Miss Chief has one hell of a stage presence. She’s a tiny singing, dancing, cackling and tambourine-banging ringleader of misters (Daniel Aaron Flores on drums and Eddie Gonzalez on guitar) and a miss (Devyn Trujillo on bass). She may be on the petite side, but illuminates the stage with her big personality and energy. Her current band has been playing together for a little more than a year, but Miss Chief has been precociously belting out tunes since she was two. It was then that she discovered the singer Selena. Her older sister later started an all-girl band called Tralala, an instrumental surf rock and jazz band. Miss Chief wanted to emulate these women, and the rest is history.
- Describe Miss Chief’s sound:
My band and I all bring our own individual tastes and musical skills when it comes to the songs we create. I have always liked the term ‘Garage Pop’ when describing the Miss Chief sound — a combination of Garage Rock n’ Roll with an unapologetic Pop aesthetic. The sound we developed has our own twist to it, with a diverse range of influences like Dick Dale, David Bowie, No Doubt, Amy Winehouse and more. We try to make music that moves people, whether it’s making them softly sway or full on get down.
- What female artists have inspired you?
My major female influences are artists like Donna Summer, Selena, Diana Ross and Beyoncé, who are all powerhouse vocalists and stunning performers. Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Astrud Gilberto are some of the most unique singers I’ve ever heard — they encompass their emotion so well that I feel it when I hear them sing. I’m also a big Fiona Apple fan. Her music influenced my lyrical writing; she showed me how to bring a poetic aspect to music. And there are more recent misses I’m loving like The Summer Twins, La Luz and Kali Uchis.
- Does your music have any feminist themes?
With influences like Le Tigre, Karen O and Fiona Apple, I do mix in some feminist themes when I can. The song “Don’t Make Me” is about an older dude taking advantage of a young girl he never should have messed with in the first place. I love that song because we wanted it to be an anthem for girls to get mad and stand up for themselves — to not be a victim. I can’t help but write with a female perspective, but I try to do so in an honest and empowering way that [we can] hopefully pass on to our audience.
- What do you generally sing about?
The songs usually stem from my own personal experiences, so sometimes it feels like I’m time-traveling when I sing. They range from being about ex-bosses, high school crushes, Cat Woman, escaping reality when intoxicated and more.
- How are you influenced by DIY-culture?
My drummer Daniel is the founder of Still Life Press, where all of our merchandise has been made DIY. Between Daniel and I, not only do we make our own merch, but we also have booked, coordinated and decorated our own shows.
Miss Chief is based in the Inland Empire of SoCal. She’s currently finishing up a four-song EP, which will be released before the summer hits. She is hoping to play more shows up the coast this summer, so stay tuned! You can find her on Bandcamp and Tumblr here:
Originally written for Acro Collective: CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY.