A heavy metal trio that rarely performs in front of real metal audiences, the Fucking Champs are a peculiar outfit from San Francisco who hang with the indie rock crowd, while spitting out vile, perturbed hesher music. Former Nation of Ulysses guitarist Tim Green moved to San Francisco in 1995 and quickly hooked up with drummer Tim Soete and guitarist Josh Smith. With no bass and barely any vocals, the three of them formed the Champs The sound was pure, brutal riffage, with galloping power chords à la Judas Priest and occasional wanky bits. They released several homemade tapes with names like Triumph of the Air Elementals and Music for Films About Rock and a couple 7"s, all of which were difficult to find but available at their shows.
In 1997, they came out with their magnum opus, III (released under the name C4AM95 for God knows what reason), a double album that raged most furiously. In addition to the relentless riffs spewing forth from III, the Fucking Champs came up with some fine, short electronic pieces with titles like "Now Is the Winter of Our Discoteque" and "Silent Night, Friendly Night." Their fondness for heavy rock and atmospheric electronics was shared by Trans Am, which sparked an ongoing friendship and collaboration. In 2000, the Fucking Champs returned with IV, a deft, equally abrasive follow-up. The following year, Double Exposure, an EP from the supergroup Trans Champs, arrived. Sticking with the Roman numeral gimmick, they came back two years later with the equally ugly V.
The band went on hiatus soon after, and Smith left the group. During the recording of the next Trans Am/Fucking Champs collaboration, the Champs experimented with different lineups before recruiting Trans Am's Philip Manley to become their second guitarist. The Fucking Am's Gold, which also featured drumming by Jon Theodore of Golden and the Mars Volta, was released in 2004. The Fucking Champs also delved into soundtrack work, crafting pieces for commercials and the Sims video games, as well as for the Italian horror film La Foresta Della Morte and for the featurettes on the DVD of the Dawn of the Dead remake. The band returned in 2007 with, of course, VI, and a retooled lineup: Smith retired from the group to play with bands such as the Makes Nice and Drunk Horse, leaving Manley as the Fucking Champs' sole guitarist. ~ Adam Bregman