Features

Bag Raiders: They’ve got the ‘Australian touch’

Hotly tipped duo the Bag Raiders are the first to admit they don’t like plastic slip-on shoes or army-fatigues. “If you’re looking for romance and wearing Crocs or cammo, you may as well have a giant sign on your head saying ‘Hi, I’m a repeat sex offender, I have two kids and I live with my mum… how about it?’ But seriously…” That being said, they’re more than happy to confess to breaking more than a few fashion faux pas themselves. “That’s what’s good about being the DJ; you can play in shorts and flip-flops if you want to,” they laugh. “Because if they don’t let you in, there’s no music.”

Location makes little difference either, with the Australian ‘rules for love’ (and looks) applying everywhere. “If by romance you mean fat drunk dudes yelling at us to play more Crookers, then every city has its chances,” the Sydney based duo suggest. “With the right attitude and good manners, if you are looking for it romance will surely find you wherever you go. And if all else fails, there’s always Jagermeister. I guess Jager is a kind of romance.”

Better known to their growing army of fans as Chris and Jack, as Bag Raiders they’ve also reached a considerably wider crowd, principally through debut EP ‘Fun Punch’ on the Bang Gang 12 Inches label and a slew of remixes for the likes of Midnight Juggernauts, K.I.M. and Lost Valentinos. Currently working on their own tracks for Bang Gang 12 Inches and A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold, as well as a remix for Cut Copy, they took time out to speak to Skrufff about life and love in 21st century Oz.

Skrufff: How did Bag Raiders come about?

Bag Raiders: We went to the same school but didn’t know each other too well, then met up again a few years after we’d finished and found that we both doing similar things and liked the same kind of music. So we started trying to make songs together.

Skrufff: What was the idea or concept of the band? Whose idea was it?

Bag Raiders: I’m not sure it was that well thought out. We were just mucking around, making music – mostly for ourselves I suppose. When we started getting better, people got interested in what we were doing.

Skrufff: You seem very busy right now, what’s on the cards?

Bag Raiders: We’ve just finished some remixes for Cut Copy and ZZZ and there’s a couple of original 12s not too far away. ‘Turbo Love’ is coming out on Bang Gang 12 Inches and we have a North American vinyl release coming out on Fool’s Gold. We’ll probably start working on an album at the beginning of next year.

Skrufff: There seems to be quite a similar feel in many of the tunes coming out of Australia and France at the moment, do you think that’s the case?

Bag Raiders: Well, yes we agree, but it is now officially confirmed since a French kid befriended us on Myspace saying “I love your music, this ‘Australian touch’”. That was the single-most awesome genre description I have ever heard. I guess we all grew up with that French house sound, all the Roule stuff, Cassius and Daft Punk. It’s such feel good music. I guess with things so focused on fidget and bassline stuff, it’s nice to keep pumping out this kind of music to keep some variety.

Skrufff: Why the name Bag Raiders? Did one of your grandmothers get mugged?

Bag Raiders: About 3 years ago we got together with our buddy Gus Da Hoodrat (from Bang Gang) and made a mix CD. We called the CD ‘Bag Raiders’. Then when we started doing remixes and stuff we just took the name from that.

Skrufff: What’s your worst fashion crime – have you ever been refused admission to a club because of your dress sense?

Bag Raiders: Probably zebra tracksuit pants is the worst, and the funny thing is I wasn’t denied admission; and I wasn’t even the most outlandishly dressed in the club. A couple of years ago [when] everyone got really into the flouro thing, going out was like being stuck in a neon cocktail-bar sign or something.

Skrufff: Have you ever found yourselves the wrong side of the law?

Bag Raiders: Nope, a few parking tickets here and there, but apart from the aforementioned fashion crimes, no grand larceny or anything of that nature. Generally we try to promote healthy moral values; stay in school, don’t do drugs… that sort of thing.

Skrufff: You’ve done a fair bit of touring around the country now. Which city in Australia has the sexiest boys and girls, and the least sexy?

Bag Raiders: Hmmm, sexiest? Probably Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, in no particular order. Regarding least sexy, I would have to probably say Maitland, although it is not really a fair judgment because the night we played there, there must have only been about 8 people in the club. Apparently we could not compete with the allure of a travelling rodeo which came to town. You get the idea… I heard somewhere that beauty was in the eye of the beer-holder.

Bag Raiders tour Australia as part of Parklife, debuting their live show exclusively at the festival. For all the latest on the 2008 tour head to www.inthemix.com.au/parklife:

Sat Sep 27th – Adelaide

Sun Sep 28th – Melbourne

Mon Sep 29th – Perth

Sat Oct 4th – Brisbane

Sun Oct 5th – Sydney