Bag Raiders

By:Meghan Kearney
Electro-pop duo from Sydney, Australia made up of Jack Glass and Chris Stracey, released the third in a set of 3 EPs. Checkmate, aptly titled to finish off the set with a shutter, fit into the trio perfectly. A hat trick of hat tricks, the three EPs Waterfalls, Friend Inside, and finally, Checkmate, released over the course of the last 9 months are polished, beautifully produced dance tunes. Checkmate like the others, is undeniably joyous and addicting. The title track has the classic Bag Raiders good feels right off the bat with a heavy synthed chorus sprinkled with island vibes. “Breakdown” possibly an ode to Super Mario Bros. (I’m finding a connection with the 3s here) under beautiful vocals that stand apart from the other EPs. Think the soft beauty of fellow Aussies, Temper Trap. “Magic Feels” brings a more down-tempo but beachy sound to cap off the set.  There’s a minimal but distinct difference in sound across the EPs. If Waterfalls is the more disco-vibing record, Friend Inside leans a bit towards hip-hop beats, Checkmate is the pop-star. But in the grand scheme, these EPs blend together perfectly!

We interrogated Jack and Chris about their upcoming visit to Portland, and what we should expect from them live and recorded. We also asked them to lie to us. Did they? Only time will tell! Check out the interview below and be sure to grab your copies of the 3 EP vinyl set and catch them during their PDX stay.

Secretly Rad: First, tell us who you are and what you do.

Bag Raiders: We are Bag Raiders and we make electronic pop music!

You just released your new EP Checkmate following up on Waterfalls and Friend Inside – it’s another beauty. How has the reception been?

Thanks! The reception has been great. It’s been really cool to see people getting into ALL the tracks on on the EPs, not just the title tracks. Seems like on this EP people are loving “Breakdown” and “Magic Feel” too. Same goes for the previous EPs – “Footprints” always slays in the live show. It’s also cool for us to see these tracks finally out in the world! Some are a couple of years old now and some we finished very recently. But it seems that they all occupy the same world and fit together in a nice way which is encouraging for the upcoming album.

bag-radiers-vinyl-set-dThis is the third EP in the series of 3 excellent EPs. Was this your plan to release these as a set? If so what, how would you say they stand apart from one another, or work all together?

Yes the plan was 3 EPs and then the album. The EPs can be bought on limited edition, color vinyl on our website (either individually or as a set). I think taken all together they form a kind of mini album. There’ll be about 3 or 4 tracks from the EPs that make the album proper (it’s called Horizons btw) but mostly the album will be all new material. So really it’s like getting 2 Bag Raiders albums in a year. Woohoo!

Rumor has it you guys will be releasing a new record this summer? How’s progress on that coming along and can you give us any exclusive details, facts, or lies about it? Maybe two truths and a lie?

It’s called Horizons. There’ll be about 3 or 4 tracks from the EPs but everything else will be new. One of those facts is a lie.

It’s been awhile since you have played in Portland. We’re excited to welcome you back. What can we expect that will be different from last time you played here 4 years ago?

Yes! We’re excited to come again! I love Portland, I’ve hung out there a few times. As lovers of coffee, beer and food we fit in well. The new live show is much more of a live band experience. We have a drummer now, we both sing, play keys, bang things, dance around. Of course it’s all our own material as well so in that sense it’s more special than a DJ set.

Stricker_10664-06_AB020Checkmate and a summer album would put you right in the spotlight for this year’s summer fest season. You guys are the perfect vibes for festival season. Any big festival names on your radar whether as performers or attendees?

We love summer festivals! I’ll probably go check out Coachella (I seem to end up there every year one way or another) but apart from that I think it’s mostly festivals in the Australian summer that we’re looking to do. By that stage the album will be out and we’ll be in full album-tour mode.

What would be your dream music festival to play at and why?

Fuji Rock! I love Japan and everything I’ve heard about the festival itself makes it sound amazing!

You’re kicking off the last bit of this U.S. Tour now with a few California dates & a Vegas show ahead of you after Portland. What has been your favorite moment so far?

We just played in NY on the weekend and that was a lot of fun. Also we got to spend a bit of time in New Orleans, a city I’d never been to, and that
was amazing!

Send us a love letter from Sydney to Portland. Can you each name 2 artists from home that we should pay attention to here?

Cleopold. A good friend of ours. We’re producing and writing with him too. His stuff is amazing, definitely worth checking out. Client Liason. Check these guys out. Their film clips speak for themselves.

Finally, what do you want to tell your sold out Portland crowd to get them totally hyped to dance with you at the show?

We’re genuinely excited to come back to Portland. It’s been ages and ages! We have really good memories of your city and your people and we’re stoked to do it again!! (We also have like 4 days off in Portland after the show, so look out for us in your local coffee shop / bar…)

The duo’s upcoming show at Portland, Oregon’s famous Doug Fir Lounge is SOLD OUT, but we’ve got a pair of tickets up for grabs on our Twitter @SecretlyRad (just shoot us a follow and retweet the pinned giveaway tweet, we’ll pick a winner next week – must be 21+ to get into Doug Fir).