Jason Bodak of Examiner.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of German heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Examiner.com: ?Now that you got your “comeback” album out of the way with “Blood Of The Nations”, and now that vocalist Mark Tornillo has been overwhelmingly welcomed to the fold by fans and critics alike, was it a much more pleasant experience recording the follow-up album, “Stalingrad”?
Wolf: Well, yes and no. “Blood Of The Nations” has been a total freefall for all of us as we just opened up and let it out. [ACCEPT bassist] Peter [Baltes] and I have been writing songs together since we were 16 years old. “Blood Of The Nations” surprised us as much as the fans. After being not in the business for so long, we did not even know if that what came out was “it.” Our producer, Andy Sneap, was as much a miracle as us running into Mark Tornillo, when none of us had plans to revive the band again. Two world tours later, the next round was foreboding… lots of pressure. But because we wrote the album in such a short time after the first, it seemed as we just continued where we left [off]. I am probably the biggest “problem” in all of that, as I am a perfectionist and a never-ending critic of myself. So, perhaps we were not that “innocent” the second time around, as we wanted to please our fans. The verdict is out: we got that covered.
Examiner.com: ?Working with producer Andy Sneap has now yielded two exceptional albums. What is it about working with him that brings out the best in you?
Wolf: Maybe that he grew up with ACCEPT as one of his most influential bands. We believe that he brought us back to us, the way we were… and besides many other outstanding talents he has, this was perhaps the key moment in all of this.
Examiner.com: You’ve written many, many great songs with former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, and now you are writing great songs with Tornillo. Has the songwriting process changed at all, having a new vocalist, or is there a set methodology for creating a new ACCEPT album?
Wolf: You know, we do not talk about Udo at all. Never. He left the band 25 years ago. People forget that sometimes. He has painted a picture about his role in ACCEPT and we are so very disconnected from the past that we would have a hard time to go back to define his role. One thing I can say for sure: his reality has never been ours. We hope he is doing what he loves to do… really! Mark presented us with a special situation. It is not the question about who is a better singer. The question is: what does the singer inspire the songwriters to do, how far can they go in the moment they are at that minute? I like to compare the relation between a singer and a band to a marriage. Not everybody in a marriage is bringing the best out in the other. That has nothing to do with good or bad, just with what do they inspire and positively bring out in each other. Peter and I are joined at the hips at songwriting — always have been. For us the process has never changed, but the possibilities have, big time! People are different and different experiences make you do different things. Mark is as he is now and we are as we are now: a match made in heaven. We never felt we have to prove anything beyond the songs we are writing and performing. And with great humility. I tend to believe the fans got that. We are who we are and we write songs and perform always with one thought in mind: this is the moment where you get the best we have. You judge if that is what you have been looking for. Seems to me… after a little over 30 months from the very first show we did, the fans said and say yes!
Examiner.com: With your new lineup, do you feel you could go in certain musical directions that you couldn’t before?
Wolf: We know now only one direction works for us; the time of searching is long gone. But then you never know… I am pretty sure we are where we want to be and when that is the case, I believe, you do not search for something else. I guess we’re busy to better ourselves and therefore we automatically step into new waters. You get cocky when something works well. We can do that freely, as we have Andy who will rein us in when needed!
Read the entire interview from Examiner.com.
Multi-camera footage of ACCEPT‘s April 14, 2012 performance in Geiselwind, Germany: