We were the first and only band in those days to do what we were doing.”
Wolf Hoffmann: Are you there?
Wikimetal (Daniel Dystyler): Yes, we’re here.
W (WH): Excellent. Sorry about that, I needed a coffee, you know?
W (DD): Oh, that’s OK. That’s perfect, man.
W (Nando Machado): Hi, Wolf, this is Nando, I’m the other host of the show. We’re going to be talking about all the great things you’ve been doing throughout these years, but in order to start I’d like to congratulate you guys on the last album “Stalingrad” which is absolutely fantastic, one of the best albums of last year. Could you talk a little bit about “Stalingrad” and how the reception by the fans has been?
WH: Yeah, man, the reception has been astounding, phenomenal. I mean, we’ve been so happy to have two albums so well received by the fans, it’s been an amazing time, these last two, three years. I know we did come back after a long break with “Blood of the Nations”, and we were very excited to see what the fans might think, so we’re super happy to have two of those albums already that are well received.
W (DD): That’s great, man, that’s great. We are all very, very excited about Accept’s show in São Paulo on April 6th, what can the fans expect from this show and what will the set list be like?
WH: Man, they can expect five guys giving it all they’ve got. We’re going to be up there sweating along with the fans, and we’re going to play a bunch of old material, and a bunch of new stuff, as well. I mean, we’re going to, you know, definitely represent the last two albums, and play quite a few songs, not just because our fans want to hear them, and we want to play them. And, of course, no Accept show would ever be complete without playing some of the classics, like “Restless and Wild”, and “Fast as a Shark”, and “Balls to the Wall.” Those are songs that we will always play, and the fans definitely… You know, they insist on those as well, so it’s going to be a mix of those very old classics and some of the newer material.
W (NM): Great. Well, all the live recordings by Accept are really, really good. Are there any plans to release something from the last two albums, “Stalingrad” and “Blood of Nations” live or in DVD?
WH: Well, there are all kinds of plans, but so far we haven’t really finalized anything yet. We’ve been recording some shows, and we definitely want to get something out of that, but, quite honestly, we’ve been focusing on other stuff, and that was, first and foremost, to get good studio albums. Because we really wanted to get something under our belts before we even think about making live DVDs. Because, I mean, we really want to… You know, we want to have some new material if we ever do a live DVD as well. And now that we have, it’s time to start thinking about all that, yeah.
W (DD): Very good. And we noticed that great German bands released awesome albums on the last 2 years, such as Kreator, Sodom, Tankard, Destruction, Helloween and obviously Accept. Do you agree that Heavy Metal is getting stronger especially in Germany, but also all over the world?
WH: I sure hope so. I mean, there has been a time when I thought Heavy Metal was gone all together, to be honest. So I’ve been worried there for a while, and I thought Accept’s days were numbered, so yeah… It makes me twice as happy now, that we’re still having strong following worldwide, and we have such a resurgence. And I think that the same is true for the old Metal scene, and at least that’s what I hope.
It’s an awesome honor to have all these bands name us as their influence”
W (NM): Great, Wolf. We have a classic question on our show that we ask every single guest we interview, which is, imagine you’re listening to your iPod on shuffle mode or you’re listening to a rock radio station while driving your car, and all of a sudden a song starts that makes you loose your mind completely, and you feel you need to start head banging immediately. Which song is that so we can listen to it one on our show right now?
WH: Oh, now I get it. Now I get what you say. Yeah, I’d say probably that’s some of the old classic ACDC stuff, like “Highway to Hell”, or “Back in Black”, those kinds of songs really get it going.
W (DD): Those are great songs, which one will we listen to now?
WH: Let me do a different one, let me do Judas Priest, “Breaking the Law”. That’s when I get going, and I can’t stop myself.
W (NM): All right, great classic, by Judas Priest, from “British Still”, “Breaking the Law” on Wikimetal!
W (DD): How was the Metal and rock scene in Germany at the beginning of your career with Accept?
WH: Pretty much non-existent. We were the first and only band in those days to do what we were doing. And some people say we started the whole genre of Speed Metal or Heavy Metal… Surely out of Germany. You know, we started so early that before us… As a matter of fact, even when we started, our first couple albums… Nobody called us Heavy Metal, it was called hard rock, interestingly enough. And then, in the early 80s, maybe with Breaker… People started calling it Heavy Metal, and we liked the term and we thought “Yeah, we are Heavy Metal.” But before that, there was no Heavy Metal in Germany.
W (NM): All right. Also, when we spoke to Mr. Alex Skolnick, guitar player from Testament, he said that Accept was one of the main influences for all these bands from the bay area, at the time that they created this style of music called Thrash Metal. How does it feel to be like a role model to all those bands that became so successful?
WH: It feels great. I don’t know that we’re role models, but we surely helped start that whole genre in a way, and that makes me very, very proud. It’s an awesome honor to have all these bands name us as their influence, you know, it’s amazing. And I’ve heard so many times “Man, when we heard ‘Fast as a Shark’… And when we heard ‘Restless and Wild’ that made us start to play music.” And to a lot of bands, that was their starting point, so that’s amazing. What more can you want out of life, or out of your music career? So that’s pretty awesome.
It’s an honor to have a signature guitar, first and foremost. And then, to have one custom made by a German company, that’s a dream come true.”
W (DD) Very good. And how did you get in touch with Mark Tornillo and how did he join the band?
