CHIEF - YOUR DIRECTION MUSIC VIDEO
HAIL TO THE CHIEF
Chief likes to think of themselves as a happy dysfunctional family. “Our music is very passionate,”
explains Mike Moonves, the youngest member of New York City-based, Los Angeles-raised band.
“There is a lot of emotion flying around.” Bandmates Michael Fujikawa, 25, his younger brother
Danny, 22, Evan Koga, 25, and Moonves, 20, credit their familial closeness to making their
folk/rock and roll/country harmonies sound so unique. “The foundation of playing has always
been our friendship,” says the elder Fujikawa. Unlike most rock groups before them, there is
no leader in this band. “We are a four headed snake,” says Michael proudly. “Everyone
puts in their two cents,” continues Moonves. “…And there are a lot of cents,” adds Koga.
Chief credits everyone from The Band to Crosby, Stills and Nash to classical ballads to
TV on the Radio as their “conscious influences.” Although as Koga put it, the group is
“somewhat afraid of influences.” Michael agrees: “We do not deny the past, but try to look
to the future.” In terms of their own history, however, they can’t help but look back.
Both Fujikawa’s and Moonves went to the same Los Angeles elementary and high schools.
Koga, had known ‘the legend of Michael Fujikawa’ growing up in Los Angeles and they
later became friends at New York University.“We bonded over being hooligans,” recalls Koga.
“Walking the streets late at night.”
Evan, Danny and Michael have been playing music informally
since 2006. Chief got underway when Koga wrote the still crowd-pleasing “Mighty Proud”
and “Far Away.” Moonves came to NYU in September of that same year, just as Chief was becoming a
true performance band. He “was instantly impressed and amped.” He was asked to play bass at a
January 2007 show and came to the first rehearsal knowing all the songs and “he played perfectly,”
says Danny, who has known Moonves since he was in kindergarten. As Chief started to gain popularity
in early 2008, there was “an unspoken need to get serious,” says Moonves. What began as loft shows in
Bushwick, Brooklyn turned into downtown performances in such venues as Fontana’s, Piano’s and The
Bowery Ballroom in New York City. This past summer, the band, who are recording their second EP,
did a six gig United Kingdom tour including a stop at Hyde Park’s 02 Festival, their biggest show to
date. Dysfunction never sounded so good.