ACCUSER is like classic German second wave of thrash metal. Together with bands like Darkness, Exumer, Assassin they brought the German thrash movement forward. With a new album out an interview had to happen. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
Dennis: We approach every album with a fresh mind set in the sense that we don’t want to keep repeating ourselves musically. So instead of simply following up on recent albums or letting other bands or albums dictate the way we write, we try to move things forward and explore new possibilities for the band.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
Dennis: I think there are certain elements of our music that have been consistent over the years and have therefore become a bit of a trademark for Accuser. That being said, we always do look for ways to evolve musically and lyrically so keeping things too similar would go against that.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
Frank: I always have multiple ideas for lyrics and I try to connect these with a specific song. If I feel that both fit, I’ll continue working on the lyrics. During this process, the subject matter sometimes changes direction and I just figure things out until the music and the message become one.
How hard is it to find the right art work? What are you looking for?
Dennis: The creation of the artwork is a very collaborative effort between the artist and every band member. We develop and discuss ideas internally that fit the overall tone of the record and then pass them on to Verena Achenbach, who also did the artwork for every Accuser release since Agitation in 2008. From there it becomes an iterative process of honing in on a final result that everyone in the band is happy with.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the metal you play?
Dennis: I feel that music, like any art form, is completely subjective and can be interpreted in any number of ways. The listener is free to take whatever he or she wants from the listening experience and decide if it’s valuable to them or not. Whether this interpretation is in line with our intentions behind the music is irrelevant.
Do you feel that you get the recognition you deserve, nationally as well as internationally,
Frank: We’re definitely getting more attention at the moment, both nationally and internationally. It’s always difficult to say that we’ve earned it though. What we can say is that we worked hard and are proud of the results. It’s a great honor when the things we’ve accomplished get recognition and we’re always grateful when that happens.
Is the end of physical close by or is there a future for all formats?
Dennis: I think the metal scene as a whole is still very supportive of physical media so there’s the possibility of a future for both physical and digital formats. But ultimately the digital side of things is growing rapidly. I can’t see it taking over completely in the foreseeable future but the ratio of physical vs. digital will certainly continue moving towards digital.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
Frank: Festivals are certainly the focus today for both musicians and listeners. As a band you get the opportunity to reach a potential new audience and as an attendee you can check out a lot of different bands. Admission isn’t too expensive because you usually get a lot for your money. The prices for one or two band shows can be pretty hefty in comparison. Nevertheless, touring can be a great experience because you get to visit many locations in a short amount of time. Low attendance on weekdays can definitely be a negative aspect though, as people mainly go out and see live shows on the weekend.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
Frank: Our stage show should always be very minimalist so that the music and the musicians are the main focus. An ideal, no-frills environment for the band.
What does the future hold?
Dennis: If I knew, I would be a billionaire by now 🙂 All jokes aside, the deal with Metal Blade Records opened up a lot of opportunities for us as a band and we’re more excited and motivated than ever to continue playing the music we love, either live or in the studio while recording new material.