“We write music that makes us feel good,” says one half of Bag Raiders, Chris Stracey. Seven years after their ARIA chart topping, J Award nominated debut album, the pair’s mentality hasn’t wavered. They style music with passion, drive and, above all else, a commitment to the idea that genres or rules should never stand in the way of a good time.
“We’ve always kept things as varied as possible”, says Jack Glass, pointing to the early Bag Raiders mix tapes for which the group formed. These bedroom mixes, pressed to CD and distributed in the clubs and streets of Sydney, moved from hip hop, to rock, to dance and everything in between — their carefree nature in many ways a blueprint for everything Bag Raiders to come.
As classically trained musicians, the pair has always had a love for music, but a love for dance music wasn’t solidified until their involvement in Sydney’s burgeoning club scene in the mid to late 00’s — specifically as punters and DJs at the now (in)famous Bang Gang parties. Glass and Stracey brought a hybrid live show to the club and began making edits, blends and remixes for themselves and their DJ friends to spin.
“When we weren’t on the dance floor we were in the studio”, says Stracey, and in 2008, with their very first original track “Fun Punch” (Bang Gang 12 Inches / Fool’s Gold) they struck a hit. A slew of remixes followed for bands such as Cut Copy, Sneaky Sound System and The Ting Tings. But it was their 2009 single “Shooting Stars” that propelled them well and truly into the spotlight.
A year later their self-titled album on Modular Recordings brought further standouts like “Sunlight”, “So Demanding”, “Snakecharmer” and “Way Back Home”, going gold in Australia and sending the boys into a touring frenzy for three straight years.
When they finally stopped to gather breath, Chris and Jack decided on a change of scenery and made their way to Los Angeles where, once again, they set about paving their own road. At the very height of the EDM bubble the boys got to work on new, more introspective material, focusing less on big drops and production bells and whistles and more on live instrumentation and the craft of songwriting. The result was a set of EPs on Island / Universal — Waterfalls, Friend Inside, Checkmate and Beat Me To The Punch.
With a brand new live show the Bag Raiders again hit the road to smash out a thirty date tour across North America, selling out in all major markets. People were paying attention as their next shows were as the hand-picked support band for heroes Duran Duran and Chic. This period also saw remixes for Riton, Banks and Kimbra proving that the boys, though constantly looking for new directions, will always have one foot in the club.
In 2017 Shooting Stars exploded back into the charts worldwide riding the wave of a series of internet memes, a Jimmy Kimmel feature and more. A fitting way for the Bag Raiders to dive back into the spotlight and bring their varied and fun-loving take on music to a whole new audience.