|Birth name||Nicole Couch|
August 18, 1969 |
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Genres||Heavy metal, rock, blues|
|Labels||Shrapnel, Roadrunner, Geffen|
|Associated acts||Phantom Blue|
Nicole Couch is a female American musician and songwriter, and founding member of the all-female heavy metal band Phantom Blue. Phantom Blue were the only females to have recorded an album for Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records, having sold their contract to Geffen Records in 1991.
Musical education and Phantom Blue
Couch began studying piano at the age of five and took up guitar at twelve. She left home at sixteen and began studying at the The Guitar Institute of Technology in California. Couch was tutored by Paul Gilbert during her time at GIT. Through a mutual friend at the Musicians Institute, Couch was introduced to guitarist Michelle Meldrum. Couch and Meldrum, along with vocalist Gigi Hangach, drummer Linda McDonald and bassist Debra Armstrong, formed the all-female heavy metal band Phantom Blue in 1987. The band recorded their self-titled debut album on Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records in 1989, in which Couch wrote the majority of the songs. She also co-wrote many of the songs in the band's 1993 follow-up Built to Perform, which was released by Geffen Records. Couch left the band prior to the recording of Built to Perform and relocated to New York City, then later moved to the British Virgin Islands, where she played on a regular basis with local reggae and blues bands. She also taught general music at Cedar International School for five years. Couch is also an accomplished classical pianist. Nicole now lives in Upstate New York, with her husband and two children.