Chad Kichula
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Chad Kichula

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Americana




"Chad Kichula - Killer"

Regina singer/songwriter Chad Kichula has been honing his craft over the last few years, releasing two solid albums and an EP of rootsy Springsteen-inspired tunes. In the process, Kichula has played across the country, winning over people one venue at a time. As well, he has managed to get some steady radio airplay south of the border. With his profile growing, Kichula knew it was time to really step up to the plate and swing for the fences. Well, it's safe to say that he delivers the goods with Killer, his third full-length release.

In the past, Kichula found a nice niche with his no-frills, earnest rock tunes with the odd ballad thrown in. However, with Killer, he has thrown out the rule book and shook up his sonic palette. In the process, he has decided to let loose and have some fun with some of the songs. While he has always been a strong songwriter, Kichula has really developed an uncanny knack for writing some damn catchy melodies. The end result is a wonderfully conceived album in the classic sense of the word. It's obvious that plenty of thought went into the sequencing of the songs, where the ten tracks would fit perfectly on two sides of an LP.

The album kicks off with the menacing title track, which is constructed around a hypnotic, pulsating bassline, courtesy of Philip Legrand. As well, guitarist and coproducer Matt Kaip rips off a really cool, fuzzed-out guitar solo. The pace then abruptly picks up with the bouncy, ska-inflected "Still Around." Up next is the chugging rocker "Over Me," which features Kichula's rich, raspy baritone, and the wistful country ballad "Miner Road." "Miner's Road" features some beautiful violin, courtesy of Suzanne Pavrovsky, along with some smooth harmony vocals from Sheenah Ko. Keeping with the LP motif, Side A ends with the spare, acoustic folk of "Mothers Cry."

Side B kicks off with the album's standout track, "Bar Fly." This is an immediately infectious ska tune and features backing vocals from Thomas Roussin of the nancy ray-guns. This song is so much fun that I bet it could even make Bill O'Reilly or an English guard smile. Local CJTR radio personality (and all around nice guy) Redbeard has described this song as a "guilty pleasure" type of song. Well, I don't feel one ounce of guilt for liking this song... and neither do the people that shake their butts to it at O'Hanlon's and The Exchange during Kichula's shows. After the sugar rush of "Bar Fly," the album switches gears with the country ballad "King of Despair," which is a really nice reworking of a song from his first album. Here, Kichula steps out of his vocal comfort zone, singing with a soft falsetto at times. The album finishes strong with the uptempo country of "Listening," the country-rock of "Few Dollars More" and the waltzy, folk ballad "Miles and Miles."

At ten songs and only 35 minutes, the album leaves you wanting more, which is definitely a wise move... all Killer, no filler. Chad Kichula has definitely arrived.

- Spun

"Taking time to record precisely is worth it"

'The biggest surprise was that we were just going to demo these songs and then take them to a studio," Chad Kichula explains of his record-in-the works, tentatively called Killer. "But the demos started sounding really good—too good to take to the studio and start over again."

The Regina-based singer songwriter, quick to list influences like Steve Earle and Springsteen, has been writing and recording music non-stop for the last four years, culminating with last year's Runners in the Night—a loose compilation of his band's best roots rock and quieter one-offs. While Kichula was happy to get those songs to tape, he immediately turned to writing material that would end up on the next album.

"I started writing [Killer] the moment we finished Runners, and we started recording it when Runners was released, so there's just so many huge differences between them," he explains when asked to describe the time spent writing between the two. "Songs on Runners were well received, but it didn't really catch on, where I think I needed to address that with Killer—that you can't just have the songs; it's more about the album."

Kichula explains that Killer, slated for release this fall, is a more full, "grittier" recording, but "the biggest difference is purely in the songwriting. Everything was written specifically for the album," he points out. "It was strategically put together, whereas Runners was a bunch of songs that went well together. It's such a concise record, put together song by song. I think [the two records] are night and day from each other."

This refined, intentional writing/recording process was fleshed out with fellow bandmember and co-producer Matt Kaip, who is yin to Kichula's yang.

"Runners was so rushed, that's why I brought in Matt to help produce it, because he stretched things out so much. It took 17 months, but really picking things apart was really what it needed.

"If you cut me loose on my own, I can get something done really quick," he laughs. "The harder you work, the faster it gets done and you get paid, but you can't really apply that to music. That's what I learned after Runners: even after you put in the hours in the studio, and you bang songs out and cut corners to get things to move faster, in the end you notice it.

"I can't believe how incredible this record turned out. I'm so excited to get it out."
- The Vue

"Regina Singer's Popular in U.S."

Chad Kichula is shaking his head.

"This was never supposed to happen," the 31-year-old Regina-based singer said incredulously. "Indie charts, fine, enjoy it, but to hear yourself on mainstream radio, that was never part of the plan."

Kichula is in an interesting position, one that finds him on the Spins Tracking System (STS) Hot 100 Chart -- a service that tracks singles played on radio stations around the U.S. -- debuting his song "Never Seen the Ocean" at No. 65 for the week of Jan. 11.

