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Wolf Hoffmann – Guitar for Accept


Date: 8/20/10
Interviewed By: Rich Catino

 

1. When it was decided that Accept would reform, was it an option for Udo to do both Accept and his solo band U.D.O.?

WOLF: Yeah it was always an option, but he turned it down. We’ve always wanted to do more shows with Udo but he’s really been out of the band for 20 years, he just kept coming back for a period of time like in the 90s for 3 albums, then in 2005 for some festival shows with us, but he always only gave us limited time. So finally in 2009 he said "look guys, it’s never gonna happen". So at the time we (the rest of the band) gave up on the idea of Accept goin on, that is until we found Mark (Tornillo).

2. So the decision to reform Accept was made between yourself, bassist Peter Baltes, guitarist Hermann Frank, and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann, regardless of Udo’s involvement?

WOLF: Well, it was like we had no band, there was no Accept. I had been living without Accept for many years but by pure luck we met Mark and then we decided to reform the band. We didn’t really look for another singer or hold any auditions. The band was in hiatus for many years, I am a professional photographer, Peter was dabbling in music, and Mark did the occasional gig with his band TT Quick, but during these little jam sessions we did and then hearing about Mark, we decided maybe we should reform Accept again.

3. Are the songs on "Blood Of The Nations" all brand new? Were any suppose to be on a previous Accept album?

WOLF: No, these are all new.

4. When Accept reformed in the 90s, the songs on "Objection Overruled", "Death Row" and "Predator" were either hit or miss. Can you explain what was happening at that time and what lead to those albums being inconsistent?

WOLF: We were searching (like a lot of bands), it was a weird time for heavy metal, as you know, and we didn’t know what was happening in metal music, if we should adapt slightly, we really didn’t know what to do. All throughout the 90s we knew we couldn’t keep doing the same old same old because the audiences were dwindling more and more with each album and tour. We tried to expand our style a little bit, and maybe in retrospect they are not great albums, well on a whole, they do have some good songs, I think, but nothing that is really strong. There are several songs I’d love to still play today, like ‘Slaves To Metal’, and we may do that soon, but overall those albums were not considered classic Accept.

5. Why were you the only guitar player on those three albums ("Objection Overruled", "Death Row", "Predator")?

WOLF: Because everyone was kind of tired of working on that second guitar player, I mean I usually get the bad rap, hahaha, like I didn’t want anybody else, but the truth is really we were always in the studio with the three of us… Peter, myself, and Stefan Kaufmann that is until he left and was no longer part of the writing team. The core was always drums, bass, and one guitar, and then the second guitarist usually came in for the album and tour, or just the tour. That was always a difficult spot in our band, and then you had to teach the new guy the whole set and how to play the parts right, everyone just got sick of it, so it was easier just to have one guitar and we had a ball doing it. But really if you’re really honest you know that Accept is a two guitar band so when we reformed this time we went back to what Accept is really known for.

6. When I listen to the songs ‘Abyss’, ‘Bucket Full Of Hate’, and ‘Shades Of Death’, from "Blood Of The Nations", I hear those albums from the 90s. Do you hear that as well?

WOLF: Not really, it’s probably in there but it’s so hard for me to be objective because it’s my stuff, I have a hard time doing it. But really there is always going to be licks or melodies that sound like something else Accept has done because it’s our style. I think the darker side of this record has more in common with our albums from the 90s, the other songs that are maybe more upbeat and melodic, happier, those are more the 80s Accept albums like "Metal Heart" and "Balls To The Walls".

7. The new songs on "Blood of The Nations" have a fresh and invigorated sound. Was this a result of the break from the band being together, or by the addition of having Mark singing?

WOLF: Both, and the addition of Andy Sneap as producer because having him on board was all the difference. Mark really is a terrific singer and he brings something to the table Udo didn’t have. But having both those guys on the creative team helped to pull these songs in the right direction. Andy picked through the ruff material and told us what he’d like to hear more of, things that made our sound our own because he grew up listening to Accept. He was sort of like another member of the band, not just a producer. Of course he is a world class producer. He made us look at ourselves and reconnect with the things that made records like "Restless And Wild" and "Balls To The Walls" classics. He also went on and on about "sound German" but I didn’t realize there was such a thing in music, hahaha.

8. Hopefully you will do another album. Would you work with Andy again?

WOLF: O absolutely, I will force him, hahaha. And for someone who is from a somewhat younger generation and grew up with Pro-Tools and thrash music, it was interesting to see that world mend with ours, because our last album ("Predator") was all done on tape, and all the producers we worked with before we not really fans of the music. I think we learned a lot from him and he learned from us.

9. Who wrote the music and who wrote the lyrics on "Blood of The Nations"?

WOLF: Peter and I wrote all the songs accept for one which was Herman (Frank, guitars), and then Mark wrote all the lyrics. In the past it was always it was always Accept manager Gaby Hauke, aka: Deaffy, who wrote all the lyrics (as most people know by now), but now that we have an American singer it was time he wrote the lyrics.

10. How has the reaction been from the fans and critics to Mark being the new singer in Accept?

WOLF: O man, phenomenally good everywhere, it was triumphant. We’ve been bracing for anything, he could be the greatest guy to us, but until you actually go out and play live you never know. Luckily for us it has been great.

11. Has there been any special moments or places you have played since Accept has been back?

WOLF: When we headlined the Sonisphere festival that was great playing to thousands and thousands of people, Istanbul for 20,00 kids, those stick out. When we did the promotional tour in May and played the New York show, that was really cool. The New York show was sold out. Playing with AC/DC in Germany was phenomenal because that really wasn’t our audience.

12. Are you playing the same setlist every night and if not which songs are getting rotated?

WOLF: Now that we are gonna start this American run in the fall we are doing about 4-5 songs from "Blood Of The Nations" and gonna rotate those to see what works best. And then from our past we are throwing in some obscure songs like ‘Demons Night’, ‘Run If You Can’, whatever...songs we rarely played in the past because Mark likes to mix up the setlist and not play the same thing every night. Udo was always leery of that. Like the fans have been asking for ‘Demons Night’.

13. Recording any show for DVD?

WOLF: You know a lot of people ask me that and I think it’s a bit soon, we just reformed. I don’t know, not yet but I’m sure we will at some point.

14. You still have a recognizable guitar sound. Are you playing the same guitars or using any of the same gear you did from the 80s?

WOLF: I’m using similar gear but I use Jackson guitars now, a Charvel Strat, an Eddie Van Halen 5150 amp, a Fender sometimes. I tried a Wizard amp. I haven’t really found my touring amp. I use to play a Gibson Flying V.

15. What are the plans for Accept for the rest of the year into 2011?

WOLF: A lot of touring. The album has been released already in Germany and it’s doing very well so there is a lot of excitement in the air. Let’s see how far we can take this, the most important thing is we are having fun and Accept is back where we belong. I think we want to take this as far as we can, we are already thinking about and writing for the next record. We’ve all missed doing Accept and we realized we missed doing this. Of course we are not 20 years old anymore and not ready to do just anything to be successful, we’re not that desperate, hahaha. We are looking to do what makes sense and that’s fun. I’ve been a photographer for many years and that is satisfying to an extent, but it’s nothing like standing on a stage in front of thousands of screaming fans singing your songs. There’s nothing like it.

16. Will you do another video for "Blood Of The Nations"?

WOLF: Yeah for ‘Pandemic’. We are working on it now. Should be done and online soon.

Official website: http://www.acceptworldwide.com

 

 
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