Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:28

Eric Prydz: No Safety Net

Electro-dance artist Eric Prydz may be afraid of flying, but that won’t stop him visiting Australia for the first time ever as a Future Music Festival headliner.

“I've been to a lot of other places, but I haven't been to Australia. So that alone is a pretty good reason to finally come and do this tour with Future.”

This run of Australian dates will see Eric unveil the EPIC (Eric Prydz In Concert) touring experience for the first time down under. “Well EPIC was a live show we started working on a few years back and we started out doing it in the UK. It wasn't really something that we toured with, it's bigger than a jumbo jet, it's a massive structure, a lot of holograms and projection mapping.

“I did the EPIC 2.0 as we call it — which is the updated version — which is technically so much more advanced and logistically it's now tourable. So we just did two shows in New York and one in LA. It's kind of hard to explain, but anyone who wants to know what it's like can probably go on YouTube and check it out. It's really cool.“



When it comes to the live performance, don’t expect a pre-synced show from Eric. Rather, this man enjoys performing without the aid of a safety net. “I just think it's more fun. A lot of these big production shows that people do now are all pre-synced, because they need to sync with the fireworks, the cannon, the visuals, the lasers and the this and the that. It’s basically what everybody does — they have everything pre-programmed and they go and press play, which I'm absolutely fine with. I don't really care if it's really hard for them to produce what's coming out of the speakers or not. I only care about what I see.

“But for us as a team doing EPIC, we just thought it would be so much more fun and challenging for ourselves. And it's also going to be more fun for the people that come and see it because each show is going to be unique. More like when you do a normal club set, when you go and take the night as it comes.”

Eric Prydz plays Future Music Festival at the RNA Showgrounds March 1.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:45

Dubfire: Back To The Future

Ali Shirazinia is a name that is written in EDM folklore. Initially as a part of the supergroup Deep Dish, but now as a bona fide solo superstar.

The Dubfire name is associated with deep, meaningful productions as well as a superb ability to read a crowd from behind the mixer.

“It has been a pretty wild ride this year,” explains Shirazinia. “I've had a pretty punishing tour schedule in 2013 and started a bit of a new project which is the Dubfire live show; so getting that process hatched has been a big focus for me this year.”

On its own, that should be enough to get fans of not only Deep Dish but also Dubfire excited — because you can bet it will feature the best of both worlds. Shirazinia confirms fans' expectations. “It's basically going to be a one hour show of the most recognised productions, edits and remixes I've done in my career. What I've done though, is taken those things and rearranged them for a live audience. With that, I'm also going to be working on a visual show to match the audio onslaught.”

Logistically, the setup will include Ableton, live controllers, iPads, control modules as well as anything else that might take his fancy between now and then.

“I'm really keeping my ear to the street to get a feel for what's in the background,” he explains. “The idea was actually to launch the new show at the Future Music Festival, but based on what's involved I'm wondering if I'll be able to launch it by then. If I do get it up and running shortly afterwards, I promise to get back to Australia to do some gigs!”

Inevitably, our discussion turns to rebooting Deep Dish.

“We have seen that ball gaining some traction,” he admits. “To start, we have been talking about putting together a retrospective boxset that covers our career together. We have many releases that didn't see the light of day and to preserve the legacy that was Deep Dish — something that was important to both of us but to so many passionate people as well. To do some shows and tracks — that would really mean a lot.”

With the time that has passed, the lads have come to understand — more than ever — that they most definitely had a unique musical vision.

“Looking back, there was a lot of in-fighting between us about who was doing what, but that was a typical part of a group who was passionate about what they were up to. We always questioned each other's motives and skills, which in the end was a positive outcome for us. And when we get around to doing things again, it will no doubt facilitate the creativity and drive that we so enjoyed when we worked together.”

Regardless, Shirazinia remains focused and committed to his current pursuits too, particularly with his SCI+TEC imprint, with a release schedule that's pretty much full until early next year. “The label has really been an opportunity to seek out and nurture new and exciting artists. I've really gotten behind The Junkies, Carlo Lio and Shaded — these guys are doing great and exciting things; I learnt a long time ago that I can't take on everyone, so with the label now I'm trying to zero in on the ones that have the drive we're looking for.”

