There must be something in the water in New Zealand. So, it’s a good thing young bands like Drax Project are thirsty for success. The indie-pop quartet only released their first EP, entitled NOON, only dropped last month and the band has already completed a sold out European tour circuit opening up for Camila Capello. Cliché sat down with the band recently to talk origin stories, influences, and fellow New Zealander Lorde. Read the full interview below and stream NOON now.
Could you walk me through how you met and started making music together?
We all met at music school in Wellington. The band started as a busking duo, with Shaan (sax) and Matt (drums) playing instrumental versions of top 40 songs on the streets. Sam joined on bass and we started getting asked to play in small clubs around the city. After doing this for about a year we decided to try and write some of our own music! Ben joined on guitar and the rest is history!
Where does the name ‘Drax Project’ come from?
When we were busking as a duo, people wanted to upload videos of us and were asking for our name so we came up with something quickly. Drums + Sax = Drax. Somehow, it stuck.
What music did you grow up listening to, and how has that affected the music that Drax Project makes?
The 4 of us have grown up playing and listening to totally different music. Shaan started learning jazz from a young age, where as Sam was playing in metal bands all through high school. We all play an equal part in the writing process and feel like our individual tastes make for music that is a little different and unique.
Drax Project is such a young group. How does it feel to be so successful so quickly?
It doesn’t feel like an overnight success or anything because we’ve been a band for a while now and have played a tonne of gigs over the last couple of years. We feel very lucky to be able to do what we do but we’re only scratching the surface right now!
New Zealand hasn’t always been known for creating internationally-known music acts, but this seems to be changing in recent years. Why do you think people are starting to pay more attention to NZ acts?
In this day and age, it doesn’t really matter where you come from because the whole world is super connected. We live in a time where it’s easy to have your music available for the world to hear. Thanks Internet!
When I think New Zealand, I always think Lorde. It’s impossible not to. How have you been influenced by her?
She’s shown that it is possible to make it to the top and that’s pretty inspiring for us. We also were lucky enough to open for her in Auckland last year which was special because we were fans of hers before we were even a band!
What is it like to support Camila Cabello? How did that collaboration come about, and what’s been a highlight so far?
The tour with Camila was amazing! For us to travel to the other side of the world and play these shows has been a dream come true. Especially seeing some people in the audience singing along to our songs! We aren’t 100% sure how it happened but about 6 months ago we recorded an acoustic version of Camila’s song ‘Havana’ just because we loved the song! We have a feeling she saw it and liked it!
There’s so many paths you could go down after this tour is over. What’s next for Drax Project?
Honestly, we just want to write more music and play more shows! Releasing our EP Noon and being involved in this tour has been both inspiring and motivating for us to the point that we just can’t wait to do more!
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Sitting Down With Drax Project, Camila Cabello’s Tour Opener: Featured image courtesy of Drax Project