Jeffrey Easton of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with bassist Peter Baltes of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Exiles: I know your fans are die-hard, especially the German ones, so when you set out to tour for the first time with Mark [Tornillo, vocals], were you expecting a backlash or were you confident?
Peter: We were pretty confident with the singer we had and the fact that “Blood Of The Nations” was coming out. It was so good that we knew that we were going to win people over with it so we just jumped into cold water and it worked out well.
Metal Exiles: The sound of this album is a straightforward, anger-based tone. What brought this album out of you guys?
Peter: It is probably the sound that [producer] Andy Sneap gave us. He just finished the MEGADETH record and then came to do us. It was a combo of his sound and our riffs and we had no pressure, nobody was telling us what to do because we had no label at the time. We were just doing what the fans would want and what we wanted to do so maybe that’s why it sounded so angry.
Metal Exiles: How did this album get off the ground so easily without writing together for so long and with a new singer?
Peter: That was Andy‘s credit because before we started Andy sat us down and said, “Let’s go back and listen to the old ACCEPT albums one by one and let me, from a fan’s point of view, point out the things that I think are important that make you stand out.” We did that and it was an ordeal to go through all of the songs but we understood what he was talking about and we scrapped the few things we scrapped and started from scratch focusing on our strengths.
Metal Exiles: I know you had a heavy hand in the writing. Where were you coming from with writing?
Peter: Wolf [Hoffmann, guitar] and I concentrated on the riffs and we worked on the lyrics with Mark but most of those were Mark‘s. We had the track “Pandemic” which we were thinking about how it would sound screamed out so we just leave it to Mark to make sense of it.
Metal Exiles: I know Andy produced this album but I know ACCEPT is still your baby so how much were you involved in how it sounded and of course arranging it?
Peter: Like I said, Wolf and I wrote the album and arranged it, did the vocal melodies with Mark, but had great assistance from Andy, who is a guitar player with a different perspective as a producer. Mark was new with us, but we challenged him and pushed him as well.
Metal Exiles: What’s next after this American tour?
Peter: We are going to South America then Europe for some dates. We are doing Sweden Rock with JUDAS PRIEST and the fans are going crazy that we are playing with them on the same day. We are playing some other festivals during the summer then we go home and relax. We will start writing right away and Andy does have studio time already booked so hopefully we will get started and have an album done by early next year.
Read the entire interview from Metal Exiles.