Chief State - Sound In The Signals Interview

We recently had the chance to interview Vancouver pop-punk band, Chief State. They recently announced their new EP, Tough Love, which is due out on March 27th via Mutant League Records. Read what frontman, Fraser Simpson had to say about recording their new EP, its' artwork, their new song, "Reprise" and more below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thank you for having us!

You just announced your new EP ‘Tough Love’. Can you tell me about the songwriting process for the album and how long you worked on it?

It's been a long winded affair unfortunately! Some of the songs were written in some form or sense around the time that our last release 'Nothing More Than This' came out! I don't think we're unique in the fact that there is a lot of back and forth and arguing when it comes to writing new songs. On this record we worked a lot more through demos as opposed to jamming in a room. By all means we did hash a lot of stuff out with all 5 of us in the space, but for the most part it would be mostly myself or Nik who would present a demo, which had the skeleton of the song, we'd then discuss what we liked and didn't like. Slowly we'd add parts, sections, switch up a few rhythms here and there, but we all came to agreement, eventually!

What’s one of your favorite stories from recording the EP?

There are a couple of things that stick out. Our producer was recording another band called Arlo Wells around the same time (check them out they're sick!). One day their singer went into the booth and made a comment about the height the mic stand was at. Upon hearing that it was that low because I had been recording the day before, he immediately got worried and felt bad. I haven't let him live it down! Justin has a short attention span so our producer would put on movies in the background to keep him occupied between takes - which was pretty funny. Finally we slipped in some background vocal pads to a famous movie's theme tune in Choke.

You also just released your new video for “Reprise”. I like the video a lot. What was the video shoot like? Do you like shooting music videos or do you find them more fun or stressful? 

We usually have a great time shooting videos, but this particular one was a nightmare. I may have overlooked the small print in the venue hire and brought along a smoke machine. Subsequently the fire alarm went off mid shoot, the entire building got evacuated and everyone was very upset with us. Thankfully they allowed us to return to shoot a couple more takes and wrap it up. If you look carefully you'll see some of the shots don't have smoke! We have a behind the scenes video coming out in a couple of weeks, it'll be on the Mutant League Records YT channel so be sure to check it out to see how it all went down.

"Reprise" is one of my favorite songs you’ve released so far. What made you pick it as a single for the EP? What was the writing process like for it? 

This song was one of the first ones we wrote. We knew the chorus was strong so we felt it could be a single but the bridge and first verse went through a few variations before it really felt right. We actually shelved the song for a couple of months so we could clear our minds. It worked though, when we revisited it we were able to bring it all together in its current form!

The artwork for the EP caught my eye immediately. I think it’s really interesting. What’s the theme behind it and who designed it? 

We have a tattoo artist here in Vancouver that we all go to regularly, Chelsea Holdsworth at Ride Fast, so she's the one that drew all of the art. We originally wanted a logo for each of the songs on the album for merch ideas, that's why Deciduous single art has the tree shedding leaves and Reprise single art has the shovel in the ground (buried in your lies). The last track on the record was originally called Tough Love and we asked her to draw a broken heart, this is what she came up with and immediately we all loved it. Nik suggested we use it as the album art and it stuck!

You have been building a really nice buzz and seem to be a band on the rise. What do you think has been a few things that has helped build your buzz? How are things changing? 

We're just doing our best to get as many people as possible to give us a try, that's all we ask is that people give our music a listen. We love what we do and love making music together, thankfully a few people like what we're doing! We're forever grateful because it gives us a chance to continue doing what we love.

I guess that wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add? 

Just thank you to everyone who has checked us out, we're forever grateful, please continue to spread the word. Picking up merch online can really help us keep the dream alive but a share on social media or a save on streaming platforms, it all helps! We'll be right back at you with a new single next month, a ridiculous movie themed music video and of course the new EP. Until then, you stay classy! .....(There's your hint)

Follow Chief State:

No comments: