Jack and Chris are the duo from BAG RAIDERS. The two are known for their live instrumental shows with catchy musical chops to serves to a much broader sound that features live guitar, bass, drums, keys, vocals and more - they recently embarked on their tour called Shooting Stars. We got a chance to meet up with them both during their stop at the Social Hall in San Francisco, California last week. The show itself was elegant, inspiring and all-round just had awesome good vibes that kept the dance floor going the entire night. It was very pleasing to hear the synth-pop melodies.
How did you get into music in the beginning?
Jack: I guess my parents listened to a lot of music when I was growing up. I played and Chris played as well a lot of classical music in school. I played piano, Chris played violin. As I got older I got more interested in pop music and started listening to like electronic music. I picked up the guitar and started something some drum keys.
Chris: I had a little saxophone and clarinet. I also had a big guitar and there was this one room in my school that had a computer in it and a MIDI keyboard, so I had to use that stuff. It sort of all went from there.
What’s the story behind your name?
Jack: It came about from the first mixtape we ever did, like a DJ mix. Most of our friends were DJs and we weren't at the time so we ended up borrowing hit records from other people. We also took records out of our parents' collections and stuff like Cream. 70's rock to like hip-hop then to German techno. It had everything on it.
How did you two meet each other?
Chris: We went to the same school so we knew each other for a long time.
Who or what would you say is your biggest musical inspiration?
Chris: Ummmm...I feel like it changes all the time. That's one of the good things about music I find. The stuff I was into when I was 14 was different than when I was 16, 20, etc. it changes all the time. It's still changing, you know? I think it's kind of cool.
Jack: When I was a kid I would have said like Nirvana. Then I would have said like Ortega or APHEX TWIN. Now it's more like Prince and Michael Jackson.
Chris: For this year that's tough. Honestly, like just a lot of classical music and ambient music. Just like weird-out-there-stuff.
Describe to us your sound.
Jack: You know that's funny you ask because I was just thinking about our first mix CD and I was always thinking like that kind of set the tone for everything we have done since then. There are no rules, we can hop between genres, we can do stuff that maybe other people would see it like not as a pure representation of fit-in of whatever. We do it and as long as it's fun and makes people laugh, smile and dance then we're allowed to do it. That's always been our vibe. I always feel like we've gone against what everything is. When we first moved to the U.S. seven years ago and electronic music was getting massive, we brought in music and would make break downs and be like 'nah man, that drop is too big!'.
Chris: We need to turn it down.
Talk to us about your tour Shooting Stars. How has it been?
Jack: It's been really good. We've only done two shows so it's still early days. San Diego was cool and LA was really cool. It's a brand new live show and we tweaked a bunch of stuff. We put in new songs in and made some more new arrangements and stuff. We have a brand new visual show.
Chris: It's really cool and really sick to see how much that extra element adds to the show. Because no one wants to look at our stupid heads for an hour. It's a multi-dimensional experience really.
Do you have any upcoming releases you could share with us about?
Jack: We're working on it. We have a lot of material in the vault. Definitely no shortage of material.
Chris: We're working on the best way to get it out to as many people as we can. We're sitting on a load of music.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would be and why?
Chris: Maybe like an old hero like Aphex Twin would be really sick.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened so far this year?
Jack: I've been injuring myself a lot this year. I broke my toe. I stabbed myself in the hand with a pair of scissors. I've been on an injury run.
What is one thing you are currently obsessed with?
Jack: For me, chess. Been playing a lot of chess. Too much.
Chris: Synths. Pretty predictable at the moment but we both got like modular synths going with the two of us. It's a lot of research, experimentation and there's always a bottomless pit of learning stuff, discovering sounds, etc.
Jack: All of our sessions eventually leads to madness.