Accept embarked on a massive world tour
Accept has been a heavy metal institution for more than three decades now. Their new album ‘Blind Rage’ is the third, strong album since Accept’s reunion in 2009 and it sure has fans and critics raving alike. Now that Accept has embarked on a world tour that shapes up to be another huge success I took the opportunity to have a chat with Wolf Hoffmann about the new album, Accept’s reinvigorated creativity and the future of the band.
Accept is now around since the seventies. Your new album ‘Blind Rage’ is the third album you released in only 4 years. What is the secret behind your creative outburst over the last few years?
WOLF: We are speechless about what is happening to us right now! I wish I would understand this dam break of creativity! I guess it has something to do that I did not write ACCEPT songs for 15 years, that I was totally removed from the possibility to get back into the game again and when Mark Tornillo run into us – I was going bananas and the same happened to Peter. It also helped, that there was no reason at all to believe that we would be greeted with open arms. We had no agenda, nothing! We did not even dare to look for a record deal …we just wanted to let out what had to come out and Mark was like us – totally unafraid and free!
What are the strengths of ‘Blind Rage’ compared to its predecessors?
WOLF: You have to ask the fans about that. It is hard to tell for me. I always say, every album is a slice of our reality we are living in at that moment. Peter and I are joint at the hips since we were 16 years old – we’re so close, so in tune – this is what we do best…. writing music and sweat it out on stage. We are working like horses and question our own work seriously…. all the time! And Mark is like a vitamin shot for our imagination where we could go. But – I believe only the fans can decide – if we are doing the right thing! As long as we can make them happy – we will deliver!
The lyrics on ‘Blind Rage’ seem to be darker and more critical. What led to this direction?
WOLF: Mark is amazing with words… and as you might know Deaffy is still very much part of the team and we talk a lot about the world and everything that happens. We all noticed that decisions made in BLIND RAGE are dominating the world today on many levels – and that surely is not a positive driving force. ACCEPT has always been focussed on specific themes – no surprise that we look at things differently and Mark picked it up.
What is the song writing process of Accept in 2014?
WOLF: Like it was for over 30 years – has never changed and never will. You will find everything that has been and that is ACCEPT- and there is a reason for it. Because you have the same cooks in the kitchen and this time used even more of some well-known ingredients – but that is another story.
“Mark is like a vitamin shot for our imagination”
The options of recording albums in the studio have changed over the last 30 years significantly. How has that impacted your work in the studio as a band?
WOLF: Let’s put it this way – the 5 Brother in Arms – idea has never really happened in ACCEPT. Over 36 years later – Peter and I are still doing what we always did and it is not that others are not talented as well – it is just impossible to work with 2 guys who do not even have to talk, because they feel and live and pour out the essence of the songs since… forever. We had a 3rd Man in the beginning – Stefan Kaufmann and then DEAFFY – a strong force as a lyricist. Stefan stayed in Germany and Peter, Gaby and I moved to America in the mid 80’s. But, wherever we are, whatever we do – nothing has changed in the way we work despite the way music is recorded today: it can be old fashion – the way we did it way when …or you can record in your living room with all the modern tools. We use, what is available, but with traditional ideas. Songs come to life for us, when we sweat it out – no matter the circumstances. Great music can happen anywhere you want it to happen….
You worked again with Andy Sneap as producer. It seems the relationship is very comfortable for you. How has this relationship developed over the last few years?
WOLF: Andy Sneap makes sure, we stay on track. He is very much in the here and now, fully engaged as a producer and musician and I believe one of his strengths – at least for me – is his ability to pick up our vision. That works for us!
“We are already booked until 2016”
You will come to Australia for the first time ever in November. Why is now the right time to get over there?
WOLF: When we stopped in 1996 not many bands toured in Australia … and now – we can see there is so much going on in your country. Since 2010 our touring schedule has been pretty intense. When we got to Japan, it would have worked out then – but did not – timing and our schedule is of the essence and now, we are in JAPAN again and this time we insisted….
The last song of your album is called ‘Final Journey’. Is the new album and the following world tour your final journey as a band?
WOLF: Why would you even think that? The day you are born – you are at the beginning of your final journey…. Nothing one can do about that. But, right now we are on top of our game. We just got started and I guess it is pretty obvious – we are surging ahead. Where that came from what you are hearing and seeing – there is much more! If you would have told me at the beginning of my first steps in music, that we will one day even be on a stage – I would not have believed you. If someone would have told me that Peter and I will open up after a 15 year absence from the stages of this world and go crazy – I would not have believed it. But now – I am a believer, because our fans made us what we are today, giving us a fantastic life! We’re the happiest guys on the planet and we are going through a time in our lives where we are living even the dreams we never dreamed before! We have performed from living room size places to 750,000 people events, we have toured around the globe 3 times and we are on it again – this time INCLUDING your great country – with a # 1 album in several countries and sold out shows – and you have been the first country to announce a SOLD OUT in 2014 – even before we sold out the show in New York… we have nothing to complain and talking about journey – our current one started May 8th in 2010 and I can proudly announce – we are already booked until 2016…. where is the end in sight????? Don’t see it! But – hopefully see you at one of our shows!