ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann spoke to Australia's Metal Mal about the band's latest studio album, "Too Mean To Die", which was released on January 29 via Nuclear Blast. The LP is the group's first without bassist Peter Baltes, who exited ACCEPT in November 2018. He has since been replaced by Martin Motnik. ACCEPT's lineup has also been expanded with the addition of a third guitarist, Philip Shouse, who originally filled in for Uwe Lulis during 2019's "Symphonic Terror" tour, before being asked to join the band permanently.
Asked what it was like to see Baltes leave ACCEPT after more than four decades (on and off) of playing together, Hoffmann said (hear audio below): "I was a little bit heartbroken, and I felt it was not only a sad day for ACCEPT, it was also a sad day for rock and roll, or heavy metal, in general, because I thought we were gonna be doing this until the sun goes down — I don't know; until forever. But he all of a sudden decided otherwise, and he made that decision, and that was it. And that's sad, but what can you do, man? I decided, along with everybody else, the show must go on, and we continue without him. So this is what we did. And here's the new album — without Peter. But it's still sad. I still miss him sometimes. It's just the way it is."
In November 2019, Hoffmann told Powermetal.cl that he no longer kept in touch with Baltes after the bassist exited the group a year earlier. "Unfortunately, when somebody leaves the band, they're always kind of out of sight, out of mind," Wolf explained. "It's very sad. I wish it wasn't that way, because we've been friends for so long. But the reality is I haven't really heard from him — even though I reached out a couple of times. He's almost like he wants to disappear or he wants to leave the music business altogether. It's sad and I still don't quite understand what really happened. But it is what it is, and we move on."
"Too Mean To Die" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with British producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH), who has been responsible for the studio sound of ACCEPT since 2010.
Last year, Baltes and fellow former ACCEPT members Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann reunited in the studio to record a song called "Where The Angels Fly" as a tribute to the frontline workers who have protected others from the pandemic and put their own health at risk in doing so.