Maybe an astronaut. Maybe a rock star! That was the fantasy turned reality that led Junior Achiever s Gene Champagne away from his Toronto suburb. Champagne began pounding the skins when he was only eleven, and co-founded Warner Recording Artists the Killjoys. The band won Juno awards (The Canadian "Grammy" equivalent), recorded three records for Warner Music, and played to tens of thousands of fans.
Then, perhaps inevitably, the Killjoys hit the kill switch. Champagne packed up his road cases and went home. The sprinklers still sprinkled in the suburban film loop, but it didnt take long for Champagne to start simmering. Boredom set in. Boredom pissed him off.
Being pissed off made him bored. There was only one way to break the cycle to start writing songs about being bored and pissed off in the suburbs. Songs about having nothing to do, being in love, feeling your feet slip away from crumbling relationships and not having the guts to do anything about it. Songs with titles such as Suburbs, Underrated, Better Than This, Shes So Mean and Gutless Wonder.
Songs about the life most people know all too well. Champagne is the classic drummer-turned-frontman. The songs are diverse, but with a unifying sound; poppy, edgy, sunny but not sappy; its summer music that reflects the sparkle of the grass and the warmth of the sun, but not without a wry sense of humor and an honest longing for something more. Call it pop-punk if you will, but it sounds more like "After-School-Special-Core"; rocknroll for kids on sugar and too much TV. Joining Champagne in Junior Achiever is like-minded musician Dave Fritz. Fritz once fronted another "poptastic" group Trigger who were finalists in Toronto radio station Edge102's Modern Music Search.
He considers himself a Killjoys fan turned friend turned Junior Achiever. Holding down the rhythm are bassist Steve Scott and drummer Jeremy Knowles, a team who had played together often in the past and were an immediately solid foundation for Champagnes music. Champagne has long imagined his songs as the musical back drop of a teen movie. He has actually realized his dreams now that Junior Achiever's songs I Dont Hate You, "Suburbs", "California" and Stay At Home have been featured on the popular Canadian television program "Degrassi: The Next Generation". Junior Achiever are currently completing their debut CD. Release is slated for 2007. So close your eyes and listen for another summer anthem.
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