.

Live at 'Rolling Stone': Chief

Breaking L.A. folk-rock band perform songs from their debut, 'Modern Rituals'

August 20, 2010 1:37 PM ET

WHO: Four L.A. dudes who play harmony-laden indie rock. They grew up attending West L.A. private schools and separately wound up at New York University. Singer-guitarist Evan Koga and drummer Michael Fujikawa knew each other in high school, but rarely hung out until they bonded over booze and John Lennon covers on a college break. The band played NYC clubs, winning so much buzz they played Glastonbury a year before the release of their new debut album, Modern Rituals. “We’re used to playing to friends,” says Koga. “But now people we don’t even know have started coming to our shows.”

SOUNDS LIKE: Recorded in Silverlake, Calif., Modern Rituals is full of Laurel Canyon-style harmonies and warm electric guitars. Koga grew up listening to grunge and alt-rock on K-ROQ, but in college discovered Neil Young, Tom Petty, and the Band, now his main influences. “It’s kind of folky-rock with a modern twist,” Koga says of his band's sound. “It’s a Crosby Stills and Nash meets My Morning Jacket kind of thing.”

TOO RUDE: “There’s not much censoring going on with us,” says Koga. “Pretty much any show, you’ll hear something seventy percent inappropriate.” It was clear the band didn’t dig the swanky vibe at Joe’s Pub in New York, the sit-down, two-drink minimum bar that hosted their CD release show. “It smells like fucking crab cakes in here,” Michael Fujikawa said from behind his kit shortly after taking the stage. “I’m never playing a venue with food again.” (The venue, for the record, doesn’t serve crab cakes.)
 
MONEY IN THE BANK: Onstage, bassist Mike Moonves looks like an everyday metalhead — a husky guy banging his head even to the mellow tracks — but his dad is Les Moonves, who earns a $26 million salary as president of CBS. The band doesn’t work their connections, though. “The connection with his dad doesn’t really filter into the band,” says Koga. “His dad just happens to be Les.”

Click to listen to Chief's Modern Rituals.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com