Metal Revolutions Down Under

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That discrimination is an alien element to the metal scene is common knowledge. Today it’s played by people in every walk of life, from high school students to street cleaners, from conservatory graduates to white-collar clerks. Daniel Estrin, the leader of Australian Melodic Metal phenomenon Voyager, is a lawyer. But first of all, he is a man of huge musical gift and romantic spirit, who writes songs nearly as exotic for metal as his motherland’s aborigines are exotic for the rest of the world. No wonder, the band’s upcoming third album I Am The ReVolution is being impatiently awaited by the fans all over the globe. It’s not that frequent that we are exposed to metal stuff proposing such a perfect match of 80’s neo-romantic grandeur a la Depeche Mode, Ultravox and A-Ha and catholicity of contemporary metal. If you are still in the dark, it’s high time to ‘come to light’ and jump the leaving train, for the revolution has begun and it won’t be waiting for latecomers.

Hi Daniel! Nearly two years have passed since we talked about Voyager and its last album UniVerse. Believe me or not, but due to its exceptional melodic witchery and unconventional songwriting it is still played by me way more frequently than any other metal release from 2007. I hope you remember it made my top 2 of the year, though I’m sure it would win the garland were I to make that list now. OK, now that you are bringing out the new long-length I Am The ReVolution, the question is whether it’s going to move in the groove of its predecessors, or are we in for something off the beaten path?

Daniel Estrin: Glad to hear uniVers is still rotating in your player! Well, things, as they usually do, get bigger, better and even better. I am the reVolution takes uniVers and brings it up a hundred-fold. Bigger production, catchier songs, but still definitely VOYAGER. Everything just makes sense on this album; it’s the difficult third one, but I think we cracked it! There are definitely a couple of surprises though, wouldn’t be VOYAGER without them!

How did the process of writing new material move? Were you confronted by anything unusual or unforeseen? If yes, do the songs reflect it somehow?

Daniel Estrin: The process was seamless – it all came together in my head and was translated into reality by the four fantastic musicians I work with. This time what was fantastic is that Mark and Chris (our new young blood guitarist) wrote the framework for two songs – which was a very different way for me to approach songs. It worked really well, and “Total Existence Failure” and “On the Run from the World” are the product!

What has happened at the big V camp since 2007? Since there were some line-up changes, did the fresh blood bring any variety into the band’s sound?

Daniel Estrin: Absolutely. Alex is an awesome bass player, he’s added a whole new dimension to the “bottom end” of VOYAGER’s sound. Chris, at only 18 years of age, showed that he had it in him to be in this band – he’s got great song ideas too… so I can only say positive things about the new additions…. they’ve brought it all together!

Are there any show perspectives for the nearest future? Any countries or territories of your dream? I mean those that haven’t been visited or included in your prospective concert list yet.

Daniel Estrin: Definitely Asia. We’ve done Europe twice now and we feel that Asia deserves some VOYAGER too. We’re also doing a bit more touring in Australia, our fanbase is growing exponentially here. But hey, we obviously can’t stay away from Europe, so we’ll see you there soon!

In your profile I read that among other highly diverse musical preferences there is Russian Pop. Why? Do your Russian roots make themselves felt, or is it something different?
Daniel Estrin: Not sure really, I listen to a whole bunch of different styles of music, from Death Metal to Pop; Russian pop somehow strikes a chord with me – I think it’s the language and the musical modes that are used. I was exposed to a lot of Russian bards and the like through my father as a kid, and it must have rubbed off. Some of the best music (a lot of it not Russian, admittedly) is from Nu Pogodi, the Russian equivalent of Tom & Jerry. To this day it’s my favourite soundtrack!

How about using balalaika in your future songs?

Daniel Estrin: I do have one sitting at home, but given that I’m a shocking guitarist, I dare not touch the balalaika in fear of maltreatment. Speaking of balalaika, another group I was exposed to a lot when I was younger was TEREM KVARTET. Those guys shred their balalaikas like I’ve never seen before – amazing!

How would you describe the music of Voyager to those uninitiated?

Daniel Estrin: That’s always a difficult one – Most people when they hear “metal” think Death Metal, so you have to say stuff like “Think Depeche Mode or A-HA mixed with Beethoven and a heavy edge”, or, for people who have some idea about music, you can say “kinda like “MUSE” but a bit heavier… That usually gets the association juices flowing!

You called Jesus as one of your closest resemblances to celebrities. Did you mean appearances or something unseen?

Daniel Estrin: Oh definitely just in appearance, I’m not sure I qualify as the purported son of an implausible supernatural being…I’ll keep trying though. Actually the reason I said I resemble Jesus is that one day a little girl with her mother was coming out of a church in France which I was walking past and the little girl pointed at me and said: “Regarde Maman, Jesus!”

Which album is in your player/i-pod currently?

Daniel Estrin: Ipod is a naughty word… My mp3 player currently features the following very heavily:DEATHSTARS – Night Electric Night, SPOR – various stuff, SCAR SYMMETRY – Holographic Universe, ASTRIX – Artcore, VIBRASPHERE – Exploring the Tributaries…. and quite a bit of assorted Tamil, Hindi, Arabic and Russian music.

Well, let’s get back to the new album. Which is your favorite song and why?

Daniel Estrin: Good question, probably the forthcoming single “The Devil in Me” because it’s just so damn catchy but also “Common Ground”, which is a perfect symbiosis of electronica, metal, alternative and prog.. Just awesome, if I may say so myself!

We heard some short fragments of Russian and German speech on the previous albums. Are there any such surprises on I Am The ReVolution?

Daniel Estrin: No surprises, there WILL be Russian and German. I can’t help myself. Russian is always a lot harder because it’s not my mother tongue. German is a lot easier to write in, especially because it’s a pretty METAL language.

What is the ReVolution? By saying “I am the ReVolution” are you admitting you are a Bolshevik?

Daniel Estrin: Definitely more Bolshevik than Tsarist! “I am the reVolution” is quasi-conceptual actually, it deals with the overflow of information, the fast-paced, liberty-constrained civil society in which we live and the fact that the power of change lies within the individual. It”s personal on many levels. So bolshevik no, refusenik YES!

And closing our conversation, what would you like to wish the teethofthedivine readers?

Daniel Estrin: I wish them that they will open their ears and hear the sounds of the reVolution – VOYAGER will guarantee to bring you something extraordinary! And if you download the album for free, we don’t mind that much. But if you like it and want to support us directly, go to our website and buy the album as a download directly. You get the full artwork, a bonus track and that warm fuzzy feeling of having supported us directly! Viva la reVolution!


  1. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Great interview ceno!


    The new album is fantastic!!!!

  2. Commented by: Morris

    Terrific interview! Got a real kick out of the question about being a ‘Bolshevik’, and then his response in turn!

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