Photo - Prog Magazine / Getty Images
With International Women's Day having taken place on March 8th, we've been celebrating talented women in metal from around the world kicking arse at what they do.
Simone Dow, guitarist of Perth prog metal band Voyager, was included in our list of eight women crushing it in heavy music, and we've also caught up with her to discuss being a female in metal, her favourite wine and more! Read on for the full chat.
Hi Simone! Firstly, congratulations on having 'Runaway' shortlisted for Eurovision this year! How did it feel seeing your music make it that far?
It was honestly really surreal, especially watching the show and seeing our video and interview with Danny broadcast on TV!!
Were there any female musicians in particular that you looked up to when you were first starting out?
When I started playing guitar, there were far less female musicians in the spotlight, so most of my influences were the usual suspects. I do remember looking up to Jennifer Baton though even before I started playing and when Wages of Sin by Arch Enemy came out, I was so stoked to see a woman killing it with a metal band. Little things like that representation give you more confidence to jump head first into a scene that feels a little daunting at first.
It seems that there are a lot of female vocalists in heavy music out there, but not as many guitarists. Is that something you'd agree with?
Absolutely, but it is definitely something that has improved in the last decade. Now I can list off a number of my peers who are absolutely killing it on guitar: Nita Strauss, Sarah Longfield, Leah Woodward (just to name a couple).
You've been doing Voyager for well over a decade now - what gives you the drive to keep going?
Music has been a massive part of my entire life. It’s like another language and way for me to express myself. I’d feel incomplete and hollow if I didn’t have it in my life. It also helps when you’re sharing that passion with your best friends.
A little bit of a digression here, but we've heard you're big into wine - are you a red or white drinker?
I used to LOVE my red wines, but unfortunately struggling with chronic migraines, I’ve had to remove it from my diet as it can be a really bad trigger for me. But I used to love a good Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Can you remember the first record you ever bought?
It’s not the first album I owned (I had a lot of tapes from family), but the first cd I bought with my own pocket money was Kill ‘Em All - Metallica. I remember getting it home and just learning every single song by ear on my guitar for hours in my room. Pretty sure I drove my parents nuts hahaha
What words of advice do you have for any young women wanting to pick up an instrument and start a band?
Head out to gigs and meet people in whatever music scene you’re a part of. Jam with a bunch of different people, because I found playing with other people really helped my playing to improve more than sitting in my room practicing alone. Also, never let anyone’s negativity detract from your passion and drive.
Voyager are heading on tour throughout Australia in May - grab tickets here!
Voyager - Runaway Australian Tour Dates
Sat, May 9 - Badlands, Perth
Fri, May 15 - The Back Room, Brisbane
Sat, May 16 - Jive, Adelaide
Thurs, May 21 - The Basement, Canberra
Fri, May 22 - Crowbar, Sydney
Sat, May 23 - Stay Gold, Melbourne
Listen to Voyager now.