This year, Australia is offering us a Eurovision Promise — and they're certainly sticking to it. Having qualified for the grand final in this year's second round of semi-finals, fans across the world will see Voyager and their sequinned blazers take to the ESC stage one more time. But are they taking the madness in their stride? FILMHOUNDS sat down with them to find out.
Eurovision week is officially underway… how are we feeling? I'm not in Liverpool yet. What are you thinking of it all?
Oh no, we feel great. Energised. Excited. Just ready to do this thing. But at the same time, we're trying to take it slow because we realised like by Saturday, it's gonna be all over. And that really sucks. So it's kind of like a combination of wanting to get there and do our thing but also trying to soak it all in and really enjoy the experience.
I think amongst the acts there has been a general feeling that no one really realised how much pre-party stuff happens, whether that's with the fans or not. How have you found all of that?
Spain was awesome. I think it was a very good introduction to the general intensity that everything would be. So it set the bar for us. It's been awesome. We've just been hanging out and chatting with lots of people. It's been less music and more talking and networking. We were sort of mentally ready for it as well because once we left Australia, that's it. You can't go back and forth. We can't go home like the other artists can't because it's just impractical and very expensive. As soon as we left, it was like “Alright, game on. This is what we're here for.” If we could ever use the term YOLO for anything, it's this.
Australia has only been in the contest for a few years — does Eurovision have the same hype there?
The reason Australia is part of it now is because of its massive hype back home. On a good year, it gets about 3 million people watching the finals, which is not an insignificant percentage of the population. Close to 10% of people in the country watch it and it's on at about three in the morning as well.
I remember seeing you last month at the London Eurovision Party and you guys looked amazing. Everyone wanted a bit of you! How easy has it been to merge Voyager with Eurovision?
It's been very seamless. Our general energy is just to always be entertaining and always have a fun time, and that's exactly what Eurovision is. It's entertainment at the end of the day and being in a band is also entertainment. We don't take ourselves seriously but we take the role of being entertaining seriously. So I think it's actually worked perfectly. There's a very good reason why Voyager is at Eurovision, which is that we suit the dynamic of it quite well. We're a niche synth-metal-pop band from Perth, Western Australia — we've got no business being here! This is ridiculous. So just getting to be at Eurovision is a win for us. We already feel like we've got the trophy.
I remember you saying when you were there that you don't feel nervous at all. You're taking it all in your stride. How has the reaction been to hearing your song? People already know the words, they're jumping up and down. That must be amazing.
It never gets old. It's surreal. We get a small taste at our own shows and headliners because we have very diehard fans of Voyager. We get a lot of people singing at our shows, but we're not playing to like 5000 people. So that many people is insane. We took out our in-ear monitors because we just wanted to hear everyone singing it to really soak in that moment. As a band, you spend so much of your time and effort just trying to get people to notice you. It's such a hard slog a lot of the time. So this is what you dream about. All of a sudden, everyone's paying attention. So again, we're just here to enjoy it. We just want to make the most of it.
Nobody loves Australians more than us. I don't feel like you could be in a better place. We love you, and we all want to live there. Does it feel like Liverpool is a good fit for you?
Definitely, absolutely. Liverpool as a city is just awesome. Someone said that it kind of reminds them of Melbourne — that's what it is! t Melbourne has an old-school kind of feel to it. The UK-Australia connection is what has always been really strong. We understand each other's sense of humour because we like to goof around and be idiots. Most of the time, that works very well in our favour. There's a really awesome fusion of the Liverpudlian music city with the fact that it's Ukraine's Eurovision. There's blue and yellow everywhere. The entertainment at our hotel is Ukrainian, which is really awesome. It's interesting you bring up that everyone wants to go to Australia for a holiday… we've got a great excuse for next year. If you just let us win, you can all come and see us!
Talk to me about the fashion of Voyager. I feel like we see you coming before we hear you! What makes you feel good when you're on stage?
Being on stage is pretty awesome in itself, but we've gone pretty extra this time. We're normally pretty dishevelled on stage, so we're feeling like a million bucks at the moment with the sequins and everything. More is more, as our manager would say. We had a really awesome designer in Perth called ZHIVAGO. Laura and her entire team just took the ball and ran with it. We said to her that if we got into Eurovision, we'd love it if you could make a jacket and she was like, “Hold my beer. Here are five outfits for your entire band.” it feels like a level-up moment for Voyager. not only in the staging but in terms of our whole like look as well. When we first heard sequins, shoulder pads, and chains being a thing for us, we weren't sure. And then you put it on and you're like, “Okay, I feel like a rock star.”
So as you said, come the weekend, the Eurovision journey is going to be over, but I feel like almost beginning. There are going to be so many people that tuned in at the weekend not knowing who you are, so there's another big explosion of Voyager fans incoming. Are you ready to be intertwined with Eurovision for essentially the rest of your career?
Yeah, absolutely. That's the cool thing about it as well. You're totally right. We've been thinking so much about all the things we've already done and we're not thinking about what legacy that leaves afterwards. We saw our socials blow up at Australia Decides when we did it last year, and we're prepared to have that be times by like 60 times the amount of exposure when this happens on Saturday. There is this whole after-effect that we have to consider as well. It's not just the event. It's the result of doing the event that's going to turn Voyager into a much bigger thing. We're not sure how to feel about that yet, because we're trying to be like cautiously optimistic about it. Whether those people will stick around is a total mystery. We're just trying to be as present as possible and we'll deal with things as they come! We've got Australian tours, a new album coming out on 14th July, we've got a tour in Europe coming up. Don't even get us started on 2024.
Does winning matter more to you?
We have already won. The trophy was being given the opportunity to do it in the first place. We'll be there for a good time. It's gonna be a great night regardless. Everyone's dedicated to putting on the best show possible. We're going to be happy no matter what happens.
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is on Saturday 13th May.