Little Chief

20 Jun

Little Chief

Who’s in the mood for some lovely new tunes? Recently, I initiated a romance with Little Chief’s music, and it was a must that I interview them for the blog. Who is Little Chief you ask? They’re a fantastic new folk band out of Fayetteville, AR. Their brand new EP, Somewhere Near the River, has just released, and it ‘s seriously one of the breakouts of the summer (in my opinion).

As most of you know, I’m pretty busy right now writing my second novel, and because of that I invited a fantastic girl onto the blog to help me with a few interviews. Lysandra Fisher did a wonderful job putting together some really great questions for the band, giving up an opportunity to get to know them and their music a little more. Big thank you to her and singer, Matt Cooper for taking the time to answer the questions.

Q. What do you guys hope to achieve through your music?

A. The best part about music is that the moment it starts, people listen. Everyone wants to hear new music. They want to connect to it. That’s just how we’re made. Music brings people together, and after our tour in May, we realized that there’s no better way to make new friends than by playing music for them. As a band, we have so much fun playing on stage and we don’t want to keep that to ourselves. By the end of the night, we want you to have just as much fun as we do and leave the show knowing that you’re a part of the Little Chief family, just as much as we are.

Q. How have your fan interactions been so far? Anything memorable?

A. Our fan interactions so far have been incredible. Everybody is looking for something new in music right now, and we’re really looking to give them something new and authentic that they want to tell their friends about. When it comes to show, our fans have come out in numbers and there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing new faces at every show. Some of our super fans in the past have even made their own Indian headdresses to wear at the show. How awesome is that?

Q. Why did you guys want to pursue folk music instead of any other genre?

A. Folk music uses a lot of acoustic instruments and, for us, that provides a lot of room to be genuine and authentic in our songwriting. It’s all about story-telling and really conveying something that your audience wants to hear. There are so many different ways to play folk music so it really gives us a ton of room to be creative. It’s a genre of music that’s just real and honest.

Q. What type of music are you listening to now that’s inspiring you?

A. We listen to a lot of folk bands similar to us like The Oh Hellos, The Head and The Heart, and The Lumineers. They’re all incredible songwriters and it’s inspiring just listening to those guys. Besides that though, we listen to a lot of indie stuff. Local Natives, Givers, The Killers, and we love Arcade Fire. Who doesn’t love a band that brings 10-15 people on stage, you know?

Q. Do you guys like touring so far? Has the road been treating you nicely?

A. Touring is incredible. We just finished up our first tour as a band and we had so much fun. There’s just something about going to a new city, playing music, meeting new people, and then going to sleep and doing it all over again. We went to Dallas, Waco, Columbia, MO, Shreveport, LA, and a few other cities, and every crowd was incredible. We’ll be coming back to those cities as soon as possible. Ellie wasn’t with us on the tour since she’s spending the summer in Peru, but the four of us carried on and we’ve come to realize that touring is addictive. What is not addictive though is the amount we spent in gasoline. All four of us piled in, gear and all, into this 2001 Suburban. Completely full with our guitars, cellos, bass, and a full drum kit, this land yacht was getting around 10-12 miles per gallon. We traveled near 2,500-3,000 miles, so our gas bill was pretty big, but we pulled into Fayetteville (our hometown in Arkansas) at the end of the tour and we were like, “That was awesome. Let’s just tour forever.”

Q. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

A. You know, as young songwriters, that’s something we think about constantly. The majority of the band members are only 20 years old, and that has definitely become one of our strengths. We have a good idea about what we want to sound like, but collectively, we’re looking to stay original and creative. I think our songs will always be relatable, whether they’re stories or about relationships. Music is all about connecting with people and the moment we stop writing about things our audience can relate to, we lose a huge part of what we’re all about. With the tour over, we’re in writing mode, working on new material for the next release.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

A. As young college students, the biggest challenge hasn’t been finding venues or convincing fans to like our Facebook page, but simply just having enough money upfront for things like CD duplication, merchandise at shows and transportation. We’ve been really thankful for the massive fan support we’ve had. This isn’t just our band anymore. So many hands have worked and continue to make Little Chief what is, from helping design our website, sending us artwork, and just spreading the word about us to their friends. It seems like in music there’s always this wall that separates the musicians from the fans, and that’s not us. The moment you come to a show, you know you’re a part of the Little Chief family. It just happens. Anytime we meet a new fan or get an e-mail about someone finding our music, we tell them, “Welcome to the Tribe.” That’s what we’re all about: we’re just a giant tribe of people who love to play good music and have fun doing it and we want everyone to be a part of that.

Q. How did you come up with the name “Little Chief”? Does it hold a special meaning?

A. One night, Matt’s roommate Shea was just throwing out these awful band name suggestions like “The Red Couches” and “Dirty Hamper.” Awful names. Then randomly, he throws out Little Chief, and we’re like, “Oh. That’s good.” So we google “Little Chief” and not much comes up, except for this old website. We’re talking the internet days of 2003-type website. It’s this page for a town called Little Chief in Oklahoma and this older gentleman has the only post on this website, and on the site he says, “I lived in Little Chief, OK for a year back in 1952. It used to be an oil-boom town, but now nobody lives there. No businesses, no people, just empty buildings.” Little Chief, OK is a literal ghost town, so we’re like, “Okay, this is awesome” and that’s how the Tribe began.

Put on your headdress and sing along to their song, Brothers. Enjoy.

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