Having been in bands since just after martial law was lifted in Taiwan in 1988 means that the members of Chairman have pretty much been involved in the development of Taiwan's underground rock scene since the very beginning despite having formed nearly a decade later. When Chairman did get together in 1997, several bands like Ladybug and Sugar Plum Ferry were already experimenting with more contemporary punk and post-rock sounds which affected Chairman more so than their taike rocker peers in groups like BackQuarter. The result was a blending of familiar Taiwanese rock, with songs in both Hoklo and Mandarin, with more unusual electronic elements and a punk attitude that would even veer occasionally into the political. Like BackQuarter, Chairman was picked up by local folk label Taiwan Colors Music and then moved on to release material on the semi-major Click Music. They chose the name "Chairman" to symbolize their control over their music, and it ended up reflecting their chief roles as innovators in the Taiwan music scene as well.
When Chairman formed, one of their main goals was to bring original music to the spotlight in a country where cover bands represented the status quo. Along with bands like BackQuarter, they succeeded in paving a way for local indie bands to play weekly at venues like The Wall, the Riverside and the Underworld in Taipei as well as other increasingly present live houses around the island. Chairman also went on to give anticipated yearly performances at big festivals like Spring Scream and Formoz. In 2005, the band made their first trip across the straight to rock in Beijing. Over the years the Chairman have survived the death of their first lead singer Guan Yu to leukemia, lineup changes due to military service and even scandals, yet they still remain a well known fixture in the Taiwanese rock scene.