Interview to COURAGEOUS
PRESENT YOURSELVES OUR READERS...
“Chris: Courageous – we are coming from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Call our music style “progressive thrash metal” or “modern thrash metal”. Anyway, it must be heavy, melodic and full of power. Straight in your face with a hypnotic killer refrain.”
WHO ARE COURAGEOUS AS BAND MEMBERS?
“Chris: We have Jan Mischon on drums. He is a very popular session drummer in Germany and endorsed by Mapex Drums and Sabian Cymbals. The both guitar players Oliver Lohmann and Gerd Lücking belong to the best guitarist in Germany. Gerd is also playing drums in the German heavy metal band REBELLION. And me – Chris Staubach on vocals. After more than ten years bass player Jürgen Wieland left the band at the beginning of this year. So we are looking for a new bass player at the moment.”
WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?
“Chris: Originally the band was founded as a school band back in 1989. After a break in the mid of the nineties I re-founded the band in 1996 with Oliver, Jan and Jürgen. During the production for our first self-released album “Listen” Gerd joined the band in 1998. That was the real beginning of Courageous!”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...
“Chris: It was a hard time, because heavy metal wasn’t popular at that time. But we knew exactly what we wanted and what we had to do. We released two demo tapes between 1996 and 1997 and played many underground shows. In 1998 we decided to record a full-length-album by our own – it was the beginning of a new chapter in the Courageous-history.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?
“Chris: We had not enough money to enter a big studio and to hire a famous producer, so we did everything by our own. In retrospective we made some mistakes, but I think this was necessary, because now we know how the band must sound like. It’s hard to spend so much time to create a new album without losing energy and the line. Sometimes it’s better to work under pressure, because a musician will be never satisfied. There is always something to do or to change. A never ending story.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
“Chris: Now we are connected to a great record studio in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. It’s much easier for us to plan and to work. In autumn 2007 we will enter the studio again to record a new album. It’s a kind of routine now, because everybody in the band knows his part during the production. It’s like in a long time partnership.”
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
“Chris: In 2001 we got the chance to play at the famous “Bang Your Head Festival” in Germany in front of 10.000 people. We shared the stage with bangs like Judas Priest, Megadeth, Dee Snider, Stratovarius, Kreator, Vicious Rumors and many more. It was an experience nobody in the band will ever miss. Rockstar for one day”
COULD YOU INTRODUCE US "DOWNFALL OF HONESTY"?
“Chris: “Downfall” is the logical consequence of our kind of music. Much heavier on one side, on the other hand much more melodic. Are you ready for some thrash attacks with “The System Has Failed”, “Days Of Wrath” or “Hollow Creation”? You want something really weird (“A Million Eyes”), or more theatrical with many harmony vocals and monster choruses (‘Praise Thy Name’, ‘The Guf’, ‘Alter Ego’)? Listen to the powerful statement about the music business (‘Downfall Of Honesty’), be captured by the guitar instrumental (‘scarified hypocrisy’) and get ready for the melodic stuff (‘My Sheltered Dishonour’, ‘Human Sacrifice’). This album will blow your mind!”
YOUR SOUND IS VERY POWERFUL AND NOT VERY GERMAN I DARE TO SAY...
“Chris: Yeah, thank you. We don’t really care if we are sounding like a German band or not, but we are more comfortable with the US thrash and power metal bands from the eighties and the modern. There is no concept, it floats very natural.”
I NOTICED A GOOD BALANCE BETWEEN POWERFUL MOMENTS AND OTHER MORE MELODIC...
“Chris: Thanks again. It’s a great compliment. We are always very focused on the balance between power and melody. There are some people who say we are too melodic for a thrash band and too powerful for a melodic metal band. Anyway, we do what we want to do and what we like to hear. I told you before, it must be straight in your face with some killer hooks. Try to imagine: Powerful music that you feel in your stomach and seconds later you sing along with hundreds of metal maniacs some magical melody lines. Wow, could it be better?”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
“Chris: When we entered the studio for the album we had a change in our producer team. We hired Uwe Lulis as a person not too close to us and our music in order to produce and record the album. We thought it was time for some new influences. We wanted to do the next step in our musical way. In my opinion it was the right decision, because we learnt a lot and he pushed us, especially the vocals.”
ANY PARTICULAR CONCEPT CONCERNING THE ALBUM?
“Chris: Not really. I always try to create a certain feeling in every single song. Mostly very dark, depressive and full of weird things. Most of the time I was inspired by true stories I have read or heard about.”
WHAT'S THE MOOD OF IT?
“Chris: When we started writing new material for the album we were very angry and frustrated about the music business. You can hear it in the music, because it’s much heavier and faster than before. But you also can read it in the lyrics. They are darker than ever. But there is no concept – it’s just about different feelings and weird situations. No science-fiction, pure life.”
THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?
“Chris: It catches you! Every single time when you listen to the album you will find something new what you didn’t hear before. It’s really metal! It’s modern! And it comes straight from our hearts!”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE FEEDBACK?
“Chris: Great. We received many awesome reviews. It’s always difficult to convince the press, because there are so many releases every single month. So you need some really good reasons to survive – and we did it! Our fans love the album.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
“Chris: We try to create the sound we love and would like to hear if we wouldn’t do it ourselves. Power, aggressive, technical and a bunch of harmony guitars and vocals. Do you want to take down your aggressions? Listen to Courageous. Do you need the right music for a long drive by car? Listen to “Downfall Of Honesty”. Do you want to be catched and kidnapped into unknown dimensions and into the depths of the human soul? Welcome To The World Of Courageous!”
“Chris: We were on a European tour in November 2006 with BEYOND FEAR and VICIOUS RUMORS – called “A Lesson In Metal”. It was awesome, a killer package – a triple metal attack. We were very disappointed that the show in Milan was cancelled shortly. Hopefully we will get the chance to come over to Italy to rock there. At the moment we are close to enter the studio again, but we are trying to catch another tour in fall 2008. It’s always a matter of money. It’s a monkey business, but we love it”
YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
“Chris: Believe in yourself. There are so many people who want to tell us what we have to do to become a star. Maybe they are right, maybe not. Who knows? I want to see my face every morning in the mirror without regrets and stomach pain.”
THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
“Chris: At the moment we had some auditions with possible new bass players, so we hope to confirm the new man within the next weeks. Furthermore we are doing the pre-production for the new album. The plan is to enter the studio in November. Maybe we can release the new album in fall 2008 – just in time for a major European tour, hopefully. We also are very focused on the summer festivals next year.”
ANY LAST REMARKS?
“Chris: I thank you very much for your support. Whoever is interested in the band, just check out our homepage www.courageousmusic.de. Hopefully we can come to Italy soon, it’s really a shame that we missed your country during the “A Lesson In Metal Tour”. Keep In Metal – Rock On.”
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