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A talk with

I wanna thank you first of all taking time answering a few questions! Since when is COURAGOUS a full member unit?

Chris: first I have to thank you for this interview. Guitar player Gerd Lücking joined in 1998 and completed the band. This was during the recording-sessions for our first record "Listen". Since these days were playing together in this line-up and were very happy about it, because we think that its the strongest line-up we ever had. There is a kind of magic between us.



Can you remember where and how it all started?

Chris: oh, yes. Everything started in december 1988. three young metalheads formed a band called COURAGOUS. We had so much dreams about money, fame, girls and a real rock 'n' roll life, but nothing came true :-) we had much fun during this time. But one time the band split up. Jobs and girls came up more important. Step by step I found the musicians I needed to go on. It was a very hard time for everybody because the steps were very small. Sometimes we did one step forward and two steps back, you know. What doesnt kill me makes me stronger :-) But thats the reason why we can more enjoy everything what happens yet.



What is the main reason setting up a Metal band like Couragous?

Chris: First we wanted to do just music we love. Now we still do it for the same reason, of course, but now we are sure that the music of Couragous is something special. We unite power and heaviness with some old school metal guitar harmonies and a lot of vocal variations. The deal is to catch the listeners at their balls and spell them with melodies and catchy hooklines. We didnt find this kind of music in any other band, so there is just one thing to do: if you want to listen to that music, you have to create and play it.



Can you give me a discription of your style of Metal? Influenced and inspired by....

Chris: Im listening to all kinds of metal. Ok, I dont like Black- and Death-Metal so much, but there are some bands I like too. It must be heavy and catchy. My alltime faves are KISS that was the beginning of my rocknroll life. I grew up with Metallica, Slayer, Forbidden, Anthrax and all the other thrash bands of the 80ies. I think that every good band had influenced or inspired me and it doesnt matter if its Bon Jovi, Nirvana, In Flames, Dream Theater, Machine Head or Helloween, the list would be endless.



What are your favorites bands at the moment and why?

Chris: the whole band adores Nevermore, Soilwork and System Of A Down at the moment. They are heavy, melodic and very fresh. Every single musician likes different bands, so its hard to count up favorite bands. In november well play with Death Angel and in january with Vicious Rumors. That will be very great and we love both bands very much.



Am i right you guys released two demos so far? Some detail information please.

Chris: we released two demos, thats right. Our first demo Liar was released in 1996 and it was the first step back into business after a long long time. It was just a try with a new recording equipment and so on. On this demo are four unreleased tracks until now. But thats no big deal. We recorded One With The Pain (our second demo) in 1997 and it was just a pre-production for our first record. All five songs from the second one are on our first record Listen. We didnt sell the demos they were just made for us.



Who's the songwriter in the band and a few lines about the lyrics(subjects) if its possible.

Chris: Everybody in the bands writes songs, but guitar player Oliver Lohmann is the head of all our musical activities. He collects, sorts and arranges all our ideas. Hes the songwriter of the band. Maybe more than 50 percent of the material was written by him. The lyrics are my part. Everytime I try to catch the readers and try to let them feel what I felt when I wrote the lyrics, you know. All my words are about feelings. Positive or negatives, good or bad, hate or love, strong or scary it doesnt matter. Often I read or hear a true story and I try to put me in this position. Sometimes I write lyrics about what if themes or I make up just a story. I dont want to explain single songs because everybody has to feel and understand the songs in his own way. It would be more interesting if you would explain to me what do you think what I meant



What about the near future, some great plans in mind?

Chris: oh yes, all time we have some great plans in mind, but not so much of them come true. At the moment weve finished the pre-production for our third record. We think that we will release at the beginning of 2004. Fifteen tracks are allready written and we are very proud about them. Also we have some great offerings for european tours and we still pray to God that it will work. Everybody can have great plans in mind, but the important thing is to keep being strong even if something didnt work.



Any contact so far with major record companies or not?

Chris: well, there are some contacts, but nothing really close. Were dealing with a record-company at the moment lets see what will happen. A lot of people are thinking that we couldnt be commercially successful, so they dont want to pay so much money for promotion, tour-support and adversements, but no risk, no fun :-) No, we know whats up in the business and we know that were just a little fish, but Im sure if everybody has the chance to listen to Couragous, a lot of people would love our music. Were waiting for the human being wholl say boys, I love your music and I believe in. we have to work very hard, but at the end youll be the number one.



The place where you live, hows the Metal scene out there?

Chris: Like everywhere else in germany, not so well. We have a little metal scene with bands playing different styles of rock. The most popular metal bands in frankfurt/main, germany are Tankard (beer-Gods) and Rebellion (ex-Grave Digger). Both bands are very good friends of us. Last week we had the canadian thrashers from Annihilator in our rehearsel studio, because theyre doing rehearsels for some shows and festivals in europe. Randy Black, the drummer of Annihilator, is also the drummer of Rebellion and they playing next to our door. Small world, small metal scene.



If you had the chance to move on to another country, which one would you like to go and why?