Finally, Shirazinia shares some thoughts on getting back to Australia again for a series of dates with Future Music Festival in 2014.

“Some of the best memories I've had were at Future Music Festivals - particularly with Sven Vath at the side shows in Melbourne and Sydney. We weren't just hanging out together, but also with other artists generally and that's what I love about those types of festivals. I wish that happened in the United States; travelling from city to city you’re always meeting with producers who are at the top of their game. All sorts of things always come of that too.”

Dubfire plays Future Music Festival at the RNA Showgrounds March 1.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:39

Live Review: Future Music Festival

Torrential rain and fields of knee-deep mud did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd at Future Music Festival on Saturday. By early afternoon Doomben Racecourse was a veritable mudbath but somehow it just made the crowd want to party that much harder.
 
Despite a late start, Gypsy & The Cat performed their encore set to a packed and rowdy audience. After their seemingly endless sound-check, the lads were urged to the stage by the restless crowd chanting, “play some f*****g music!” en masse.

Over at the main stage, London four-piece Rudimental braved the elements to deliver a high-energy set which featured a guest appearance from sultry British songstress Ella Eyre for ‘Waiting All Night’.
In the all but washed out Warriors Dance Arena, Canadian dubstep duo Zeds Dead (aka DC and Hooks) kept the soaked and muddy crowd warm with an incredible heart-thumping set.

As the grey and gloomy day became a dark and stormy night, the glowsticks were out in force for French producer Madeon, who gave an amazing electronic performance accompanied by a truly impressive lightshow. The young producer’s stage presence was messianic as he mixed up his original beats with party classics, such as Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’.

Everybody’s favourite rascal, English MC Dizzee Rascal, hit the main stage mid-downpour proudly exclaiming, ‘My name’s Dizzee f*****g Rascal, now make some f*****g noise!” The crowd happily obeyed while Dizzee had them dancing and singing along to a string of his hits, as well as introducing brand new material from his forthcoming record.

As if moved by some occult hand, the rain finally eased for ‘90s indie darlings, The Stone Roses, who by far gave one of the best performances of the day. Opening with guaranteed crowd-pleaser ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, the Roses played favourites from their extensive back-catalogue, broken up by good ol’ fashioned psychedelic jam sessions complete with kaleidoscopic visuals.

Click here to see photos from Brisbanes Future Music Festival

Matt Innes

For those who arrived early, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike entertained the crowd with a thumping dance mash-up. Their use of samples ranged from the inspired (Depeche Mode, ‘Tetris’ theme) to the somewhat alarming (Linkin Park), but their slick beats were enough to get an already ecstatic audience stomping up and down on the muddy grass.

Ellie Goulding had just enough time for a small assortment of lovely piano ballads and dance-infused tracks (including the catchy Calvin Harris-produced ‘I Need Your Love’) before worsening rain made her end the set prematurely (BOO!). By the time Fun. took to the stage, icy winds were piercing everyone’s flesh and the torrential downpour was quickly turning Doomben Racecourse into a dirty big swamp. Luckily the New York indie-pop band managed to brighten things up a little with their sprightly tracks.

Temper Trap frontman Dougy Mandagi said a special “fuck you” to the rain as the band commenced a set full of fan favourites like ‘Love Lost’, ‘Fader’ and ‘Drum Song’. Although the downpour slightly diluted their music’s emotional intimacy, their performances were strong, and it was hard not to be blown away by the powerful finale: ‘Sweet Disposition’.

Israeli dubstep wiz Borgore played a decent bunch of tunes including his hit ‘Decisions’. It was a solid set, and although a few more originals would have improved it, the mash-ups of artists like Knife Party went down a treat.  
Then came The Prodigy. Featuring a live guitarist and drummer, the UK legends opened with ‘Voodoo People’ as vocalists/ dancers Keith Flint and Maxim worked the crowd. In a set that would have been a nostalgia trip for many, hits like ‘Breathe’, ‘Firestarter’, and ‘Invaders Must Die’ were performed with a crazed, manic energy. After an audience participation-filled rendition of ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ it looked like the show was over, until the guys came back onstage for a triple encore of ‘Take Me To The Hospital,’ Their Law’ and ‘Outer Space’. After all these years, this group have lost none of their menacing brilliance.

