is how it was meant to be in the end I think. Apart from that track, they all were written and recorded fairly smoothly…thankfully!
What track are you most proud of?
The last track on the album, Seasons of Age. I love it because it’s a dark, groovy, hooky and anthemic song. The guitar solos are fantastic mountain-top-wailing solos too. I love that track and the Type O Negative style ending closes the album perfectly.
One of my favourites is the opener, Hyperventilating – it feels like the perfect opening track. Can you tell me a little more about that song in particular?
Glad you think we made the right track! This song in particular was the very first thing to be written in mind for the album. Danny brought in the intro and we were all like “Whoooa cool!” So Scott, Simone and I applied it to guitars and bass and tried to make it as funky as possible. It seemed like an obvious choice for a second single. We just finished filming the video clip for that too so keep your eyes peeled for it!
Any interesting stories from the studio?
We always laugh at the thought of Danny keeping his neighbours up at all hours of the night with him yelling and wailing lyrics in his vocals booth. Pouring his emotional lyrics out with as much gusto and feeling as possible at 2am and his neighbours being like “SHUUUT UUUUP!” hahah!
Moving on to touring, what would you say the best show you’ve ever played has been?
We’re a “perform like you’re in front of a million people” type band so even if it’s a small crowd we have lots of fun. As for the best show, in recent history I would have to say Hammersonic in Jakarta. Not many people get to see us on festival size stages but we really run around heaps and have fun with it. That show was incredible. We were the first band on after sunset and the prayer break and we had giant LED screens with our logo on it behind us, playing to 12,000 people. That plus the thought of playing somewhere you wouldn’t normally expect to ever play really makes it special.
And what about the weirdest or strangest?
We played a gig in New South Wales some years back. It was a Halloween dress up show. It was strange because it was held at a bowls club, we played quite late and there was this guy dressed up as King Diamond that kept yelling at us while we were setting up. I think he was the stage manager but no one had told us so we were confused as to why King Diamond kept getting all up in our collective grills. Our former guitarist was wearing an In Flames t-shirt too and someone in the audience got right in his face and yelled “Fuck In Flames!” or something to that effect. Yeah, that was a weird one. Hahaha.
If you could play a show anywhere, with any band, where would it be and why?
I think playing Live Aid in 1985 at Wembley Stadium to 72,000 people and countless others on TV in-between Queen and David Bowie would be a pretty good start.
If you could choose an animal to represent Voyager, what would you choose?
I think I’d choose the Urechis unicinctus, otherwise known as the Gaebul or “Penis Fish”. I would choose this animal to represent the band for no other reason than the hilarity that it would induce.
If there was going to be a movie released about Voyager, which actor would you want to play yourself?
Oooh good question! Hmmm. I would love to say Robert De Niro or someone badass like that but it would probably end up being Jim Carrey. I would LOVE that hahah!
And if Voyager could put their name to any product, what would it be?
I read a while back that there was a plastic filtration type straw that would turn any kind of dirty water into clean, drinkable water just by sucking the water up through it. It was cheap to manufacture and could literally be a life-saver for people in third world countries. That would be something we’d be proud to have the Voyager logo on!