On June 19, Finland’s Kaaos TV conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of veteran German/American metallers ACCEPT at The Riff in Helsinki. You can watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether the addition of guitarist Uwe Lulis (GRAVE DIGGER, REBELLION) and drummer Christopher Williams changed the writing process for the band’s new “The Rise Of Chaos” studio album:
Wolf: “That makes a little bit of difference, but really, we have a machine that’s been rolling for the last eight years. It’s very well in place. It always starts the same way. Peter [Baltes, bass] and I are really responsible for most, all of the music, really. He and I, we get together first and we trade licks and we play each other ideas that we have collected over time. Then we start making some first demos between the two of us. When we feel like we have something that’s actually worth for the other guys to listen to, then we’ll send it to Mark [Tornillo, vocals], and he’ll put the final lyrics on it. Once all that is done, we call [British producer/engineer] Andy Sneap in, then we get to the recording process, which at that point, in this case, we had Christopher Williams playing the drums. Really, a whole lot has not changed. We really worked that way ever since. We haven’t been to some exotic island. We didn’t do anything crazy like that. We just work at home in Nashville.”
On whether ACCEPT‘s goal is to continue writing music as if it sounded like it was created 30 years ago:
Wolf: “Absolutely, and if you want it to sound like it sounded back then, you’ve gotta use what you know worked back then. That’s how we’ve been doing it back then, so we’re doing it still the exact same way. My goal is always to write songs that I could have written 30 years ago, just never did. I want it to sound somewhat old-school and ’80s, only with a modern touch and modern sound, fresh ideas and all of that. But, really, the core of the music should be like back in the ’80s.”
On the importance of ACCEPT‘s production team understanding the band’s aim of staying true to their ’80s sound:
Wolf: “It’s super important. The role of a producer is one of the big mysteries in the music business because, on one hand, you have producers who come in and go, ‘Oh, no, everything you’re doing, no, no, we have to take it all apart and put it back together.’ They question everything. Some other producers just let you do your thing and they make it sound good. Then there’s a million ways in between where you can just say, ‘He’s just stepping out of the way when it’s necessary and stepping in when it’s necessary.’ That’s how I would see Andy, really. For the first time we worked with him was for ‘Blood Of The Nations’ when we regrouped with Mark. He was very instrumental then because we didn’t really know what exact direction to go. What should ACCEPT sound like in 2010? So he was really the one who picked through all the song ideas and picked the ones that he felt would be right for us from a fan perspective. He was a fan when he was a teenager and, to a certain degree, I guess he still is. He was really, really helpful then and ever since, we sort of know more and more what we’re all going for. We kind of have our marching orders and we have a clear direction even when we start writing the songs, so we don’t even bring stuff to the table that we know is not right. Nowadays, he’s much more of the guy who comes in and makes it happen. Once we have all the ideas demoed out, he comes in and records proper drums with us, proper guitars, just makes sure it’s all up to his specs.”
On whether he prefers a “hands-off” type of producer:
Wolf: “We’ve had that experience back in the ’80s with [German producer] Dieter Dierks when we produced ‘Metal Heart’. I mean, we learned a lot and it was probably very necessary back then, but right now, I feel we’re secure enough, we know what we’re going for that we don’t think that will be very helpful, but who knows, maybe one day in the future, we want that. Right now is where we stand and we’re totally happy with the way it works with Andy, so we’re not wanting to change anything.”
On whether ACCEPT would consider making slight changes to their sound:
Wolf: “No, we don’t, and I don’t think we need to and we shouldn’t. It sounds incredibly easy to stay true to yourself, just get better, but you already are doing [it]. That’s the challenge. That brings a band forward. It’s always easy to do something that you haven’t done before. If we make, I don’t know, a bunch of ballads now or something super heavy, fast that nobody would expect from us… that’s easy because we haven’t done that. It’s a lot of fun sometimes because it’s sort of new territory for everybody, but is that really what we should be doing or what the fans want us to do? I don’t think so. I think they like us for a certain reason and we want to give them more and better stuff of exactly what it is of who we are.”
“The Rise Of Chaos” will be released August 4 via Nuclear Blast. The cover artwork for the disc was created by the Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák and can be seen below.
ACCEPT parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann in December 2014.