Daniel Wynne

Published in Events Music
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 14:03

Bloc Party: Four More Years

Kele Okereke has an appetite for sticksmen.

"We ate them," he says about the eight drummers Bloc Party munched through before settling on lightly-seasoned beatmaker Matt Tong. "We killed them and then we ate them, so I'm not allowed to talk about it."

Five seconds go by. Silence. I begin to laugh awkwardly. See, quoting Kele out of context can be very misleading. Reading his responses, it can seem as though he's making a light-hearted joke, even if it is about an octuple-homicide cookup. The reality, though, is that Kele's disdain for interviews is well documented, especially if you work behind a desk at Billboard.

Yet even with that fact in mind, on this particular occasion he seemed even less enthused than usual, as if the mere prospect of talking over the phone seemed to him akin to several hours of listening to Oasis. To be fair, I had sympathy for his mood — I would get sick of answering the same question for a straight 12 months. "So, Mr Okereke, tell us... did Bloc Party kind of, almost, nearly break up?” Every response must begin with a long sigh... so naturally it was the first thing I asked, too.

"I don't know where that rumour came from. Obviously we take time out to pursue our separate interests. You know, I wrote an album by myself. We all just did various things. Then in 2011 when Bloc Party reconvened to start making the record we were being asked questions about what was going on but we were being evasive, and I think maybe some of that spiralled out of control. So, you know, maybe there was room for rumours but obviously they weren't true."

You can't help but feel that Kele is still being evasive in his answers. It may be that Bloc Party was closer to breaking up than he is letting on, given guitarist Russell Lissack's hint that the band may be continuing on without Kele's presence. Then again, it's also very plausible that the whole thing was a massive hoax, and that the band's 'evasiveness' was actually a clever ploy to spin the writers at NME around enough times to make them vomit. Preferably over their own laptops. Either way, none of it matters now.

A lot has changed for Bloc Party in the last three years. In 2009, this was a band finishing up a world tour following the release of its critically-acclaimed LP 'Intimacy'. The album was, in a way, a hat-trick. For the third time Bloc Party had been showered with the unexpurgated praise of every music writer with an internet connection. Well, except for the folks at Pitchfork, who still only show love for D'Angelo. However, fast-forward to the present day and a 12-month hiatus around the rumour mill has left a cloud over the band. Even with the recent release of 'Four' that cloud of doubt is only now dispersing.

"When I made the solo record we didn't have any plans to make another record. We said we'd take a break for a year. In that time, that's probably the closest I've felt to asking 'Will it work?'. Only because I was doing my own thing and I was immersed in that, and I knew at the end of that year we'd have to have the conversation about what it was we were doing. That was the only time the future looked uncertain.

“It's hard to look into possible eventualities because I only know what did happen. I feel that we wouldn't have made a record like 'Four' if I hadn't done something that was the opposite of that beforehand. Once I do something I feel like I need to do the opposite thing next. You get bored, you want to discover something new. 'The Boxer' was a kind of layered, electronic record, and I don't think I would have found loud guitars as exciting if I hadn't done that beforehand."

Ironically Bloc Party's hiatus has, in the mind of Kele Okereke, only served to strengthen the cohesive bind holding this four-piece together. It's no secret bands will use periods of hibernation to determine for themselves whether ties between members would be best left severed. Yet each Bloc Party member seems to know for himself that it is only with the other three that they’re able to succeed. The band is a formula, and each component has been carefully selected to ensure against future internal combustion. As Kele did eventually explain, drummer Matt Tong is the perfect example.

"We knew what we wanted from a drummer and we tried lots of them, but finding a drummer in London isn't so easy. Everybody plays guitar and bass and whatnot, but to be a drummer you have to have a space to practice... and that's not really a premium in London. So there weren't that many drummers and the drummers that we did find didn't really gel.

“It's funny, actually. The drummer we had before Matt left because he was a session drummer or something. And in the year after 'Silent Alarm' came out we did an in-store at an HMV in Brighton, and that guy was working in that HMV. It was a strange moment for him, I think, because he could have been in it. He could have been in the band. But I'm very grateful he wasn't because when we started playing with Matt we realised he was the right member. There's no hard feelings or anything, I'm glad things turned out the way they did. Matt definitely has a presence."

It's a presence Kele has recently acquainted himself with.

"We just played a gig in Tokyo that was filmed, but it was just one static shot of the stage. So I watched this DVD and for the first time ever in the ten years we've been a band I saw the concert as if I was just in the crowd watching the stage. And I was very much drawn to the way Matt plays, which I never see 'cause I have my back to him. But all the members of the band add something."

So what of 'Four', Bloc Party's fourth album released after a four-year wait by the original four members? Hey, maybe the album title is a reference to one of those things. Slightly more mysterious are the reasons behind Pitchfork's decision to give the album 4.9 out of 10 - a little harsh, perhaps.

"In terms of critical opinion, I've never been concerned about that sort of thing. I've never personally paid any attention to it. I don't care if people like our records or don't like our records. When we put out 'Silent Alarm' in 2005 it was somewhat strange seeing the reaction that people had to that record. I was reading all this stuff about what a great record it was, but for all this stuff that I read nobody seemed to pick up on why it was a good record for the reasons that I thought it was. It was a weird situation to be in."

Bloc Party Play Future Music Festival At Doomben Racecourse March 2; They Have A Side Show At Riverstage March 5.
Published in Rock
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 14:29

Dubfire: Into The Dish

Ali Shirazinia is a name that is written in EDM folklore; initially as a part of the supergroup Deep Dish with partner in crime Sharam Tayebi, but now as a bona fide solo superstar.

From the beginning, Deep Dish always did their own thing — as Shirazinia describes, they were about bridging the gap between house and techno.

“We loved what was going on in Chicago and New York in the early days and in many ways it has come full circle. Within the evolution of music, it was always about reintroducing things to an entirely new generation. It's what we did then and it's what I'm doing now.

“But now, technology is allowing us to transform what we were doing before. Everybody pretty much has access to new technology. But on the flipside, the market is super saturated with a lot of mediocre stuff — not even bad stuff — just ok stuff, so it's hard to maintain a level head about how you judge a track. Trying to stay in touch with all of it has definitely gotten harder over the years.”

Needless to say, as a solo artist, the man has been keeping rather busy. “I've been playing a lot of gigs — a ton actually — and it kind of screeched to a halt on January 5 when I had my last gig in Playa Del Carmen. And rather than go on holiday like a lot of us typically do, I just decided that I had so many ideas I'd been saving for the moment where the gigging would stop, so I could sit down and just flesh out some ideas and try to make some tracks without any distractions. So I've been in the studio literally every single day and I've come up with some really great music.”

Ali has moved into a smoother, if not darker, form of music that is unmistakably techno. “I'm really driven by the music that I'm hearing in the clubs,” he says. “Playing alongside a group of DJs — guys you've heard or haven't heard before — and really just taking it all in and processing it somehow and then having it inspire and influence me in the studio.”

Dubfire play Future Music Festival, at Doomben Racecourse, Saturday March 3. futuremusicfestival.com.au

Published in Electronic
Monday, 20 February 2012 07:36

WIN Smirnoff VIP Tickets to FMF!


This competition is closed. Congratulations to Chris Sloane, Nikita Burns and Samantha Penberthy. You're off to Future Music and the VIP treatment at the DFA Records stage.

WIN SMIRNOFF VIP TIX TO FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL!


You've always known you were a VIP, and now it's time to be treated like one.

Thanks to Smirnoff Vodka, we've got a pair of VIP tickets to Future Music Festival (QLD) to give away!

This is your chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Swedish House Mafia, New Order, Fatboy Slim, Paul Van Dyk, Tinie Tempah, The Wombats, Chase & Status, Skrillex, Jessie J, Friendly Fires, The Rapture, Aphex Twin and more, and have your photo taken at the Superstar DJ booth at Smirnoff's own DFA Records stage. This is your time to shine...

