The mystique of the ocean is akin to that of outer space. It is cold, dark and largely untouched by the humans. I have been scuba diving since I was a shaver, and its allure has only deepened for me. When my stalwart manservant Adolfo and I got the call to board a Gulfstream G650—one of the fastest non-military planes in the skies at .925 mach—chartered to Australia in order to interview members of hometown heroes and smash-hit-generating-DJ-duo Bag Raiders, I knew that my first move would be to the Great Barrier reef; it was only moments later I decided that my second, third and fourth moves would also be to that true wonder, but with the group in tow. If they ’were from that excellent, water-locked continent and did not scuba, I reasoned, well shit… regardless of musical prowess they wouldn’t be worth my time.
I was not disappointed.
I think that things do have their own kind of flow and that things happen when theyre supposed to happen—youve just got to let them follow their course.
Whether Chris Stracey or Jack Glass, I will not say—for fear of backlash from the media, but someone on the boat had superb taste in spear guns… their form, if not their function. But my whimsy and entertainment are from this moment tabled; simply let it be know that we had a storied, sprawling and ofttimes reckless weekend on and off the coast of Australia. We dove off the reef, caught our meals, drank epic quantities of Schofferhoffer beer and ended it all in a frantic race with the French secret service to locate a Russian submarine and extricate certain technologies gifted them by an alien race which would have changed the outcome of the cold war. We won, of course, and turned said artifact over to the proper authorities. My manservant Adolfo should accrue most accolades as it was his inversion of the radar’s functioning parameters to include objects of decreasing mass which ultimately clued us into the fact that the sub had been covered by the collapse of a weak sea wall. Then there was the giant octopus. But I digress. We saved the world—for who knows maniacal revenges the oft-foiled and bitter French would have wrought if possessed of such celestial splendors. But I digress. Here, following my digression are excerpts of conversations from our rare idle moments, spliced together to form a coherent te-a-te.
And so on.
If you were a telemarketer selling… yourself, give me your cold-call intro.
Jack Glass: Hello there! We are Bag Raiders from Sydney, Australia. We make house music that puts a smile on your dial. We spend most of our time with each other (sad I know) but we're on the road so much that that's the way it is at the moment. We might need an extended holiday real soon if one of us doesn't kill the other first. Nah just kidding… Actually we get on pretty good. It helps to have a lot of similar interests - old synthesizers, good food, wheat beer, chili. I cook when I can but lately we're not home that much. Before I go to bed I normally read for a bit—depending on my level of sobriety—or listen to some music or a podcast.
Wheat beer, eh? It is a good thing to become acquainted with as many women favor it. Very clever. Very. What’s the most THRILLING thing you’ve done in the last two months? I know you’ve touring CRAZY, like Oprah let loose in a country where pizza is the only food.
Well, yes we're touring like crazy at the moment—when we’re not scuba diving. In the last two weeks I've been in Auckland, Sydney, London, Berlin, LA, Atlanta, Miami and most recently, Philly. The most interesting? Well definitely not one of the full days I spent on a plane! I like Los Angeles. We're going to move there for a few months at the end of the year and do some writing for album number two—so maybe landing there, eating some good food, wandering around was the best.
Thrilling. I can see that, Los Angeles is dangerous, that is certain. Not Bermuda Triangle “dangerous,” but equally sinister.
The Brits have a particularly “esteemed” music tradition. Where do you think they see Australia fitting into their world/continuum? Please respond to the same question, subtract “proud” insert “varied”, subtract “British” insert “American.”
I think Britain is much more focused on genres, Australians tend not to care so much. When we deejay we play everything from old funk and disco to proper techno and no one gets upset about it in the club. I think the Brits like to stick to the rules a little more when it comes to dance music. Americans have a strange relationship with dance music because unlike Australia or the UK or the rest of Europe, techno will never be the number one form of club music. Hip Hop still dominates here. And unless will.i.am succeeds in his quest to destroy all music as we know it, it always will. I think that makes Americans in general both less knowledgeable and more open to different ideas and styles of dance music. Which ain't no bad thing!
You’re currently on Modular. With all the rapid shifting in the music world, can you talk a little bit about the importance, or unimportance, of the relationship one maintains with their label.
We’re lucky to have a great relationship with our label. When we walk into the Modular office we spend the first 20 minutes walking round giving everyone a hi-5 before we sit down to business. It's the same with all the bands on their roster I think. And in turn all the bands are pretty chummy too. All-in-all I think we're in a very good situation—and are pretty lucky to be there! You’re often cited as having a great live show.
What’s you’re “laundry list” of making it so? How important is it to include “real” instruments live?
Real instruments are important, and doing a real live show is important too. We built a lot of points into our set where we can jam or experiment and I think that helps keep the show fresh for us every night and keep us on our toes.
Who is dominating down under right now, as I sit here, on a boat, with you, fighting to bring in a giant swordfish which actually has two swords and is probably a major biological and genetic importance. After this I may very well have another species named after me.
The Presets. Tame Impala.
What’s your favorite type of chocolate? Pair of sneakers? Beer?
Bounty, Spring Courts, Schofferhoffer.
I know of none of those, except the beer. How much of musical prowess is genetically determined?
This is a hard question to answer. I guess I'd need an identical twin we could use as a control to find out for sure. I think if you're passionate about something you can teach yourself all you need to know. But you are human, and being human you must have a creative process.
Are you a slave to habit, or in love with a random universe? Neither?
Every song we do is different. Some might start out as an idea on a plane, in a hotel. One of us might have a little fragment of something or the bones of a whole song. Sometimes songs start from jam sessions that we do when we have time in the studio. I think it's good for us that no song starts the same. We were really conscious when we did the album that we didn't want to any songs to end up sounding the same. I think having them all start different helps to have a lot of flavors on the finished album. My least developed is my sense of smell.
For people who are the opposite, favor them with your sound as a cologne. Name and tagline, please.
Doggy Legend. Release the Beast.
Poignant. Do believe you in regret? More than that, do you let it get in the way of eating your Wheaties in the morn?
No I'm pretty happy with how everything is panning out. Without coming across like some kind of total hippie weirdo, I think that things do have their own kind of flow and that things happen when they're supposed to happen—you've just got to let them follow their course.
Yes (deep, introspective sigh). Life happens in the small moments. One day my father looked disdainfully at my GI Joes and said, ‘You’re too old to be playing with dolls.’ I was thirteen and he was probably right, but I’m always interested in other people’s toy stories.
I used to love old computer games. There was one called After Dark that I played non-stop on an old Macintosh.
That doesn’t touch mine. Have you ever had a brush with the paranormal or supernatural?
I've had some pretty accurate premonitory dreams but no ghouls or ghosts. Yeah. That’s just totally silly. I’ve never, ever had anything like that. Ever.
How do you figure you’ll feel six months after your heart stops beating?
Pretty relaxed I would imagine.
What’s you favorite venue and/or city to play?
We love traveling! Anywhere we get to go new is pretty exciting for us. Right now I'm in Philly and it seems like a pretty cool place. I'd love to come back and hang out for a few days. Favorite ever cities? Tokyo would have to be up there, Bogota I love and, to be honest, Sydney is a great city too. The more we tour, the more I realize how much I like living there. As far as venues go we love playing festivals. Something about being out in the open must appeal to our natures / music. We did a great festival recently in Bogota which would have to go down as one of my favorite ever shows.
Record. Eight track. Cassette. CD. MP3. What’s next?
I feel like everything will be streamed. There'll be no need to "own" anything. How we'll deal with this I have no idea. Just keep touring I guess… forever…
At this point we reached the island on which—by throwing darts at a nautical map we had chosen to lunch—by throwing darts at a nautical map; its main charm, for me, was the fact that it had an active volcano. But that, gentle reader, is a dialogue… monologue or soliloquy—depending on your proximity to me and the degree of my loquaciousness at that moment—for another time. I will tell you though; it was as everything Magnetic Magazine comes in contact with, very exciting.