Chief State, a band born from Craigslist and deeply rooted in pop punk, speaks to our generation. Their EP Nothing More Than This is just the beginning, with ultra-catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics, expect Chief State to rock out at a stage near you.
We spent some time with Fraser Simpson to discuss Craigslist, the future of the band, what video game makes him throw his controller, and Daenerys Targaryen...of course.
NON: So tell me how Chief State come to be?
Fraser: Craigslist(laughs.) I put up on ad on Craigslist in the musicians section. I was living in Japan for a year and I decided I wanted to start up a band. I wanted to move to an English-speaking country and didn't want to move back to England, so I chose Vancouver. I put the ad up before I actually moved, it started with Nick(guitaritst/vocals.) We have had some member changes but everyone was basically from Craigslist or friends of band members or people I have met online.
NON: Wow! So you put out this ad...and now you have a band. Did you tell them what type of band you wanted to have and what kind of music you wanted to play? How did that work?
Fraser: That's exactly what I did. I told them I wanted to do Pop Punk. I told them what bands I liked and it was the same for all of us. Andre had that old school pop punk vibe. He liked Blink-182 and Sum 41. We introduced the newer pop punk bands. As a whole, we are all into the new wave of pop punk bands.
NON: Since we are talking about bands that you like, who are some of your influences?
Fraser: In terms of influences, I really like a band that's near your area...The Story So Far. We like Knuckle Puck. And this band from Canada called Coldfront. There are a few from the UK, but those are the bands that we really like.
NON: We love your band, your songs are awesome. So tell us what's next for Chief State?
Fraser: We are kind of at an interesting point right now. We recorded an EP and it was released this year. We had a tour and that just ended. Everything was a build up to that tour. So, we are at a moment where we have to ask "where do we go from here?" The plan is to meet with the record label and to talk about releasing more music....whether it's an album, an EP or singles. We definitely want to get back to the studio.
NON: So tell us about the tour. How was it?
Fraser: It was insane! This was our first non-DIY tour so it was an amazing experience. It was awesome to watch two 1st class acts play every night, we aspire to have the kind of success that Belmont and Such Gold have! Everyone involved with the tour did a great job, we’re really grateful to Joey at Artery and the bands for having us on the tour! There great turnouts at every show, though most were there for Belmont and SG, in every city there were a few people singing the words to our songs. It was very surreal!
NON: One of my favorite songs on your EP is "Crooked Pictures." Tell us about what that song is about.
Fraser: A few of us were/are in relationships. Particularly last year, some of us were going through some interesting times in our relationships. I was pulling inspiration about this song from situations I was going through or things that were going on with people around me. This is song is an extension of a feeling...an exaggeration of a feeling. Taking that feeling and turning it into a story. Really, it's a song about being stuck in a relationship and not knowing where it is going.
NON: Tell us about the writing process. Who writes the songs? Where does the inspiration for the songs come from?
Fraser: I'm very fortunate to be in a band where every one is a song writer. We are getting together to put all the songs together for the next project. We have a good set already and we churn out ideas for songs quite easily. On the last EP, "Mind Sweeper" was a collaborative effort. One of us comes up with an idea and we expand on them. We just go with the flow to be honest.
NON: Our podcast is into a lot of stuff. We love comics, video games, fandoms, TV...anything to Nerd out to. What do you guys Nerd out to?
Fraser: We love video games. And we are really into TV. We love the Game of Thrones. But for me personally, my biggest stress reliever is FIFA. I turn on the Playstation and just "turn everything off." But, I think everyone in the band probably does that with video games too.
NON: Ok....how competitive are you in FIFA.
Fraser: (pauses.) Extremely(laughs.) I'm the kind of guy that will throw the controller if I lose or I will lower the difficulty...I'm not going to lose(laughs.)
NON: So let's talk Game of Thrones. The last season is coming out soon, you excited about it?
Fraser: Oh my gosh. Every time I think about how long it is taking to give us this last season, I get furious. It's been a whole two years since the last season, it's frustrating. It was different when it came to the Harry Potter movies. I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I have a Deathly Hallows tattoo on me. I loved how JK Rowling had so much control over the movies. She wrote all the books and then helped with the movies. She was opinionated and tried to make sure it kept true to her story. It will be interesting to see how the Game of Thrones plays out.
NON: Harry Potter fan, tell us what house you are in.
Fraser: Gryffindor. I'm in it with Harry. I have always related to Harry. When I was kid, people called me Harry Potter because of my glasses. I loved his point of view in the books and movies.
NON: Last question, gives us a prediction on someone who will die in the last season of Game of Thrones.
Fraser: (long sigh.) Nearly all of them I bet(laughs.) I think there will be a twist and Daenerys will die. She looks like she is at a point where she is going to kick ass and rule. And everyone expects that and that she will do well. But, the writers are going to say screw everyone and kill her off.
NON: That one would hurt for me for sure, she is one of my favorites.
Fraser: It's funny because I didn't even want to watch the show because it seemed too popular. But, I decided to watch one episode and ended up watching 8 seasons in a month. I loved it.
Stay tuned for more news on Chief State!
Check out Crooked Pictures by Chief State!
For more information on the band and tour news, please visit their Facebook page!