DECEMBER 23rd 2016

Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann is no strang
er to Metal Titans readers; Accept are a pioneering heavy metal act that have recorded classic albums such as; ‘Breaker,’ ‘Metal Heart’ and “Balls to the Wall’ and countless iconic metal anthems—they are a staple in a metal aficionado’s listening repertoire. If you’ve followed Accept you’re fully aware that the band went their separate ways since the band went their separate ways with [singer] Udo Dirkschneider and enlisted the services of Mark Tornillo [T.T. Quick].  Accept has issued ‘Blood of the Nations’ [2010], ‘Stalingrad’ [2012] and ‘Blind Rage’ [2014] to rave reviews. No question, Accept has been has revitalized.  Metal Titans caught up with Wolf as he was doing press for Accept’s upcoming DVD release titled ‘Restless and Live.’

Ruben Mosqueda

Metal Titans: To clarify you have a live DVD titled ‘Restless & Live’ coming in January [2017], right? I ask this because you also added a live DVD as the bonus to the last album ‘Blind Rage.’ The bonus DVD on that album was filmed in Chile.

Wolf Hoffmann: I can tell you this; ‘Restless & Live’ is a package with three round discs! [laughs] One is a complete live performance on DVD; filmed in Germany, multi-camera and it was filmed at a European festival called ‘Bang Your Head.’ It’s full production, great quality and the full show. The CDs are live material from shows from various shows all across Europe. I think it’s like an addition 27 songs of material.

Metal Titans: What inspired a live DVD/CD set like this? As I mentioned there was already a great DVD of Accept live included on the deluxe edition of ‘Blind Rage.’  Some might say why this? Why not a studio album?

Wolf Hoffmann:  We’re doing both! We’re actually working on a studio album as we speak but it’s going to be a little while. To answer your question fans have always asked about an ‘official’ live DVD with full production---the full package. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the live in Chile DVD that was on ‘Blind Rage’ but to me it was just an add on to an already existing album. Again I thought the DVD was pretty cool but this is an ‘official’ standalone DVD release. When you see this you will see that a lot more went into ‘Restless & Live.’  We’ve been getting fantastic reaction from people so far. We’re quite excited about it.

I have to add that this show was like a homecoming because it was filmed in Germany, we have the two new members of Accept [Uwe Lulis and Christopher Williams] who we introduce to world on this DVD. This DVD will show people that this is what we [Accept] sound like these days. We have three albums under our belt [with Mark Tornillo] which gives us more material.

Metal Titans: Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a show filmed in Cleveland [Ohio] around the ‘Blood of the Nations’ tour? What’s going to happen with that?

Wolf Hoffmann: We didn’t film that, we did record audio for use at a later time. There was talk about releasing it but we didn’t. It’s in the vault. The massive Accept vault! [laughs] It’s ready to be mixed and released at some point but for now it’s in the vault.

Metal Titans: Will there be any select U.S. dates to promote ‘Restless & Live’ or are you aiming to use this as a means to tide fans over between albums?

Wolf Hoffmann: That’s exactly what it is. We did this just for the fans until the next album is released. We toured a lot more behind the ‘Blind Rage’ album, we have a couple new members and it’s going to be a few months before we have new material released. We felt that ‘Restless & Live’ was a great release between [studio] records. As I said we are working on new material and the new studio album will be released next year. At the moment we’re looking at July or August [2017].

It should be released then but as you know sometimes things change. After we release the next album we begin our touring cycle which we’re hoping brings us to the U.S. this time around. I’m desperately hoping [to tour the U.S.] because it has been so long.

Metal Titans: That’s right because you were out in the Northwest when you promoted ‘Blood of the Nations’ then again behind ‘Stalingrad’ that was a co-headline with Kreator but nothing for ‘Blind Rage.’ That was a disappointment but that has nothing to do with the band but rather more to do with the promoters who book bands.

Wolf Hoffmann: It is or then there’s a timing issue. If you’re committed to touring somewhere else then it makes it impossible. Touring the U.S. has completely changed; touring the U.S. 6-8 weeks like we have done in the past has become harder and harder to do. There are some markets that just don’t...the ticket sales aren’t there and the promoters don’t want to take the risk.

We are happy to play wherever anyone books us; the last few years we have been concentrating on shows in California and on the East coast.  There’s all these other markets that we’d love to play in between too. A 6-8 week tour would be fantastic! So we’ll put the feelers out and spread the word and see what happens. Fans ask us why don’t you ever come to Portland? Well it’s not like we can jump on a plane and ‘just play’ in Portland? It doesn’t work that way! [laughs] Fans don’t understand that it needs to be planned out months in advance and it has to coincide with other stuff. 

Metal Titans: Gaby [Hoffmann, Accept manager, co-writer] leading up to ‘Blood of the Nations’ had been more involved with the band. Was that by design or that how things evolved with the Mark Tornillo era of Accept?

Wolf Hoffmann: She’s still very much involved. You just see less of her now. As you know she’s never been in the spotlight. She’s never done interviews or stuff like that but behind the scenes she’s still very much involved. She still helps with some lyrics, not to the extent that it was in the 80s. Mark [Tornillo] can write lyrics but she helps or she adds some ideas.

Metal Titans: What’s been the key to this working relationship both personal and business? There’s not a lot a marriages that stand the stress of the music business.

Wolf Hoffmann: I think we’ve approached Accept as a family owned and operated business. We don’t have any outside management or outsiders involved. We control everything in house; I think that’s been the key. It’s been my experience with records, albums covers, etc. that others won’t take as much care as you did it yourself.

Metal Titans: Wolf, back when Mark was officially brought on board I recall there were a couple of clips of Mark singing on a couple of Accept classics. Did you record any other tracks during that time?

Wolf Hoffmann: Those were rehearsal recordings; I recall I called Mark up to let him know that we had released those online. They were raw and unpolished. It was as simple as turn on the microphone and let’s crank. That’s really how it was. There were people who were comparing it to a finished product which it was not because it was a rehearsal recording. [laughs] I guess we learned our lesson not to release stuff like that! [laughs]

Metal Titans: This leads to my next question; has there ever been discussion of recutting some of the classics in studio with Mark?  Not as a standalone release but more as bonus cuts?

Wolf Hoffmann: [long pause] It has been discussed but I’m not really sure that it would be a good idea? [long pause] I have heard where other people have done that; it’s been in circumstances where the label owns their masters. The idea is if you re-record it then it’s yours and you can license it for commercial use. I don’t know...I don’t really see the point? I’ll be honest I’d much rather spend my time writing and creating new stuff. I imagine if you really want to hear what the old songs sound performed by this Accept you can pick up ‘Restless & Live’ and you can do that.  

Metal Titans: So are you inclined to say who will be doing the production on the new album?

Wolf Hoffmann: Oh it’s Andy Sneap! We’re already halfway through the recording process at this point. Album #4 with the same producer! [laughs] I can’t believe it myself. Neither can he actually, this is a first for him. He’s never worked with the same band four times! [laughs]