A Cinderella Story: Chapter Three – Fred Coury

Published on November 25th, 2015

Coury, Fred

While his three bandmates work on solo records and side projects, the 41-year-old Coury is busy scoring a hit TV show, Night Shift, and the home games of ice hockey side the LA Kings.

“It was totally deliberate,” Coury says of his reinvention after the heyday of Cinderella and supergroup Arcade.

“I went to UCLA school for film and television composing and I did a Berkeley program for advanced film and TV scoring as well, and orchestration. It was all by design from day one, that I would hopefully get into something in film and TV and now this NBC thing is kind of the biggest thing you can do on network TV.

“My mum told me years ago ‘it’s great that you’re in this thing and it’s so successful and it’s doing so well – but remember, it’s just a job’. I was always under the belief that it was 15 minutes of fame. I think we were all surprised that it lasted as long as it did and it’s still something there.

“I love being in the band but it’s not creative at all. We’re going out and playing the same old things and I need to be a musician. I need to create.”

Born into a Lebanese family, Coury was sent Beirut at the age of one.

“When I was seven, I was going to the music conservatory there doing heavy duty training,” he recalls.

Cinderella 4“I was in seven air raids. I saw a lot of war. When people in my country here say ‘we’re at war’, they don’t know what war is. I saw it. I saw planes get shot down, I’ve seen explosions, I’ve seen dead people lying in the street.”

The gig with the Kings came from hanging out with ice hockey players in Coury’s days with Stephen Pearcy in Arcade. “They had Gary Glitter, “Rock’n’Roll part two”. They said ‘we need something new’ and I said ‘what’s wrong with Gary Glitter’ but he had been in prison for something….”

Scoring television has given Coury a new perspective on how music works, why Cinderella’s hits resonate with fans and also new music by old bands is a hard sell.

“I don’t want to go see Aerosmith play their new music,” he says. “Tom Petty played shows and he was terrific – except he played every song on the new record … bored to tears.

“But it’s not about the songs, it’s about the memories created while listening to those songs. So when I say “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Til It’s Gone)”, you’re going to think back to exactly a period of time that you heard that music. You are going to remember where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. That is the beauty of what we do.

“We’re selling memories. The new stuff, you hope people listen to it and have a memory created to that and then at that point you can go play it and don’t bore them.

“Fans don’t want you to grow up. They want you to stay 1987. They don’t want the music to progress. A lot of them want to see what you’re doing and all of them are behind you 100 per cent in anything that you do but at the same time a lot of bands that grow sonically sometimes lose their fans.”

Coury acted in a movie he didn’t enjoy (he won’t name it for fear you’ll watch it and look for him but IMDB says he was in The Human Race and Junkyard Willie Movie: Lost In Transit). .

He is often seen in pit lane at NASCAR races after being converted by a friend and became a storm chaser as a result of claiming to be one in an interview and then not wanting to look like a liar. “Look, I was too scared to ever get a tattoo and now I’m chasing storms,” he laughs.

His success at the Kings has won him a three year contract with the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. “When we won the Stanley Cup, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have tears in my eyes when 18,000 people were all chanting to that goal song and we were hoisting that cup,” he says of his NHL experience.

“Oh my gosh, I’m the luckiest guy on the planet. I feel like I win the lottery every day I wake up.”
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