The thumping heartbeat of London’s dance scene can be felt in just about any dubstep mix, prompting a heady swirl of UK based influences to spring to mind. Chase & Status are an example of an act that has been at the forefront of the genre since it’s climb from the underground clubs of London into the mainstream arena.
The production duo have been making waves in the dance charts since 2008 when the release of their debut album, More Than A Lot first hit speakers the world over, inducing clubbers into a bassed-up frenzy. A following slew of production credits for artists like Rihanna and Example, collaborations with Tinie Tempah and the release of their second album 'No More Idols', has since confirmed Saul Milton and Will Kennard as main stayers in the business.
Their live show is enough to warrant headline spots at Glastonbury, Global Gathering and V Festival for their high-octane mix of organic sound and glass shattering bass. As the countdown to Future Music Festival gets under way and March looms a little closer, the anticipation for Chase & Status to arrive grows. In between dates on a jam-packed European tour, Saul shares his excitement for a visit to Australia and the hint of a guest appearance or two.
You’re heading this way for Future Music Festival, are you looking forward to getting back to Australia?
Yeah, we always have a good time in Australia and have been coming there for a few years now. The crowd is really responsive and receptive, and the same kind of energy we get from playing in the UK. It should be quite nice weather as well. I can’t wait.
You’re bringing a full band this time as well, what’s that like on stage for you? It always looks like a party.
Yeah, it’s a good vibe on stage. We like to have fun and party about with one another. I think it’s really important to do that, have a good time and enjoy it, because there is nothing worse than people on stage that don’t want to be there. We love what we do and we love the reaction we get from the crowd, and them having a good time. So yeah, we just try and emulate that.
Are you able to talk us through your live set-up? You use a mixture of live and electronic sounds…
Yeah the drummers got a mixture of electronic pads and acoustic drums. And on the pads you’ve got every single drum hit from our tracks that we’ve cut up and put on there. His name is Andy Gangadeen and he is one of the best drummers in the world, legendary. We’re really glad he is on board. Then we get synths in and our computers to play the top lines, and I get my Slash moment on with my electric guitar, that’s always good.
Are you bringing any guest vocalists out on the Australian tour?
Yeah, we’re not too sure who yet. It’s going to be a surprise. We’re not revealing who it could be yet.
So No More Idols was released earlier in the year to a great response. Now that you’ve had time to let it breathe and tour, are you thinking about your next steps music wise?
Yeah we’re going to take off the first three months of 2012 and basically try and write the next album in that period of time. We just want to get on it and make some new music and get the new record out there. We’ve already got new ideas, we’re always messing around with ideas on our laptops. And yeah we’re just excited about making some new music.
Yeah, so what is your creative process like? Do you find time to work on the road, or is it more of a solitary, in the studio situation?
Yeah, we mess around a little bit with it, but we find it really difficult to make music on the road because it is not the right environment. In the studio or at home to get some ideas together is nice. But when you’re on the road so much I find it impossible to really buckle down and write.
Are there any sounds that are particularly inspiring you at the moment?
It is much the same as always - a lot of blues, a lot of Black Keys and punk. I’m into rugged organic things at the moment. We’re going to move away from clean sounds.
How is your label MTA Records coming along? Nero is absolutely killing it at the moment...
Yeah, we had a number one album and number one single with Nero in the UK, which we were very proud about. We also signed 16 bit and Pure Sonics to our label. They are a very different and exciting sounding lot of artists. The label is a real passion for us, and it’s really great to be a part of people’s careers and build careers. Artist development really interests us. There’s so much talent out there, and it’s nice to treat people how they should be treated, which is often not the case.
Is it a way to keep in check with where you started since you did release your debut independently?
Yeah, that’s the way, its all music that we love. We still love everything that we used to love and where we are from. We just don’t make the same music that we used to make. We don’t like to do the same thing but it doesn’t mean that we don’t like it. We’ve got an amazing lead coming from Redlight on the label as well. There’s so much exciting talent out there, it’s great to help in putting it out.
What do you think it is about the sounds of dubstep that seem to resonate so well with the younger generation of today?
I think its part of a new metal, new punk form for the kids - anarchy music you can really head bang to, mosh out and release all your energy to. It’s like the modern day version if you will. The tempo is like a drum bass and there’s nothing else with that kind of groove, so that just gets them going wild, and it’s got so much space between the drums, all these big bass lines. It just really is the sound of now. I think it’s a great thing that it’s getting in the mainstream. It’s getting in the underground, it’s getting everywhere. Good music will prevail, and it’s definitely doing that.
Is there one rewarding moment you could highlight, since bringing your music to a wider audience?
It’s hard to say, it is very rewarding. It’s a nice feeling to be an ambassador with music and take it around the world and hopefully inspire people. I’m on the spot now, and can’t think of one individual moment, but there are certainly moments like Glastonbury and playing in the rain.
You’ve worked with a broad selection of artists. Do you have different criteria for who you work with now, than that of a few years back?
Not at all, it’s more about: Do we like what they do? Do we like their voice? Do we like their song? That’s all it is. It doesn’t matter whether they are an established artist or a no name at all.
What do you hope 2012 will bring for Chase & Status?
For us to complete our third album, release that, and carry on really - just working hard as usual.
Written by Georgia