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
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.