Chiba-Ken
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Chiba-Ken

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"Tight and well rehearsed, the vocal takes are confident and filled with emotional release. Hard Rock with a thirst for blood!" - TAXI


This is a debut seven-song EP from the aggressive, four-piece hard rock outfit founded by George William. I saw the CD and thought, interesting name. It turns out to be the name of the suburb in Tokyo where William once stayed. The CD kicks off with "Broken Faces," which is kind of hard-rocking but melodic, which pretty much sums up the whole CD. While there is definitely guitar bite and chunky riffage, it also mercifully knows when to step back and let the song breathe. The vocals are solid-William can sing, which is probably how he managed to snag the lead in Tony & Tina's Wedding on Broadway. The band has been touring with some big-name acts like Autumn to Ashes and Glassjaw, and has gained sponsorships with Jagermeister, Vic Firth and Shore Athletic Apparel. One of my favorite songs was "Forward," which opens with some great riffage, then breaks it down as the vocals kick in. This is a solid first offering from this band. Visit them online at www.chiba-ken.net - MIKE FERRARI - Inside Connection


By now most of you know that Long Island is churning out band after band, mostly soundalike emo/punk fare that appeals to 13 year old girls and guys in girl pants. So when something different show up, it quickly distinguishes itself from the rest of the glut.

Chiba-ken is one of those bands. Blending aspects of Deftones-style hard rock with breakdowns straight out of well-known Long Island band Glassjaw, and the intensity and lyrical depth of Thursday, Chiba-ken's music is enjoyable, profound and furious. Tracks like Army Invincible and Legion showcase powerful lyrics (and equally powerful riffs) while Faster Tonight and Killing Fields demonstrate a love of speed and intensity. - DJ Shatter


Chiba-Ken, a post-hardcore indie band from New York, descended on the ICT on Tuesday, July 29, at The Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island.
     Fronted by founder, the very stage-worthy George William, the band has a big sound backed by a thick rhythm, fast drums and high-energy bass. The unit's songs are lyrically political and musically complex.
     Throughout the show, lead guitarist Elias Tannous glimmered with flashes of absolutely brilliant guitar hooks and extras of the kind that usually separate the pros from their wannabe-fledglings.
     Drummer Jason D'Amelio was holding pretty steadfast and can hit the crap out the cans at some surprisingly high speeds. I wondered how he was pulling it off. Normally, after about Mach II, you begin to wear down.
     The bass player, Joshua Jaffe, was as outgoing as one can be, (we're talking a one-man mosh pit), and a great player, to boot. He worked hard to get the crowd into the show and refused to let up, only getting more energetic as the night wore on.
     Credit where credit is due: these are five of the nicest guys you could meet and they're humble enough to ask for criticism. They put on a fun show and were excited to play in such a good-sized area because they're used to the cramped, smoky dives of New York's musical underground.
     Chiba-Ken was a lot of fun and I'd definitely go see the band again. After the show, I spoke to the guys and I realized that these guys don't just like what they're doing, they absolutely love it. - J Dean


Many moons ago I did some work for another music magazine to develop their Local Scene section. One of the first bands to come across my desk was a band called Chiba-Ken. Intrigued by the Japanese name, I popped the “Faces of the Moment” EP into the CD deck and was impressed with the bold original sound of heavy, yet melodic rock. Songs like “Forward” and “Urban America” immediately caught my ear and stuck in my head.

The name Chiba-Ken comes from the name of a town in Japan where lead singer George William had spent some time living in. William, who besides being a rock star is also an accomplished stage and screen actor, then returned to the States where he met up with drummer Jason D’Amelio and guitarist Elias Tannous, to form the core of what is Chiba-Ken. After a couple of personnel changes over the years the band now features D’Amelio’s brother Justin on bass, and has added Kazakhstan born (yes, that country made famous by Borat!) Julian Petrov in on rhythm guitar to round out the sound, and make the band complete.

