Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Chase & Status: Bringing the Hype Hype!

Chase & Status
Chase & Status Chase & Status Chase & Status Chase & Status

“It is weird I mean definitely with this album there was a weight of expectation and everyone going they cannot wait for the next album because they know it will be amazing. Those words just fill you with dread because you immediately want to shit your pants.”

Two decades down the line and dance music is now the driving force behind the UK’s musical resurgence but I think the youth are still disgruntled!

Chase & Status as part of that resurgence are one of the shinning pioneers of the movement and continue to produce dance music of the highest calibre that stars from across the globe hanker for. Last year saw them offer up remixes for big names like Rhianna on her single 'Russian Roulette' and there was an absolutely brilliant remix of N'neka’s 'Heartbeat' which surged up the UK charts.

2011 and the creative duo are back with their second album 'No More Idols' which once again sees them delve into their talented productive skills to collaborate with big name such as Plan B and the charismatic Tempha T. Their new single 'Blind Faith' featuring the equally talented Liam Bailey is a rave influenced raise your hands in the air dance track that has an intro that gives you enough time to: go and make a cup of tea, get a pack of chocolate digestives (dark chocolate) return put your cup down and then let rip when that devilish bass drops. Now with my long intro done, check the drop as I get some time with one half of the duo - Will Kennard, aka Status.

SEMPER: I just wanted to ask a general question... You come from the era of Drum n' Bass. How influential do you think that era was to our current urban music, like Grime, where the commercial world appears to be more accepting?

STATUS: I do not think that Drum n' Bass has helped urban music became more mainstream but I definitely think it is of course an integral part of British urban dance culture. It is one of the biggest British exports and it has been around for sixteen years.

SEMPER: What about its influence on the current dance culture?

STATUS: I think it has massively influenced many genres, I mean it is a big influence in grime and garage with its big bass-line stuff. Which seeped into grime and now it has seeped in to Dub-step. I mean dub-step now has a very jungle feel in terms of its rawness. I think that is what identifies British music from US music it is its rawness.

SEMPER: Why has Grime bridged that gap from street to commercial while Drum and Bass/Jungle has only ever had tantalising tastes of the commercial world?

STATUS: I think the main reason is drum n' bass stayed mainly instrumental. Grime music is based around the emcee really and so there is a person to identify with and people can become stars and it automatically feeds into the, mainstream really. Some criticisms of Grime today say it has now become a watered down genre due to its commercial appeal. It is almost to its detriment because when it does become mainstream it can implode a bit because it gets watered down. I think drum and bass has always been about the music rather than the people involved with it.

SEMPER: You guys have achieved some amazing things in a relatively short period of time.

STATUS: Thanks so much, I guess you are right but it sometimes does not feel like a short time it feels like ages at times. It has been a busy few years since releasing the last album it has been full on really.

SEMPER: How have you dealt with the change and indeed the pressure where everyone wants Chase & Status?

STATUS: It is weird I mean definitely with this album there was a weight of expectation and everyone going they cannot wait for the next album because they know it will be amazing. Those words just fill you with dread because you immediately want to shit your pants.

SEMPER: And have you shit your pants?

STATUS: Well with the pressure it helps that there are two of us because we can talk to each other and laugh about situations. We try not to think too much about things anyway. While people think we have achieved so much there is so much more that we feel we want to achieve and when you get to what you want to achieve then something else seems to come up.

SEMPER: So the lure of wanting to achieve more keeps you going.

STATUS: The first time we were signed to a label a friend of ours bought us this really expensive bottle of some alcohol to celebrate. We were going to open it but then we thought let us wait until we get the next thing, and to this day we have not popped it and that was like six years ago so definitely that is the fire.

SEMPER: With the latest single 'Blind Faith', what was the inspiration?

STATUS: It was a case of us getting an old accappella of a rave singer diva vocal and it just reminded us of a rave sound and it just fitted. With Liam Bailey, we met him through a friend of a friend and we were blown away by his songs. He came up with this dub sound kind of reggae vibe and it was so different and just seemed to fit.

SEMPER: The video is slightly controversial.

STATUS: There are a few naughty scenes of people doing drug taking but the director was keen to keep it accurate to that time with the music scene and the drugs. We were not worried about how people took it.

SEMPER: The video looks like some documentary on the rave scene.

STATUS: It was about trying to create that feeling back then of a movement. People actually think it is real footage but it is all original material and the director is a genius. He acquired equipment from 1991 and only used equipment from 91, the wardrobe was only from 91 it was just ridiculously authentic and it turned out better than I could have imagined.

SEMPER: Loving the Tempha T collabo 'Hypest Hype' which the Guardian called “the greatest track of the decade”.

STATUS: We were well aware of Tempha T because he was different and he had real charisma about him. The original demo was much more of a grime beat but we wanted to do something that would really f**k up a stage, so we added guitars and gave it a bit of a rock feel. He performed it at a festival and it was absolute carnage and he just came off the stage with a big smile on his face.

SEMPER: 'No More Idols' is an interesting title.

STATUS: Well we were searching for potential names and then someone suggested the name and it had this punk feel. We liked the rebellious feel of the name and it is a rebellion against the music world and the corporate feel where people are ticking boxes to be stars. You used to hear stories of people like Hendrix not really giving a fuck and just letting the music speak for itself. It is a shame that we do not have those characters.

SEMPER: And lastly what’s the biggest highlight of your career so far?

STATUS: That’s a big question, I could give so many, but I guess one of the highlights was this summer at the Warriors’ Dance in Milton Keynes in front of sixty-five thousand people. Plan B got the crowd to split up in the middle and create a wall of death and he got this massive crowd to then charge into each other .It was like a scene from Gladiator it was just totally mad and surreal!

Chase & Status single 'Blind Faith' is out now and album 'No More Idols' is released on January 31st.
Words Semper Azeez-Harris

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