No, the photo above doesn’t picture two lonesome (but stylish) Robinson Crusoes happily celebrating their rescue. Although, you might guess that from the palms and beards. Anyway, it’s Bag Raiders, the Australian duo consisting of Chris Stracey and Jack Glass, proud creative fathers of some of the most capturing disco tracks of the recent seasons compiled on their about-to-be-released-internationally debut album. Before playing with the Jägermeister Wirtshaus Tour (and Peaches and aUtOdiDakT) in Stuttgart, Jack discussed their first German gigs, the path to success (and mobile contracts) and artistic affinities with us, surprisingly outing himself as a big fan of a certain German product.
Hi Jack, by now, you’ve already played three shows in Germany. How was the reception?
So far really good! We’ve played four actually. Deejayed in Munich and Saarbrücken and live in Berlin and, last night, Hamburg.
They’ve all been pretty amazing in their own special ways. And very different, too. We did Saarbrücken the night after Munich and it would be hard to find two more different cities than that!
It’s actually your first time in Europe. What is different here from what you expected it to be before the trip and what turned out to be exactly as you thought it would be?
It’s pretty much what I thought. I’ve always been excited to tour here (it’s been a few years coming), because every city is something new and exciting. I mean, I love touring in America but if you do ten dates there, the big cities are exciting, the small cities are weird and interesting, but nothing is wildly different. In Europe we’re in a different country everyday, going to all these amazing cities with such rich histories. We’re loving it!
Have you tested a German Wirtshaus or pup to prepare for your show in Stuttgart?
I don’t think so! We’ve had plenty of beers and sausages though. But for the real thing, I guess, we better get there early in Stuttgart!
According to last.fm (one of) your first ever gig happened to be at Brisbane’s Empire. What are your memories of this event?
That might be right. I can’t really remember to be honest. Maybe that was out first show outside of Sydney. I remember being super excited that we got to travel and do our thing, that people wanted to hear us in different cities. We’re still excited by that, I think. Anytime we get to to somewhere new is a good feeling…
In the recent past Cut Copy and Empire of the Sun pushed Australian electronic music on a quite popular level in Europe, you replaced the latter as the soundtrack of a mobile service provider’s current campaign. Do you think, that these acts paved your way to Europe in a way?
I’m not sure really. In Australia, no, we’ve paved our own way, I guess. And over here? I don’t know. I mean, when people say stuff like that it kind of sounds like they’re saying, “Empire of the Sun were big here. You do similar music and are from the same country. That’s why you’re popular.” Obviously I’ll never subscribe to that. With the internet everyone can know every band from every corner of the earth. So really, I don’t think it matters where you’re from. If the music is good, people will dig it
Bag Raiders : Shooting Stars (Video)
We were introduced to you back in the fall of 2008 with the b-side of the Turbo Love! single, “Shooting Stars”. Two years later it was also featured on your debut full-length. What kind of relationship have you developed towards this song over the years? What does it mean to you?
It’s a big part of our lives! I’m proud of it, really. Maybe a little sick of it, too. Haha. But every time we play it – live or dj – it gets the most amazing response. I’m not sick of that!
What kind of activity, do you think, is the album an ideal soundtrack to?
Lots of activities we hope. We wanted to make an album that had tracks for the club (obviously) but also tracks for the car, the loungeroom, the bedroom, the kitchen, the laundry, whatever. I think we succeeded in that more or less. The diversity of the album is one of the things I’m most proud of.
To be honest, its artwork looks a bit as the airbrush art on a ‘pimped’ car. What type of cars are your favourites and what was the idea behind the artwork?
Ha, you’re asking the wrong people. Neither of us are rev heads at all. Chris rides a scooter and my car is a beat up old piece of shit (just the way I like it!)
We like the artwork because it represents for us all the hundreds of different influences that go into our music. Polar bears, surfers, cup cakes, it’s all there somewhere…
The video to “Way Back Home” shows you working on various different exhibits in an atelier. Are you very artistic persons besides your music as well? Do you draw while being on tour for instance?
Not particularly. The set for that film clip felt more like a drug lab than anything else to me. We both love art and movies but I think our talents are confined to the world of sound.
Bag Raiders : Way Back Home (Video)
Last but not least: we pretty much don’t know anything about Australian food or drinks, except for a certain blue beer (F…..’s). What does your favourite local dish look like and are you able to make/cook it yourselves?
Fosters is export only. You never see it in Australia (lucky for us because it tastes like urine!)
The most popular beers are things like VB, Tooheys New and Carlton Draught. None too amazing. There are some nice boutique beers and great wines. But to be honest, I love weissbeers and normally drink German stuff like Erdinger and Shöfferhoffer. Mmmm.
Bag Raiders Bag Raiders is out on June 3 via Universal in Germany.
Bag Raiders : Sunlight
Monarchy : I Won’t Let Go (Bag Raiders Remix)
In cooperation with Jägermeister.