Interview: Chase & Status

Conor Clarke 19 March 2011

You should already know who Chase & Status are. TCS chats to Saul (Chase) about why they are amazing and why you should think so too.

No More Idols has a really eclectic sound – does this reflect your personal tastes, and what kind of music did you listen to growing up?

Yeah, it does reflect us as music lovers. We have very eclectic tastes, we like all sorts from Stevie Wonder to Kings of Leon. Literally all sorts of things that we listen to all the time. So yeah, for us it’s really important to do something eclectic and, you know, with lots of variety. It was producing back in the day that got us noticed in the first place and, you know. I could waffle on for ages. So yeah, but it really is about what we’re into and who we like right now.

You worked with a lot of different artists on the album. Are there any in particular you really liked working with, that you’d like to work with again maybe?

I’d happily work with all of them again. Obviously it’s always something special to work with Plan B and something exciting usually comes out of it, but I can’t choose between the rest of the guys, they’re all amazing talents and great fun to work with. Liam Bailey was probably the most funny, hilarious guy to work with. But they’ve all become good friends of ours.

On a related note, have you got any stories you’d like to share from making the album?

None really that I’m willing to put into print I’m afraid! But there are some.

Fair enough. So, No More Idols took no.2 in the album charts, that’s rare for a drum and bass album. How does it feel to have mainstream success in your genre of music?

Yeah, it’s not something we ever expected or ever aimed for. We’re just really blessed, really happy that it’s had such a great reaction and, yeah, overwhelmed really. It’s just a nice reassurance that we’re doing something right, that what we’re doing is good. Yeah, it’s wicked, it’s a lovely feeling, it really is.

On Drum & Bass again, who do you think is interesting in Drum & Bass at the moment, any artists you’ve got your eye on?

A lot of interesting guys. Obviously Sub Focus have been making some moves for a long time, but he is a real talent. Nero for me are the most exciting guys in UK dance music right now, so, for Drum & Bass and dubstep, definitely Nero.

What was your favourite record of 2010? Any genre, any record you like.

Ah, wow, I couldn’t give an answer mate. Something off The Black Keys album or The XX album. There are so many, man. Again, I could be here all day, it’s very hard to choose on the spot a favourite track of last year.

So, like we said, you’ve got lots of collaborators on your album. That obviously means they can’t all necessarily be there for all your live shows. That’s a trade off you’ve got to make, I suppose, is that something you’re happy to do?

Well, we don’t want all the vocalists at our live shows. That’s not the point of what we do. Our shows and our music aren’t about bringing on someone to come and sing the songs; it’s about massive visuals, massive light shows. We’re an electronic dance act; we’re not a rock band, so it’s all about bringing that gap, getting the intensity of a live performance on stage without losing the excitement of an electronic DJ set. Not having the vocalist there is how it’s meant to be.

Is the creative process more of a grind for you, or do you have bursts of creativity where you just produce loads of things in a really short amount of time?

Both, both. Sometimes it’s an absolute nightmare and you’re just literally crying behind the computer, and sometimes you just bash out shitloads of ideas really quickly. And it’s very hard, sometimes it rolls, sometimes it doesn’t. It can be a very stressful process, creating music, and also a very rewarding one. It just depends on where you are at the time. The best tunes often come out the fastest, but some tunes are gonna be worked on for months, literally for months. It’s hard to pinpoint it.

Conor Clarke