That week, Kichula's song was spun 166 times, reaching listeners 47 more times than John Mayer's own debut song, "Say." At the top of the Hot 100 Chart was Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly," which saw airplay 1,855 times, a fact that doesn't faze Kichula.

"I'm just trying to digest everything that's on my plate right now," Kichula said. "This was done with almost zero money behind it and no video. If you look at all the other names (on the Hot 100), there's guaranteed a music video and a big label that's pushing a lot of money."

Kichula's plate is large, and the appetite for his music is ravenous, evidenced by the DJs Kichula says are contacting him about his music.

One day last week, Kichula mailed out 40 CDs to DJs, record pools and the media across the U.S.

Asked how his overnight fame -- it happened literally in the span of a few days at the beginning of January when Kichula sent his album Better in the Mornin' to a radio station in Los Angeles -- got rolling, he responds that it didn't merely roll, it "bounced."

"The buzz is going," Kichula said excitedly. "It's a lot of work. I'm spending hours a day just (promoting) this. If this is my shot to make a career out of this and to keep pushing so my next album can go further, it's well worth putting in the sweat now."

Before the momentum began, the self-described "roots rock" singer got his start playing small gigs around Regina and recording his first self-titled album on a four-track recorder in his basement.

"I started off thinking if I could just play one song in front of one live audience, that would be enough for me," Kichula said. Kichula got his wish -- it happened one night a few years ago at the Exchange.

"In front of six people," he laughed. "That's how it started and of course no one stops there."

Needless to say, it seems that Kichula's audience of six has seen growth in recent weeks -- on Jan. 18, the single moved up to No. 56 on the STS Hot 100 Chart.

"That's the whole reason you start off as a songwriter, you hope the one person you play for, your girlfriend, your mom or your friends, that they like the song. But when you find that your audience has grown, it's incredible," he said.

"What I'm making in money off this song, I don't know, it's not really a big concern for me, but I hope it covers the expense of this one so I can do another one. The whole idea is people loving the song and appreciating you as an artist."
- Leader Post

"Road Dog Holds Back a Few"

After a disappointing loss in this week’s basketball game, Regina native Chad Kichula still manages to sound upbeat. “It happens every game—I start out by not playing that well, then just as I start to heat up, the game finishes.”

Maybe it’s this same slow-cooking intensity that makes his roots-rock performances in high demand throughout western Canada and the United States, resulting in his songs getting picked up by more and more radio stations south of the border.

“There seems to be a genuine appreciation for my music down there,” he explains. “The songs have really found an audience in the States.”

A singer-songwriter in the tradition of working class heroes like Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle and early John Mellencamp, Kichula and his band have trekked back and forth across Western Canada enough times that it’s starting to become routine. However, this Friday marks their first appearance in Edmonton.

“I don’t know how we kept missing it,” Kichula laughs. “But we’re excited to play to a new audience, first and foremost. I just want to get the music out there, and for people to take something from the performance home with them.”

Playing venues as varied as heavy metal bars to the more intimate environs of restaurants or cafes, Kichula and his band are well suited to adapt to various situations.

“We’re forced to be more flexible and play with a lot more dynamics. I can come out and just play solo, or we can have the drummer play with brushes and bring things down, or we can turn up and rock.”

Backed by the same players for a period spanning back several years, Kichula is quick to note how integral the players are to the songs and the performances.

“We’re a tight group. If someone can’t make it out to some shows, it’s not like we just replace them, we’ll just shuffle things around and find a way to make it work.”

With all the tracking finished for his upcoming full length Runners in the Night, Kichula looks forward to shipping out the completed album in early 2009. While some of the songs were waiting for years to be recorded, others were written over the summer to tie the record together. When writing for the album was finished, Kichula found himself in the unusual position of having no new material left.
“That never happens, you know? You always want to have a few in your pocket, so the pressure was on to write some new stuff. Thankfully I was able to come up with some new songs,” he says. “It’s really important to not let things come to a conclusion.” V
- The Vue Weekly

"World Shaker Review"

- Genre: 'Alt/Country' - Release Date: '2008'

Our Rating: 8 out of 10

Canadian singer/songwriter Chad Kichula ( sounds more south of the border than many of his contemporaries. After having seen stateside college-radio spins for his single "Never Seen the Ocean," Kichula has followed it up with a stirring, swagger-juiced blast of roots rock, "World Shaker." Its outlaw theme may have been influenced by the Paul Newman classic "Cool Hand Luke," but its dark country shadings are straight from Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska." Violins add drama and a tinge of sadness to Kichula's pulpy storytelling, and his commanding, booming voice delivers two-fisted power to this combustible mix of folk, country, and the blues.

