Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of reformed German heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Oregon Music News: With "Stalingrad" being Mark Tornillo's [vocals] second record, was he more involved on the new album than the previous album?
Wolf: (pause) I'd say Mark's involvement was about the same; the songwriting process hasn't changed in the band's 30-year career. It's Peter [Baltes, bass] and I who take one of the riffs and begin to come up with some of the raw ideas for the song. There are times that we already have some ideas for a chorus, other times we don't. We then give what we have to Mark at a certain point and he put his own spin on it. After he gets his hands on it — sometimes it might change the direction of the song, other times it might remain close to the original idea. An example of a song that came together very quickly is "Stalingrad", and it is very close to the original idea or concept we had in mind — that was one of the very first things we did, actually.
Oregon Music News: You retained [producer] Andy Sneap for "Stalingrad". Things went incredibly well the last time around; it sounds like you took the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" approach.
Wolf: Oh yeah, absolutely. We knew, "Why change it if it's working so well?" you know? That was our thought going into the new album — whatever worked the last time, we'll do that again. Why mess with it? I guess the way that we looked at it, we wanted it the same without it being the same. We wanted ideas that were like you heard on "Blood Of The Nations" — huge backing vocals, heavy guitar riffs, which makes the ACCEPT anthems. The hard part was the first album; we were searching for what ACCEPT would sound like today. When we found what that was we just wrote more songs. The great thing about that is that we tossed out some of the crazy ideas that did not sound like ACCEPT; those weren't worth pursuing.
Oregon Music News: Will Wolf Hoffmann write a biography at some point? It would be a great read, I think. It could be a behind-the-scenes of the band, a love story with you and [your wife and ACCEPT's manager] Gaby. There's so many angles that you could take.
Wolf: Ain't gonna happen, man, it ain't gonna happen! [laughs] Here's why, because I've asked Gaby about it, too. She's got the stories to tell more than I do. She's the one pulling the strings behind the scenes and she doesn't want to do it because it would open so many old wounds. We can't talk about the past without hurting a few people and saying a few negative things. If you're going to write a book, you have to tell the truth; otherwise you'd be cheating yourself and the public. If you're telling the story how it really happened, it's going to be painful. Right now we don't want to go there. I think sometimes it's better to leave things alone and just move on. Anyone that has been in the entertainment business will tell you it's never all smooth sailing — a lot of stuff happens along the way that you'd really rather forget.
Oregon Music News: An ACCEPT documentary would be great as well.
Wolf: I don't really know. I think I'd have to look at the format, but as I said, these things aren't my favorite things to do. I'm not the best member of the band to ask stuff related to the band's past. I don't recall all the details. I don't live in the past mentally. I am a person that feels what is done is done — I'll put it aside and move forward. Sometimes I have a hard time recalling who produced a particular album. It's funny, a lot of fans know all these details about the band that I can't even recall — and I was there! [laughs] I say to them, "Oh, yeah that's right — I almost forgot about that."
Read the entire interview from Oregon Music News.
Quality fan-filmed video footage of ACCEPT's September 7 performance at the Best Buy Theater in New York City can be seen below.