Ex-ACCEPT singer David Reece says that "horns were flying" when he went to see his former band perform in Italy last month.
The current SAINTED SINNERS vocalist was recruited for ACCEPT's "Eat The Heat" album in 1989 following the departure of Udo Dirkschneider. Reece's higher-pitched delivery was in sharp contrast to Dirkschneider's distinctive style, and overall, the LP was a critical and commercial disappointment. Midway through the "Eat The Heat" tour, differences between the band and Reece had come to a head, leading to the altercation between the singer and bassist Peter Baltes in Chicago. By the end of 1989, ACCEPT had hung it up.
During a recent interview with "The Classic Metal Show", Reece, who has also played with BONFIRE and BANGALORE CHOIR, said that he attended ACCEPT's January 23 concert in Milan at the invitation of Nuclear Blast publicist Markus Wosgien.
"[Markus] wrote me a couple of weeks [before the show] and said, 'Hey, would you like to see ACCEPT?'" David recalled. "And I'm, like, 'Uhhh… I don't know. [Laughs] I don't know what's gonna happen?' Of course, [I had] that weird feeling, like, what's gonna happen? And the more I got to thinking about it, I said, 'You know what? I'm going.' And to be honest, I was scared shitless to go shake the hands of the guys, so I didn't do it. But I went right upfront and threw my horns in the air with my wife. Peter Baltes leaned over and gave me a big smile and threw a pick at me and winked his eyes. And I just looked at him and said, 'Hey, man.' I mean, that was 30 years ago. This is the reason I'm [doing this interview] — because of that opportunity [the ACCEPT guys gave me in 1989]."
The American-born Reece, who moved to Italy after marrying an Italian woman, said that he walked away from the show impressed with what he saw. "One thing that's just ingrained in my head… They've got Mark Tornillo singing for 'em, and he's pulling it off well," he said. "Those guys are a machine, and they have that nostalgic history to where everybody knows every word, but [at the Milan show] they focused on the new material, and it still worked. I was, like, 'Wow! They're playing a lot of the new album.' And, of course, at the end, they did 'Princess [Of The Dawn]' and 'Balls [To The Wall]', but the crowd was up in arms; the horns were flying."
David went on to say that he didn't know if he was going to get bottles thrown at him or if people would welcome him while he was standing in the audience, "but it was overwhelming. People would turn around and go, 'Oh, that's Reece. He did the ACCEPT album 'Eat The Heat',' and they would turn around and hug me or take a picture," he said. "So it was cool."
Surprisingly, Reece chose not to go backstage after the Milan concert and exchange pleasantries with his former bandmates. "I was asked by Markus, 'Did you go back and hang out with the guys?' And I said, 'Regretfully, no,'" he said. "I didn't wanna push my luck, so to speak. I respected my space and I respected the opportunity, and I thank them right now for reaching out the olive branch and saying, 'C'mon in.'"
Despite his reluctance to talk to his former band at the Milan gig, Reece insists that he "would love nothing more than to sit down and talk to Wolf [Hoffmann, guitar] and Peter and just… not go over what happened and [say], 'Oh, I apologize.' [I would just like to] say, 'Hey, man. Respect. Thank you for what happened. I'm sorry it ended the way it did. You guys are killing it. Respect,'" he explained.
Reece will embark on European tour this year on which he will perform "Eat The Heat" in its entirety.
"Back With A Vengeance", the second album from SAINTED SINNERS, was released on February 16 via El Puerto Records.
Reece is working on a new solo album, to be released in late 2018 through Mighty Music.