Accuser just dropped their latest album The Mastery Via Metal Blade Records, after trail blazing a career for the last 32 years we thought it was time we broke out the Hob Nob’s for this fine Metal Band. Pop the kettle on luv, Frank Thoms is in the house!
I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with Rock ‘N’ Load today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know?
I’m Frank Thoms, the only founding member of the band Accuser that’s still in the band. We’ve been around since 1986 but between 1996 and 2008, the band went on hiatus. Since our reunion, we’ve released 5 albums and re-recorded one of our early albums from 1989, “Who Dominates Who”, after 25 years with a new line-up.
Who inspired you as a kid / teenager to pick up your respective instrument and Rock out?
Quite a few guitarists inspired me back in the day. Rory Gallagher, Angus Young, Eddie Van Halen and of course early works from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.
Was there any one particular song you heard that just made you say “ I wanna do that!”
There were a couple of songs. One example would be “Shadow Play” by Rory Gallagher.
What was it like for you guys as a young band back in the height of Metal in the 80’s / 90’s – what route did you take to build up your fan base?
It was an amazing time in which we listened to a lot of music and also wanted to find our own style. We were able to consistently attract new fans at our shows. In addition to that, the positive reviews for our albums have always been great promotion for the band.
If Accuser were a new band in 2018 would you approach it any differently?
We’re extremely grateful that everything turned out the way it has and we’re happy with our current situation. So if we were a new band, we’d put as much effort as possible into reaching the status Accuser has today. We’d go about it differently of course because we’d have to start from the very beginning.
Can you pinpoint your breakthrough moment back in the day?
It happened gradually for us and we experienced both highs and lows throughout our journey as a band. Albums such as “Who Dominates Who” and “Repent” helped us gain more attention and evolve our sound. Today, we definitely feel that we’re going in the right direction for the band.
What would you say would be the highlight of your career over the past 32 years?
There were many highlights but playing at Wacken 2011 was an incredible experience and we’d love to do it again.
Accuser started out back in 1986, how much different is life in the band from then?
Everything inevitably changes over time because you grow older and wiser together with the band. Back in 1986, everything was new and fresh and there was a lot of experimentation going on. Today, we approach songwriting in a more structured way and our live shows and our time in the studio have changed. Like I mentioned, we’re very happy with our situation because we’re 4 friends who get to make music together.
With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it?
We all know that technology has had an immense impact on the music industry. Structurally, a lot has changed. Illegally copying CDs, sharing MP3 files and YouTube became a problem and started to negatively influence sales numbers. The music industry has since embraced YouTube and the internet as a whole. YouTube especially is a great promotional tool and the free access to a lot of music and music videos makes fans more curious about the corresponding albums. In addition to that, the ease of access to music streaming services has allowed the industry to combat piracy somewhat by being more convenient in comparison. Technology is evolving constantly and we have to adapt to it. This includes continued support of artists and their music to keep the scene healthy.
What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career?
It’s difficult to say because we ultimately don’t really know what would’ve happened if something went differently. We learned a lot from our own mistakes over the years and that’s one of the reasons we’re not so much concerned with the mistakes of others and are more focused on what we can do better as a band.
If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything. Sure, it could make things better but it could also potentially make them worse. And I wouldn’t want the latter 🙂
What are the thoughts of the band looking back to the split in 1996, is it a regret or a necessity to be where the band are now?
All in all, going into hiatus was the right thing to do at the time. We gained a different perspective on the music scene which has allowed us to make music without inhibition since our reunion. It helped us to become what we are now.
How has life for the band changed since signing with Metal Blade Records?
We’re very grateful that it happened. Working with them has been fantastic so far. Metal Blade support us greatly by promoting our music and they take good care of us. It’s been a huge step for Accuser and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.
What are the plans for the band now as you have released 2 albums within 2 years?
We’ll be playing live shows to promote our recently released album and maybe do some songwriting in between in order to have some material prepared for another record. But because our newest album has just been released, we don’t have any concrete plans beyond that.
The new record is full of quality tracks, are there plans to tour? And 32 years on do you find touring a chore or a pleasure?
Of course we’d love to play a tour. But the whole band package should fit together musically and personally in order to reach many people and to have a good time on the road. Touring’s still exciting because it’s different every time and you get to experience something new every day on the road.
With an extensive career what is the process of deciding which tracks to play live?
We’re always mixing old and new stuff so we can present a little overview of the band history each time.
What cant we expect from Accuser in 2018?
We’ll be playing concerts and festivals. We’re excited to see how people will react to “The Mastery” and especially how the new songs will be received live.
Any last words?
Many thanks to all who support us. We hope to see you at our shows!
Frank Thoms – vocals/guitars
Dennis Rybakowski – guitars
Frank Kimpel – bass
Olli Fechner – drums