Chase and Status interview: ‘We don’t want to rest on our laurels’
Chase and Status have headlined Glastonbury, produced Rihanna, and collaborated with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Example and Plan B.
In the DJ and dubstep world, it seems that the electronic duo – comprising Saul Milton and Will Kennard – have done it all.
But Milton insists they never started out with dreams of becoming so big.
“Our goal was just to basically do music for a living. If it means you can get up every day, make some music, maybe do some DJ’ing, and you can live off that and we are our own bosses – that’s the dream.
“The fact that we can do that is the best thing; anything else that comes with it is a bonus. The success we’ve had is great, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We’re always thinking there’s much more to do.”
Chase and Status formed 10 years ago when Milton and Kennard met whilst attending separate universities in Manchester. They both dropped out to pursue a career in music.
They were signed relatively quickly and began releasing Drum and Bass tracks on various labels, but they first tasted major success in 2007 when their double A-side single, ‘Hurt You’/’Sell Me Your Soul’ went to number one in the charts.
Their debut album, More Than A Lot, came out a year later.
They had already carried out production work for the likes of Snoop Dogg and Alexandra Burke, but it wasn’t until their second album No More Idols went to number two in 2011 that Chase and Status became bona fide stars.
The band has now completed their third album, Brand New Machine, which is due for release in October. A new single, ‘Count On Me’, is coming out next month.
“It features a brand new artist, who we’ve signed to our label,” says Milton. “Her name’s Moko. We’re really excited about her; she’s an exciting talent.”
Chase and Status founded their independent label, More Than Alot Records (MTA), in 2009 – and have signed many artists already.
“We have a full staff at the label; we’ve got a great A&R team. They do a great job sourcing new talent. Anywhere we can find music we go out and find it. If people say ‘I know this kid who’s a sick producer’- great, let me hear the beat.”
Milton’s passion for making music has stayed with him throughout his life. He can still vividly recall what first sparked his interest in electronic sounds.
“My sister is a few years older than me, and I probably heard things like Joy Division coming off her stereo. As I got slightly older I found The Prodigy and really got into their stuff; obviously being a little kid and seeing a Charlie Says video on TV interested me.
“In about 1994 at some peculiar dance I went to as a kid, people were playing jungle drum and bass in there and one of the first tunes that really caught my ear was Shy FX’s ‘Original Nuttah’.”
Chase and Status have accomplished a lot since their formation. As producers they have had a hand in producing tracks on three of Rihanna’s albums, two of which went to number one in the UK, and they were the first drum and bass/dubstep band to sub-headline Download Festival.
As the duo’s popularity has grown, so has their sound.
“When we wrote the first album, it was strictly written for clubs. As it so happened, we had an idea to become a band, and we started playing those tracks in a band and they started to work really well.
“As you start forming into a band, touring and so on and so forth, you start seeing what will work and what doesn’t work in the live realm. In some sense you do go away thinking how will this music translate in the live show, but usually we just sit down there and make music.
“I think first and foremost, you just have to write music for what you’re feeling.”
The duo play Leeds and Reading Festivals later this month. More information on WOW247