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Interview: Chase & Status

We spoke to Saul Milton, one half of dance/ d’n’b/dubstep duo Chase and Status, to discuss 2010 highlights and future plans for one of the UK’s hottest musical talents…

Spotlight: Could you just reflect on 2010 for me - What would you say has been a highlight for you?

Saul of Chase & Status: Oh wow! It's hard to say, as there have been so many great points for me. Finishing our album would have to be one aspect that's definitely a highlight. Also we've had an amazing run of festivals and tours this year. We sold out five tours. We had an amazing show with The Prodigy to 65,000 people. Seeing our friend Plan B rise to incredible levels. There's been so much. Getting to work with people like White Lies on tracks has been great. Also our label MTA and seeing acts like Nero really come through has been brilliant to see.

Looking ahead to 2011, what are your plans? Will there be more touring?

Well the new album comes out on 31st Jan and the single a week before on the 24th. Then we'll be doing a No More Idols tour in March and a bunch of festivals after that. We've also got an October tour being arranged so we'll be playing three to four gigs every week really. We're always on the road. It'll be about getting the album out there so I hope people like it because it's something we're very proud of.

2011's also all about promoting our label MTA with our signings of people like Sam Wire which we're really excited about. Also, inevitably, we'll start working on and writing stuff for album three too and be getting back in the studio producing. Whether it's for English artists, Americans and whatnot, we're just really keen to continue doing the music thing really.

There's a rumour that perhaps you may be working on some tracks with Drake, Rita Ora and even Jay-Z in the near future. How true are the rumours?

Yeah they're all true, they're all true. We are affiliated with Roc-Nation, which is obviously Jay-Z's label, and we remixed the D.O.A. track for him, which he loved, he's a great guy.

Rita Ora we've helped work on some of the tracks for her album although until the album actually comes out we won't really know which tracks are actually on there.

We'll be collaborating with Drake too which is exciting as well and there are more that we want to work with which I won't mention in the interview, just in case they get called off or whatever!

Jay-Z, Rita Ora and Drake

How would you compare you're new album No More Idols to More Than A lot? Would you agree that there's more focus on Dubstep than Drum ‘n' Bass?

If you check out one of our very first releases back in 2003 called “Like This” or “Wise Up” that was very early dubstep. On the new album it wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened that way. It's cross-genre. There's Tinie Tempah and others, it's just basically an eclectic mix.

To compare it to More Than A Lot I would say it's a more mature album, which I suppose everyone says about their second album, but its just all about higher levels production and higher levels of song writing. It really is a kaleidoscope of great British music and what's out at the moment and what's happening in Britain at the moment. There's no point in trying to recreate the last album because we've already done that and this is all about writing something new, creating stuff that's new. I'm really proud of it, there's some exciting artists on there, some really great songs and it's just a representation of where we are.

The track ‘Heavy' featuring Dizzee Rascal is really refreshing to hear him do his thing the way he did it originally. Is that something you wanted to aim for?

Yeah we really wanted to recreate the Boy in Da Corner vibe I think, I love the vibe of that. We wanted to do something a bit more musical, like concentrate on song structure and stuff but when it actually came down to it he basically came down and spat those venomous lyrics on it and that was what we wanted. We wanted to do something grimy and raw. It was about us all doing what we're known for but we didn't want to do it on every single track otherwise it wouldn't have been something new.

Where do you think Dubstep and Drum ‘n' Bass are heading in the next year?

Well it's already starting to spread to America, Rusko's album is doing well out there and lots of other artists are starting to make music with dubstep in them, like we're supposed to be doing a track with Lil Jon. It's really permeating everywhere right now and it's great because dubstep is really British music. For me it embodies Britain and it's such a UK movement. It reminds me of the days of jungle back in '94 and stuff.

Production levels have improved so much now too whereas it used to be pretty low quality now, Dubstep, like Drum ‘n' Bass, has become one the highest levels of production genres out there.

But for me really it's not about Dubstep or Drum ‘n' Bass or any other genre specifically it's more about just UK bass-driven music because at the end of the day that's what most of music is now, it's all about the bass lines. So it's all about UK music really and I think that's what 2011 will hopefully be about, UK produced music.

You did ‘End Credits' with Plan B for Harry Brown – are film soundtracks something you might look to go into on a more regular basis at all?

Yeah actually there's a film we worked on called Manors coming out directed by Plan B and we helped out on some of the tracks for that. The funny thing about Harry Brown was that we actually did a song called End Credits featuring Plan B and then we got a call from someone working on Harry Brown saying we've got a film we're doing with Plan B and we need a song for the end credits, can you help us out? And obviously I was like “Yeah we've actually just written a song called End Credits, with Plan B, maybe that would work?!' So it was kind of a very weird coincidence! That worked out really well for us so yeah we're looking forward to seeing this one, so watch out for it…

Chase & Status - No More Idols comes out on 31st January 2011.

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