Chris: I dont know I never thought about it. Im very satisfied in germany. Im very fascinated by the US, but I dont know if I could live there forever. Thats the main thing. Every country has something special and I like to be there for a while, but living there ? I dont know. My girlfriend loves canada, very nice country for a holiday, of course. Well, everywhere it can be better than here, but nowhere would be more than here.



Tell me something about spending time in the rehearsal room. How many hours a week you guys hanging out there?

Chris: 6 hours a week is the minimum. But if we have something to do like rehearsel for gigs or writing new songs, than we spend more time in the rehearsel room. In the early days I spent all my time there. After school or after work I always went into just for fun, for jamming, just hanging around or playing rockstar. Now these things dont really matter anymore. Its better if everybody is 100 percent prepared for, so we have done more than other bands in 20 hours a week. Concentration, hard working and the best of preparation as possible. The advantage is you have enough time for drinking beers, having sex or playing soccer :-)



Can you give me some more details about making a new song? Is there a special method to do that or just playing or jamming till the right tunes are found?

Chris: No special method. One of us comes up with a riff or two. Sometimes there is just an idea or a half song written. The important thing is to explain to Oli (guitar player) what you mean and where you want to go with. After that Oli and often Jan (drums) try to sort and arrange the material. We are working out the ideas in the rehearsel room and its a hard job. We dont have limits or thoughts like we cant do it, or we shouldnt do it, but when ten songs are already written you recognize very fast which songs are Couragous and which ones are not. Thats a natural selection. When the song is done its my job to prepare the vocallines. Oli, Jan and me are working out my vocalideas and at the end I write my lyrics thats it.



Do you have any other passions besides Couragous?

Chris: Not me. Guitar player Gerd Lücking is playing also in a band called Lightmare. Its a very true metal band with christian lyrics. He plays drums there; and very fast! Our drummer Jan Mischon plays also in different top-40 bands. Thats the way he earns the money he needs to play with Couragous :-) Oli and me played in different heavy metal bands until one year ago. At the moment we are very concentrated on Couragous the important thing. We are very proud about the band now. I think there is a special magic between us and we have to use it. Were ready for.



The greatest experience with the band so far. An explanation please!

Chris: The greatest experience was the show at the Bang Your Head Festival 2001 where we played with bands like Judas Priest, Megadeth, Stratovarius, Dee Snider, Kreator, Vicious Rumors, Savatage, Armored Saint and many more in front of 20.000 people. Ok, it was very early in the morning when we entered the stage, but the feeling was indescribable. The reactions of the people were fantastic, the other bands and the organizers were really cool and we had a lot of fun. Its a hard thing to know what could be possible and you cant reach it at the moment. But because we know it we really know where we wanna be again and where we belong to. Thats the power and the motivation for us to move on step by step to let our dreams come true.



What's your biggest dream youve allways wanna see come true?

Chris: Thats a really difficult question. Years ago we dreamed about playing on a festival like Bang Your Head, now we did it and we wanna more. A dream just of myself is meeting Paul Stanley from Kiss private in a coffee-shop somewhere. Just me and him. No time limits, no other fans or band members. While were drinking coffee and eating some snacks we could talk about different things; not only about music (yeah, most of the time of course) but Im very interested in the person and the human being Paul Stanley. Whos the man behind the mask ? Beside the business and the promotion ? Well, I imagine that hes very arrogant but that doesnt matter and wouldnt destroy my picture of him. If I have one dream free that would be mine. For the band I would wish mh a world tour with Kiss ?! At the moment were dreaming about playing well organized gigs in front of so many people as possible. Were dreaming step by step :-)



OK, that's all dude! Thanx again and if you want something to say to our readers, take your chance.

Chris: first, thanx to you again. I want to say hello to your readers and I wish you all the best for your work. If somebodys interested in Couragous, so come and visit our homepage and sign the guestbook and download some songs. At the moment it looks like we will come to Belgium at the end of this year and maybe at the beginning of next year again. So watch out for some tour dates of Couragous. Visit our shows, you wont regret. One thing I even wanna talk about: Dont listen to music with limits !! We are metalheads ! Were living and loving heavy metal music because we dont want rules and limits. Nobody has the right to say whats the best for me and what I have to do not in my private life, not in my job (so far as possible) and not in my music. There is no (unwritten) law whats heavy metal music and how it has to sound. Its the same if a band uses six- or seven-string guitars it doesnt matter if a singer shouts, screams or makes psychodelic whispers, why is it important if you can bang or jump to the music? who decided that commercial successful music isnt heavy metal anymore ? Everybody has the right to say, I like this music and I dont like this kind of music, but nobody should judge about a style before listening because somebody says thats no metal. There is no true or wrong Metal. Be open-minded, because thats the different to all the boy-, girl and casting-bands or the complete interchangeable superstars without a voice, an own song and an own personality. WE ARE STRONG AND WE ARE ONE METAL MILITIA !! All Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Korn, Machine Head, Slayer, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Kiss, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Nevermore, Testament, Queensryche, Running Wild, Cradle Of Filth, Linkin Park or Manowar Fans are welcome !! cheerz.