Bag Raiders gained recognition with their self-titled debut in 2010, which debuted at #7 on the ARIA Charts and produced the hit single “Shooting Stars.”
They further solidified their presence with their 2019 album, “Horizons,” and in 2022, they launched their own record label, Broken Head, emphasizing their return to their dance floor roots and showcasing their depth and intuition.
Bag Raiders, talks to SIX AM as they are set to embark on a US tour starting July 7th, 2023, coinciding with the release of their new dance-driven house single, “Love Me Back,” on their own label, Broken Head Records. The tour, featuring 11 major cities, begins in Miami in mid-October and concludes in Arizona in early November, with notable stops in Chicago, Brooklyn, DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Welcome Bag Raiders! Thanks for talking to SIX AM Group, how are you?
Pretty good thanks!!! Sunny day, everything is a o k ..
So to the few that aren’t aware, Bag Raiders’ debut album achieved significant recognition and success, garnering nominations, charting high on the ARIA Charts, and amassing over 4 BILLION streams. What do you attribute to your impressive start as a duo? Did these early achievements influence your artistic development and shape your subsequent releases?
I think really it’d be hard to attribute our start to any one thing. Really it’s just we worked a lot following the music that felt the most exciting for us to make. When you’re on to something good in the studio, there’s a feeling of excitement which for me is the best thing about being involved in music.. The feeling of creation like you’ve just discovered fire or something. And I think that if you follow that feeling, it somehow resonates / translates to other people and hopefully gives them a taste of what you felt when you were making it. So really it’s up to the rest of the world, once you put the music out there. Also support from radio and other DJs also played a big role in helping spread the message.
So far as the question of did the early stuff shape our subsequent releases, I would say that we’ve never tried to re–create anything that’s been successful in the past, that’s just not something that interests us. Which is probably the opposite thing to what most labels want. I mean a lot of people have been quite successful at essentially doing the same thing over and over again. But for us, we’ve always been more interested in exploring different feelings and styles, ever since the first mix CD we made. It was a DJ mix of like, records from the 60’s, 70’s 80’s 90’s and 00s ranging from rock to rap to techno. We’ve always sort of taken that same approach to the music that we make also.
Since your debut you also relocated to Los Angeles. What made you decide to do this? What has been your favorite part so far being an Angelino?
Haha well funny story, the LA thing really was supposed to be a 3month writing trip, which for me has lasted about 12years now. We had some friends we’d met through music making and touring that were from LA so we thought we’d hang out for a little bit and give it a shot.. I’m still here. I’ve gotta say, the Angelino lifestyle is not too dissimilar from life in Sydney. Although it seems as though making plans is more of an effort in LA so I spend a lot of time just at home/in the studio and hiking in Griffith Park. Oh I also made my own Kombucha for about a year and a half, started in quarantine. I should start that back up again.
You both have had the opportunity to remix tracks for various renowned artists. How has this experience in producing remixes for these artists contributed to your growth as musicians and influenced your sound?
I think a lot of the early remixes we did were just taking the acapella and basically making a “Bag Raiders” tune with the acapella from whichever artist. We did a lot of remixing early on and I think that was a great way to try things out production wise etc before we settled into the groove of making our own records. It was also a great way to cross-pollenate audiences etc and often a hot remix would get you featured on a website like the Hype Machine which would get your music out to a lot of people. Now days if we’re doing remixes they’re more about answering the question of “what would we do to this tune to fit it into the vibe of something we would play regularly in our DJ sets?”
You recently started your own label the Broken Heads Record last year, why did you decide to go this route? What were some of the unexpected challenges you experienced and what have been some of the key highlights since launching?
Yes!! Finally since we completed our obligations for our last record deal, we’re out here on our own. The reason we decided to do it was simple. Total freedom. Basically we just wanted to make music that we’d want to play when we’re DJing out. So the tunes we are putting out on Broken Head Records are much more focused on that, taking it back to the club. It’s funny when you’re in a record deal, we’d make something that went great in the club but the label wouldn’t want to release it because they didn’t see any “big single” or “radio potential”, and I mean, that’s not all there is to music.
People also need to let loose and dance with their friends to some music that might not have a vocal on it. So we’re finally getting the opportunity to explore that more. I think the highlights are just that, being able to do what we want to do, at the speed we want to do it. If we’ve made something we think is good, we just put it out. No red tape. It’s still early days for the label, so when we run into any unexpected challenges I’ll let you know, but so far it’s been pretty smooth sailing.
You’re on the way for an 11 city tour across the US, what are some of the things you guys are most excited for on this tour? What can your fans expect from these shows?
We’re actually about to get together for a month and build out an entirely new live show. So really it’s still in the conceptual stages but we think it’s going to be pretty fun. I’d say it’s probably going to be a bit more of a rave than our last iteration of the live show which was more like a band. But you never know what to expect!!
Are there any cities in particular that you’re excited to visit or haven’t visited before? What are you looking forward to doing in these cities and why?
We’re hitting a lot of favorite spots like NY, San Fran, Chicago, Miami etc. I think the only place we haven’t been on the list is Tempe AZ. So that’ll be fun to go somewhere new and see what it’s all about. Probably we’re both kinda excited about the eating. That’s our fav thing to do on the road is pick a good spot to eat. Gotta get a hot dog in Chicago. Gotta eat Cuban food in Miami.
Tell us about your new track, and namesake of the tour “Love Me Back” which just came out via your label, what makes it special?
Love Me Back came out of a session Jack did with Meg Mac and Tim Ayre. They were working on something else totally different and I think Meg was going through her voice note archive from a couple years back and something ended out on jacks computer which wound up being the vocal hook we used for Love Me Back.
He sent the idea over to me and we talked about how it could be cool to make it feel like an old sample that had been chopped up etc, and just make it a house music banger. I recorded some violins and guitars and stuff at like 113bpm to make something that sounded like part of an old soul record or something and then we sped it up to 128bpm and it just felt rocking right away.
So I guess that special feeling I was talking about above kicked in and it turned into a dance floor destroyer haha. We had months of testing it out in various DJ gigs and tweaking it (which is the advantage of making this kind of music, you get to road test it and see what works). It feels good to play, and it’s exciting to me to hear it still so hope that translates to whoever else hears it!!
Listen Now: Love Me Back – Bag Raiders
Thanks so much for talking to our audience, what else can we look forward to from the Bag Raiders?
Thank you! I guess just more and more music as we continue on this new journey we’ve started with Broken Head Records.. We can’t wait!