Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: I was looking at the title and cover artwork for your upcoming album, "Blind Rage", and first of all wanted to ask you, is it more of a reflection of the lyrical themes or does it also have something to do with the musical attitude as well?
Wolf: I think what we have here is really a collection of totally typical ACCEPT songs with the classic feel, and, of course, as always, there's an overriding theme of aggression and rage in all our music. I mean, otherwise it wouldn't be metal. People call our music at this point "classic metal," I believe, and we just fell in love with the title "Blind Rage" and the artwork. Interestingly enough, we don't even have a song called "Blind Rage". We just have a collection of songs that to me all feel totally 100 percent classic ACCEPT.
Metal Assault: The last two albums "Stalingrad" and "Blood Of The Nations", I think, were a little different in terms of the lyrical topics. This is a bit of a departure from that, isn't it?
Wolf: Yeah, it is. I think we have great subjects for the songs this time, and I can run down the whole list for you, but it makes more sense once people have heard the songs. But I think fans are really going to dig this one, and it's important to notice that there's more variety on this album, but not really so much stylistically, to be honest. Because we didn't want that. We didn't really want to expand the style too much. We really know where ACCEPT belongs, what we stand for and what we wanted to achieve, and we really spent many months trying to perfect the song ideas that we had and getting them more and more refined instead of trying different styles of music. That was never on our minds. We really wanted to do 100 percent typical ACCEPT stuff, only better than ever.
Metal Assault: In terms of the working process, has it been the same as the last two albums? Once again you've worked with [producer] Andy Sneap on the console and, of course, it's the same band lineup.
Wolf: Yeah, Andy is such a good partner now, we couldn't even imagine working without him on this album. He's such a natural fit and he did a great job on the last two albums. The only thing that we did way different this time from "Stalingrad" is, we really took our time. "Stalingrad" was really made almost in a rush, to be honest, because we had so many commitments right before we went to the studio to do the album and right after. Basically, by the time we started working on that album, we already knew when it had to be finished and what gigs we had booked. So that put us under enormous pressure, but this time, we really made sure it's right before it's ever released. We didn't work excessively long, we just took a little more time to make sure that we were in a little more comfortable place. These last few weeks we've just refined and tweaked little things that we normally wouldn't have the time to do.
Metal Assault: So, you've had this lineup for the last four years and you've done three albums now with it. How have the contributions of the other members developed in this time? Has everybody been contributing more or is it always mainly you and Peter with the songwriting?
Wolf: Yeah the basic ingredients have never really changed and it's still the same. Peter [Baltes, bass] and I do the basic work and then we present the stuff to Mark [Tornillo, vocals) and he puts his spin on it. Whoever sings on the song makes a big difference, obviously. Sometimes we think it's going to sound a certain way, but when Mark sings it and we get it back, we realize that we need to refine it a little more. So that sometimes influences us to reshape the songs a little bit. There's quite a bit of back-and-forth. Whenever Peter and I feel that we have a song finished, we present it to Mark usually with some ideas of the vocal melody lines the way we hear them in our head. He tries our version first and sometimes refines and changes it a little bit. Once we hear that, we go back into it and reshape the song, rewrite some parts and tweak it here and there. So, every song went through may be 6 or 7 revisions that way, I'd say. But Peter and I have always been the sort of starting block for everything.
Read the entire interview at Metal Assault.