We recently had the opportunity to interview Australia natives, Bag Raiders before their show at the El Rey on April 1st. They released their latest EP Checkmate in March and now they are headed to Australia to finish off the last leg of their tour.
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What was it like growing up in Australia? How does it compare to Los Angeles?
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To be honest, Sydney and LA are pretty similar. Lots of sun, pretty spread out, beach vibes. People in Australia say Sydney is LA and Melbourne is NY and I can see that…
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Who were your influences for your latest EP Checkmate?
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I think we draw inspiration from all over the place, not just music. Food, people, nature, art, it all finds its way in there somehow. The title track has a UK feel for sure, the drums are kinda on a 2-step tip, which is something we were/are both into. Breakdown is much more of a driving into the sunset vibe. And then Magic Feel has a “cool guy walking round sunset junction” flavour going on.
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Who did the graphics for your latest EPs?
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The amazing Mat Maitland from Big Active!
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What are your favorite instruments that you used in any of the 3 EPs?
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Tracking live drums on Checkmate was super fun. And Magic Feel has same samples from an E-mu SP-1200 which is a dope old sampler. Then the arpeggiated synth lead that starts Breakdown is from Chris’s modular system. So again, we draw sounds from all over.
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Which keyboards or synths do you use?
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Too many to list! But we love the Dave Smith stuff, the Mutable Instruments and Make Noise modular gear and then a bunch of old stuff. Usually the MS-20 and Jupiter-8 are on everything we do in some way or another.
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Both live shows and DJ gigs are intimate in their own ways. What type of environment leads you to prefer one over the other?
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Just depends what mood I’m in. Live is way more challenging so that can either be good or bad!
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How do you handle mistakes during a live show?
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I think we’ve learned to just let them go and move on. In my mind people who come to the shows are pretty forgiving. They already like us, they like our music, if they can see we’re up there busting a gut then I think they’re gonna leave happy even if there are a few wrinkles along the way.
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What is your most anticipated stop on the tour?
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For the shows it’s gotta be NY, LA and SF. Always the biggest crowds and funnest venues. But we’re also keen to go to places in the middle of America we’ve never been before. Texas, New Orleans, even places like Saint Paul, bring it on!
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For music and tour info visit bagraiders.com.

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