Tim Green

  • The Fucking Champs
  • 2006-03-18

The Fucking Champs fit beautifully into an analogy involving some sort of ore or something — some natural, primitive mixture of rock and metal, and theirs is an awesome and relentlessly classic style. Back in December they came to England and played All Tomorrow’s Parties, and so there I made it my business to meet the band, who kindly agreed to answer some questions for me sometime. So a couple of months later I got hold of them and they did. And here’s what they said.

Phil: Firstly, did you enjoy ATP? Have you played one before? How do you like a festival in a holiday camp?

Tim: I was very sick with a high fever, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Of
course I didn’t see many bands, other than Quintron and Michael Rother — who were both excellent, but I did enjoy lying in bed and had a nice walk down the beach during the 2 rain-free hours. It seems like a great concept.

Phil: If you were to go on holiday would you ever go to Pontins at Camber Sands? Where would you go?

Tim: I suppose if I lived in the UK, I might go there on holiday, but I
wouldn’t fly all the way from San Francisco to vacation there. I like to go to warm sunny beaches or waterfalls where you can swim.

Phil You can hear Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in your records and you can also hear the Allman Brothers and Thin Lizzy, but, what’s better, metal or classic rock?

Tim: Classic rock certainly. Metal is just an offshoot of classic rock. Why break off a branch when you could have the whole tree?

Phil: Who is your favourite metal band? What gets played on the tour bus?

Tim: There’s so many sub-genres of metal, it kind of depends which kind you’re talkin about. I mostly like the sort of pre-metal hard rock stuff like Deep Purple, Lucifer’s friend, that sort of thing. Best classic metal band: Judas Priest, best speedmetal: Slayer, best deathmetal: Morbid Angel, best metal that doesn’t sound like anything else: Confessor. We used to listen to the entire Confessor album before every show for inspiration.

Phil: Who writes the greatest riffs? In fact, what is the greatest riff?

Tim: John Mclaughlin. “Lila’s Dance”

Phil: Did the band consciously set out to ‘distil metal’ as is often written – with riffs on riffs instead of more conventional song structures?

Tim: I don’t think so. We just play music we like. The only thing we conciously try to do sometimes is to make the riffs sound happier.

Phil: Do you think of yourselves as being a metal band? your audience doesn’t seem to be the normal metal crowd – why do you think this is?

Tim: No, not at all. I don’t want to open that can of worms, thank you.

Phil: Do you all write the material you play together? Who writes the electronic pieces?

Tim: We used to all write pretty equally, but the other guys haven’t been
writing much lately. I guess I do a little more of the electronic stuff, but it’s fairly equal.

Phil: The electronic songs seem influenced as much by 80s film scores and gameboys – is this a fair assessment, how much do you feel these influences?

Tim: I’ve never owned a gameboy and I don’t really play video games much, but I like Japanese video game music a lot. The two “Policenauts” songs I wrote on IV and V were definitely inspired by that sort of thing, as was “Heart to Heart” on III. I own alot of soundtracks too — a lot of John Carpenter and Goblin especially. That’s a big influence as well.

Phil: You’re a band without a bassist, is this an aspect that just came about and stuck or is it on purpose?

Tim: I don’t know, it just never really came up.

Phil: Are you still making new music?

Tim: We recorded four new songs in January and planned to finish the record in the coming months, but then Phil [Manley] joined Oneida and between Trans Am and them, he’ll be on tour most of the year. Tim [Soete] is also playing with another band called crime in choir, who are really good. I don’t think they’re really interested in working on Champs stuff right now.

Phil: Do you have plans for any other collaborations?

Tim: We recorded a few songs with Zombi last year and there’s been some
talk of maybe doing a whole album together.

Phil: And lastly, if you were to make a covers record, what would be on it? Is there any particular reason for this choice?

Tim: I’ve always wanted to cover all the songs from Seiken Densetsu 3. The music is amazing and the song titles are even better. “Oh, i’m a Flamelet”, for example.

Phil: Thanks for your time.

Tim: Thank You!

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