Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain
Not exactly sure if they qualify as “neighbors” so much as “roommates” in our shared practice space — but we love them, even if they do use all the shampoo to maintain their sweet locks.
Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain
How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth?
We started this band in 2012 after a short break from our previous projects. We practiced out at the turkey coops all the way until early summer of 2015 when we were asked to move. That’s when Angel and my old/current Bill the Welder drummer Shane, offered us their space when it opened. We spent a month in a warehouse that Mitch was able to provide until Cohere Bandwidth opened and we commenced the rocking at their sweet space.
What do you do for work … and play?
Derek is an Environmental Compliance Technician for work and enjoys fishing, riffing and fun. Kris sells guitars at Guitar Center Fort Collins and is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. He enjoys hanging out with his rad wife, drawing, painting, playing bass, watching live music, playing video games, camping and hanging out with these jerks. Brian is a landscape foreman. His favorite thing to do is watch his favorite bands play with all his buddies. Mitch brews beer at New Belgium.
What makes your band unique?
Chieftain is a culmination of all our influences and previous projects (Mashadar, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Pterrordaktyl, BeastLeg). We are unique because we blend 70s rock n roll, stoner metal and sludge that is so common these days with a heavier thrash metal, punk edge that brings a lot of fun dynamics and newer takes on some of the standard or classic type riffs.
Who are the members of your band?
Derek Hall – Guitars & Vocals
Kris Hodgell – Bass
Brian Leavitt – Drums
Mitch McGuire – Guitar
How did you meet?
Kris met Derek at Guitar Center Ft Collins in 2007. They started hanging out outside of work where Derek introduced Kris to Brian. Brian was the drummer in Brian and Derek’s band Mashadar. Kris was in Fear the Vacuum at that point and those two bands started playing shows together. Both of those bands eventually ran their coarse and fell apart. Shortly after Derek and Kris started a speed punk project called Pterrordaktyl, which lasted about two years. After that project fell apart Brian, Derek and Kris started jamming and working toward what would become Chieftain. Mitch says he replied to a flier that was in the mens restroom at Surfside that said “looking for long haired gentleman to get down with”. When in fact, he has been a friend of ours for some time who we asked to join the ranks, thus Chieftain was born.
Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?
There are many bands past and present: Bronze, Men of Letters, Descendants, Wretch Like Me, Deadspeak, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Wire Faces, Crow, The Echo Chamber, John Hodge, Native Daughters. We’re forgetting lots of bands, no doubt.
Current soundtrack to a day in your life?
Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Uncle Acid, Misfits, The Sword, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me, Graveyard, Mastodon, Opeth, Joe Bonamassa, Witchcraft, Revocation, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi and Black Sabbath all day every day.
Any goals you’re working toward as a band?
We are planning on recording a demo with about 3 tracks very soon. After that, we would like to record a full length album but we need to save up a bit more for that one. We want that full length to be the best sounding/feeling record any of us has ever made. We are always writing new material and are working to finish up our newest song. Several more riffs await their time to shine! We have new art and merch on the way too.
What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?
Ever since we started this band, before it even had a name, we made sure we would keep one thing in mind at all times: have fun and write badass tunes. It sounds a little cheesy, I know, but we have all been in other serious bands that have had their shares of band issues or drama or whatever you want to call it. Every practice is a great time. We may dial in our sets for gigs one practice, where another practice focuses almost entirely on a new song. We are always striving for progress towards writing new songs and playing around with different styles while capturing all of our individual sounds and techniques. Yes there are frustrations and things of that nature, but it’s always for the good of the song and the band. It’s always fun.