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Pop Punk Tough Love with Chief State

Pop Punk Tough Love with Chief State

Pop Punk Tough Love with Chief State

Based out of Vancouver, B.C., Chief State is ready to write the next great chapter in the ongoing pop punk movement.  They’ve opened for the likes of The Wonder Years, and have toured the States supporting Such Gold and BelmontTough Love is the name of the new EP from Chief State, jammed packed with dynamic pop punk anthems, now available through Mutant League RecordsHighwire Daze recently caught up with Chief State’s vocalist Fraser Simpson to find out more about this amazing band on the rise.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Chief State, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Fraser, I sing in the band. Myself and Nik have been working on music since 2016 and the band has been going since 2017.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We’re based in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been in the city since 2015, I’m originally from the UK. The scene out here is a little smaller than back home but it’s definitely been growing since I first arrived. There are some great pop punk bands in the area, Chase Your Words, Youth Fountain, Swear Jar, Parting Ways, Living With Lions, Cloaker, Anchorage Blue, Tulsy Place, Arlo Wells are bands you should check out!

How did you wind up signing with Mutant League Records?
We shopped out our last EP Nothing More Than This to a few labels and had a couple of offers on the table. Mutant League came through after seeing our video on Dreambound and we felt that they were the best option for us. They have a great track record of producing up and coming bands and pushing them onto the next stage. Seaway, Belmont and As It Is are bands we love and MLR had helped kick off their careers.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Tough Love album title?
It was the original name for the last track on the record. We had individual designs made for each song and when we saw the broken heart design for Tough Love we loved it and decided to use it as the album art as a whole. So at that point we decided to run with the album being called Tough Love and it stuck. It definitely fits a lot of the content in the songs too.

Select two songs from Tough Love and what inspired the lyrics.
Deciduous was the first single we released from Tough Love. Nik wrote most of the lyrics for this one and the song represents struggles with seasonal depression, living in Vancouver the rain is pretty intense for much of the year! Something Good For Once is a song that means a lot to me. It’s an honest, cathartic account of my personal struggles with alcohol and drugs in the past.

Who did the cover art for Tough Love and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was designed by Chelsea Holdsworth and she did a great job with it! She’s a tattoo artist that we all go to in Vancouver at Ride Fast Tattoos, the original concept was for the album art to be like a tattoo flash sheet. We asked her to draw a symbol for each song but when we saw the broken heart for Tough Love we fell in love with it!

What could one expect from a live Chief State show?
Lots of energy, good times and possibly a kimono or Hawaiian shirt from our very own Pacific island enthusiast – Nik Pang.

If Chief State could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Four Year Strong – we’re all obsessed with this band right now!

What was it like opening for The Wonder Years last year and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It was a fantastic experience, we had never played that venue before so it was nice to scratch it off the list. The crowd was awesome and thankfully we played really well! We got to hang with them after and we all chatted and drank before they had to head off to the airport. It was great to get insight from them and hear some of the stories. They were very welcoming dudes and I hope we bump into them again!

Have you ever played in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, and if so, what was the experience like?
We played in Pomona back in 2018 with Belmont and Such Gold. To date, it’s the only time we’ve been down there and we’d love to come back, it was an awesome show! Hopefully later this year if the coronavirus can subside.

If the music of Chief State was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Maple, we’re Canadian and maple donuts are the best.

Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of Chief State?
I believe I am the only one that does not have a side project at the moment. Nik is working on a surf rock/indie project called Later Days. Justin has a solo project called The Trade Company. Joseph is currently writing with an old band mate and Chris does a little fill in work.

What’s up next for Chief State?
We’re looking to get out on the road, it’s a little tricky right now of course. Hopefully the world can return to normality so we can get back in the van and start playing these songs live!

Any final words of wisdom?
Listen to Tough Love, wash your hands and social distance.

Band Members:
Fraser Simpson
Nik Pang
Chris Kavanagh
Justin Pham
Joe Soderholm

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Chief State on Facebook

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