TO ENTER:
 This competition is now closed.

 Terms and Conditions
1. Winner will be drawn at random in our offices at 12 noon on 24.02.2012
2. Winner will be notified by e-mail and announced on Scene Magazine's facebook page.
3. Winners names must match photo ID upon entry to the festival.
4. Scene Magazine will not use your details for marketing and will not make that information available to any third party, except for the purpose of supplying winners' prizes.

 

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 12:11

Fatboy Slim

The Original

While Tiesto and Armin van Buuren were still in their DJ swaddling, it was Fatboy Slim who first introduced the concept of the superstar DJ to the world.

His albums and music clips persist in this contemporary age as original works of art, from their structure, to the visuals, emotions and movement. Yes, UK DJ Norman Quentin Cook has come a long way, baby. He has forged a steady path in music, first finding success in the 1980s in rock bands before striking out on his own as a DJ. “I was actually a DJ before I was in bands. In those days, being a DJ was a hobby rather than a career. And then when dance music took off, I was finally making music I really love. At the end of the day, I feel I am a much better DJ than I am a bass player.”

Fatboy Slim first came to the underground world’s attention from a burgeoning UK electronic scene that culminated in epic beach parties on Brighton’s shores – parties that remain the stuff of electronica legend. It’s from such days that his seamless sound of big beat steadily grew upon the world; a sound propelled by hits ‘Praise You’ and ‘Right Here, Right Now’. Such tunes are a foundation to today’s music — he’s even responsible for a hit titled ‘Dub Be Good To Me’. But he confesses that the music of today confuses him too.

“I dunno if it’s an age thing but I can’t get my head around dubstep. I don’t play dubstep in my set. It might be me getting old, but sometimes it just sounds like a load of scrunchy noises without a tune holding it together.”

If there’s anything that holds Fatboy Slim together, it is wisdom. While there are indications he’s been on a wild ride, at the end of the day, it’s still all about the music. He may deviate from being a DJ with musicals alongside Talking Heads frontman David Byrne or conditioning his body for marathons, but he still comes back to DJing in front of epic crowds.

“I always come back to doing what I do: the bad-ass straight-ahead dance music. I’ve got a audio-visual show coming for Future,” he vouches. “I’m more of a VJ these days. We write visuals first, and as I play the CDJs, that triggers the visuals. We have synced visuals which makes for a tighter show. I’ve always loved touring Australia — just getting back there and seeing the mental crowds you have there. It’s quite a nice line-up as well. I’m looking forward to hanging out with Swedish House Mafia.”

As with every artist, his craft has come with sacrifices and suffering. Plagued with health issues and controversy, Fatboy’s veneer has cracked under the struggle. “When I’m at home I’m Norman Cook,” he explains. “When I get on the road and put the Hawaiian shirt on, I turn into Fatboy. Norman is a good husband and a good dad. Fatboy, frankly, is an irresponsible party animal. But I faced my demons; beat them off with a stick. I’m happier, healthier and I’m doing a better job. I’ve been focused on my inner well being.”

Accompanying mega stars Swedish House Mafia for the national Future Music Festival tour, we should expect a stage of huge personalities and huge big room sound. Certainly, Fatboy guarantees his trademark structured mayhem.
“Swedish House Mafia have got that huge big room commercial sound down pat but I’ll be wandering down a noisier, more raucous path ... it’ll be the same full-on acid house party nonsense, really.

“I’ve always got something to prove – no one does it quite like me. You’ve got your young contenders like the SHM – ultimate respect to them – but I plan to give them a run for their money every night.”

Fatboy Slim headlines Future Music Festival at Doomben Racecourse March 3. futuremusicfestival.com.au

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 13:51

Azari & III

Hungry For The Future

With the vast majority of music video clips featuring any number of perky-looking girls in skimpy outfits shaking their tits, it’s refreshing to come across a group like Azari & III: unashamedly camp and bringing back vintage house in a truly sexy way.

