"We’re attracted to dance music that isn’t just straight-up club bangers. Music with emotion, with elements of rock or even pop - chaotic good has always appealed to us."
Legendary electro duo Bag Raiders (aka Sydney-born multi-instrumental musos Jack Glass and Chris Stracey) are back in a big way as they drop their first release of 2023 with a high-energy banger called Love Me Back.
Having drip-fed first tastes of new music in 2022 by the way of the dancefloor-centred UR Heart, 2-step stuttering Never Forget and pensive, fast-paced Letting Go, Bag Raiders now share Love Me Back in a continuation of their new sonic trajectory.
Staying true to their unmatched ability to create technically proficient nostalgia and blend it with an infectious melody, Love Me Back is a love letter to the club: a serotonin boost that is fast, confident, and full of maximum thrills to capture that strobing and shining dancefloor ethos.
Beaming with personality, Love Me Back marks some of their most creatively free work yet. Pulling a Meg Mac vocal into the track, they share: “We were doing some sessions with Meg Mac and Tim Ayre working on a whole bunch of stuff. Pop music, indie, trip-hop, just going nutso really, getting down whatever came out.”
“Around the same time we had this idea for a club track where the breakdown was a long chordal thing and the drop was the same but all cut up. Very simple stuff.”
They continued, “We wanted it to sound like we'd sampled an old funk record or something, so we got out the violins and guitars and recorded a bunch of stuff, layered some extra vocals tucked in there, and then chopped that all up.”
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“Because this was all happening at the same time we thought hang on… what if we steal a Meg vocal from one session, pitch it up and turn it into a rave vocal in the other? Bag Raiders style! We went from indie rock to club banger in 4 semitones and 20 extra BPM. Lucky she liked it hehe.”
Not many artists have had an impact in the way that Bag Raiders have had on dance music, both in Australia and across the globe.
With a rich history of achievements already in the bank, their 2010 self-titled debut changed the game having debuted at #7 on the ARIA Charts, snagging nominations for ARIA’s Best Dance Release ‘Album of the Year for (triple j) and Dance Work of the Year (APRA).
A part of that record was the single Shooting Stars which has amassed over 4 billion streams online, clocked over 32 Platinum or Gold plaques worldwide, and had a cultural impact beyond anyone’s expectations.
Now, in celebration of their newest tune, Love Me Back, we sat down with Jack and Chris of Bag Raiders to find out everything you need to know about the Aussie electro icons.
OK - Give us the story behind the name Bag Raiders?
We made a mix CD back in 2006??? We were sharing a studio at the time with a bunch of the Bang Gang guys, AJAX (RIP), Gus [Da Hoodrat], and Jamie [Doom]. We stole records from their bags and called the mix The Bag Raiders...and the name stuck!
If your music was a flavour, what would it taste like?
A blend of sweet and savoury with a chilli kick at the end. And well-aged, obviously!
Who are some of your biggest musical influences and how have they impacted your own sound and style?
When we first started getting into dance music it was definitely the time of Ed Banger, Soulwax, Digitalism etc etc.
I think those influences have always bubbled beneath the surface for us. We’re attracted to dance music that isn’t just straight-up club bangers. Music with emotion, with elements of rock or even pop—chaotic good has always appealed to us.
What’s been the biggest moment in your career so far?
Hanging out with Nile Rogers (we toured with Chic in the south of the US) was pretty sick and trippy and felt big! He kept saying, “I better watch out for my bag around you boys, right?!!”
What’s the most unusual or unexpected source of inspiration you’ve drawn from when writing a song?
Food, people, travel, books, films - the more unusual the better!
Can you share a hilarious or cringe-worthy moment from your early days as artists?
Nothing is more cringe than the power cutting out on stage when we’re playing live!! I remember one of the first times we toured in Chile it cut out again and again and again. It’s so shitty cause all the mics shut down so you can’t even tell the audience what’s happening.
Anyway, it turns out a dude was on one, pacing back and forth behind the stage, and kept bumping the power outlet with his knee haha.
What are the top three tracks or artists you’re vibing on rn?
What’s something that fans not might know about you guys?
We are very good at cooking!
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Something classical for sure. Bach Preludes and Fugues or French Suites perhaps?
What’s in the works for you in 2023?
We got 4 new songs locked and loaded! Can’t wait to release them all! Also, we’re bringing back the live show in a whole new format—that’s gonna be real fun!