Dead and Gone Records
Bridge 9 Records
|Past members||Jim Hesketh
Jim and Chris formed Champion and after a few months of shows, the band released its first demo on cassette and went on a West Coast tour of the United States. In the early days the band was plagued with constant line-up changes, but in 2000 the majority of the core lineup came together to release the Come Out Swinging EP on Platinum Recordings (Germany).
After playing with American Nightmare Timbomb suggested Chris Wrenn of Bridge Nine Records check out the band. After a couple of calls Champion joined the label Bridge 9 Records and recorded another EP, entitled Count Our Numbers, followed by the re-release of Come Out Swinging. They toured hard on these records and traveled with American Nightmare, Death Threat, The First Step, Comeback Kid, Terror, Slapshot, and Sick Of It All. They toured all over the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
Champion's full-length LP, Promises Kept, was released on Bridge 9 Records. Right after this Andy joined and completed the core lineup of the band. After a second European tour and an Australian leg, Champion toured the United States in early 2005. "In the spring they were to become 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 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 continued to be active in the punk/hardcore scene. Aram Arslanian played guitar in The First Step, The Vows, sang for Betrayed, and ran REACT! Records. He recently plays guitar in True Identity, Keep It Clear and plays bass in Union of Faith. Chris Williams sings in Dead Weight and played guitar The Vows, The Poverty Bay Saints, and The Crew as well as bass in Gone But Not Forgotten. Vocalist Jim Hesketh sang in ON and True Identity, who disbanded following revelations of Hesketh's history of child sex abuse. Todd Preboski played drums in Betrayed and Lonewolf. Andy Norton played in Time to Escape and Warpriest currently sings in Praise and plays bass in Nerve Endings and Peace.
- 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 (Bridge 9 Records, 2007)
- Luca (June 14, 2004). "Interview with Jim". Saveyourscene. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
- Paul, Aubin (September 18, 2005). "Champion". Punknews.org.
- Gentile, John (June 8, 2016). "Jim Hesketh (Champion, True Identity) accused of being child predator". Punknews.org. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
- "ex-Champion, True Identity singer accused of being 'child predator'". Lambgoat. June 8, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.