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Interview: Chase + Status talk UKF Bass Culture

UKF Bass Culture goes on sale tomorrow morning and Chase + Status take some time out to talk about why this is going to be the show of the year and what makes Alexandra Palace the perfect setting for such an event.

Kat Warburton

Last updated: 19th Jul 2011

On Friday 25th November Lock N Load Events in conjunction with UKF present the biggest bass music all-nighter taking place in the country this year. Titled ‘Bass Culture’ this multi-arena winter festival hosted at the mighty Alexandra Palace, will feature thirty huge drum & bass, dubstep, hip hop and electro acts playing across three colossal stages.

Headlining Bass Culture with their acclaimed live show will be 2011’s stand out performers Chase & Status. The esteemed duo bring their mindblowing LIVE performance to the capital and cap off a magnificent year for two of dance music’s most sought after producers.   

UKF Bass Culture goes on sale tomorrow morning and Chase + Status take some time out to talk about why this is going to be the show of the year and what makes Alexander Palace the perfect setting for such an event.

 

Where do you think this gig will sit in terms of your career live highlights so far?

Will: Well hoping it’s going to be the best we’ve ever done. It’s nice to be in London, it’s always special for us. It’s an incredible venue, it’s huge and it’s one of the largest indoor venues in the UK.  It’s an incredible line up; I mean it’s a huge line up – ridiculous, so it’s great to be right on top of that with the band. So if everything goes well it should be pretty special.

Definitely! So what comes to mind when you think of Alexandra Palace? 

Will: I remember big raves and also old drum and bass raves, old jungle raves, old garage raves as well sort of side minor events kind of like 100 MCs battling it out. 1 DJ 100 MCs... poor guy!  Millions of MCs but yeah just I don’t know... loads of raves we used to go to there and it’s just an incredible place, just getting lost really it’s just so huge and when you’re in the crowd it’s just sort of never ending! It’s quite an amazing place.

It’s a good place to get messy and get lost. Now how do you think performing here would be different than performing at any other venue in London?

Saul: It’s because there is such a vast line up, I mean apart from festivals, things like Wireless etc when we are doing a live show we don’t really have x amount of other acts its usually just a couple of support people and us so that is different in itself. There are going to be a lot of different acts, different flavours and different fan bases will be coming down so yeah basically the who’s who of anything in the UK bass culture right now and it will be a unifying event really.

What do you love mostly about playing in front of your home crowd?

Saul: Oh... Wow... Everything!  1. We love London, we love being in the UK so playing here is always a blessing. 2. The London crowd is like a different vibe, they know all the tracks as well as the new tracks they are really on par with everything. 3. It's nice coming home, it’s like a homecoming thing. Nothing for us compares to actually playing in London.

What do you love about playing live?

Will: Well so much! It is so different from DJing for a start which we have done for ten plus years now and just I don’t know its fun being on the stage with the whole crew at the same time. We’re obviously both there, Rage,  our drummer Gangadeen who’s an absolute legend and all the different guests and singers we work with, so it is a real kind of family vibe on stage and that’s quite  fun. We also put so much effort with regards to the lights and visuals and it’s such a big show feel in comparison to DJ sets. There is also that wild factor as well, the attention you get from the crowd and the people are really kind of hanging on, every song seems to get a really good reaction so there is an electric atmosphere and being in that kind of band sort of formation if you like.. I don’t know... The crowd goes absolutely wild. I mean we’ve kind of become known now to cause absolute carnage in all our shows and its great and for us it’s looking at kids go absolutely nuts and that’s why we do it and so hopefully  it’s going to be like that at the night!

Saul: It’s a different dynamic, it might sound peculiar but DJing can be quite a selfish thing. As in like most of the times it’s me and Rage or Will and Rage and it’s us two playing for the crowd but I’ve been thinking about what I’ve got in my bag, what mix I’m going to do where as the band is a unit thing, it’s all of us together with all of our fans who don’t just want to hear tunes of sixteen bars with bass lying around. They want to hear the tracks in their entirety and it’s like a concert when they come to see us play- that is an amazing feeling as well seeing you smash it from start to finish. But when you DJ it it’s not so instant, we actually have to do like different things in DJing...

After 48 bars, that’s where you mix in...

Saul: The vibe that you feel on stage with me and Patt and all of us just vibe together, the crowd can see that and I think that is all very important as well and i get my flash moment on the guitar.

The concept of bass culture is all about celebrating bass music. If you weren’t making a living making bass music what do you think you would be doing?

Saul: Just making bass noises for fun...

Will: Making classical music, making folk music or country music or any other music probably.

Saul:  Ok, but if we weren’t making music, I’d like to think i would be doing something like TV or film, or writing scripts or stories, I am very interested in that.

