Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
69 Faces Of Rock: You did a massive amount of touring for the last record. How did things work on the road?
Wolf Hoffmann: Obviously, it worked really well because we’re still here. We’re still friends. It takes about a week, and you know somebody, and how they behave on the road, and stuff. Mark [Tornillo, vocals] is a true professional, who’s been on the road many times. Maybe he was never on the road as extensively as he was with us, especially in the international sense, but he did great. I mean, we went to like 30 countries on the last tour, and that was certainly new for him. It wasn’t completely new to us. We had done a lot of touring, but never quite that extensive. It was good for everybody to bond. It was a good experience.
69 Faces Of Rock: The reason I asked that question is because I remember when David Reece [vocals] was in the band, ACCEPT pretty much broke up after the Chicago gig back in 1989.
Wolf Hoffmann: Like I’ve said, it takes about a week, and you know somebody, especially on the road. Back then, we knew from the get-go, “Oh, no, this isn’t going too well.” With David Reece, we pretty much knew right away. We didn’t need to spend months on the road to find out the chemistry wasn’t there. It took few days, and you knew there was trouble.
69 Faces Of Rock: Many fans are surprised how quickly you put the new album out. And considering how active the band was on the road, how did you pull this off?
Wolf Hoffmann: Well, we just sit down, and wrote the songs. What we did, we came off the road last August (2011) and locked ourselves into the studio right away, and forced ourselves to write songs. This is how we work. You know what I mean? That’s how we get things done in this band. There was not a lot of stuff that was written on the road, or accumulated from the earlier days. We practically sat down, and cranked the stuff out. And we do this, when we need to. It’s weird, but we work our best this way. The certain amount of pressure is good. We dedicate the time, we turn off the phones, and write the songs.
69 Faces Of Rock: What really stands out about the album, is Mark Tornillo‘s vocal performance. Now it seems like he was only warming up on the last album, and that was a good record to begin with.
Wolf Hoffmann: He feels little bit more comfortable and secure. He’s been in the band now for a while, and that probably reflects in his vocal style. We have all the trust in his vocal ability, and it allows us to write a few more melodic things. But quite honestly, we tried to write stuff that was just along the lines of “Blood Of The Nations”. When we’ve said we were gonna make this album, we said, “You know, this last one worked so well, and it was so well received, we would be foolish to try to change anything. Let’s just make more of the same, but with fresh ideas, new songs, but let’s not try to do anything differently.”
69 Faces Of Rock: How much input did Mark have this time around?
Wolf Hoffmann: It was very similar to how we did it last time. When we met Mark, we didn’t think we were gonna put ACCEPT back together. We were not looking for a singer, we weren’t auditioning, and we didn’t have any songs. It just happened out of the blue. We met him one day and decided then and there we were gonna reform ACCEPT. And if we do that, we might as well write new songs. We’ve written songs as we always write, and that’s Peter [Baltes] and I will sit down, and crank out riffs, and at certain point these develop into a sort of a rough song structure. Peter does adds some scratch vocals onto the songs, and until it feels like a song. And then we those nonsense lyrics, or chorus hooks, and give it to the singer, or the lyricist. In this case, obviously it’s Mark, in the older days it was Gaby [Hoffmann, Wolf‘s wife and ACCEPT‘s manager], and then Udo performed them. But the basic songwriting structure has always been the same in ACCEPT, and that really hasn’t changed at all.
69 Faces Of Rock: So you really enjoying this second lease on life?
Wolf Hoffmann: Absolutely. We’re as happy and as thrilled as we’ve ever been. This could be a whole new chapter for us and continue for many more years. If all goes well, I feel, the best is yet to come. We’re just honestly getting started, and after 30-something years, and all the brakes in between, this is it. We’ve had so much down time to reflect on things, and we really feel like this is it for us.
Read the entire interview from 69 Faces Of Rock.
Performance (September 7 at the Best Buy Theater in New York City):