Drax Project Talks New Single "All This Time" and More

The New Zealand pop outfit teases their upcoming album and discusses their creative process with Popdust.

Drax Project

Drax Project is finally arriving.

Last summer, the New Zealand synth-pop outfit—formed in 2013 by New Zealand music students Sam Thomson, Shaan Singh, Matt Beechen, and Ben O'Leary—released their breakthrough EP, NOON, featuring the single "Woke Up Late." A remix of the track, featuring Hailee Steinfeld, blew up and subsequently catapulted Drax Project to the international stage, introducing their brand of genre-blending electro-pop to new corners of the globe. Combining a romantic lyrical voice with a dramatic production style, Drax Project brings an exciting new energy to the pop template.

Most recently, the group released the powerful "All This Time," a single that showcases both their musical versatility and their pop prowess. Popdust spoke with the band about the new single, their upcoming album, and what's changed in their lives and in their art.

So what's changed for you guys as a band since the "Woke Up Late" remix dropped?

Everything, but at the same time nothing. That song has given us the opportunity to travel around the world playing shows and has opened us up to a totally new audience! [But w]e're still the same band we were before, writing the type of music that we love.

"All This Time" feels like a change in pace for Drax Project. What story did you want the new single to tell?

It's funny, "All This Time" was actually written before "Woke Up Late," and [it']s a little nod to how we started, with drums and sax. It's a song we've been playing live for the past two years but have only recently been able to get sounding right in a recorded context. For us, these songs sit at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what Drax Project is. Having both of these songs out gives our audience a better idea of what it's like to come to one of our shows, which is really what we wanted!

How close is the debut album to being completed? What's changed in the way you're approaching the album since you dropped NOON last summer?

So close! It's ninety percent done and we couldn't be more excited. In terms of our process, nothing's changed, other than the fact we've been able to work with more people!

You're finishing the debut in L.A., a place and culture your sound reflects, but you guys are from New Zealand. What do you feel like you're bringing from home in your music?

The bulk of the album was actually written in NZ! We've been playing most of the songs at our shows over the NZ summer and gauging the reaction, seeing what works and what doesn't. For us the hardest part is translating the energy from a live performance to a recording, so to be able to come to LA to finish those songs off is amazing.

There's a pop center to Drax Project, but from listening to your work, it's clear you pull from a few influences in both your lyrics and your production choices. What bridges are you trying to cross with your sound?

Mostly we're just trying to write music that we would listen to ourselves. We understand we're writing pop music, but try to draw inspiration from other genres as much as we can. At the end of the day, we're trying to write songs that are familiar enough for people to latch on to, but at the same time different enough to leave an impression.

You have an EP under your belt, a runaway single in America, and the beginnings of mainstream recognition—all in a pretty short span of time. What have you learned about yourselves as artists during all of this?

We've learned that we are very picky when it comes to our music. We spend a lot of time debating over every aspect of our songs, which at times can be frustrating, but at the end of the day we come out with music that we all love.

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