The Alternative Champs
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The Alternative Champs

Band Rock Funk


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The best kept secret in music


"kitchen sink"

Kitchen Sink
Featured Artist: Alternative Champs

You never know what you're going to get at an Alternative Champs show: perhaps an "all-white" evening (clothing, that is), spacesuits, maybe even no clothes at all. What you can count on is rock-solid musicianship, backed by a wit that is sometimes desert-dry and other times drenched in potty humor. Going to see music that relies on humor as its meal ticket is often a dicey proposition. Luckily, the Champs roll sevens more often than "snake-eyes." - creative loafing


On Saturday, I visited the new music venue The Room in order to check out The Alternative Champs, who were holding what they called a "Craptacular/Spectacular." The Champs are half accomplished rock band and half Second City or Mad TV, the band members wearing different "themed" outfits for every show. (In a Behind The Music moment, I had bumped into the boys in the Community Thrift store on Freedom Drive earlier in the day, when they were deciding on outfits. They wound up with a pseudo-Strokes sort of look, complete with moptop wigs).As for The Room, a big thumbs-up. The spacious front area (ok, room) is littered with comfy couches and tables, and has great sound no matter where you happen to be sitting. There are some pool tables, but they're in the back and far enough from the stage to be low profile. It makes seeing a show seem more like a party than anything else, and when you're listening to a band sing about the hair on their genitals, it's damn near perfect. Picture a kick-ass frat house, with one important distinction. No frat boys!

- creative loafing


Welcome To Fort Awesome


Feeling a bit camera shy


Mike Mitschele is one of the World’s most popular guitarists. As part of The Alternative Champs and as a solo artist, he is easily recognizable by his soaring guitar tone and beautifully crafted vocal melodies. Mitschele has a vast collection of poodles and dolls, including a 1985 Chucky (The first year of production) with the serial number ‘001.’ (Although it is not the first production model.)

Rick Randall was born in Charlotte on the 6th of March 1949. As a child, Rick grew up listening to the likes of Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets and ‘Hey Mickey’ by Toni Basil. During his time as a student at Wingate College of Arts and Technology, the middle aged Randall first met future alternative Champ founder, Mike Mitschele. The pair became good friends and spent their lunchtimes in the college’s art department playing cards and getting stoned.

Between ’88 and ’89, Mitschele played in a number of bands and had a variety of odd jobs including a fashion model and a van driver. In 1990, he was invited by Dave Massi to the Sound Techniques studio in Hamlet, NC to see “Hot Goat” record their second single, “See Me Play, I’m Upside Down Now”.

During this time, Dave Massi’s mental health began to deteriorate due to excessive dance experimentation which left Randall and Mitschele no choice but to take him under their wings and let him play drums for The Champs. After the Alternative Champ’s first album, Dolphin Crazy, Randall was approached by “The Sausagey Guys” bassist, Brent Dunn. Hence, the second album, A Mouth Full Of Secrets, which featured Mitschele, Massi, Randall and Dunn. (Although they never recorded their parts together or even pushed the record button for that matter, proving to be a huge mistake and complete waste of time.)

The next Champ’s album was the adventurous “Welcome to Fort Awesome”, which featured Mitschele’s best attempt at lyric writing and some beautiful guitar work, including his song, Squishy, My Love (Parts 1–3). It was this album which was to be the biggest success of the Alternative Champ’s (and Mitschele’s) career. The album, which was originally going to be called “Sit on It”, spent 8 weeks on the studio floor and over 10 weeks in the record company owner’s trunk, prepping for it’s worldwide release. To this day, it remains the longest and most expensive album by The Alternative Champs. Mitschele highlights include the solos on Shaquille and Mississikki.

As good as these guys are in the studio and writing band bios, their live show blows it all out of the water. A Must See!!!!!! Part performance art, stand up comedy, satirical theatre, and gigantic stadium rock band, The Alt Champs are like a musical Monty Python emphasizing the bizarre and hilarious while thoroughly rocking you along the way.

Although they’re spawned from such critically acclaimed, regional favorites as Jolene, Rebar, and The Husbians, these guys are as unique to their past endeavors as they are to the rest of the music world.

While they do enjoy breaking down the barriers between comedy and popular music they are far from a rehash of Weird Al. The Champs write great songs with catchy hooks and great imagery that rock very hard. Calling them simply a joke band would be way off the mark.
Whatever the mood, you can rest assured that a night out with The Alternative Champs will be one hell of an experience. Expect the unexpected as each night’s attire reflects a different theme. Whether they are fast food workers, softball coaches, or eight foot tall clowns, you can count on a fun, musical experience.