CHIEF: The Reign of Rock

 

Photo of Chief courtesy of the band

Photo of Chief courtesy of the band

Words by Erin Wolf

Local rawkers CHIEF bring the swagger back into the definition of ‘power trio’. Fronted by gregarious vocalist Chris Tishler, the band is celebrating their momentum-saturated music by releasing a fresh, new EP, Reign of Rock. Fan-belt talks to Chris about their upcoming gig at Frank’s Power Plant…

“Reign of Rock”, Chief  

 

Is CHIEF’s sound an intentional throw-back to the days of AC/DC or Thin Lizzy, or are you using those bands loosely as guidelines?

It’s not necessarily those bands in particular (although their influences, along with many other rock and other styles of  bands do indeed come into play), but as far as a ‘loose-guidelines’ type of thing, it’s hard to say.  We are out to come up with rock music, for lack of a more specific term, but our writing process isn’t really that at all.  One song can be written in two seconds and end up sounding like something which you describe, another can begin the same way and end up being a ten-part, stop-start-stop-change-etc. type of thing.  If the end result ends up sounding akin to some bands of a ‘classic rock’ type of thing, that’s probably just our influences seeping through within the whole process.

What’s the best part about playing in a three-piece?

Well, there are definitely fewer people to argue with (hee hee…).  There are lots of great aspects to it.  A trio gives each member a bit more space to work with sonically as opposed to other combos, which can lead to some interesting moments during a song.  Also, the challenge of making three people sound like many more is always an exciting thing.  When you can pull it off, it’s pretty heavy and cool.  I’m not sure if we’ve actually done that yet, but it’s still pretty heavy and cool.  (Again, hee hee…not enough coffee yet this morning, so I THINK I’m being funny.  Pardon me…)

Your new EP Reign of Rock sounds like it’s set to conquer the airwaves — who came up with the name?

Thank you for the compliment.  That’d be nice and the airwaves would be cool to conquer, but we’re more out to just put out something that we think sounds cool as hell.  The name itself is just what ended up being the ‘title track’ for it.  We’ve got some songs that are lyrically a bit more rawk! than others, that being one of them.  It’s really just a song about everyday things.  You know – lighting torches, marching forth into the night, ‘galloping hard on the plains’, battle cries – stuff like that.

Two of the members of CHIEF are also in Five Card Studs (you and Matt Liban). What’s it like transitioning from that stage persona (which is more campy) to your CHIEF personas?

Ah, the Studs.  That is indeed more campy…and it’s also a job in a way.  The ‘campy’ personas of which you speak are kind of like our individual ‘job descriptions’ in that band.  It took a while to ‘develop’ those ‘personas’ for that thing.  With CHIEF, there’s really no personas or ‘transitions’ to go through thereof-it’s more of a combination of who we really are with a bit of who we would be if we regularly played sold out shows at Wembley or something.  We all go through a bit of a ‘transformation’ when we do CHIEF live, but it’s not that much of a stretch…it’s more of just letting our hair (or what we have left of it) down, laying down some rock and roll and just getting our ya-ya’s out.  In the Studs, there has to be somewhat of a specific live regimen you go through to put on ‘the show’.  In CHIEF, our ‘show’ is us just being us and rocking out.

What’s in store for your show at Frank’s Power Plant?

Beer drinking, high-fiving, hair-raising stunts, thrills and chills.  Aside from that, we’re kind of amped to be able to play a ‘long’ set of our music.  We’re usually on a bill with three bands, playing first or second on and usually confined to playing for 40-45 minutes, which means we’ve got to cut certain songs we’d like to be able to play.  Not saying we’re going to get all Emerson, Lake and Palmer or anything, but when we’ve got a song like ‘Slaughterstone’ that runs at around nine minutes, that’s like a quarter of your set right there in a ‘normal’ instance.  We’re going to try to play a bit of a longer set so that anyone who actually comes out to see the show this weekend kind of gets the full deal of what we’re about.  Also-and it’s not a ‘plug’ or tooting their horn thing or anything, but-we’re really glad to have Decapitado on the bill as well.  It’s their first show in about two years and we’ve just been waiting to see them for that long, let alone be able to play with them, so we’re pretty amped about that.

CHIEF will be releasing Reign of Rock at Frank’s Power Plant (2800 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue). Also playing: Decapitado. 10 p.m. 21+

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