Accept (Wolf Hoffmann)
After several years Accept are back with the new sparkling "Blood Of The Nations": SpazioRock interviewed Wolf Hoffmann, guitarist and soul of the German band. Enjoy it!
Article by Daniele Carlucci - Publish on: 20/09/10

Hi Wolf and welcome to SpazioRock. I listened to "Blood Of The Nations" and I really appreciated it. There are good riffs, good melodies, good vocal lines. Would you like to tell me something about your new record?

We wanted to do a classic album and continue in that tradition, the early eighties, beacuse all the Accept fans really love album like "Restless And Wild", "Breaker", "Balls To The Walls", "Metal Heart". All those records are really the most...best-loved records. We wanted to write songs to continue that tradition and see it like a continuation. Only we wanted to have a modern sound.

I also saw the video of "Teutonic Terror" and it was interesting to notice that the last scene shows two guitars on fire. This scene reminds me the cover of "Restless And Wild". How come did you use this image to end the video?

It was just an idea that the video producer had and we loved it. You know, we've always been the band with those two burning guitars on their covers... so it was a good idea. You know, the whole video was done in the sense that we really wanted a serious and meaningful message. We just wanted the rock n' roll image and that's why we played on tanks and we had fire and all the good stuff that you can rob in metal if you want.

And were did you shoot the video? In the United States?

Yes, in Los Angeles. It kinda looks like Afghanistan. It's a military junkyard, a military graveyard, which is also a museum in Los Angeles. Our video producer found the location and we went there with a big crew and it was amazing, really really cool.

The title of the album and the songtitles recall the theme of war. Could you tell me something about the lyrics? Is "Blood Of The Nations" a concept album about war?

No, is not a concept album at all. It's just a collection of twelve or fourteen songs we came up with and of course the title-track "Blood Of The Nations" is about war and military rudiments, but it is the only song that is really about the death theme. Is not a concept album at all. Every song talks about slightly different stuff and what's new on this record is that Mark Turnillo, the new singer, wrote the lyrics. In the past Gaby or Deaffy wrote the lyrics, but we have a big American-English singer and we let him write some of the lyrics and give him a chance to express his own stuff, but he tries to do this in the tradition of Accept, which is very important you know. And I think he did a god job.

wolf_hoffmann_interview_breakoneYes, and what was your last tour with him like? You performed at many festivals like Sonisphere for example and you also played two shows with AC/DC, if I'm correct...

...it is correct.

So, what was the last tour like?

Oh, it was amazing! I mean, we've done probably twenty shows together by now and they've been fantastic. I think people really embraced the new singer with open arms, which is very unusual. it's always a risk to change the lead singer, as you know, but so far we've been really really lucky and fortunate that Mark is a very convincing frontman. You know, he's really got the voice, he can really pull it off, which is amazing. So we are really fortunate that we've found him. And I have to tell you that the whole reunion idea was only created because we found Mark by pure accident, by pure luck. You know, if we wouldn't ran into Mark Tornillo about a year ago, we probably would not have ever thought doing any reunion with Accept or... it's not really a reunion, it's more like a burst, I would say, beacuse with the new singer it's really a new chapter more than a reunion.

Yes and I think that Mark has done a really god job with the new record. He's got a strong, beautiful and powerful voice.

I've seen you performing in 2005, at the Gods Of Metal Festival in Bologna, during the reunion tour. What was that tour like? Are you still in touch with Udo? Are you still on good terms with him?

We're really not at any problem, good or bad. Honestly we were just living different lifes because Udo told us that he had no interest in being in Accept anymore and he left the band twenty years ago, so we really don't have anything to do with him. You know, as you mentioned, we did those festival shows in 2005 but that was all. We wish him all the best and we move full force ahead. I know, he sometimes do negative comments about us, but we don't care. We just have to move forward.

You are a very famous band, Accept is for sure one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever. Do you reckon that there was a competition between English and German bands at the time of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal?

Yes, of course, there was. I think we were around to same time that new wave of British metal had happened. I think we were the German division of that all movement maybe, you know?

Yes, sure!

Of course there was competition, but not more than between other bands anyhow. But right now we've been all in the business for so long that we respect each other for that we did.

Some years ago the whole hard 'n' heavy scene went crazy for Germany, but now it has been replaced by Scandinavia. Why do you think Finnish or Swedish bands, for example, have become so popular in the last years?

Yes is strange, but I don't know why. I mean, I've noticed the same thing. I mean, we're just talking about it this morning. I have no idea why so many bands are Scandinavian common. I think it's great, but I don't know why. Maybe it's because is always cold up there. Maybe Italian...they go to the beach and they go the cafè... You have a good time, but you know up there in Finland there's nothing to do but playing death metal.

(laughs) You're absolutely right.

Since you have signed a worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast, how do you enjoy working with them?

Oh, very much. They're a great label and I think we picked the right one. You know we considered so many different labels, but I think Nuclear Blast is the best label promoting heavy metal bands. So far the collaboration has been excellent.

 

wolf_hoffmann_interview_breaktwo
 

What about working with Andy Sneap?

Oh, it was fantastic. I mean... Andy contacted us after he heard we were making the record. He contacted us and wanted to work with us beacuse he's been a huge Accept fan since he was a teenager and when we met him we were immediately excited about that. Because you get to work with a world-class producer, but at the same time an Accept fan. You know, this is something very unique and I think he had a lot to do with it, because the record sound is good and it is not because of our songs selection. Because he was talking probably not  just from a producer perspective, but from a fan perspective. You know?

Yes, this way is always easier of course...

Yeah, because it is very hard to judge what a fan sees in you or why they like your music. You could be this, you could be that, but if you get an actual fan right there with you it helps. (laughs)

Finally I want ask you what your future plans are. Will there be a chance to see you performing somewhere in Italy? If yes, when and where.

I can't tell you exaclty (laughs). We are doing two months in the United States first and then we're gonna do Japan, gonna do South America and then we're gonna come to Europe and I hope to make out there, great country.

Ok Wolf, that's all. Thank you very much for your time and for the interview. It was a very nice talk. It was a pleasure and an honour for me to speak with you.

Thank you, it was nice to talk with you too! Come back to the beach! (laughs)

Thank you, now if you want you can leave a message to all your fans and SpazioRock users.

Hey, SpazioRock users, this is Wolf Hoffmann. Can't wait to see you all In Italy on tour for "Blood Of The Nations", it's gonna be great. Every bit of Italy is quiet wild and it's a great country for us, so I hope to see you soon.




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