WH: It all started about three and a half, four years ago, when Peter and I were just jamming, just for fun one day. The band was not existing anymore, because Udo was doing his thing, and he had no interest in working with us again. So we thought Accept was finished, and then we were just doing a jam session for fun one day, and didn’t think much about it. And obviously, a jam session is a little more fun if you have a vocalist there, so somebody suggested that we invite this guy Mark Tornillo over to the jam session. And, you know, we didn’t know him, but we invited him. And when he started singing, it changed everything. We had never heard anything like it, you know, he was just a perfect fit for the band, and he sounded immediately like he was supposed to be in the band, but even Mark wasn’t doing any music at the time, we were all basically retired, but on the spot, decided to re-launch the whole career, and restart Accept. The whole machinery got in motion, and, you know, the rest is history.
W (DD): And just out of curiosity, at the time that you were only jamming with no formal activity on Accept, did you ever think it was never coming back again?
WH: Yeah, I mean, I didn’t really know what was going to happen. But I honestly thought there was zero chance of Accept ever coming back together, because we didn’t have a lead singer, and the only lead singer that we knew, and thought was possible was Udo, and he was not interested. So, when Mark walked into the door, we thought “Uh… There’s a chance we had never thought about before.” And that opened… That changed everything right away, and we thought “The sky’s the limit, now we can do whatever we want, we can tour whenever we want, we can make records…” So that got everything in motion.
W (NM): Great, Wolf. Now, could you choose another song, I’ll ask you to choose a song from Accept that you feel really proud of having written or recorded, so we can listen to it on our show now?
WH: How about we take a rhythmic song, how about we take “Teutonic Terror”?
W (DD): Wolf, you have now your signature model which is like a flying V, but with a heavier sound. How did you have this idea and how does the guitar sound like on live shows?
WH: It sounds amazing. I was using this prototype of this signature guitar, this last American and European run, and actually, it sounds better than any guitar I’ve ever owned. So it’s an honor to have a signature guitar, first and foremost. And then, to have one custom made by a German company, that’s a dream come true. They make amazing instruments. And they’re just beginning, we’re really just beginning with this great corporation, I can’t wait to see what else might be in store. But this is an amazing sounding guitar, probably the best sounding and playing guitar I’ve ever owned.
W (NM): That’s great, we can’t wait to see you playing with that guitar on April 6th. We’ll be there for sure. So tell me about… You´ve been living in America for a long time now, and regarding your song writing, do you feel influenced by the music that’s been played in America when you write your own songs? Is there any difference between what you used to write in Germany, when you lived there?
WH: Hell, no, there’s no difference at all. I mean, I live in Nashville, which is full of country music, and I don’t even like that stuff. I mean, I respect it, but I don’t like it at all, and it surely doesn’t influence me. It’s funny man, once you, sort of, grow up and have a style, and what you like, you don’t change it anymore. I don’t really use other people’s music as a lot of inspiration for my own songwriting, it sounds kind of weird. I think all of us in Accept, we know what we want to hear, and we should sound like, especially after having made these last two records, we really have an idea of what is Accept and what is not, so… I don’t think we draw a lot of current inspiration, especially not here in America, from this Metal… No… To answer your question: no.
All of us in Accept, we know what we want to hear, and we what we should sound like”
W (DD): We’re in the final part of our interview. You released a solo album called “Classic” in ’97, and it is very influenced by classical music. Is it something you’d like to do again and if so, would it also have a lot of classical music elements, or not?
WH: Yeah, definitely yeah, man. As a matter of fact, at this very moment, I’m working on it, and we’re currently writing on some follow up material, for a follow up album. Funny that you ask, because we’ve had some time off, for a few weeks I’ve been at home, and I’ve been writing some stuff for this, you know, for a classical follow up album, definitely. It’s something that I really enjoy, and I really love. Can’t wait for it to come out.
W (NM): So you better send us something when it’s released. We’d love to support that also.
WH: Oh, you know that will happen. It’s going to be a little while, because I’ve just started, it’s going to be a few months before it gets ready, because I have to also always coordinate that with all the Accept activities that are going on, but it’s on my agenda, and as soon as I feel it’s ready to go, you will be the first to hear it.
W (NM): Great, thank you, thanks a lot. I don’t know if it’s a hobby, but you’re also a professional photographer, right? What is the relation between photography and music, especially Heavy Metal, which is a very visual kind of music?
WH: I think there are all kinds of connections. I personally have kept the two fields totally separate, you know. My life as a photographer doesn’t have a whole lot in common with anything I do musically, so most people that hire me, they don’t even know that I’m a guitar player as well. I just look at it almost as two different identities, funny enough. Sometimes there’s a little bit of a crossover, but very rarely. You know, when I go, when I’m a musician, when I go on tour I’m not a photographer, and vice versa. So it’s something that I keep almost totally separate, but, you know, with one eye I’m always… You know, curious, I always keep an open eye, so to say. Sometimes I just take my camera gear on the road and take personal snapshots, just for fun, but other than that, there’s not really any sort of overlapping area.
W (DD): Very good. Mr. Wolf Hoffmann, thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure to have you here on our show. Before we let you go, could you please leave a final message to the Brazilian head bangers, inviting everybody to the concert on April 6th, here in São Paulo?
WH: Hey guys, Wolf Hoffmann here again. I can’t wait to see everybody again, in São Paulo, on the 6th of April. I think it’s going to be an amazing show, I know that the Brazilian fans are very special, and we can’t wait to be back there, it’s going to be an awesome day, so I’ll see you all then. Take care.
W (NM): Thank you so much, Wolf, I’ll see you on the 6th. I can’t really express how thankful we are for having you on the show. We clearly remember listening to “Restless and Wild” back in the 80s, and that song “Fast as a Shark” just changed our lives, and we never expected to talk to you, but it’s a very… It’s a huge pleasure for us. Thank you so much for being on Wikimetal.
WH: Awesome. My pleasure man, my pleasure. Hope to see you then. Rock on.
W (DD): We’ll be there for sure, thanks so much, Wolf. Bye, bye.
WH: Bye, bye.
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