Imagine if Thurston Moore’s alternative tuned guitar had sex with the lyric pen of Michael Stipe, and that child was tutored in effects and atmosphere by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. That child studied history from the Beatles and Neil Young, while Snapchatting at times with Tame Impala and Royal Blood. That, would come close to describing the sonic aspiration of Champ de Mars.
Champ de Mars is the latest incarnation of a project that started in 1993 in Northern California. Rather than a traditional three piece, four piece – whatever ensemble; this project is more an amalgamation of various musicians that have played and toured with over years in music.
Things really began in Northern California in the late-nineties with Bellstar, and played throughout the Sacramento-San Francisco music scene from 1997-2006. The band released two albums on Yak Records (Navigator, Divisadero), and found college radio airplay with ‘Diva,’ ‘Call Me When You Die,’ and ‘Paul’s Sedona.’ The music drew heavily from influences ranging from REM, Radiohead, Wilco, Sonic Youth, and Built to Spill.
In 2006, part of us moved to the East Coast, taking up residence in Washington, D.C., where two solo discs were released - the wildly diverse Maryland, and Virginia – with Maryland deeply entrenched in alternative tunings and sonic complexity, and Virginia exploring alt-Americana themes with mandolins, banjos, and a hired fiddle player.
Also, we simultaneously edited and self-published our first novel, The Silent Year - available on Amazon here.
Now reincarnated as Champ de Mars, our first EP Back from the West was recorded at our basement studio in Alexandria, Virginia throughout 2015. It debuted in early 2016 to at least a few sterling reviews and some spins on college radio.
Recording for our new full length disc Rancho Seco Victory began in earnest in the fall of 2017 and continued throughout the winter. It is available for release now.