Champagne Leader
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Champagne Leader


Band Alternative Rock




"Champagne Leader at The Shredder (Boise ID)"

Los Angeles-based band Champagne Leader took the stage. Their melodies sounded just as sweet as the preceding two acts', but their agreeably ragged playing and goofy, rowdy attitude added some spice to the mix: their "Handle With Care" cover sounded more like the early Rolling Stones than the Traveling Wilburys. Shea Branham's stinging electric guitar and Vincent Munoz's pounding keyboard and acoustic guitar meshed nicely with Kasey Sullivan's sly bass and Daniel Morales's rolling, tumbling drums. They jumped around, swapped stage positions, dropped down from the stage to mix with the crowd and joined together for some tart harmonies. - B. Shultz - Here Comes The Dumptruck


Blackout Kid
Middle Fight
Soul Less You
Shores (Live)



Grown from the suburbs surrounding Los Angeles. Azusa, the place where Eddie Van Halen bought his guitars and Whittier, Eazy-E's gravesite. So a hometown is a hometown and there's not much to tell from the 'burbs. Don't underestimate this 4-piece's upbringing. With sounds similar but not restricted to St. Vincent, Wilco, Pavement, The Killers, Weezer, Midlake, and The Walkmen, this Southern California band shows great promise for new music. The band's passion is making harmony-heavy anthems that you can dance to, usually ending in a building hook that you can't seem to get out of your brain. But don't think that every song is the same. You will move and sway at different speeds to words that don't speak of usual love and woes. Lyrical themes consist of defying age, not regretting mistakes and self-loathing. With an EP on the way and a tour on their belt the band is helmed by singer/songwriter Vincent Munoz on piano, synth, acoustic guitar and lead vocals but really the band is a solid unit. Along with Daniel Morales on drums, Kasey Sullivan playing bass, and Shea Branham on electric guitar, this is the kind of band where you'll want to watch and hear what every member is doing live. Although Champagne Leader dons a modern and exceedingly fresh sound, their true fervor lies in the past.

"The sounds of the 60s and 70s are what brings us together." says Munoz recalling the band's mutual affinity for classic icons such as Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, The Zombies, The Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Bowie, Wings and many more. These are lifelong influences for all the members. The band's creations are indeed mint; influenced by the greats yet showing no wear whatsoever. "When I'm writing I can really connect with piano, acoustic guitar, synth, strings. I need a strong moving bass line and drums that aren't boring though, or the energy decreases and the song becomes bland to me. And of course electric guitar that punches your face in!" That's where Shea Brahnam comes in, lead guitarist and the most recent addition to a band that almost didn't happen.

Since high school Munoz had been playing with drummer Morales. After years of searching , they found the right sound and the right players. Slowly work and school got the better of some of the members. The name Champagne Leader was born thanks to Morales but the band found themselves two members short once again. After an arduous search the talented Kasey Sullivan was added to the group. Sullivan had always played bass but Champagne Leader is his first band. So finally the group had a name and everything was perfect besides the fact of having no lead guitarist in sight. Brahnam, the always-positive and highly skilled guitarist had just lost a band he was in days before Munoz contacted him and he was enthusiastic about trying something new. He joined and the line-up was solidified.

In early 2012 Champagne Leader began performing locally. After a few short months, with a slew of youtube videos, a handful of recordings and a slot at the Make Music Pasadena Festival the band was happy, but they tired of the suburbs. So they went on tour. In a Dodge Caravan with instruments, clothes and a suitcase full of home recordings the band toured five states on the West Coast. Four of which none of the band members had been to. August Southern California heat followed them to Sacramento, Portland, Seattle (a stop filled with numerous shows including the famous Crocodile), Boise, Salt Lake and multiple stops along the way for a two week tour. "Here Comes The Dumptruck" a local Boise blog would describe them as "damn good fun" but they also listed the band's harmonies as "tart" which could mean a number of things.

Now the band is home and ready to release an EP starting with 3 single tracks and a live recording. The rest is on its way. "Middle Fight" sings of the absence of choosing an opinion in a world filled with open-ended conviction. The romping "Blackout Kid" explores ideals, childhood regrets, friendship and death. "Soul Less You" speaks about making wrong decisions and knowing you are but doing so anyway. A live recording of "Shores" sans video is a perfect example of the energy and skill Champagne Leader brings to a performance. These recordings are merely a taste of more to come from Champagne Leader, a band that did, does, and will happen.