Australian dance-pop duo Bag Raiders brought seriously good tunes to Kemang’s Parc 19 earlier this month. That night, the club was packed with Jakarta’s hip young people enjoying themselves dancing all night long.
Members Jack Glass and Chris Stracey flew to Bali afterwards and gave us a moment of their holiday time to answer some questions.
We heard you guys have been playing since high school. What kind of music did you play?
Stracey: We were in the orchestra together. Growing up I played violin, saxophone, clarinet and guitar. Jack played piano, cello and percussion. So between us we can kind of get a tune out of most instruments, which is really helpful in the writing process.
What are your inspirations in creating music?
We get inspiration from so many things. Not only other musicians and groups like Prince; Earth, Wind & Fire; Hall and Oates, Fleetwood Mac, but other jazz musicians, funk groups and music from all around the world. Films, books, people, food, travels, science, technology. Pretty much we draw inspiration from living, because after all, being alive and conscious is one of the most inspiring things to experience, no?
Which artist do you want to collaborate with?
Beyonce, Prince, Sampha, Tenariwen (laughs). Really anyone. I think collaborating is a fantastic thing and I’d be down to give something a go with pretty much anyone if we had a mutual appreciation for each other.
Can you tell us your process in creating music? And what are the common obstacles or challenges that you run into?
Well, it’s different every time. Sometimes, we work together in the studio just jamming on riffs over a drum beat. Sometimes a song might start alone at home at the piano with a glass of wine in the candle light. Sometimes it starts in a hotel room on tour. Sometimes an idea pops into your head whilst you’re in the shower and you have to race to find your phone and record it into your voice notes.
That’s what makes music the best, because it’s different every time. Sometimes it works fast and we can punch out a song in a day or so. Other times, it takes time. It can be difficult to get the ideas working in a flowing arrangement at times. There’s all sorts of challenges along the way, but part of the fun is meeting them and making them work for you.
Of all the remix that you’ve guys done, which do you think is the most satisfying or impresses you the most during the creating process?
It’s been a while since we did a remix, but one that surprised me was the one we did for the Ting Tings’ song “Silence”. It was the first time we had done something entirely in the laptops. We usually work with synthesizers and drum machines in a studio, but this time we were on the road in Germany, and we had to get it done. So mostly it was done on the tour bus, driving down the freeway at 140km/h. It was really fun and one of the things I like the most about it is its simplicity.
What’s the reason that made you guys move from Australia to Los Angeles a few years ago?
Having lived in Sydney most all of our lives, we thought it could be cool to have a change of scene to write some songs. But once we got over there we thought it would be silly to uproot ourselves when we were just getting into the flow of working on the new record. Well, that was about a year and a half ago now, and we’re still there.
Does moving to LA influence your music?
I thing that we have definitely been inspired by California. The radio there is so diverse, there’s a lot of older funk-boogie and classic rock stations, and there’s something about driving down the roads of palm trees in Los Angeles listening to that sort of music, you can’t help but let it get into your system.
What are your plans for this year?
Finish and release our second album. Very excited about this. Then we will work on a brand new live show and go on tour.
What music have you guys been listening to lately?
Sampha, Banks, Sohn, FKA Twigs, Haim, Daniel Avery, Kelela, Jon Hopkins. Lots of stuff. There’s so much great music out at the moment.
Originally published in SUB-Cult, an online magazine bringing you the newest information in lifestyle, music, films, books, art and designs.