Drax Project are kicking off their nationwide tour tonight in Christchurch, followed by dates in Punakaiki, Tauranga, Auckland and Wellington.
The four piece alternative / pop band, consisting of Shaan (vocals sax / synth), Sam (bass / vocals) Ben (guitar / vocals) and Matt (drums / cymbals) have also recently released their latest EP T/W/OO.
We had the chance to catch up with Shaan prior to the kick off of their tour.
How did Drax Project form?
Well initially we were a busking duo; myself and Matt the drummer. We'd go busking around Courtney Place and Cuba Street in Wellington to make some extra cash while we were at Uni. Then as we continued we picked up a couple of extra members and started playing in clubs & making original music. So that's how it started... Drax... drums and sax - duo on the street.
Who came up with the name?
I was at my Mum's house and we were on Facebook to Matt. We were trying to figure out a name but I don't actually remember who came up with it. It was either me, Matt, my brother or my Mum (laughs).
How long have you and Matt known each other for?
We use to play jazz in High School together. We met at like a jazz camp or something. I met Sam as well quite early on but didn't become friends with him until we went to Uni together.
It's a really unique sound that Drax Project has. How would you describe it?
I think the easiest way to describe it is alternative pop music. Popular music is getting quite broad because of how easy it is to access so many things with Spotify and Youtube. The musical taste of people is becoming quite broad and pop music is actually becoming really really interesting these days. But it's all a bit of a melting pot of all of our influences.
You've played at both the Rhythm & Alps and Rhythm & Vines Festivals. How did you find those experiences?
That was really fun! That was probably one of our most fun gigs for me and I think the guys too. Playing at Rhythm & Alps, that was such a great venue. And Rhythm & Vines too, that was so fun. It was a while ago though, it wasn't last year it was the year before. But they were one of our first festival experiences that we'd had and got to meet so many artists from around the world. It was so fun and a really eye opening experience.
You released your latest EP 'T/W/OO' at the start of this month, where did you record that?
We'd been working with the producer Devin Abrams who is previously from Shapeshifter. We'd been working with him on some songs at his house every couple of days of the week. We'd create songs and sit in his room with his synthesizer. So recorded a bunch of that stuff at Devin's house and some of it transferred to the actual EP. But we recorded the instruments at Surgery Studios with Lee Prebble.
And you're heading out on a New Zealand tour!
Yeah I'm so excited about that! We haven't played in Auckland for a while and we're obviously really excited to go back to Christchurch. And also playing down in Punakaiki on the West Coast which should be really fun.
What can we expect from your shows?
I'd like to say something really great (laughs). We play a lot more energetically live and we really feed off the crowd. They'll be really fun shows!
What's the plan for Drax Project for the rest of 2016?
We'll play this tour and a few other shows around the country. But other than that we really want to get back into the studio to record some more music. We're always writing together and coming up with new music so wanting to record it so people can listen to it.
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