Newcastle Music Directory

Paper Champion

Please note: Paper Champion are no longer active and are not available for bookings. This article was written in November 2007 and is preserved on this website as part of our news archive.

On the brink of embarking on a tour to promote their debut self-titled EP, it is clear that Paper Champion’s star is on the rise.

After many months of constant touring around the Sydney live music scene, the Sydney four-piece is playing a series of dates to promote their independently-released EP, taking in west Sydney and the Central Coast, culminating in a show at the Cambridge Hotel supporting Grandvue on 22nd November.

Founded by Dave Clark (drums), Denis Giasli (bass) and Dom Alessio (guitar) the lineup was completed after 18 months in 2006 with the addition of singer Grant Spencer.

Following a swathe of energetic gigs around the Sydney circuit Paper Champion’s profile has risen quickly, supporting big names like the Birds of Tokyo, Dead Letter Circus and Bushido. On the back of this stage success their debut EP was recorded in August at Modern Music Studios in Brisbane which has been graced by the likes of the Butterfly Effect, Dead Letter Circus and Small Mercies. Produced by Rick Hollis, who has worked with Shihad and Sunk Loto, the five-track EP is a solid recording, with a polished sound reflecting many months of collaboration, hard work and dedication from a hard-touring band. This effort has not gone unnoticed, and in recent weeks the band has had airtime from and FBI and has a performance and interview on the Lock Up Garage on Central Coast FM scheduled for 19th November.

Heavily influenced by the Butterfly Effect, Decoder Ring and Karnivool, Paper Champion’s music provides a fusion of prog rock and melodious ballads, their music infused with ambient and aggressive elements with undertones of political and social commentary.

Discussing the band’s progression, lead singer and lyricist Grant is ambivalent when asked if he prefers performing live to recording, saying that the key part of the music process is to “tell a story… Recording is like painting, playing live is the showing, both are important”. And when you see them live you understand why. Their live shows are an infusion of brooding energy, angsty vocals and potent guitar work. From the ambient harmonies of Undone to the darker Arithmetic, Paper Champion has a diverse repertoire under their belt, describing their music as “hard rock with a progressive edge”.

Paper Champion pride themselves on telling a story and there is no doubt of the band’s song-writing prowess. Grant is enthused by the feature vocals provided by Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan’s daughter on the EP, including Undone and some surreal vocal gymnastics on Arithmetic. However he is quick to point out their music is only influenced by politics to the extent that “the political influences the personal”, with tracks like This Mute Tide exploring the superficiality of consumer culture.

After building up a respectable fan base in Sydney, their energised and well-publicised EP launch at the Agincourt Hotel in Sydney was supported by The Hotel Charlie and Walking Zero. Their performance was punctuated by a much darker harder atmosphere than their EP lets on, featuring guest performances from local musos. Grant joined Dave on the drums as part of an extended drum score on Teeth adding to the intense quality of the set. The band veers seamlessly between melodious ballads and darker punk-rock, especially on Arithmetic which is reminiscent of the Butterfly Effect, with restrained melodies and angsty vocals seeming into thumping guitar riffs and an angry rocking chorus.

Grant has some advice for upcoming local bands: “The live scene is only as active as you are in it. If you’re going to see live bands they’ll come to see you… The best, most supportive crowd is the one that saw your best show”.

Their music achieves a strange juxtapositioning of melodic ambience and pounding rhythms that highlight the band’s versatility and a burgeoning potential to create the punk anthems that have marked the rise of bands like the Butterfly Effect. Paper Champion is developing a solid fan base as a result of continued touring. This band is on the up, this is not the last we’ll hear from this focused foursome.

Paper Champion can be found at the Cambridge Hotel on 22th November supporting Grandvue with local band Stone Harlet.

The band will be performing live and interviewed on the Lock Up Garage with Lindsay Joel from 7pm on 19th November on 2CCC 96.3 FM on Central Coast or online at

Live photograph by Chantel Bann, group shot by Tim Levy. Article by Rebecca Warren.

Posted on November 14th, 2007 in Events

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