Perth prog-metal outfit Voyager unleash their new album, ‘Ghost Mile’, this month and guitarist Simone Dow is calling it some of their best music yet.
“It definitely still makes sense next to ‘V’, our previous album,” Simone says. “It's not like we've suddenly done an Opeth; we're not doing ‘70s prog all of a sudden when we were doing folky-death metal. So it makes sense, it’s just that it's progressing from that sound.”
Voyager lay claim to a sonic signature that resists standard categorisation by genre. While they’ve retained vast, musical vocabulary, Simone says ‘Ghost Mile’ presents a more cohesive album than their others.
“We've always been known as the band that doesn't sound like anyone else because we have so many different influences going into a giant melting pot and it comes out with this poppy-synthy-djenty progressive metal.
“We've still got that overall sound, but what I’ve noticed for this album is it’s more of a listen to the whole album; all of the songs make sense alongside one another rather than it just being 12 songs that are good, but maybe they sound a little different to one another.”
‘Ghost Mile’ comes three years after the release ‘V’ and in that time Voyager have coalesced into a tight, musical unit. Much of the unified sound and songcraft on the record is the result of several changes in the band’s make-up during the past few years. “I don’t think [‘Ghost Mile’] was intentionally written that way,” Simone says.
“What's happened is, over the course of the last few albums, we've really started to find our sound, and also that this is the only album where we've had the same line-up twice in a row.
“We had a few line-up changes... every other album we've had new members on board and this is the first time it's the exact same line-up. That has played a massive part in it sounding like it makes sense.”
Voyager blast off for a national tour this month and Simone says the shows will be an epic, audio-visual spectacular for audiences.
“We want to make this tour really massive, we want this to look and sound huge this time. We are all about performing and it’s not put on or anything like that. [The] five of us love being on stage and feeding off the energy of the crowd.
“For me there’s nothing worse than watching a band play and they just stare at their shoes the whole time or they don’t engage with their audience… When you’re up on stage you’re called a performer for a reason, you’re up there to perform for people and we get lost in the music and lost in each other on stage.”
While issues of gender equality and diversity in the Australian music industry are becoming the hot-button topic for 2017, as a woman playing guitar in what’s considered a male-dominated genre, she has unique insight. “People want to fix the symptom and not the cause,” she says.
“This whole ‘filling quotas at gigs’ is just rubbish, that won’t fix the problem. The problem is ‘why are women not in bands?’, not ‘you need to put more women on this festival because it’s not equal’, that’s just stupid.
“People aren’t putting bands on festivals based on their gender; I mean it’s just dumb. I may get shot down for saying that, but that’s how I feel about it. At least there’s light on it, but I worry about it being for the wrong reasons, that’s what bothers me.”
Voyager ‘Ghost Mile’ Album Tour Dates
Thu 11 May - Fowlers Live (Adelaide)
Fri 12 May - Evelyn Hotel (Melbourne)
Sat 13 May - The Zoo (Brisbane)
Fri 19 May - Amplifier Bar (Perth)
Sat 20 May - The Basement (Canberra)
Sun 21 May - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)