When you want to go out on the town to enjoy some familiar live music, one band to check out is Central Florida based band The Accuzed. The classic rock cover band plays out pretty much every weekend at some of the more popular venues in and around Central Florida, including Orlando.
The rock band formed in 2013 by Jim Kinler and a former bandmate. The line-up has undergone several changes since then and now consists of Kinler (bass, vocals), Bryan Athan (guitar, vocals), John Savage Kingan (keyboard, vocals), Rachel Stump (lead vocals) and the newest band member Luis Torres (drums).
The band members offer several ideas about what sets The Accuzed apart from other cover bands. One important factor is their performance of the classic rock songs. The band prefers to keep the songs true to the original recordings, rather than remaking them.
Another reason the band stands out is their line-up. “First and foremost, we are equals in every sense,” said John Savage Kingan. “We have all performed at the highest levels during our careers; we truly respect each others strengths and are generally happy to be together.”
“We auditioned until we found the players with the right chemistry, because without chemistry you don’t have much, even if everyone is amazing at their art, we still have to find that common groove emotionally,” said Kinler. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s true, if the best players around can’t connect musically, you get a bunch of people going through the motions at the same time, instead of living the moment together.”
As a cover band, The Accuzed counts on their fun live performances in order to make a lasting impression on audiences. “We work very hard to create a positive experience for the whole audience with a great repertoire that blends rock to ‘wow’ them and dance to get everyone up and moving,” said Kingan. “We even add some audience participation.”
“I always hope that people get more from our shows then just music, when I see a show I want to be entertained,” said Kinler. “If it’s just music I wanted to hear, I would throw in a CD. I want to see the goofiness and experience the human side of playing a detailed piece live, the interaction between band members, a little comedy surrounded by a great performance, after all it’s called entertainment, or a show, it’s not called a listen!”
Although The Accuzed is a cover band, several of the band members have their own music they work on as well. “Most of the bands I have been in were original bands,” said Bryan Athan. “I prefer to concentrate my writing to the music side and let someone else worry about lyrics. We as a band don’t officially have any original compositions, but it is past time we started creating our own tunes because we get asked about it quite often.
Band founder Kinler has a long history in music, starting with his own songs. “I have been writing songs since I was 14, both music and lyrics,” he said. “When I was 29, Warner Bro Records signed me as a solo artist because of my songwriting and vocal skills. I was managed by Budd Carr Productions out of LA. All looked very promising until corporate politics got in the way before my album was released. I was pretty devastated and stopped pursuing my personal goals and started playing in National touring acts, that’s how I met my wife in Washington State, 3,000 miles from home, while doing an autograph session.”
For each of the band members, music has played an important role in their lives, aside from performing. Athan, Kinler and Luis Torres credit music for helping them meet their wives. Kinler and Kingan both said that music has helped them through good times and bad. Rachel Stump described it this way, “Music is not something I like to do. Music is who I am. It’s my first love and is in my life everyday.”
The band members had a lot of nice things to say about the local music scene, especially about the level of talent in the area. “The Orlando music scene is awesome!” Said Luis Torres. “[There are] lots of great players and people.”
The band has a full schedule of live shows coming up. September dates include Sept. 2 Down the Hatch (Ponce Inlet), Sept. 3 First Turn (Port Orange), Sept. 9 and 10 Drunken Parrot (St. Cloud), Sept. 17 Ruby Street Grille (Tavares), Sept. 22 Dexter’s (Winter Park), Sept. 23 Rock and Brews (Oviedo) and Sept. 24 at East Orlando Harley-Davidson for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) event. Check the band’s official web site for up-to-date show information. You can also follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.