Rooting for a Eurovision singer of the same name
A few years back, an email in my inbox sent to not quite the right address led me to a beautiful and bizarre discovery: there is a metal rocker in Australia who shares my name and has a half-shaven, half-Rapunzel head of hair.
We met five years later when he was visiting his sister in Jerusalem. Another five years after that, he was back in Tel Aviv when the city was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, and we watched the finals together, cheering on Australia's contestant.
Who knew then that Daniel Estrin, immigration lawyer and rock star, would be on a meteoric rise to Eurovision fame? This week, his pop metal band Voyager is representing Australia on the Eurovision stage. For the first time, fans around the world can vote for their favorite song.
This called for a historic Daniel Estrin summit on NPR's Morning Edition, featuring a surprise guest: Daniel Estrin, the lead guitarist of the Grammy-nominated band Hoobastank, best known for its ballad The Reason, which is now making a comeback on the Netflix series Beef.
We Daniels Estrin (that being the proper plural form) spoke together for the very first time, and Hoobastank's Dan Estrin shared his musical advice — and inhibitions — with Voyager's Danny Estrin ahead of his Eurovision debut. And we offered up our vocal talents singing the opening lyrics of Voyager's Eurovision entry, Promise.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
On the song that Voyager will perform at Eurovision
Danny Estrin (Voyager): It's called "Promise." And the song, lyrically, is really all about the chaos that we see in the world today, and it's getting more and more and more chaotic. And that sometimes, you just got to find someone or something to tell you, hey, you know what? It's going to be all right.
On uniting three Daniels Estrin
Danny Estrin (Voyager): Well, it's been a dream to unite all the Daniels Estrin. So yes, I do, of course. I mean, he's very famous. And I hope that one day those three powers can combine, God knows what we can achieve.
Dan Estrin (Hoobastank): Hey, Daniel Estrins.
Danny Estrin (Voyager): This is phenomenal.
Daniel Estrin (NPR): Do either of you guys get mistaken for each other or mistaken for me?
Danny Estrin (Voyager): Yeah. I mean we get NPR in Australia and so the number of times people go, 'oh, I didn't realize you were doing, like, radio as well, that's really cool. And, right, your accent has changed a bit though,' so I get that a lot. It's great.
Dan Estrin (Hoobastank): I have been tagged on, I'd say, Instagram, I've been tagged in photos of you many, many, many times — even like within the last week or two — from Voyager. Like there's been all the fans of yours that have posted in their stories a photo of you from, just like, recently, you know, last week. And then there's me tagged in it and I just get a kick out of it.
On advice for Daniel Estrin of Voyager as he performs at Eurovision
Dan Estrin (Hoobastank): I think that from what I've heard musically, it's really catchy. It's a sick song. I've been listening to it a lot ... My only advice is just continue. Continue to do what you love, continue to write music. And it sounds bitching. That song is really cool. When the band kicks in, like, the hair on my arms goes up a bit. I don't know man, I'm digging it.
On what its meant to speak to two other guys named Daniel Estrin
Danny Estrin (Voyager): To me, it's immense how wondrous connections are between humans and how incredibly closely and inextricably linked we all actually are ... and, to pardon the motto of Eurovision this year, which is United By Music, that's literally what we are. I know, again, it's not very not very metal to be all positive and lovey-dovey, but that's the message to me. And it's meant a lot that this has happened today. It's just bizarre and awesome.
Dan Estrin (Hoobastank): I would have had just assumed that Danny and the Voyager camp probably were just like, "uch, Hoobastank." That's just kind of where my head goes a lot, you know, like someone's clowning us or someone thinks we're idiots or we suck ... we are well-known for this ballad-y song. That's kind of how I felt initially. But then when I was reached out by Daniel, I was like, it's probably not like that. He's probably super dope and cool and, you know, let's do this.
Danny Estrin (Voyager): I'm kind of sad that you thought this was a spoof. I admire your work. I think it's amazing. It is one of the hardest things in the world to write a song that makes it so big and then it's in the zeitgeist of literally every single person. So kudos to you. Keep doing what you're doing.
Chad Campbell produced the audio version of this interview. contributed to this story
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