- Champion (band)
Champion Origin Seattle, Washington Years active 1999–2006 Labels Platinum Recordings
Dead and Gone Records
Bridge 9 Records
Associated acts Betrayed
Past members Jim Hesketh
Champion was a youth crew band that was formed by vocalist Jim Hesketh, and guitarist Chris Williams, in the spring of 1999 in Seattle, Washington. A second guitarist, bassist, and drummer were soon added.
Although both the demo and the trip were well-received, the band was eventually plagued with constant line-up changes. Despite struggling with a revolving cast of members, Champion were able to regroup in 2000, and release, Come Out Swinging, released on Platinum Recordings (Germany).
Champion then signed up with Bridge 9 Records, and recorded another EP, entitled Count Our Numbers, followed by the re-release of Come Out Swinging. Constant touring with bands, such as Comeback Kid, Terror and Sick Of It All road-tested their sound. They toured all over the US and even made it to Europe.
Champion's full-length LP, Promises Kept, was released on Bridge 9 Records, and was well-received. After a second European tour and an Australian leg, Champion toured the United States in early 2005. "In the spring they were to became one of the first Western independent act to visit the famous country of South Korea where Kill Your Idols and Ensign also played around 2001." 2005 also saw the band re-release their previous two EPs on one CD, entitled Time Slips Away.
The band announced through Bridge 9 on January 31, 2006 that they were disbanding, with a final show that occurred on May 27, 2006 at the El Corazon in their hometown of Seattle, Washington. Their reasoning for breaking up can be found on their MySpace page. Here is a small excerpt:
"With all the pressure to do another record and to tour, it wasn't what we "wanted" to do anymore; it was what we "had" to do. So before making any commitments that we would be bounded to, we decided to end it now, while everyone in the band was still friends and still loved everything we did as a band together. NO ONE SOLD OUT."
Since the breakup, all of the members of Champion have remained Straight Edge and continue to be active in the punk/hardcore scene. Aram Arslanian played guitar in The First Step and currently sings for the Straight Edge band Betrayed, plays guitar in Keep It Clear and The Vows, and also runs REACT! RECORDS. Chris Williams sings in Dead Weight and plays guitar The Vows and The Poverty Bay Saints as well as bass in Gone But Not Forgotten. Jim Hesketh currently sings in ON. Todd Preboski plays drums in Betrayed and Lonewolf, Andy Norton currently sings in Praise.
- Jim Hesketh — vocals
- Aram Arslanian — guitar
- Chris Williams — guitar
- Todd Preboski — drums
- Andy Norton — bass
- Ben Colton — bass
- Eagle Barber — guitar
- Timm McIntosh — guitar
- Joe Preston — drums
- Jeff Boltz — drums
- Nikki Platter — drums
- Lucas Macfadden — bass
- Sean Spear — bass
- Brandon Wallace — drums
- Demo Tape (1999)
- Come Out Swinging (Platinum Records, 2000)
- Count Our Numbers (Bridge 9 Records, 2002)
- Promises Kept (Bridge 9 Records, 2004)
- Time Slips Away (Bridge 9 Records, 2005)
- Champion/Betrayed split EP (Rivalry Records, 2006)
- Different Directions DVD/CD (Bridge 9 Records, 2007)
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