When did you first come across drum n bass?

Saul: For me... 1993/94 it was like some funny young like ball we’d go to, 12 – 13 years old trying to woo girls that are looking at us  and in the midst of all that the DJ played a track by Shy FX who I now know and nothing else really mattered. I was like what is this lunity that I am hearing. I loved it and then he started playing tunes like Warning and Burial and i didn’t know what any of these things were so over the next few days I found out about it, a CD called Jungle Mania I walked down to some weird shop called Black market records and that was the beginning of my love for jungle.

Will: Well I came across it accidently through a pirated radio station where they were talking about raves and just hearing mad music or music that I used to hear on my mum’s radio station. And I was just blown way. And accidently a mix tape by Grooverider and I bought the cassette only because I thought the cover looked cool! And that’s it really...

Bass culture at Alexandra Palace represents how popular bass music is becoming recently. What you think this can be attributed too?

Will: I just think that this kind of music has had an amazing sort of home in England. From drum n bass, to hardcore, acid to jungle, garage, there is always been such a big emphasis on bass. A lot of it stems from like dub that was so strong in this country that, that culture influenced all those types of music and that’s probably why England has more sort of bass music than any other country. We’re not really like as big into electro or rock or these other kinds of music.  The roots are the reggae culture and the sound systems and things the Notting Hill Carnival still influences everything we do today and it’s probably the reason why we do what we do.

Saul: And now it’s gaining a lot of mainstream success because it just is... it’s the time. The kids who go out and listen to it, this is what they love and it’s popular, not cheesy garbage pop music popular but it’s what people love and it has made them more likeminded now. It’s time all the charts and world-wide music had a bit of bass crunching attitude to it and not something that dies off after two weeks.

You’ve been fortunate enough to see the support lineup but how would you describe it for anyone who is yet to see?

Saul: Bassy

Will: Pretty Bassy

Saul: You’ve got established artists on there who have been around a long time; you have got new talent and basically a lot of excited people who are making waves in this country and it’s not just defined to one genre such as dubstep, drum n bass etc. It is all of that in one kind of melting pot which really is how I’ve seen a lot of things happen and turnover heatwaves, but now it’s just multi genre and Bass Culture is a massive example of that. The last time I played at Ally Pally was an exclusive drum n bass night and it’s nice to go there now and have drum n bass boys there, dubstep boys there and the whole kind of UK mix really.

Alexandra Palace caps off a magnificent year for you two. What have been your highlights in 2011 so far...?

Will: It’s gone fast....

Saul: Well, actually delivering the album which was actually done at the end of last year but releasing the album, it was like – It’s out! And all the stuff to do with it going platinum which we are over the moon about so that. We’ve had amazing festivals already – Glastonbury, Wireless, a lot of European festivals and they have been off the chain but i guess it would be foolish to say that going platinum wasn’t the highlight.

Any down-time at all?

Saul: We’ve got a couple of days we can chill out in September actually.

Will: No, not really. But it’s nice time of the summer because going to such incredible places and playing at various festivals, it’s a nice atmosphere and quite chilled out when you’re just there at the festival. We are just thinking of getting summer done and then think about more albums and more music. It’s exciting to sort of put a kind of full stop after the last album and think about a whole new approach. It’s been three years we have been working on this album and I can’t wait to start fresh with new ideas. It’s exciting.

Alexandra Palace has got a great history with rave culture. There have been some major events with the likes of Chemical Brothers and Faithless over the years. What do you think makes Alexandra Palace such an iconic avenue for such big rave and bass events?

Will: It’s hard to say, the fact that they allow such things to go on in that building is pretty amazing. There have been some amazing big nights and there are not many big London venues like that. It is a unique kind of show in some huge old building with a gigantic main room. So it’s unique in the sense of the whole shape, location, it’s not that far away from Central London and there aren’t many venues like it so it’s quite special. There is also a lot of great footage on you tube of all the big nights and we’ve just been looking at it all recently and it’s going to be pretty special.

Saul: As boring as it sounds it’s the space especially for such an event with such a big line up. Just the space of the place can get all of the people in one place rather than have separate rooms. Also it is quite close to Central London. Like for me it is quite easy to get but there is something nice if you’re not from there, travelling to go somewhere and it can be a bit of a trek then you feel like you’re going on an adventure you know, it is kind of like Ally Pally...

Saul: Yeah there isn’t like a fat lad next door screaming ‘turn it down’ it’s a like a huge venue in the middle of Greenland so it’s kind of magical especially when you’re young as well and going out on your first rave to see someone you love over there and Ally Pally is such a perfect place to get too for that.

 

Chase & Status headline UKF Bass Culture, Friday 25th November 2011 at Alexandra Palace, London. For more information CLICK HERE

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