Through the wire: Champs
I recently caught up with one half of the hotly tipped band Champs earlier in the week and talked about the new album, band history and other bits and bobs.
What gave you the idea to form a band?
We formed the band almost accidentally. It started off as just recording some demos in a studio on the Isle of Wight. A few songs were recorded and somehow Dermot O’leary got hold of one of them, ‘St. Peters’. He gave it quite a few plays on his Radio 2 show without us even knowing. We found out when he asked us to come on the show and play a session which we did. This made us take it a bit more seriously and so we set about making a full album which we’ve now finished ready for a release next year.
How long have you been making music together?
Being brothers growing up together, we’ve been making music together in one way or another for as long as we can remember . We both learnt guitar at similar times so we’d always be playing stuff at home.
Is there a story behind the name?
Our surname is Champion and Mike was always known as ‘Champs’ by his mates. When we started doing the demos they were saved under the name ‘Champs’ just as a sort of working title more than anything, but the name stuck!
Who are your musical influences?
All the greats, Dylan, Presley, Cash, Orbison, Young, The Beatles, Nirvana, Bowie. We grew up listening to a lot of Donovan and early nineties REM. We’re listening to a lot of Eno at the moment and loving The War on Drugs. I got really into the last Maccabees album, Michael Kiwanuka and Alt-J recently. Always loving Devendra Banhart too.
Funniest things that’s ever happened at a gig?
We played a gig with an old band and I used to hit a drum during one of the songs. We were on quite a cramped stage and as I drew my arm back to hit the drum, I caught the stick on Mike’s guitar and threw it into the audience. I had to hit the drum with my hand for the rest of the song. That was pretty funny in hindsight. Horrible at the time.
What can you tell us about the album that’s due in 2014?
Excuse the cliche but I feel the album came about in quite an organic way. We were under no pressure when recording it and the guys we worked with, Jim and Rob Homes, gave us total freedom. We finished it really quickly and didn’t feel like we were forcing anything at any point. We recorded quite a lot of material so were left in a nice position where we could choose which songs to include or leave off. We’re basically just really excited to get it out there.
And finally, any advice for upcoming bands and musicians?
It’s going to be difficult to say anything here without sounding really cheesy! I’d just say that you should always make sure you’re enjoying it. As long as you are, other things should take care of themselves.
Watch the video for ‘My Spirit Is Broken’ and keep an eye out for the new album!