MEET THE CREW! VOYAGER FRONTMAN DANIEL ESTRIN
Australian prog metal band Voyager are named after the space program of two unmanned probes that were launched by NASA back in 1977. Both probes are still in operation today, way beyond their original planned mission of studying Jupiter and Saturn. They are still sending back data, both having left our solar system and entered interstellar space in the past few years. The longevity of the program is testament to humanity’s curiosity, and along with our relative insignificance in the universe, something that informs and inspires the band’s music. Frontman Daniel Estrin spoke to us about his thoughts on the same subject…
When did you first fall in love with science and space exploration?
I remember reading magazines as a kid in Germany called Cosmos; I remember very little except that I was in awe of the universe and its many mysteries. I come from a family of scientists but am the first to have a completely unscientific brain. Science and space exploration is so incredibly complex that I am in awe of those who grasp it on a scientific level. The truth is, I failed first semester Year 12 physics in school, much to the chagrin of my dear father. My brain just isn’t wired for scientific thought, which is all the more reason for me to admire those who have that ability. When I consider the incredible complexity of the universe, I am so grateful for every single space nerd out there who is contributing to the evolution of science and exploration and I’m secretly jealous that I’m not one of them.
Any movies or albums that were influential to your early inspiration?
Bal-Sagoth’s The Power Cosmic (1999) is an amazing sci-fi fantasy album. Back in the old days of Voyager I was fascinated by the idea of cosmic law and life on other planets, so some of that was tied into an early song series called Cosmic Armageddon Pt1 and Pt2. I also had a friend at law school who wanted to study space law and I thought it was such an interesting concept – you absolutely need a set of laws regulating how things are done in space; this led to a song on the first album which was all about being brought before a magistrate on a different planet. Way to tie in the law and space!
How has your interest in outer space influenced your music?
The concept of our personal insignificance in the context of outer space has been a huge lyrical inspiration – I know it’s somewhat solipsistic to relate it back to oneself, but it’s good to be reminded that, in the context of the universe, it really doesn’t matter! What’s funny is that I love spacey, ethereal soundscapes (I’m a synth nerd), so I’ve been getting into a lot of ambient music lately (a lot of which is very space-inspired), so really I’m inspired by sounds that were inspired by something I don’t understand!
Why do you think outer space is so interesting to people?
When everyday people struggle to open a jar of pickles, it is unfathomable that we can travel to outer space. How can you not be fascinated by it? It’s just mind-boggling to think what’s out there and our brains cannot comprehend the magnitude. I think when people don’t understand something, they either shut down and turn away or gasp in awe – the latter is usually when you have evidence and can see something – there is evidence of different planets, of the solar system, so we are naturally drawn to it.
Why do you think space exploration is important?
I understand the argument that there are world problems that need to be fixed before we invest in a space program, but by that token, there should be no investment in any type of innovation and technology. I also understand how important it is to look beyond what we know and understand our surroundings, so I think it is absolutely a worthwhile investment.
Is there a special relationship between music and the cosmos?
Should we ask those who put together the Golden Voyager record?! My answer to that is no. Soundwaves travel too slowly.
Who are you looking forward to meeting at Space Rocks?
I most look forward to being intellectually obliterated by every single attendee. Sharing the stage with both Amplifier and Anathema is going to be a truly unforgettable experience, and to speak to people who have made a scientific contribution to progress (the real rock stars) is going to be phenomenal.
What can fans expect from your set?
An entertaining, 80s-infused heavy cosmic experience, with ethereal soundscapes and super-catchy choruses. Our art is the science! See you soon!
Get your tickets to see Voyager along with Amplifier and Anathema HERE!