Their rise to acclaim has been a rapid one. Following the release of the haunting ‘Hungry For The Power’ in 2009, came ‘Reckless (With Your Love)’, which quickly became one of last summer's underground anthems. Cementing their rising fame was ‘Into The Night’, which was remixed by the likes of Prince Languar, CFCF and Nicolas Jaar.

When ‘Reckless (With Your Love) was re-released this year, the controversial video accompanying it didn't thwart the stream of attention they were already getting. The storyline follows a vapid businessman visited by a dominatrix in his highrise office, who he eventually murders. Naturally, this was deemed inappropriate for TV and they were forced to make another version. â€œThey wanted to play something [on TV] and they were like 'well if you get rid of the violence and the pill popping', and we were like 'well we're not going to have a video' then,” Alixander III says from his Brighton home.

The four-piece are made up of Christian Farley (Dinamo Azari) and Alphonse Lanza (Alixander III) and vocalists Fritz Helder and Cedric Gasiada. Their self-titled album deals with “humanity being in decline right now”. â€œWe like to have meaning, we don’t want to constantly sing 'set me free',” vocalist Cedric explains. “If we go through things in life we like to talk about them.”
Judging from feedback from those lucky enough to catch Azari & III during their last trip down under, punters at Future Music next year are in for a treat. Their live show is reportedly unparalleled; sometimes Fritz and Cedric even have their own catwalk. â€œWe'll just jump into the crowd and do a little runway and dance.”

Azari & III play Future Music Festival at Doomben Racecourse March 3. ‘Azari & III’ is out now. FUTUREMUSICFESTIVAL.COM.AU

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:28

The Naked And Famous

Just Famous

How things can change in a year. It’s almost 12 months to the day that Scene last caught up with New Zealand’s The Naked And Famous. On that occasion, Alisa Xayalith was bubbling with excitement, looking forward as much to a run on the beach near her North Shore home as she was a busy festival season.

The group’s debut album, ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’, had just been released in Australia, and to say it was turning heads both here and abroad would be an understatement. The band have since gone on to platinum and gold sales of their single, ‘Young Blood’, in New Zealand and Australia respectively, and managed to take out the Philip Hall Radar Award at the Shockwaves NME awards in London in February.

An almost endless series of tours has followed, and when Alisa slips back onto the end of the phoneline she’s busy preparing for a show – in Seattle, of all places. It’s immediately clear that the excitement has been worn away a little, replaced instead by what would best be described as an astonished contentment. She sounds like a pro as she ticks off some of the band’s recent achievements.
“We’ve had such a blast,” she chuckles. “We went to Japan and played Fuji Rock – that is an experience in itself; the fans are so passionate – and then Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza in Chicago. It’s just been an absolute blast.

“That NME award was completely unexpected … There were all these famous UK pop acts and rock bands, and we didn’t really know what was going on. We got really bored. We wanted to leave!” Alisa laughs. “Then the next thing we knew there were cameras on us and ‘Young Blood’ started playing, and we just had no idea what was going on. We had no idea what we were accepting. It was just this big flurry of confusion, and we were absolutely grateful but we didn’t know what we were meant to be grateful for. It was pretty funny.”

The Naked And Famous have acted like a virus on the international music scene, slowly taking over the world, one country at a time. Once a territory dies down it seems to pass the baton on elsewhere. At the moment it’s the United States that’s been taken with a fever for the Kiwis.
“In the US, things have really started to take off and I guess a good indication of how well things are going comes down to the shows. Every single show has been immense and the crowd’s just been really into it. You know that they have the record and they own it, because they sing along to every single song.”

All this touring begs the question, though: when can we expect another album from TNAF? At Parklife last month – a year on from the release of ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’ – the band were still sticking to their older material. Surely the constant demand for entertainment means it’s hard to find the time to work on the artistry.
“We work on new material all the time,” Alisa explains. “We make a real effort to continue to be creative. No matter where we are, however small or large the output is, it’s still a little bit. If you end up doing little bits over the next couple of months, you’ll end up with a lot of stuff at the end to work with. We don’t want to be one of those bands that get to the end of their touring schedule and get really overwhelmed with the pressure of having to write a second record from scratch. I think we’re well ahead of ourselves … Once we finish touring in April and look at what we have, we might be able to make some sort of shape out of what it is that we want to make in terms of a record.”