Besides the captivating guitar work of guitarist Elias Tannous, there are the keyboard arrangements from William that take the music beyond your typical hard rock band. William is has strong stage presence, which probably stems from his acting background and frequently alternates between prowling the stage with crouching behind his keys during the live shows. Tannous often plays his foil on stage, providing showman quality guitar posturing along side William for dramatic effect.

Previous to the 2005 “Faces of the Moment” EP the earlier incarnation of the band released 2 demos; “The Winter Sessions” and the self titled “Chiba-Ken.” But after the release “Faces of the Moment” the band began to tour, starting with the mid-west and northeast, steadily building up a reputation as a formidable live act.

After the tour the band returned to Long Island where they lived together in the same house, and began showcasing for record labels here in New York. At the legendary CBGB’s, they were approached by Gotham Records and were consequently signed with them. Upon signing with local indie label Gotham, the band released their first full length album, “Are We Innocent?” in 2007.

Again the band took to the road playing constantly all the while building their audience. Last year the band took a month long residence playing at Da Funky Phish, and opening up for bigger acts at the Crazy Donkey. After Petrov joined the band in 2008, one of his first live shows was opening for metal legends Iron Maiden while Chiba-Ken was on tour in Ohio. The band has opened for many other big name acts including the likes of Ill Nino, Powerman 5000, 40 Below Summer and plenty of others, as well as home town heroes like From Autumn to Ashes and Glassjaw.

“Are We Innocent?” received good radio play on college and satellite and the band has sponsorships from Jagermeister, Sam Ash Music, Vic Firth, Rock Star Industry Clothing, and Little Paw Skateboards.

Later that summer the band returned home to Long Island to begin experimenting with their sound and create new music. This would lead to their latest release “Hard To Be Human” which was recorded at the ever popular Vu Du Studios in Freeport, and produced by Mike Watts.

Recorded over this past winter the “Hard To Be Human” retains the signature Chiba-Ken sound while expanding its dimensions and exploring new avenues in hard rock. You can check out the new material on their myspace page or see it live at their CD release party later this month at Mulcahy’s on the 26th. The band then leaves for a West Coast tour beginning in June. - Aural Fix


Aggressive, melodic, and overflowing with piss and vinegar, muscular suburban New York post-grunge quartet Chiba-Ken boldly goes where few bands have gone before, and do so with a few refreshing twists that are worth checking out.
Bassist Justin D'Amelio slaps and pops through the dense guitar onslaught of Elias Tannous, affording a bit of old school soul to the mix.
Vocalist George William vacillates from grind-core to an arena rock croon like an old pro despite his youthful age.
Drummer Jason D'Amelio's poly-rythmic mayhem under-pins the political fire of "Urban America," even during the quiet coda and eventual fadeout.
Cuts such as "Forward" and "Broken Faces" seemlessly meld metal, new-psychedlic, and power pop. Nice to hear a new band that doesn't play it safe; this debut is certain to raise the hair on your neck. - Amplifier Magazine


Chiba-Ken's style fuses many different forms of rock
together on the 11-track ARE WE INNOCENT? With a watchful eye on
the current wave of metal and hard rock, this Long Island by way of
Manhattan-based quintet showcases a vast comprehension of what
makes the likes of bands Incubus and Trivium tick, as tracks like "Army
Invincible" skillfully blurs the lines between fist-pumping metal and
contagious alt rock. Grandiose in both production value and songwriting
prowess, Chiba-Ken convincingly demonstrates its love affair with
blending heavy riffs, melodic singing, and memorable hooks without
sounding derivative or falling into cliches, thus establishing its own mark
without coming off as a clone. Meshing post-hardcore power with
unrefined passion, tracks like "Faster Tonight" patch together the current
darlings of modern rock radio's signature sounds, "Legion" provides a
nu-metal pate bursting with Deftones, Disturbed, and Chevelle-esque
goodness, and a secretive pact between Queensryche and Faith No More
is revealed on "Prisoner 105". Treading familiar territories with a
tricked-out and suped-up all terrain vehicle in tow, ARE WE INNOCENT?
exhibits Chiba-ken's brawny and adventurous brain-powered hard rock
outpouring. www.gothamrecords.com -Mike SOS - Crave Magazine