"Another Love" and "Gotta Hold on Me" bring in extra flavors to Kichula's menu, expanding his acoustic-based arrangements. Kichula's singing on "Another Love" is breathy and somewhat romantic, in stark contrast to the tough-guy image that "World Shaker" projects. Each song helps to explore Kichula's versatile range, and his next full-length CD, judging from the sampler here, should be quite a winner. author: Adam Harrington (
- Whisterin and

"Compelling storylines illuminate Chad Kichula’s new EP"

Chad Kichula arrives from Canada with a major fixation on Bruce Springsteen, at least on the title song of this three-cut EP. With a voice as heavy and deep as the Boss himself, Kichula narrates a tale of outlaw adventure and individual freedom taken from the Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke. Kichula’s bluesy singing gives the track an even more compelling storyline, one that can be appreciated even without the context of the film.
“Gotta Hold on Me” is probably less personal but it is still a catchy B-side even though its lyrics aren’t as substantial as the single’s. “Another Love” is laid back and lush, Suzanne Parovsky’s strings illuminating the hushed atmosphere of Kichula’s romantic longing. Having not heard Kichula’s work before, I don’t know if this EP is a creative evolution from his earlier material or simply a continuation of it. One thing is clear: I will definitely survey his future.

-Carson James - Americana Reviews - Twang

"Runners in the Night"

CHAD KICHULA Runners In The Night

Staff Writer

I really did not know what to expect with this artist, but I was pleasantly surprised, especially when the song “Restless Man” came on. Maybe it is just me but there is a hint of country in many of his songs, which I thought was a plus.

I normally do not care much for most rock music. But this with a dreamy voice behind the music and amazing instruments accompanying him, this ensemble was different. This music makes an impression immediately; it is bold, rich, and really “fun danceable”. Meaning you can shake to the beat whether you are sitting down or standing up, and do a good job at it.

Chad Kichula’s style, though not unique, is one to watch out for. And that voice, you can listen to it all day and never tire of hearing it.



A FIRE May 15, 2012

KILLER Jan 18th, 2011

RUNNERS IN THE NIGHT February 1st, 2009

WORLD SHAKER July 30, 2008 release

BETTER IN THE MORNIN' 2007 release.

CHAD KICHULA released on Redwater Records October 2005



Chad Kichula Artist Biography

In order to succeed at anything in life it takes dedication and sacrifice—singer/songwriter Chad Kichula knows this first hand. He works full-time cutting and pruning trees by day as the owner of a forestry company and spends nights cutting soul stirring tracks.

It took awhile for Chad to learn to balance his passion with what pays the bills. Having written and recorded music since 1999, it was not until Chad sold his truck in 2005 to pay for his debut album, that he was able to get his music out to the masses. Chad’s self titled debut was an Americana/Roots-Rock album that showcased his development as a songwriter. Songs like "Sierra Leone” showed he could craft lyrics and tell a story—just as his inspirations Springsteen and Earle had.

In 2007, Chad went back into the studio to record a three song EP entitled Better in the Morning. Released later that same year, it featured acoustic compositions which Chad had honed by playing on the road. The debut single off of the EP, “Never Seen the Ocean” made some noise on West Coast radio but not nearly as much as Chad had hoped.

Chad used that minor success as inspiration for his follow up three-song EP titled World Shaker. The title track from the EP was written while Chad watched one of his favorite films, Cool Hand Luke.”I really wrote the whole song as I watched the movie. It might be still my strongest song. The lyrics fit the storyline nicely I think. It's a little of myself in there too,” he says. “I'm an aging free spirit too I guess.” World Shaker had a perfect mix of Folk, Blues and Country and exemplified Chad's influence from albums like Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album, Nebraska. “The characters and stories in Nebraska go right to the heart and soul of who we all are. People doing the best they can with what they have. Some just have a tougher time than others and some aren't meant to succeed at all.” The two other tracks on World Shaker, "Another Love" and "Gotta' Hold on Me" displayed Chad's variety in style and lyrical craft all within their catchy acoustic rifts.

2007 was a great year for Chad because that was also the time that he hooked up with his band, Douglas Avenue Garage Band. Chad had been playing with bassist Phil Legrand since 2004 and drummer Nat Bowen since 2006 but the band solidified in 2007 when guitarist Matt Kaip and Suzanne Parovsky (violin/viola) came on board.

By early 2008 Chad's head was flooded with fresh material. It had been three years since his last full-length album release and time had come to set down the chainsaw and head back into the studio. The result would be Runners in the Night. Released in early 2009, it contained a mix of new material and cuts off the EP World Shaker. Runners in the Night was a collision of emotion and energy molded perfectly together in a tapestry of tales about the working class. In songs such as “Restless Man” and “Crying in the Rain”, Springsteen's influence on Kichula shines through yet again. The title song shows just how refined Chad's storytelling had become. “I guess it is people trying to do their best against the odds that inspires me,” says Chad. “The human spirit that seems to rise above the darkness that tries to envelop them.”

After another lengthy break Chad came back with “Killer” in early January. Recording of the song began within weeks of the release of Runners, but it would take almost two years to complete. Choosing not to record in a studio, Chad and his co-producer Matt Kaip (Chad Kichula, and Better in the Morning) removed restrictions allowing them to experiment a lot. The result of which, captures raw performances and their most creative productions.

Chad’s next album, A Fire also finds him tackling unfamiliar territory lyrically. “I’ve written about almost everything and everyone except myself and my blue collar life,” he says. “This next record is about just that.” Fans can currently check out a preview of one of the tracks ("Supposed to Be") at

Although Chad is still working a very physical and demanding job to support his music he is not complaining. It seems like a way of life after all these years—the working side and the creative side combining to make the best artist possible.