By Andrew Catania
Herman Frank, a heavy metal guitarist from Germany has previously earned recognition as the guitarist for the band Accept which played a monumental role in the development of Speed and thrash metal. Although Frank’s career boomed with Accept after joining the band in 1982, he continued to thrive as a musician by expanding his horizons and techniques.
Herman stretched his experience to record with Hazzard, Sinner, Saeko and numerous other artists and bands. On November 18th, 2016, the former Accept member released a new solo album ‘The Devil Rides Out’ on AFM Records.
While listening to the album, I realized that this album is a definite deviation from his tried and tested methods in the previous two solo albums he has released. I can’t help but wonder if “The Devil Rides Out” is meant to be a personal testament to his musical career.
The music is energetic and guaranteed to induce a testosterone-induced desire for adventure. You’ll definitely want to hit the road or a bottle of whiskey. It’s experimental and most of all, influenced by elements from his entire musical career. It’s an accumulation of the classical Accept techniques, blended in with the traditional headbanging of the 80’s and ceaselessly transforms into modern musical techniques inspired by recently studied musical techniques and aims to engage the modern generation that has lost touch with the good old days of hard metal. Herman’s writing skills were merely ignored while he was in Accept. The Devil Rides In proves that Herman cannot only right, he can put together some kick ass music.
Overall, I was compelled to give the album a 8 out of 10 stars and moreover, I couldn’t help but reach out to Herman to gain first-hand access to the legend himself who has continued to transform the heavy metal music industry since the 1980’s. Luckily, he obliged and spoke to me briefly in a rare insight into the musical aspirations of the man who brought us “The Devil Rides Out.”
What took you four years to release The Devil Rides Out after the release of Right in the Guts in 2012?
Well, the second solo album I realized was quite successful and I wanted to release a third. However, back in January, I decided to wait before I released the third album because I wanted to give justice to my ideas. If I had released it in a hurry, I wouldn’t have been able to deviate from my traditional style and I wanted this opportunity to be a testament to our years of experience in the music industry. The Devil Rides Out was only going to be released once and there was no way I was about to butcher it just to release another solo because it was expected. This album needed justice and that’s what we did with it.
Me: How did you all come together for The Devil Rides Out and how was the album written?
So I decided to bring together people I’ve previously had the privilege of working with or listening to and whom I believed would be able to create the perfect album keeping in mind the new styles I wanted to try. Rick had worked with Masterplan and I had worked with Accept and Rick also agreed to discuss some ideas. Rick and I locked ourselves in for two weeks and came up with some songs and he sang them. We recorded a few and realized they were better than we had ever imagined them to be. Those were two of the most grueling, inspiring weeks we spent together. All we needed was a drummer and bassist and once we settled in the direction we were planning to head in, we immediately contacted André. I was in touch with André and he fell in love with the musical concept and immediately came on board. There was Rick and he brought Mühli on board and we realized our band was complete.
That’s quite a story. I felt a shiver go down my spine as you spoke. The passion is incredible. Now, let’s move on to cover more on your journey as a musician. I have thousands of readers that are inspired to follow your journey and become musicians themselves. They would love to know how you differ from your work in accept as compared to the work you do on your solo albums.
That’s an interesting question because I’ve personally reflected on how much I’ve changed as an artist over the years. Accept was great, they gave me the leg up, dedication and commitment I needed to succeed in this career. My writing skills were mostly ignored as Wolf wanted to do all of the writing. A lot of young musicians believe that to succeed, all they need is one solo viral record on iTunes or whatever. However, that’s incredibly hard to achieve. I urge them all to join a band because a band is like your family. When I was in Accept, there were days I was too tired and feared that we would fail and my teammates would force me to try over and over again. Everyone had those days and we were all accountable to one another. The music had to be collaboration and filled with mutual understanding and compromises. We had deadlines and had to meet them. With Accept, I guess I was more of a systematic musician. It was a community where you thought of yourself last.
Check Herman out at http://www.hermanfrank.com/