Chief (band)

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Origin New York, New York
Genres Folk rock, rock, folk
Years active 2008-present
Labels Chieftheband, Domino
Past members Evan Koga
Mike Moonves
Danny Fujikawa
Michael Fujikawa

Chief is a four-person band from Santa Monica, California, stationed in Los Angeles, California. Chief has released three singles entitled "Mighty Proud," "Breaking Walls", and "Night And Day," as well as an EP called "The Castle Is Gone" and their debut and only full album, Modern Rituals. All of these releases (except for the EP which was released under their own record label) have been via Domino Records.[1] They have been compared to bands such as Coldplay and Local Natives by The New York Times. The Times goes on to say "Mr. Koga can sound like the young Tom Petty."[2] Other reviews of Chief have similarly been generally good. On June 14, 2011, they played their farewell show at The Troubadour[3] but began performing together again one year later.[4]


Beginning: 2008–2009[edit]

All four band members grew up in Los Angeles and attended school at New York University.[5] When they first got to know each other, they were all working on various projects.[1]

Before releasing any albums as Chief, they toured extensively. Their first EP, "The Castle Is Gone," was self-released in 2008.[6] The EP was reviewed positively by HearYa, who stated, "I am loving this band."[7]

Their first single as well as first piece to be signed to Domino Records, "Mighty Proud," was released on November 17, 2009.[8] The Fader stated, "they’ve earned their stripes (or patterns), with smoky hooks and group singalongs of tracks tailor-made for union rallies."[9]


In 2010, Chief continued to tour extensively, and released two singles and a full album. "Night And Day" was released on June 22, 2010, by Domino Records.[10] Listen Before You Buy compares the "rich, layered" vocals to that of Band Of Horses.[11]

"Breaking Walls" was released on June 29, again by Domino Records.[12] This single was described by as "very melodic, has a lovely light jangly guitar loop paired with the occasionally subdued use of power chords backed by some very pert percussion," the vocals being "Verve like."[13]

Their only album, Modern Rituals, was released on August 17, 2010, on Domino Records.[14] Modern Rituals received average reviews. Rolling Stone gave the album 3 stars,[15] and Spin gave them a 5 out of 10.[16] Pitchfork Media gave the album a 5.2, stating, "Chief seem more or less like a bunch of hippies," and "Chief are rarely better than competent at anything they try to do here."[17] The album also received positive reviews. Filter stated, "Considering how they got signed to Domino Records without even having a full length album makes you think, “Hey, these guys must be good.” In Modern Rituals, they prove exactly that."[14] Paste gave the album a 7.2.[18]

Break-up and Reunion[edit]

On June 14th, 2011, they played their farewell show at The Troubadour,[3] shortly after announcing their breakup, which they said was "due to creative and personal differences."[19]

In July 2012, Evan Koga announced via Twitter that Chief had reunited. They have resumed performing, mostly in the Los Angeles area.[4]


  • Evan Koga – lead vocals
  • Mike Moonves – bass guitar
  • Danny Fujikawa – guitar
  • Michael Fujikawa – drums


Extended Plays[edit]

  • "The Castle Is Gone" (2008) (self-released)


  • "Mighty Proud" (November 17, 2009) (Domino Records)
  • "Night And Day" (June 22, 2010) (Domino Records)
  • "Breaking Walls" (June 29, 2010) (Domino Records)



  1. ^ a b "Chief". Domino USA. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Chinen, Nate (18 August 2010). "Mellowed by the Harmonies, and Surfing Repetitive Refrains". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Chief - FINAL SHOW!". Troubadour. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Twitter [@evankoga]". Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Band to watch: Chief". We All Want Someone to Shout For. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Gartenfield, Alex. "Of Chief Concern". PAPERMAG. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chief - The Castle is Gone EP [Album Review]". HearYa. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Chief - Mighty Proud". CD Universe. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Schnipper, Matthew. "Chief, "Mighty Proud" MP3". The Fader. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Ramey, Phill. "New Song Daily No. 440: Chief – "Night & Day"". The Philler. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "[LISTEN/DOWNLOAD] – CHIEF – "NIGHT AND DAY"". Listen Before You Buy. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Chief - Breaking Walls Vinyl LP Record - Import". CD Universe. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Chief - Breaking Walls Single Review". Contact Music. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Ashari, Nazirah. "First Impressions: Chief, "Modern Rituals"". Filter Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Hoard, Christian. "Chief". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  16. ^ Young, Jon. "Chief". Spin. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  17. ^ Love, Joshua. "Chief". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Winkie, Luke. "Chief: Modern Rituals". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "CHIEF FAREWELL SHOW @ The Troubadour". Chief. Domino Records. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 

External links[edit]