Dutch musician Barend Courbois has been crowned the new bass player for epic metal's highest-ranked ambassadors, BLIND GUARDIAN.
"Barend is top," states BLIND GUARDIAN frontman & lyricist Hansi Kürsch. “He is the ideal bass player for us and has a lot of musical understanding. He is variable and multifaceted, but still able to create all the power we need. And the fact that Krefeld [Germany, the band’s home base] is so close to the Dutch border makes our liaison really easy."
"One day I got an unexpected phone call from [BLIND GUARDIAN] producer Charlie Bauerfeind, whom I had met at a project we both were involved in the early '90s," recalls Courbois. “He asked if I was available during the next six months to tour with a major metal band. He wouldn't tell me the band´s name at first, though.” Two weeks later, Courbois was part of BLIND GUARDIAN's touring line-up. “I was a total wreck before my first gig. It’s a real challenge to play BLIND GUARDIAN songs, but I love it!"
About his involvement in recording BLIND GUARDIAN’s tenth studio release, Beyond The Red Mirror, Courbois shares: “This was the longest production I have ever been involved in. As we all know, the recordings took a total of two years. The music is so versatile, which is just what makes the style of BLIND GUARDIAN so unique.”
Music has always been in Barend’s blood. At the age of four, he began teaching himself to play drums. He first picked up the bass at age eight and even enjoyed playing bagpipes. His father Sir Pierre Courbois (aged 74) - a world-famous jazz drummer still performing on stage - has played alongside French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and American jazz saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Ben Webster, among other genre greats.
Regarding his own style, Barend is quite confident: “I play in a very powerful, but also melodic way. You could compare me to John Deacon, something that QUEEN-fans Hansi Kürsch and guitarist André Olbrich really like.”
Courbois has performed over 4,000 shows and recorded over 60 albums. Artists he has worked with include Adrian Vandenberg (WHITESKNAKE), Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and Atma Anur (TONY MACALPINE, JASON BECKER, GREG HOWE).