Voyager: Influences

Voyager: Influences

“I’ve always sought out music that moves me,” Voyager drummer Ashley Doodkorte tells Apple Music. “Those songs that hit you in chest and give you goosebumps when you turn off all the lights and listen to them in the dark.” He would know: The Perth prog-metal act officially represented Australia at Eurovision in 2023, finishing in ninth place with the roller-coaster-like anthem “Promise.” Not only does it climb to dizzying heights and make sudden shifts from smooth to turbulent, but it distills some of the band’s assorted musical touchstones from over their two-decade career—and even earlier than that. “I thought I had a good idea of what my kind of music was when I was a teenager,” says Doodkorte, “but as I’ve grown up I’ve found songs coming at me from all sorts of unexpected places.” To honor that ongoing journey of discovery, he has compiled this exclusive playlist of key influences on himself and Voyager, unfolding in order of when he stumbled onto them. Read on for his commentary on five standout tracks. Def Leppard, “Rocket” “One of the first songs I can remember really rocking out to with my dad. The ultra-slick production combined with the big gang-vocal chorus always filled me with a sense of awe.” Korn, “Got the Life” “My gateway song into Korn. I had no idea music could be this heavy and dark. I didn’t know you could make guitars sound like that. I didn’t know you could drum like that to a heavy song. Got me chasing all the weird things.” VAST, “Touched” “The combination of the sampled choir vocals with heavy guitars was such a breath of fresh air when I first heard a snippet of this song on a movie trailer. It took forever to track down what it was in the pre-smartphone days!” Future of the Left, “The Hope That House Built” “Future of the Left is one of my favorite discoveries of my adult life. The non-sequitur-ridden lyrics combined with such angular rhythms and abrasive tones create such a delightfully absurd package that you can’t help but smile and bang your head. ‘Come join our hopeless cause’ is one of the more anthemic choruses of modern times.” Mark Lanegan Band, “Bleeding Muddy Water” “Seeing where Mark went long after Screaming Trees was a bit of a revelation. I love the combination of his smoky, guttural, mournful voice over these weary-sounding tracks. You feel every note.”

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