Wolf Hoffmann Discusses Accept's Reunion And New Album "Blood Of The Nations"
Band Photo: Accept (?)
Iconic German heavy metal act Accept, which was recently covered in our Sunday Old School column, has reunited with a new vocalist to release the band's first album in 14 years. Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann recently discussed the band meeting up with new singer Mark Tornillo of TT Quick and the creation of the latest album, "Blood of the Nations."
While explaining the sound of the band's latest addition to heavy metal, Wolf stated, "It’s really not that different honestly. It’s pretty much what people would expect from Accept. We try to sort of go back in time and give them some good old school ‘80s kind of metal, but with new ideas and a modern drum and guitar sound. We really didn’t try to change much and we tried to stay true to the formula." Wolf also covered the band's upcoming tour schedule and the various Accept cover tunes that have appeared over the years.
xFiruath: You guys are just about to kick off a North American tour. Where will you be headed and who is coming with you?
Wolf: We’re bringing King’s X with us. They’re a great band and I’m really looking forward to playing with them. We’re going to start on the East coast and work our way through. Right now the dates are still being juggled around and some of them are still being booked. I think the first couple of weeks have been confirmed and published.
xFiruath: Mark Tornillo of TT Quick is now a part of the band. How did that come about?
Wolf: That’s a big surprise to a lot of people. We met Mark about a year ago by pure luck. We were jamming one day and we invited him to join us because he lived closed to where we were jamming. Peter and I were blown away by how perfect of a fit he would be for Accept. A few months prior it was published by Udo and the Udo camp that he was never going to be in Accept again. We might as well try something with Mark here because he sounded so perfect. We were blown away and were like, where did this guy come from all of a sudden? We weren’t looking for a singer or thinking about reforming Accept, but as soon as we met Mark the idea was born. We called the other guys and everybody was right on board and we said, “Let’s do it. Let’s start Accept again after 14 years.”
xFiruath: With Mark in the band now, do you guys plan on doing any TT Quick songs with your live set?
Wolf: Possibly. We haven’t yet. The style of the songs is quite different. Singing wise it wouldn’t be a problem, but we absolutely might as well give it a try one day.
xFiruath: The new album “Blood of the Nations” is the first album in 14 years. Tell me about the album and what’s changed about the band in that time.
Wolf: It’s really not that different honestly. It’s pretty much what people would expect from Accept. We try to sort of go back in time and give them some good old school ‘80s kind of metal, but with new ideas and a modern drum and guitar sound. We really didn’t try to change much and we tried to stay true to the formula.
xFiruath: Tell me about the recording sessions for the new album.
Wolf: We recorded it in England. When we met Mark, we decided we had to make a new record since we have a new singer. We started writing all the songs with Mark and Peter and I wrote all the music, Mark wrote the lyrics. It’s all brand new material and a lot of people are surprised that we can still do it and how fresh it sounds. It sounds exactly like the kind of stuff you’d expect from us. You’ve got your big guitar riffs and your big anthemic backing vocals and all the typical elements of the Accept stuff is there, it’s just full of fresh energy. A lot of people who have heard it have said it’s one of the best we’ve ever done, and it really ties in “Restless and Wild” and “Balls to the Wall” nicely.
xFiruath: What are the lyrics about with the new material?
Wolf: It’s pretty much in the tradition of what we’ve done in the past. We go back and talk about stuff that’s all around us and stuff that’s happening today. Whether it’s the Wall Street financial scandal, or climate change, or the whole world going down the drain with the tsunamis and floods and what not. There’s environmental thoughts there and the world coming to an end possibly. Mark has done a terrific job writing the lyrics. In the past it was always my wife Gaby, or better known as Deaffy to the fans, who wrote the lyrics for Accept. That was then and now we have an American singer who speaks perfect English so we might as well let him express his own thoughts.
xFiruath: Fill me in on the music video situation for this album.
Wolf: We already have one out there on Youtube, it’s called “Teutonic Terror.” It was voted #1 metal video or whatever on Youtube when it came out. It was a phenomenal success. We also pre-released another song “The Abyss” that’s out on the Internet. The “Teutonic Terror” video was pretty spectacular. It was shot in Los Angeles and has everything you’d want from a metal video. It’s got real tanks and a lot of burning gear and night scenes and it’s spectacular.
xFiruath: There are quite a few Accept tribute albums and cover songs out there. Do you have any particular favorite you’ve heard where they nailed your sound or put a unique twist on it?
Wolf: I usually like the ones that don’t try to copy the original. I like tribute records that take it and do their own twists. I’ve heard “Midnight Mover” by Dimmu Borgir, which was pretty cool. I don’t think I’ve heard them all, honestly, but in general I like stuff when a band does their version of a song.
xFiruath: Do you have any other projects going on besides Accept right now?
Wolf: Nothing active right now. I was, and still am, working on something classical. I’ve always been a big fan of classical music and always had some aspirations. I made a solo record a few years ago and along those lines I’ve got another project in the pipeline. But now that I spent all of last year working on Accept I didn’t have any time to devote to it, but maybe one day soon I will.
xFiruath: What are you listening to lately?
Wolf: Honestly I don’t really go and buy records or follow what’s going on. I’m just not that kind of guy. I just usually listen to classical music. I don’t buy records much.
xFiruath: Anything else you want to discuss about the new album?
Wolf: You’ve really got to hear it. Go online and get a sample of what it’s all about. I think you’ll be surprised by how energetic it sounds and how great the voice of Mark Tornilla fits in with us. If you see some Youtube clips you’ll see how revived we look on stage and how much energy there is. Right now the chemistry in the band is probably better than it’s ever been. We’re all fired up and happy to be back. We’ve done quite a few shows over in Europe already with AC/DC and some huge festivals. We played some shows with 20,000 kids singing along to our songs, which is pretty remarkable. After all these years people haven’t forgotten about us and they still love Accept’s music. We want to do this and stay in it as long as we can. We aren’t doing this just for one little record. We’ll see how far we can take it, hopefully a long, long time to come.
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