Katie Wilson of WSOU 89.5 recently conducted an interview with ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On ACCEPT's relationship with producer Andy Sneap, who has manned the production board for their last four studio albums and also has JUDAS PRIEST and SAXON to his credit, among others:
Wolf: "Lately, he's getting them all: JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON and ACCEPT. This year was really amazing for him. Now he's on tour [playing guitar] with [JUDAS PRIEST]. It's crazy. We actually saw each other not too long ago and some of these festival shows in Europe and I talked to him. He's very happy where he is right now and he should be. He's the number one metal producer lately. In my mind, he always has been, but he has everyone's attention right now and eye and ear. It's great for us. He really said to us many times that he grew up listening to ACCEPT and he was an ACCEPT fan from when he was a teenager. To have somebody like that onboard is tremendous because he really understands how we should sound and really helps us get there. It's great to have him on the team, really. Right now, he's very busy so I hope he can do the next album as well, but I'm sure he'll make time for it. I hope so."
On whether Sneap makes ACCEPT listen to their old albums to ensure they are properly capturing the essence of the band:
Wolf: "Well, he did one time. When we first met and we had a new singer [Mark Tornillo] and ACCEPT was out of business for a long time and we decided to make a new album. He approached us, 'Hey, I heard you guys want to make a new album. Can I work with you?' We invited him and we started talking and yeah, we actually sat down and started listening to some of our old records just to sort of point out the things that in his words were 'magic moments.' [Laughs] It was very eye-opening to hear it from his perspective what some of those cool moments were. It was a very good experience and very helpful in determining how to move forward. So, we made that decision then and haven't regretted it, to pretty much stick with the stuff that worked back then and don't change anything. Pretend like you're still 22 and rock the songs and don't try to be somebody else. He just gives us that new sound, but we basically write the songs like we always have in the very old-school way."
On whether it's difficult for newer band members Christopher Williams (drums) and Uwe Lulis (guitar) to connect with ACCEPT's classic sound:
Wolf: "I hope not. The songwriting aspect is one thing and it's usually handled by Peter [Baltes, bass] and myself. Then there's the live aspect where it's really about performing to the best of your ability and learn the songs. That is the easy part, I think. We got awesome musicians in the band and we have been playing together for a long time now and even though it's kind of new, we've done hundreds of gigs now together, so yeah, it really feels like a good unit we have now."
On what albums and songs Sneap made ACCEPT listen to in order to help rediscover their classic sound:
Wolf: "I think we listened to maybe 'Breaker' and 'Balls To The Wall', something like that from the mid-'80s. I think some of the first albums he maybe bought, I think 'Restless And Wild' and something else. So, this only happened once and it was a cool experience for us and it gave us the direction and 'marching orders' for how to move forward because, quite honestly, when you start fresh and you have a new lead singer, we could have started fresh and gone in a more commercial direction, we could have done even heavier, but all that we decided not to do. We decided to stay exactly how we were back then and not try to reinvent the wheel. That seems to be working quite well."
On whether ACCEPT's strict focus on sticking with their classic sound creates opportunities to bring in new fans or creates difficulties:
Wolf: "The fans are out there and they're loving what we're doing. I think a lot of younger fans are rediscovering, somehow tracing back to where it all came from. We were definitely the first German metal band; there's no doubt there and in one way or another, helped shape the whole metal scene in the small part we played in it. A lot of younger fans are rediscovering that and the older fans are remembering it. It's funny to see that we have a super-wide variety and age range from 16 to 60 now, it's crazy. It's multi-generational. Fans come with their parents and parents with their kids. Not quite the grandparents yet, but we're working on it. It would be three generations then. It's so weird. When we started we were young, the audience was young, everybody was young back then in the '80s when this all started to take shape. There was nobody over 30 in the audience, ever. It just didn't happen. Now you got this age range which is incredible. It also has to do with the fact that back then, we had this almost generational clash. As a matter of fact, we wrote a song about it at one point, that metal music was there to shock your parents. It was definitely on purpose. It was not supposed to be something that your parents liked, but that's all gone now. Parents and their kids go up, hand-in-hand, they listen to the same stuff. It's incredible. I like it, but it's definitely something that I noticed that in the past when we grew up, it was unthinkable. You would never listen to the stuff your dad listened to. Never in a million years. Our parents hated that stuff and always yelled at us, 'Would you turn off that noise?' That was part of the deal — a certain aspect of rebellion. It's no longer really the case. That's cool. I don't mind it at all."
Hoffmann recently confirmed to The Foundry that ACCEPT has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2017's "The Rise Of Chaos" album.
The band parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann in December 2014.
ACCEPT will release a live set, "Symphonic Terror - Live At Wacken 2017", on November 23 via Nuclear Blast.