Chiba-Ken is actually a
suburb of Tokyo, which lead singer
George William called home the
year that the band was formed.
He and fellow band members Justin D'Amelio, Julian Petrov, Elias Tannous and Jason D’Amelio have
successfully blended elements
of rock, hardcore and heavy metal
into something rough, but
intricately dynamic.
The band was at The House Of
Blues in support of The New Breed
Fighters’ amateur MMA fight
league bout and had arranged for
me to have the best seat in the
house. Turns out that it was not
only a great show for the band but
probably one of the more unusual
things that I’ve covered in quite a
while. They actually played
between matches on stage right
next to the fight cage. It was the
wildest pairing of heavy rock and
roll and boxing that I’ve ever
witnessed. Hell, the only time I
saw music and boxing mix like
this was in Rocky IV when James
Brown played “Living In America.”
The band Chiba-Ken was also
out to support their latest disc,
Are We Innocent? and they’re
logging a pretty impressive bunch
of gigs all over the eastern US. I
also noticed that they are probably
the most heavily sponsored
original band in the tri-state area,
garnering support from
the lines of Fuel along with their
Incubus styled compositions,
mixing passionate vocals with the
technical prowess of a cool Faith
No More guitar blitzkrieg.
George William formed Chiba-
Ken in 2003 in his broom
closet/recording studio. The
band blends hard, heavy riffs with
spacious and experimental
melodies.They stress the use
of many sounds in their recordings,
mostly subliminal and atmospheric
in nature.
I asked George if the band had
any solid hits as far as label interest
and he told me that they had just
split from indie label Gotham
Records and were relishing their
new found freedom while actively
looking for new and compatible
representation.
Chiba-Ken is:
George William —vocals, Keys,
Elias Tannous—guitar (and former
Carnegie hall pianist)
Jason D’Amelio—drums,
Justin D’Amelio—bass.
Julian Petrov - guitar
Visit the band at myspace.com/chibaken - The Aquarian - John Pfeiffer


Yes, another New York band graces
my column! This one is from Long Island! What can I say? I like what I like. Now, I’ve heard a lot about this band Chiba-Ken on MySpace, but I finally got a chance to see them perform at Dingbatz in Clifton,
NJ, a few weeks ago. They grab you right away live! Excellent guitar work by guitarist Elias was complemented by great bass work from bassist Justin. The band’s fearless leader George William knew how
to take command of the stage and proved to be a great singer as well. I went to Chiba-Ken’s MySpace page at myspace.com/chibaken to hear more. Songs that stood out for me were “Army Invincible,”“The Killing Fields,”“Faster Tonight,”a great ballad called “Moonlight Mass,”and a song called “Casual Sex” was a great track lyrically. These guys don’t let you down on tape either. Chiba-Ken was formed in 2003 by singer George William. The name, Chiba-Ken, was taken from the area east of Tokyo, Japan, that George lived in before
returning to New York to find the musicians who would complete the band’s lineup.
In 2004, the band was introduced with their self-titled demo, which would be followed with a seven-song EP entitled "Faces Of The Moment" in 2005. Then in 2006, the band recorded "The Winter Sessions" with Ken Schalk (of Candiria) and his brother Steve producing. Chiba-Ken's strong fan base in the area grew because they played with several notable acts like From Autumn To Ashes, Glassjaw, Powerman 5000, Kittie, and Sponge. Chiba-Ken embarked on their first tour in the summer of 2005 to promote Faces Of The Moment, heading west to play 20
shows in 24 nights through nine states. Upon their return to New York, they began a heavy internet and radio marketing campaign.The airplay that they received really helped create a buzz that landed
them sponsorships with Jagermeister, Vic Firth, Shore Athletic Apparel, and LoveNico Clothing. This definitely is a good band! Joining singer George William in Chiba-Ken are lead guitarist Elias, bassist Justin, and drummer Jason. Their latest CD,which was recently released by Gotham Records, is called "Are We Innocent?" and is available in stores nationwide now! To find out where Chiba-Ken are playing next, log on to myspace.com/chibaken or chiba-ken.net

- The Aquarian - Tim Louie


Last week at New York’s Crash Mansion, local five-piece hard rockers Chiba-Ken took the stage to celebrate the release of their debut LP Are We Innocent – and also to introduce the New York scene their potent concoction of fiery riffs, powerhouse vocals and unbelievable rhythms.

