Voyager's Simone Dow: "We are just about to head into the studio to record album number 5!"

Simone Dow joins us as we continue our look back at 2013, and also looks forward to next year...

Hello again Simone, thanks for getting involved in our end of year feature! So, 2013 – a good or bad year for music overall in your opinion? "I'd say filled with promise. There seems to be a lot more articles being released providing awareness into the industry for the masses. There's still a long way to go, but I think the general public are starting to understand that it's a tough career path for musicians. Not to mention a lot more crowd funding being promoted and supported, this means we can keep putting out music for our fans and touring to their cities!"

We'll touch on crowd funding a bit later on, but for now, What was the best album you heard this year? "That's tough. Two big ones for me are Steven Wilson's The Raven who Refused to Sing and Tesseract's Altered State. Worth a mention is also Dead Letter Circus' new release, very catchy and great songwriting".

And what about the worst? "I avoid bad music like the plague!So sorry, I don't know of any terrible releases".

Very diplomatic! Moving away from specifics and into more general music biz areas, Vinyl seems to have made a small comeback this year – do you think that progress will grow next year, or will the ‘vinyl renaissance’ still be limited to bands doing limited runs for collectors and die hard fans? "I think it is definitely more of a "collectors/limited run" thing. I've always thought of vinyl like this, you get to see the artwork in a whole new way and fans love limited releases. I think if it completely came back it would take the fun out of it. Also, with so many iPods around, who's gonna buy a record player!"

Well, the Metal as Fuck office is actually in the market for a new one, if anyone's got one they don't need! Now back to something you mentioned earlier - Fan funded recording projects also exploded this year – what’s your view of them – Have you used the system, or would you consider doing so in the future? "I think it's fantastic, it allows our fans to be a part of our recording process and it's not all for the benefit of the artist, it usually comes with some awesome sweeteners for the fans. What better way to help your favorite bands continue to make the music that you love. We're all for it and certainly would consider it."

And could you see fan funding expanding into other areas – providing tour support for bands, et cetera, as an extension of the concept? "There's no reason why it couldn't. When you're a working musician, every little bit helps. With a lot of tours being buy ons and costing a small fortune, you can understand why paid meet an greets are organized, so for the much smaller bands I could certainly see crowd funding expanding to all aspects of a working bands requirements like touring, video clips, merch etcetera".

You're very good at anticipating my questions! I was going to mention that another way bands have found to augment their incomes is by offering ‘VIP Experiences’ – what do you think of those? "I'm also all for these. I know some fans believe it is a rip off and that the artists "owe them", but this is completely inaccurate. I know for a fact that this is just a way for bands to ensure they at least break even or can afford to tour where they do. Like I said before, it costs a small fortune to make an album and touring is also extremely expensive so it's just a matter of recouping costs where you can. And bands are providing incentives to meet and greets like exclusive merch that you only get there so it's certainly not all take".

Interesting - there certainly seems to be a rough 50/50 split of 'fors' and 'againsts' on that subject! Moving along, We’ve heard which album you like the most from 2013 – who impressed you most in the live arena? "That would be Mr Steven Wilson again! I flew over to Sydney for his show and it was absolutely mind blowing. Super professional, amazing sonically and visually. An experience I'll never forget - plus Guthrie Govan!" 

Yes, we're fans of the guitar stylings of My G ourselves! And what awaits you musically in 2014? "Well we are just about to head into the studio to record album number 5. The songs are sounding amazing and we can't wait till they are out there for the fans to hear. There's also a video clip on the cards and definitely touring. We're not too sure exactly when the album will be out, but it should certainly be in the first half of 2014."

That is indeed splendid news! Anything else you think might come in handy for our readers to know over the holiday season? "Thanks for an amazing 2013 to all our fans. Stay safe and have a wonderful festive season. We look forward to seeing you all in 2014."

Thanks for taking part!