With a new album coming in January 2018 ACCUSER are very much a hot topic these days. Answers from Eric. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-We recorded the album back in May 2017 so the whole thing is almost old news to us at this point. We’re currently most excited for the reactions when the album officially comes out on January 26th 2018. It’s a different beast compared to our previous record, “The Forlorn Divide”, while still retaining all of the core Accuser hallmarks.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-While I personally wasn’t present (or even born) when the name was chosen, I was told that the band members at the time – of which only Frank Thoms remains to this day – compiled a long list of possible band names and after going through all of them in alphabetical order, Accuser was the one that stuck out the most. And I can’t blame ’em. It’s a catchy name that fittingly represents the band’s goal of calling attention to important issues and great injustices in today’s society.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s a great honor and definitely a motivating factor for us knowing that the fans care about our music and our band. And while we’d probably still have a lot of fun just playing music for ourselves, having a listening audience really makes the whole thing special and gives the music way more meaning and purpose.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-It’s important to us to show that image isn’t important to us 🙂 ‘Image’ as in ‘a contrived, fake version of ourselves’, that is. We always present ourselves the way we really are; on our albums, on stage and in every situation in between. There is no artificiality, just four guys playing the kind of music they love.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Album artwork has always been of great importance for us. The combination of cover art and the music itself creates a subconscious, audio-visual association that can truly enhance the mood of either element and subsequently the experience of the listener and viewer. The way these two aspects are interconnected is actually integral to our writing process because they are created simultaneously and even inform each other. What this means is that we start with a general theme or vibe for an album and write songs based on that while developing first ideas for the cover at the same time. As songwriting continues and we hone in on the artwork, we let every element inspire the other in order to create a cohesive whole. By the time we go into the studio to record the music, we already have a very solid idea for the cover and hand it off to our artist, Verena Achenbach, who then turns it into a finished piece after refining it according to our notes.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I personally believe that the advent of social media has only brought positives for Accuser so far. We’re now able to reach people from all over the world and can easily and quickly share any news regarding the band with any fan who wishes to be up-to-date. Sure, there are bad sides to social media in general, like the copious amounts of negativity and hate, but fortunately for us, we’re not really affected by that and instead have an amazing fan community to thank for their support.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-To me, playing in a band feels like the opposite of a massive community actually. It’s a couple of people focusing their efforts in order to achieve a common goal. That goal is to create the music they enjoy and eventually share it with a hopefully massive community of people. The connection happens between the band as a single entity and the audience. Therefore, I see myself more as part of a band that’s part of a community that enjoys the same kind of music. I’m also part of a band that’s part of a huge community of other bands and musicians. But I’m part of a group of a few people that play in the same band first and foremost. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience that’s personally fulfilling but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it single-handedly gives meaning to my life. It’s more of a pillar that plays an important role and combined with other pillars (family, friends, work, etc.), it shapes and enriches my life.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-The music scene as a whole is healthier than ever in my opinion. The internet helped foster a diverse and ever-growing landscape of genres, musicians and bands that can now all reach their own audiences as music has become amazingly easy to access. Everything can coexist and there seems to be a constant influx of new and exciting ideas that have never been heard before. There is such a wealth of options that it can be hard to choose sometimes. Now, if you look at specific subgenres instead of the music scene as a whole, you can see a more negative evolution. Take thrash metal for example: the biggest thrash bands of today are still the same as 30 years ago. Who will replace Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, etc. when they’re gone? Because of the much broader spectrum of music available today, audiences are more widespread and it becomes harder and harder to get big as a band. And while thrash metal has made a bit of a comeback over the last couple of years, its success is still nothing like it was back in the 80’s. So the growth of the music scene is either positive or negative, depending on how you look at it.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We all have a day job so touring for weeks on end isn’t exactly a possibility for us. We keep it to about 1-2 shows a month, somtimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes, we do a short tour with a few consecutive shows but nothing too lengthy. We also do the occasional international European show but we mainly play in Germany. I don’t know how difficult it is to get gigs outside of Germany but based on the number of international gigs we’ve played it seems to be decently hard.
What will the future bring
-If I had a time machine, I’d know. Jokes aside though, our new album “The Mastery” will hit store shelves on January 26th 2018 and like I mentioned earlier, we can’t wait to see and hear all the reactions from all the good people that are down for some old school thrash metal. After that, we’ll be playing some shows all over Germany and maybe elsewhere. See you then and Rock On!