Drax Project are the hottest new thing on the New Zealand music scene, and luckily for us they decided to grace Hamilton with their soulful tunes last week. We sat down with the boys to get the lowdown on their rise to fame, pre-gig rituals, and where they’re going from here.
N: First off, big ups to you guys, you’ve done very well. Over 15 million hits on Spotify for Woke Up Late! How does life now compare to busking on the street a few years ago?
DP: Life has definitely changed for us, we were all students at Uni when we started the band. We were playing covers in Wellington and now almost 5 years on we’re lucky enough to be able to perform our songs all over the world. Woke Up Late definitely opened a lot of doors for us.
N: Have you amassed any crazy fan stories yet?
DP: All of the fans we've met so far have been super nice. It is crazy though when we see the same people coming back to our shows all over the country. It’s a surreal feeling.
N: You guys have toured Europe and met some pretty big names in the music industry. Where was the coolest place to perform? Or was performing in Hamilton last week the absolute peak?
DP: Without a shadow of a doubt performing in the Tron will probably be the highlight of our careers so far. Paris was pretty cool though.
N: As New Zealanders, what’s the reaction like from people overseas? Are you constantly asked about Hobbiton, rugby and being mistaken for Australians?
DP: Yes, yes and yes.
N: We’ve heard that you’ve got a ritual that involves calling a mate before every show, is that right? Does he provide some words of wisdom before performing?
DP: It’s strictly business. Both parties perform said duties, and we leave it at that. We do not indulge in light conversation.
N: If you could model your sound after one influential artist or band, who would it be?
DP: Justin Timberlake
N: Freakin’ awesome having Hailee Steinfeld singing Woke Up Late. Any dream collabs you’d like to achieve?
DP: Hailee Steinfeld was on our dream list! Someone like Chance the Rapper, or SZA, Kendrick, Ariana Grande
N: Was becoming musicians always the goal for you guys? No plans of becoming accountants or anything?
DP: None of us have a back up plan so fingers crossed haha
N: Got to say, your guys performance was an absolute highlight of RnV, especially when the sax was whipped out. How has your jazz background influenced your sound?
DP: We do love whipping out the sax and learning jazz at school helped open us up to all types of music. It also helped us be able to communicate easier as musicians and definitely helped us gain confidence on our instruments as well.
N: Are you guys working on any new material? What can we expect of your tunes from now on?
DP: Heaps of new stuff eh, we have been writing new music since we released our EP Noon. We are going to be releasing an album this year. Straight bangas! So keep an ear out!
N: Any advice for young people like yourselves pursuing their ideal career?
DP: Find good friends, surround yourself with people who are better than you, try everyday to make what you love into your job, and be a perfectionist.
N: Tell us about yourselves. What’s the most random talent (apart from epic music skills, of course) you guys have?
DP: Matt is a miniature horse whisperer, Ben is really good at DragonBallZ Budakai 3 on PS2, Sam is a human ant and will lift anything, and Shaan can run 100 metres. I know. It’s impressive.
N: Last but not least - what’s the beverage of choice for a night on the piss?
DP: A naughty Ribena