Chase & Status: A sense of unity
Mon 12th Dec, 2011 Features 1070 viewsin
If you haven’t heard of Chase & Status, what the hell have you been doing? In a very short amount of time the pair, Saul Milton and Will Kennard, have already left a big mark on the drum and bass scene – hooking up with Andy C’s Ram Records and pushing out tunes with the likes of Plan B and Rihanna. In March 2012, the full Chase & Status live show will arrive in Australia for the Future Music Festival tour, well-oiled from a triumphant European festival season.
When we caught Chase & Status it was around 11.30pm in Liverpool and they’d just exited the stage after a live gig to 3,000 people. Calling one half of the duo, Saul Milton, he picks up in the car on the way from the gig along with Liam Bailey, MC Rage and Marly to boot.
Whereabouts are you guys, it’s a bit late there for you isn’t it?
Kind of, I just came off stage in Liverpool and am in the car with Liam Bailey, MC Rage and Marley heading back to London. We just played a live show at Liverpool University – 3000 capacity venue, great fun, always a great crowd in Liverpool, was really electric in there.
Well let’s go back to the start. You guys got into the scene in the mid 90’s – what drew you to drum and base over other genres?
Just, you know, about 1994 I was at some random events trying to pull girls and I heard this weird music with a crazy drum pattern, reggae vocals and really dubby base and it just hit – I’d heard nothing like it in my life, it stopped me in my tracks. I was like “what is this?” It was just the rawness and the vibe that drew us both to it. You know, we were big fans of reggae and dancehall and all the cultures that we were into were kind of melting into this one crazy pot that we’d never heard before. It really changed the face of the urban underground in the UK. We used to go to raves and it was just the vibe and the way people dressed, it was just really exciting and we just fell in love with it.
And who were you listening to at that time? Who were your influences?
Ummm, wow man. Who were we listening to back then… I am thinking like Nirvana and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam. Then you’ve got like Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder. Then going into Jungle it would be like Shy FX, Andy C, Goldie, Botek and Source Direct. I mean the lists goes on, there was so much that we got into back then!
No More Idols is an amazing release. Tell us a bit about how it came together?
So yeah, No More Idols was released in the UK in January and was the best part of two years labour. Our first album came out in 2008 – well, it wasn’t two years straight, we were touring the live show and performing, writing for Rihanna and all that. So I guess it was really a year of concentrated work and the last few months of just being locked in the studio. We wanted the album to be very British, like a Kaleidoscope of British talent.
Not only big names like Plan B and Dizzee Rascal, but brand new talent like Marley, Liam Bailey. I think what we wanted was to cross pollinate dancehall with the musicality of soul and that kind of structure – and it was an absolute nightmare to finish, you throw some stuff away thinking its absolute garbage, then you realise that it’s not too bad.
It’s a real progression, to show where we are at right now, we’re very proud of the British music scene, I think we have the most exciting innovative music in the world. And its shows that we don’t need all the big US or international stars, we can do it with home grown talent and that’s what we love.