Chiba-Ken derive the group’s name from the Tokyo suburb that lead singer George William called home for a year. After writing his own music for a few years, George posted a classified looking for musicians to form a band. He found bassist Josh Jaffe, drummer Jason D’Amelio, and guitarist Elias Tannous, who formed the group’s core members. After three years and different lineups, the group added second guitarist Dan Casper this past January. Around that time, they relocated from Manhattan to Old Westbury, where the band rents a house, rehearses, and writes new material.

After finishing their Winter Sessions demo this past March, the group began shipping out press packets and copies of the disc to dozens of labels, including New York’s Gotham Records. However, it was a chance meeting that brought the band to the label’s attention.

Jaffe was working at The Apple Store in SoHo when Gotham Records president Patrick Arn walked in. “The girl who was helping [Patrick] noticed the Gotham Records patch on his bag and told Josh,” said William. “He met him, gave him a demo and a business card, and a week later, they called and asked us to send them another press packet.” After the label saw Chiba-Ken at New York’s now-defunct CBGB, the group was signed and the whole process began to snowball. The group needed to meet an October 3 release date, and finished the recording of Innocent in 12 hectic days, balancing marathon recording sessions with their day jobs.

The experience at Gotham has been positive for the group, who has developed a relationship with their label that most bands never get a chance to have. “Most bands don’t get to talk to the president of the label on a daily basis,” said William. “We went with them because of the personal, individual attention we get. We know we won’t get swept under the carpet, they’re going build us up, just like Patrick did with the label.”

William describes the new disc as a “socio-political album,” filled with tracks that function more like short stories than pop songs. Based on his experiences working in New York, William wrote many of the album’s songs after seeing the way CEOs and executives treated younger people. Unlike the “lost innocence” felt by these white-collar fiends, William’s songs are about the “feeling of invincibility” that comes with youthfulness and innocence.

Playing in the local scene has been a change of pace for the group, who say that it differs greatly from New Jersey and New York City. “It’s more about the venue than the bands,” says guitarist Elias Tannous. “It’s hard when venues are ‘pay-to-play’ and promoters take these young bands for a ride.” He added that sources such as Good Times are helping create a buzz about the local scene and events such as The Long Island Music Festival are bringing these groups together and creating a tighter network of local talent.

Now that Are We Innocent has hit the streets, Chiba-Ken will be promoting their new disc with a slew of local and regional appearances. For a complete listing of the group’s performances and to hear a few cuts from the new album, be sure to check them out on the web at chiba-ken.net or at MySpace.com/chibaken. - Good Times magazine - Bill Reese


Discography

Album - "Hard to be Human" 2009
Album - "Are We Innocent?" 2007
EP - "Faces of the Moment" 2005
Demo "The Winter Sessions"
Demo - "Chiba-Ken"

Chiba-Ken's radio promotion is handled by Munsey of Skateboard Marketing. Tracks from "Are We Innocent?" have been spun on radio stations including:

XM and Sirius Satellite, WSOU 89.5 Seton Hall Pirate RadioWNYU New York University96.9 FM �Free Radio� in San DiegoWLIU 88.3 FMThe X 88.9 Monmouth UniversityWSOE 89.3 fm � Elon RadioWWFM 89.1 � Mercer County CC RadioWTSR 93.1 fm � Trenton StateRadioX fm 94.7WLIX 104.5WFLY FM Wichita, KSWRHU Hofstra UniversityAlooga Radio Germany feauting DJ OtticTFG

