Syd­ney party duo left the coun­try to rock dis­cos in the US and now they’re back for a while with some new sounds and a new vibe

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - MIKEY CAHILL

Sh­eryl Crow once sang breathily, This ain’t no disco / It ain’t no coun­try club ei­ther / This is LA! Syd­ney duo and re­spected dance­floor con­sul­tants Bag Raiders left the coun­try clubbin’ of Aus­tralia to rock the dis­cothe­ques of Los An­ge­les last year, os­ten­si­bly to go on a “writ­ing trip” for LP two. “It was an ac­ci­den­tal thing that we stayed here,” Chris Stracey says, chew­ing on some choco­late-cov­ered goji berries. His other half is Jack Glass.

Stracey pep­pers our in­ter­view with ref­er­ences to Cameron Diaz at his lo­cal cafe, kale, over­hear­ing jog­gers talk­ing about their au­di­tions, kale, see­ing Big Sean at their gigs and lines like, “There’s al­ways eight peo­ple lined up at my lo­cal juice place, all or­der­ing co­conut kale smooth­ies.” Truly.

LA suits the lads. They get the coun­try club vibes dur­ing the day then get paid the Ben­jamins to rock the dis­cos at night. “We came for a writ­ing trip and change of scenery. After three months we went back to Aus­tralia. Then we had more shows in Amer­ica. We got into the writ­ing of our al­bum and brought some of our stu­dio’s gear over,” Stracey says. Stracey is an out­doors guy. “I’m re­ally into hik­ing,” Stracey en­thuses. “One thing I liked about Syd­ney is the na­ture as­pect of it. It’s a trek to go to the beach here but there’s so many canyons and parks to hike in.

“You drive five min­utes and then you’re climb­ing a moun­tain. You feel like you’re in the wilder­ness. I some­times have prob­lems with re­lax­ing, I used to not be able to chill out at all. I’d go to the beach then come back after lay­ing on the sand and think, ‘that was a waste of time’,” he laughs, com­ing up with a clearer anal­ogy. “I need bet­ter time man­age­ment, I have the same amount of time in a day as Bey­once does.”

They’ve in­gra­ti­ated them­selves with the lo­cals, too. The right peo­ple. It helps some of them are ’Strayan. “Be­fore we knew it, Anna Lu­noe moved here, there’s so many dance mu­si­cians, Tommy Trash, Hook ’n Sling all live here. The Clas­sixx guys are from here, too, and we’re bud­dies with them. It was a re­ally easy tran­si­tion.”

Now the tran­si­tion is from be­ing a crossover house-mu­sic act to guys that write songs suited to 3pm, not 3am eter­nal. More Shoot­ing Stars than Snakecharmer. They put out the Nairobi EP ear­lier in the year to keep floors mov­ing and the fans sated.

Nairobi isn’t that in­dica­tive of the record. Or is it? “Well, here’s the thing, it is and it isn’t.”

The record “is all songs”. “Some of them are dance-ier. None are straight up night­club tracks.

“Club­bing moves quickly. I don’t wanna lis­ten to a club al­bum when I’m at home,” he says.

Some prod­ding re­veals one tune will be called Va­por Trail. “We’ve used clas­si­cal mu­sic on the record. There’s one song that we made with a re­ally long drone … it’s synth, strings and har­mo­nium.”

Syd­ney duo Bag Raiders are back after rock­ing the dis­cos in Los An­ge­les.

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