ACCEPT Guitarist: 'We Are Excited Like Teenagers Now'

Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Classic Rock Revisited: ACCEPT had a great frontman in Udo [Dirkschneider]. Was [new singer] Mark [Tornillo] apprehensive about fronting a band who had such a recognizable singer?

Wolf: He's pretty self confident. He knew that there are some people who will never be happy unless it is the original. But what is the worst thing that can happen? This is an opportunity for all of us to be able to go out there and do what we do. What other option did we have because Udo was not available. He will actually never be available again. We just decided to jump back into it and see what happens.

Classic Rock Revisited: Were you surprised by the way the Internet latched onto this story?

Wolf: It was awesome. I am somewhat new to this whole Internet thing. It is mind-blowing how much activity is going on all the time. We released a video for "Teutonic Terror" and it became the biggest video on YouTube. We are just getting a grip on all of this.

Classic Rock Revisited: Do you find ACCEPT is breaking through to a younger audience?

Wolf: We don't know where they come from but they are there. They must find the records in their daddy's closet but there is certainly a new generation of ACCEPT fans. It is pretty remarkable to see kids that were not even born when we quit the first time coming to the shows now.

Classic Rock Revisited: ACCEPT really went through some dark days in the early part of the 2000's. Would you have believed it someone had told you things were going to turn around and by 2010 you would have a new singer, a new tour and a new album?

Wolf: I thought this whole thing was finished. I would never want to rule it out because deep inside I always hoped there would be a chance. But when Udo didn't really want to do it and he said that he was never into it and that we never really got along then I thought, "It would be nice but it ain't gonna happen." I never even thought there was a guy like Mark that could take Udo's place and really make it work. We are excited like teenagers now.

Classic Rock Revisited: Are you doing the songwriting and your wife is doing the lyrics, as it has been done in the past?

Wolf: In the past, my wife, and manager, Gaby, used to write all of the lyrics, including "Balls To The Wall" and "Restless And Wild". Since we now have an American guy, we figured we would give him a chance. He wrote all of the lyrics for this new record. [Bassist] Peter [Baltes] and I wrote the music.

Classic Rock Revisited: A lot of bands from back in the day have a hard time with new material. However, you have written some classic metal riffs. It is hard and heavy yet you are not trying to be METALLICA. You're just being ACCEPT but you are not just rewriting "Balls To The Wall". This is a tantalizingly good new album.

Wolf: That is what we tried to do. I think we pulled it off this time. In the past we have tried to go back to the roots and do what we used to do but we failed. It is actually hard to do what you did back then. With the help of [producer] Andy Sneap, and having a good chemistry in the band, we did it this time. It is like you said, it is typical ACCEPT but it contains fresh ideas. It really is a continuation from our old records.

Classic Rock Revisited: You have been with ACCEPT since you were fifteen years old. How do you divorce yourself from the situation to know that you are not just going through the motions?

Wolf: Sometime that is hard to do. You nailed it. Sometimes you record something at night and you go to bed all excited and then you listen back to it in the morning and go, "What in the hell was I thinking?" It is hard to be objective. You get caught in the moment and you think it is the greatest thing ever. You have to learn to step back and be honest and say, "Well, maybe this is not the greatest thing ever," and be ready to go again. If you are honest about it then you have to admit there is a lot of trial and error to the process. Sometimes it happens spontaneously and it just comes out of nowhere and ends up standing the test of time. Other times you have to keep on plugging away and keep fighting with the song until it comes out right. It is different ever time.

Classic Rock Revisited: This is an unfair question but do you feel the new stuff stands up with "Fast As A Shark" and "Balls To The Wall"?

Wolf: Only time will tell but my gut feeling says yes. Having said that, you have to remember that there is always something special about the original stuff. Even if you come up with something just as good, it will never quite achieve the same legendary status as the old stuff. When the old stuff came out back then it was not legendary music. It took years and years to become what it is now.

Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited.

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