And at the tail end of that touring schedule is Future Musical Festival. The March event will put a cap on the summer festival season, and Alisa and the band are looking forward to letting loose for one of the last times before retiring to work on their second LP.
“It’s like being home again, so we love coming back to Australia. With Future Music Festival, I’m really looking forward to seeing Aphex Twin and getting involved in that really electronic music side of things. I feel like we’re the kind of band that’s able to split between electronic and rock and pop music. I don’t know, but I feel really comfortable being billed with those kinds of acts. We add a touch of difference, because we have that element of rock to us as well. It’s going to be great.”

THE NAKED AND FAMOUS PLAY FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL, DOOMBEN RACECOURSE, MARCH 3. FUTUREMUSICFESTIVAL.COM.AU

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 15:45

Chase And Status

No More Idols

Their second album, ‘No More Idols’, debuted #2 in the UK album charts and went gold in its first week. They’ve won numerous awards and can list Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams among their fans.

But rather than taking time out to pat themselves on the back, UK electronic duo Chase And Status - aka Saul Milton and Will Kennard - are staying humble and working harder than ever. Saul even takes this interview while in a car on his way home to London, after playing what he describes as an “electric” gig in Liverpool.
“Yeah, we're on our second UK tour this year… it started last week. It's been a massive success. Some have sold out. It's just really exciting”

The tour comes off the back of an exhilarating, but exhausting summer for the pair. “We did between 30 and 40 festivals. It's been a massive summer for us - huge, huge shows, big crowds, big headline slots. Yeah, everything is moving forward nicely.”
But despite all the performances, Saul says the studio is where he's happiest.

“It's being creative and making music, that's why I'm talking to you now and why I get to travel the world to perform … long, long after we're too old to be on the road we'll still be in the studio making beats. That's where the love will always lie.”

Milton says collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z and Rihanna really changed their public perception, opening them up to a new market. The offers have been flooding in, but Saul says they're just concentrating on their own stuff for the moment.

“We've been getting calls from a lot of peoples’ people. It all began when we (co-produced) ‘Snoop Dogg Millionaire’... that really opened the gates and then when we did the stuff with Rihanna and Jay-Z, the whole world just came knocking.
“It's very flattering and we've had to turn down a lot of work, and yeah it's been a great profile boost for us, it's a real learning curve, we were in the studio with them for weeks and weeks and among other things - they've got a great working ethos and the way they do stuff is incredible -I’ve actually learnt a lot from those sessions - yeah it's all been super productive and positive for us.”

Not everyone is happy for them, however, with some begrudgers accusing them of selling out and becoming too mainstream. Milton couldn't care less.
“We just make music that we like you know.  And that we love …  if you don't want to see someone become a success, you want them to always play little clubs and not really progress in their career then you're not really much of a fan of the artist.”

Despite the success, the praise and the accolades, Milton says he still doesn't feel like they've made it. “We always set ourselves new goals and you know, don't rest on your laurels, don't get caught up in the praise or in the negative, and we've pretty much got the same attitude as we had 10, 11 years ago which is just write cool music that we like and there's plenty more stuff for us to do.”

Having been friends with Will since they were teenager,s and now working together closely, Milton says they're a bit like an old married couple. “We're like family members now … we know each other very well. If we want to annoy each other we know how to do that, we know how to get in each other’s face. But fundamentally, we've got on fantastically well since we've become friends and this sort of thing wouldn't work in such a close partnership if it wasn't so.”

Chase And Status have played a number of DJ sets in Australia over the last few years. Now they're looking forward to coming back to play Future Music Festival in March - so what can we expect?
“A full live band, a couple of guests happening, and carnage, just absolute madness. We like to sort of bring a punk vibe, like modern day Sex Pistols if you will to the arena. Like, really get that kind of like punk vibe with electronic music.“

Chase And Status will be joined by Swedish House Mafia, Fatboy Slim and many others at Future Music Festival, at Doomben Racecourse, Saturday March 3. futuremusicfestival.com.au

Published in Electronic
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