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Interview: ACCEPT

Words: Jen Rees

Congratulations on your 14th album that has taken your fans back to the old days. I’ve listened to Blind Rage now a few times, did you set out to return to your former more metal days or did it just flow that way?
WOLF HOFFMANN: Well said …it just came out this way. We just followed our instincts and the feel we had at that time.

How does your writing process go? Is it a whole band approach?
It never was. Peter and I have been a writer team for over 30 years – in earlier days we had Stefan Kaufmann in the team and Deaffy. I guess we have been the guarantee that what ever ACCEPT is writing – you’ll find the same dynamics. We are joined at the hips – on stage and in the writing process. But, what has changed is – that we have Mark Tornillo now who fits like a glove. He inspires me to push the envelope and we are on a roll right now. His lyrics are a bit different than the ones we had with Deaffy (ACCEPT’s manager for 35 years and Wolf’s wife) and she loves the way he uses words and so do we. His voice his lyrics – we could not have it any better.

Is there one song in particular that you can relate to on Blind Rage the most?
Too early to say. I know only one thing, every album we write is the best we can do at that moment. Blind Rage is pretty much the result of a look into my visions. With Peter at my side – we can play blind & deaf together, we know always where the other want’s to go! Andy Sneap and I have grown even closer. He is there when I need him and is stepping back when I don’t.

Was Stampede written to be the lead song on the album? It is certainly a brilliant way of beginning an album and I believe that it is the opener for you shows?
We just thought it makes a strong statement and has a cool drive.

Your song Dying Breed, is that a message to the world that you think metal is dying?
Are we not living proof that Metal is nowadays… nearly mainstream? We are on top of our game and I believe it is, because we represent a certain life style and looking in to what we stand for – old fashioned values – who are than as of today – the rules we and many live by.

The song that I can relate to the most and reflect on my life is Dark Side of My Heart, can you explain the meaning behind that song?
You know this is Mark’s – it is a personal reflection of the 2 powers in each of us – and the never ending struggle to not dwell in darkness… One day we will talk about that song a bit more. It is interesting that you picked that song!

Your current tour has had rave reviews! You have mixed old songs and new songs to the delight of your fans. On your Facebook page you asked your fans to review each concert, were you pleased with the reviews?
The first shows we just did have been warm up shows and it was crazy like never before. New York, where we had our very first show ever – with Mark, May 8th 2010 was sold out and totally shocked us. We returned to the same venue September 15th and the place was sold out again, except that this time a huge crowd was outside still trying to get in, when we started. It blew us away. We love the gigs, where the water is dripping off the ceiling. One of the hottest shows ever. We are totally depending on our fans – if they go off – we go off. It was a good day for us anyway, because we got the news that AUSTRALIA called in THE FIRST SOLD OUT SHOW in MELBOURNE! 2 DAYS even before New York!  And we are on our way to Denmark to the 3rd sold out show on this tour: COPENHAGEN! We are on fire… believe me!

Was there a crowd in particular that you thought rocked out the best in the US?
I got that asked often. There is no best in a certain country. At that day, that show – with THAT CROWD – they make us feel that they are the best and than we respond and become the best.

Next you are off to Europe for many shows that you have lined up. Are you having anytime at all to stop and sight see and take a breather?
I wish we would. No, we are on the run as far as I have heard until 2016 but I know we will be off the road in between

Then off to Japan and then for the first time ever to Australia.
Can’t believe it myself…yes we will see you soon!

Why do you think that you have waited for so long to come Down under for a tour?
When we stopped in 1996 not many bands where going to Australia. When we returned in 2010 – bands did tour Australia. But our schedule did not really let us do it. You are kind of very far away 🙂 But compared to earlier times – you have been on our radar now and – here we are!

Your Australian fans are stoked you are coming here, and in particular in Melbourne where you have have one sold out show and have been kind enough to add one on. Did you have to rearrange your touring plans to fit this one in?
Of course we have, just as I say – this time we would not go home without AUSTRALIA!!!

Melbourne is the Capital of Music in Australia (although the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney is strong FYI!) Will you have some time to see some of the sights that Melbourne has to offer?
No – unfortunately not. But the next time we hope to get the chance to stay for a while. Perhaps wishful thinking, but we hope it will work out.

Any message that you have for Aussie fans that are counting down the days until they see you?
Hold your horses – we are coming and know that we cannot do it without you! Only together, we can bring the house down!

Thanks for your time; I wish all the best for your tour. See you in Melbourne!
We are looking forward! See you there!!! And thanks for having me!


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