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Eurovision 2023 profile: Ash from Voyager

Tell us about your background, how did you get into music and join Voyager?

My dad and brother have both been avid guitarists from a young age, and I tried but it never made sense for me. I chewed through guitar, bass and keys without really sticking to them or maintaining interest. For some reason at age 14 a switch flipped in my brain and all I could think of was getting a drum kit. To my parents’ credit and eternal patience they surprised me with my first kit that Christmas and it just clicked… haven’t left the throne since. I’ve known the fine folk in Voyager since bands of mine shared stages with bands of theirs in various configurations since about 2001, acting as their graphic designer since their third album in 2009 and finally picking up sticks for them in 2012.

When did you first hear about Eurovision and what has your journey been like with the contest? Have you always been a fan or is it a more recent discovery?

I seriously came to the competition in about 2003; my friends from school and I would have Eurovision watch parties as is the tradition in Australia! We’d have friendly bets on winning countries, try to bring a potluck of the most obscure regional European dishes we could find and marvel at the spectacle. As a budding musician I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to play that stage, but my dreams were always tempered by the realisation that I was drumming in niche metal bands in Perth. Everything changed in 2015 though…..

What are your passions outside of music? Tell us all about them!

I’m a graphic designer by trade, so I’m engrossed by all things visual, and lately this has spilled over into becoming somewhat obsessed with flags - an amateur vexillologist! So much so that I’m working on a book about flags in my spare time (whatever that is at the moment). I’ve also developed a very healthy obsession with Australia’s craft brewing scene and can often be found chasing the latest beer release about town..

If you could have a jam session with any three artists living or dead who would they be?

I’ve long held a dream that one day Trent Reznor will come across a video of me drumming and snap me up as his Nine Inch Nails touring drummer someday; to be a part of that beautiful chaos would be a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of Paul Dempsey’s songwriting, and if I could ever accompany Andrew “Falco” Falkous (*mclusky / Future of the Left) I would die a happy drummer boy.

Which Eurovision 2023 entries are some of your favourites?

Getting to see Diljá perform 'Power' live at the pre-parties I’ve been taken aback by how huge her voice is and just how much she loves being on stage - it’s an absolute joy to watch. Luke Black’s 'Samo Mi Se Spava' has been growing steadily on me too.

Which three songs from Voyager's back catalogue do you think fans should check out?

Before I was a member of the band, I got hooked on the song 'Broken', it’s a great modern-sounding fusion of EDM and metal that’s become a big part of our sound. I’m very proud of the song 'Misery is Only Company', the chorus is so anthemic and the song is quite intricate under the surface. 'Severomance' is a song that really gets under my skin and gives me the feels.

Do you have a top tip for someone visiting Western Australia? Something they must see or a hidden local gem?

I travelled to Esperance last year for the first time and fell in love with the culture, beaches, natural beauty, and general pace of life. It’s a long way from anything else, but you can’t beat it!

Tell us a surprising fact or something we wouldn't know about another band member?

Scott can’t burp, and as an avid belcher myself I am equal parts sympathetic and disappointed for him.

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