Interview with Accuser

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MMP – How did the band get started?

Accuser – Frank: Back in the 80s I started out playing with “Expect no Mercy”, a band from Siegen, our hometown. Volker Borchert, drummer for the local band “Breaker” asked me if I wanted to record some guitar solos for their upcoming demos and I agreed. I really liked their music because of the speed and raw energy and after a few talks he asked me if I wanted to actually join “Breaker”. I did and became a full time member. After a short while we decided to refine our musical style a bit and change the name of the band. Thus, Accuser was born.

MMP – What kind of music do you play?

Accuser – Dennis: We play Thrash Metal. And although that’s a pretty good description of the type of music we play, there are also other elements mixed in that set Accuser apart from other Thrash bands. In the 80s for example, Accuser incorporated many technical and almost progressive elements whereas in the 90s the focus was shifted towards a more groove-oriented form of Thrash Metal. Then, after the reunion in 2008 and up to the 2013 release “Diabolic”, the overall sound became darker, more brutal and even featured a slight hint of Death Metal. Now, with our upcoming album “The Forlorn Divide”, we are trying to mix the old and the new: revive the technicality and complexity of the old-school records, while still keeping the dark and modern sound of the latest albums intact.

MMP – How has the fan response been?

Accuser – Frank: Over the years, our music went through some stylistical changes. Creativity has been our focus and we always wanted the music to evolve and move forward. This of course also meant facing the risk of potentially alienating fans who expected a continuation of their favorite records. Today, there are definitely fans who like every Accuser release but at the same time there are also fans of specific Accuser eras. Some prefer the 80s stuff, some the 90s stuff and some the modern day albums.

MMP – Where did the band name come from?

Accuser – Frank: When we started looking for a new band name, we listed all our ideas and sorted out the ones that already existed. After we went through the list alphabetically, the name Accuser somehow always stuck with us. At first we had some concerns because there was a US Hardcore Band called “The Accüsed” but then again Accuser sounds quite different so we kept it.

MMP – Introduce the band members and what they do in the band?

Accuser – Frank Thoms is the band’s mastermind and only remaining founding member. He started off playing guitar exclusively but then also took on vocal duties in the 90s after vocalist and bass player Eberhard Weyel left the band.

Olli Fechner is the drummer for Accuser since the reunion. Formerly member of local Thrash Metal Band Panacea.

Frank Kimpel also joined the band during the reunion and plays bass.

Dennis Rybakowski joined in 2013 to replace guitarist Uwe Schmidt, who left the band because of health issues.

MMP – Who writes the music?

Accuser – Dennis: Frank Thoms writes most of the music nowadays but instead of providing rigid and finalized song structures, the songs he comes up with are more of a general guideline and leave the rest of the band room for their own creativity and input. So it’s actually a collaborative effort. And although I’ve been in the band for such a short amount of time, I was given ample opportunity to contribute my own ideas or even whole songs.

MMP – Lyrics?

Accuser – Dennis: Back when Eberhard did the vocals, he wrote all the lyrics together with Arno Wagner. The lyrics on Repent were written by Mary Buck. Reflections and Taken By The Throat were penned by Martin Jung and all of the lyrics since Agitation were written by Frank Thoms with the exception of the track “Lust For Vengeance” from the new album which I contributed.

MMP – And where do the lyric ideas come from?

Accuser – Frank: The ideas for lyrics usually come from real life situations where sometimes a specific, sudden thought can become the basis for an entire song. The challenge then is to create a coherent whole out of these thought fragments.

MMP – What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?

Accuser – Frank: I personally approach these things from a very scientific perspective and try to avoid things I don’t quite understand. What I do know is that there are metaphors for both good and evil and ways to depict each side symbolically. From a philosophical point of view there is always the question of what’s good and what’s evil. Everybody defines good and evil very personally and individually.

MMP – How many albums/CD’s have you released?

Accuser – Dennis: The upcoming album will be the tenth Accuser record, not counting EPs and Re-Releases.

MMP – Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?

Accuser – Dennis: The title of the album, “The Forlorn Divide” is a metaphor for the human mind in a state of psychosis or deep distress. This is also the theme that can be found in every song in some form. Take for instance “Unreal Perception”; the lyrics deal with a loss of or a warped sense of reality caused by being subjected to the overabundance of media and how much control it has over us in today’s world. The Song “Fifth Column” also deals with control of the human mind in the context of fictional sleeper agents.

MMP – Do you have any side projects?

Accuser – Dennis: No. Musically, we’re focusing all our efforts on Accuser which I think helps the band’s dynamic and ultimately opens up the most potential for growth. We’re like a family and having the exact same goals for this band really brings us that much closer together.

MMP – Who are some of your musical influences?

Accuser – Dennis: When talking about Accuser as a whole, then the main influences are mostly Thrash bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura, Testament, Exodus, etc. Personally, I also enjoy a lot of 70s Prog bands like Gentle Giant, Yes, Genesis, etc.

MMP – Which current bands?

Accuser – Frank: There are a ton of amazing current bands out there but in addition to those we’re also influenced by everyday things like specific sounds, TV commercials, comic books, cartoon or video game soundtracks, whatever. Things that may not have a clear connection to music at first but subconsciously they definitely have an impact on us and our music.

MMP – What is the band like when you play live?

Accuser – Frank: Brutally concentrated while delivering concentrated brutality :)

MMP – Have you guys ever played in another country?

Accuser – Frank: Of course. We played in France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland and England.

MMP – How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?

Accuser – Frank: That always depends on the location and the type of show. It’s different each time.

MMP – How is the crowd response when you play?

Accuser – Frank: We always get great feedback and often times we meet people after the show who tell us how much they liked us.

MMP – When do you guys plan on writing any new material?

Accuser – Dennis: Actually we’re writing new material constantly. Every idea we come up with, we save in our archives so to speak and when it comes time to record a new album, we take the ideas that we feel have potential and try to turn them into songs.

MMP – What does the future hold for the band??

Accuser – Frank: We’re eagerly awaiting the release and feedback to our upcoming album “The Forlorn Divide”. What happens after that remains to be seen. We’re extremely happy that we got to sign the deal with Metal Blade Records und record the new album. We obviously would love to continue releasing album and playing live for years to come.