Shawn Macomber of Decibel magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Decibel: Was it easier to approach "Stalingrad" without the weight of it as a "comeback album" on your shoulders?
Wolf: "Blood Of The Nations" has been the result of unimaginable coincidences from running into [singer] Mark Tornillo as well as [producer] Andy Sneap. Both have been unknown to us until we met. Inspired by Mark's voice, we were free as birds and everything fell in line. The result has been the biggest surprise in our music career. With "Stalingrad", two things happened: the fans around the globe gave us the greatest gift — we felt welcomed, which resulted in a healthy self-assurance and inspired us to ask more from ourselves than ever before. We knew exactly where we wanted to go — staying on the path and again, let it all come out. Being the same and yet a bit different is not that easy, but we had no problems with that. The result and the success will be defined by our fans and so far, we are speechless. "Stalingrad" is very well received everywhere!
Decibel: Mark Tornillo kills it again this time out — a super-solid, meat-and-potatoes, rock-metal singer.
Wolf: You know, the story about Mark Tornillo and ACCEPT is so unbelievable that if it would not have happened to me, I would not believe it. We all have — besides others — one unique thing in common: first and foremost, we never believed we would come back into the music world. Never. It is no secret that we are not seventeen anymore and that Mark as well as Peter [Baltes, bass] and I have lived a totally different life for a long, long time. The minute we started playing and Mark started singing during an accidental jam session, it was done. It opened a door we three did not know a second before that, that we would actually go through it. We did not think about the consequences — it has been a gut decision…. very scary, if you think about it. For us and foremost for the fans, this is the perfect marriage. Our music needs his voice and vice versa… I guess.
Decibel: You've been writing and recording with Accept for decades now, with a few well documented hiatuses. What is it that has brought you back to ACCEPT over and over when some thought the band had run its course?
Wolf: I guess we never did run our course, in reality. It was all circumstantial. But as I mentioned before — and not everybody has to agree — for me, being a musician is a never-ending struggle for perfection. How can I look into a fan's eye and be tortured by doubt if I could have delivered something better? I cannot. So, the only way out is to be constantly the best I can. And if the best is good enough, it will be decided by our fans and surely not by me!
Decibel: Do you ever think about the band's legacy? Or is that something you feel would be counterproductive to continuing to push forward?
Wolf: I am not sure what you are asking here. The legacy of ACCEPT has been put down decades ago. We are meticulous — and always have been — to never sell out and nurture our own expectations of excellent work. Maybe that is what we are more aware of now than in the past. It sure is, I guess.
Decibel: I imagine your shows must have representatives of many ages and heavy metal subgenres in attendance.
Wolf: You are right. For many, it is something they have not been aware of or seen for a long time — the elders remember and the young ones discover. We're loving every minute of this. We feel so connected and so real and so close to people from all walks of life.
Read the entire interview from Decibel magazine.
Multi-camera footage of ACCEPT's April 14, 2012 performance in Geiselwind, Germany: