20 Questions with Drax Project
Hailing from New Zealand, the four-piece band’s unique blend of Pop, Jazz, and RnB has played their way into our hearts all the way to the UK. Playing alongside the likes of Lorde, Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello, we ask the Drax Project how they got started and what it’s like to be on the road. Full interview in Dear Boy 04 PLAY.
Hello Drax Project, how’s it going?
Good, it’s great! We just had an amazing photoshoot... in London!
How are you guys enjoying your time in London so far?
Honestly, no complaints! It’s been great seeing all the heritage and old buildings, you don’t get that in New Zealand. We’ve had some time to do some touristy stuff as well as photoshoots and gig related things so it’s been awesome.
You’ve opened for many big names in the industry such as Lorde, Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello. How was it like performing with these big stars?
It’s more exciting than intimidating right, we love playing to new crowds, and crowds that actually have no idea who we are — we love doing that. Also, all the acts that you’ve just mentioned have been amazingly accommodating and super kind. We were already fans of them before that so... Like Ed came and say hello! He came and introduced himself like, “Hi, I’m Ed Sheeran, I’m sorry about the weather...” Like we know you! Camila gave us some cupcakes and we’ll be hanging out with her hopefully! All of their fans have been really nice and accepting too, so it’s been great!
So other than touring with Camila currently, what have you guys been up to?
We were just in L.A. for two weeks before we came to Europe and we’ve been writing an EP that’s just dropped — a five track EP that’s called Noon. We’ve only finished it like a week before it was released.
How did Drax Project come about?
Busking was how the band initially got started. We had saxophone (Shaan) and drums (Matt). Drums and Sax — Drax and that name somehow stuck. We were just playing covers on the streets of Wellington and then decided to add Sam, our bass player, to thicken up the sound a bit. We started getting some gigs in bars and school balls. Then we added Ben, our guitarist, and from then we started making our own music. That was like four years ago!
This issue is about Play. What is one game that you guys play to keep your energy going?
[In unison] TABLE TENNIS! We’ve just moved into a studio in Wellington, NZ and down the hall there’s a table tennis table. We’ve just been cranking it. We even have a portable net that we take around with us, we didn’t bring it to the shoot but it is in the country!
Do you guys play doubles or singles?
Singles! Doubles is hard and it’s probably less enjoyable. Matt is probably the best!
And who’s the worst?
Sam! [laughs] We say Matt’s good but none of us is really that good, we’re all pretty normal! [laughs]
Let’s play some quick fire questions! What three words can be used to describe Drax Project?
Fun, perfectionist and ridiculous
Who’s the most playful in the band?
Matt’s playful! He’s a joker!
Is there anyone you would love to feature in your album?
We all love Chance the Rapper.
One song you guys are obsessed at the moment?
The Middle — Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey
One artist that people should listen to more?
Jamie Woon... and us!
A film that everyone should be watching?
Let’s go with purple!
What’s the craziest thing the band has done?
We’re not even crazy, we’re pretty tamed as far as bands go.
What is one place you’d love to sing in?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the States
Where is the best place to “dance till four”?
On the street with a really good busker. When we used to busk, we would busk till like 4am and we’d have the whole street party— it’s the best vibes man. No one cares and you find a good place to party on the streets, obviously do it legally!
Choose one word to describe each of your band mates starting with Sam!
Strong for Sam.
Annoying. [laughs] No, Shaan’s special!
Last question, what’s next for Drax Project?
Hopefully more shows and releasing more music. We’re really excited to keep writing and we’ve been writing since on the road so we’re excited to get back to the studio and record some more music.