RadioPodcasts include:
Aardvarks' NestDOGCASTDopeRadioTake a DriveOzzy MateLive From The HouseSlippery TangentsTeam K OnlineElmoCastRandom Teen CastZen and the Art of Triathlon� Hate the RadioX Pat RadioPodcastpaulRock auf dem Vulkan�� Hate the RadioNorCal Pirate Radio�� The Little ShowTeam K OnlineX Pat Radiothe delicate art of noise pollutionRevolution RadioSquadcastThe Little Show

Photos

Bio

Chiba-Ken was formed in New York City in 2003 by lead singer George William. The name comes from a town in Tokyo, Japan where George was staying at the time. Upon returning to New York, George, a trained actor and singer who was performing as "Tony" in the Off-Broadway hit "Tony-n-Tina's Wedding" as well as a guest role on "All My Children", met up with drummer Jason D'Amelio and guitarist Elias Tannous, two musicians who had been veterans of the NYC rock circuit as teenagers. The next piece of the puzzle came by way of Kazakhstan, a place made famous recently by the movie "Borat".
Guitarist Julian Petrov, who was born in Kazakhstan, was living in Israel singing and playing guitar in his former band. Julian decided to relocate to America and after auditioning in front of a board of US officials, he was granted an Artists' Visa.
Julian auditioned and was accepted into Chiba-Ken and his first show was opening for none other than Iron Maiden at the Blossom Music Center in Ohio in June of 2008. It was a dream come true for the band and for Julian especially.
Chiba-Ken returned to their studio in Long Island and began writing new music. They recorded their second full length album entitled "Hard To Be Human" with producer Mike Watts (As Tall As Lions). The band relocated to Los Angeles in June of 2009 and after playing the world famous Whisky A Go-Go and Viper Room they quickly gained notoriety as one of the Sunset Strip's best new rock bands. It was there that they met and teamed up with bassist Hal Berkstresser. A Berklee School of Music grad, Hal has been recording and touring since he was 14 years old, and is an exciting new addition to the band.

Chiba-Ken was one of the last bands to be signed out of world famous CBGB's in Manhattan after playing there in 2006.

Quote from lead singer George William :
"In the 5 years of our existence we have seen members come and go, promises made and broken, been praised and criticized, loved and hated. We've been both victor and victim in our young career, and the experiences encountered so far have been lessons in life that have changed us forever. Not everyone gets the opportunity to be in a band, to live with the other members, to entwine your life with theirs, to put forth your creative ideas and watch as they are stretched, twisted, torn, destroyed, buried, resurrected, destroyed again, and sometimes, used. Not everyone gets the opportunity to ride around the country in a cargo van with no seats, no AC, no GPS, during a summer heat wave with 4 other smelly dudes, only to get to the next bar, next house, or next tent where there might be no people, no sound guy, no PA, or worse yet, no beer. But these are all opportunities. I feel bad for those that will never know the feeling of being onstage and having someone yell at you, spit at you, or throw something at you, because they will also never know the feeling of being onstage and having people sing with you, cheer for you, and applaud for you. We've played backyards for 30 people, and music houses for 3,000 people, but every time we step on the stage we're the same band, playing the same songs for the same reason. We do it, because it's part of who we are, part of our lives, and part of the world we're in. Thank God we have such strong support from the family and friends that we have, because to be in a band is like swimming in a shark tank and you need as many life rafts as you can. It's sink or swim, there's no rest for us. The second you stop swimming, you sink. We've been swimming for 5 years looking for the shoreline. Sometimes you think, maybe we'll never see it, maybe we'll never make it there, maybe the sharks will get us. But then you say, fuck it, it's better to die out here then to never have jumped in the water in the first place."

Notable Acts we've opened for:���Iron Maiden, Ill Nino, From Autumn to Ashes, Glassjaw, God Forbid, Powerman 5000, Kitty, 40 Below Summer, Black Market Hero, Byzantine, Biology, Sponge + many more..
We are currently sponsored by: Jagermeister, Sam Ash Music, Vic Firth, Rock Star Industry Clothing, Little Paw Skateboards