Interview By Alison Booth
During these difficult times, there is always some positivity to be found when it comes to music. So, we are very lucky that metal giants ACCEPT were not going to let a pandemic stop them and have created their forthcoming 16th studio album “Too Mean To Die” over this last year! The album is set for release on 15th January 2021 via Nuclear Blast.
Metal Shock Finland Senior Manager Alison Booth, recently caught up with ACCEPT mastermind and guitar legend Wolf Hoffmann, who was a guest on her radio show Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem at TotalRock. The whole show can be heard at this location. Of course the new album was discussed, plus lots more! You can hear the chat on the audio player below, along with a few excerpts to read:
Discussing the recording of the album, Wolf explained:
“Yeah it’s crazy, we couldn’t finish. We had about half of it recorded and we all went back home to regroup and write the rest of the material and we wanted to meet again later in the year and all of a sudden the countries were closing down and nobody could come or leave. I mean, we could travel within the U.S. but Andy couldn’t come back. So we had no choice but to try to find a remote solution and after lots of trial and error, we found a solution that seemed to work technically quite well. Unfortunately, my internet connection broke down the whole time. But we made it work in the end and when the connection was stable, it worked surprisingly okay. You know, it’s not your first choice, but it worked. It was almost like a Zoom call, it’s kind of okay. It’s not perfect, but it’s still better than nothing if it gets the job done. But you would still want to be in the same room with people you talk to basically.
Wolf discussed how the pandemic has affected ACCEPT:
“Tell me about it, it’s been terrible for us. We had all of last summer’s festivals cancelled and pushed back to 2021. So everything was pushed back to next year for the festivals and then our headline tour was to coincide with the release of the album in January, but that won’t happen. It’s all been pushed back one complete year to 2022. Yeah it’s a long time, so we have to wait and see how things are going.
A lot of bands have been postponing their releases, but we decided that it’s probably not a bad idea to just go ahead and release it now, give the fans at least something to listen to. I’m sure we can all meet again basically, but it serves nobody’s interest if we just wait with the release until we can tour again, because who knows when that is.“
Talking about the new songs:
“‘Symphony Of Pain’ was one of the songs that was actually written first. I had that sort of more or less finished, just sitting there waiting to be performed. And then one of the other earlier songs I did was ‘Undertaker’ which was based on some lyrics Mark wrote. Mark gave me these lyrics and he wrote ’em sort of like a poem without any music in mind, just a bunch of words about an undertaker. I thought it’s kind of a cool subject title and I wrote the music sort of to fit the lyrics and you know, with that little intro it turned out quite a little eery and spooky, which kinda fits the subject obviously and turned out alright.
It’s nice to see people’s reaction. But I’m getting different reactions from journalists and big fans all over the board. Some people like the more moderate songs like ‘Undertaker’ and ‘Overnight Sensation’ and then other people go for the kill basically, with ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ and ‘Too Mean To Die’ – the more in your face metal kinda riffs and songs.“
Wolf talked about the changes in the band:
“Yeah it’s crazy – we lost one guy but gained two new guys, two for one (laughs). I mean with Peter, it’s just sad. It just killed me at the time but I’m sort of over it now, because it’s just after all these forty years, it was a sad departure. But I have to respect it and I mean, people move on and he made the decision. He no longer wanted to be in the band and what can I do? I just move on and move forward. I wouldn’t say Martin stepped right in his footsteps, that would be ridiculous because hey, I played with Peter for forty years. But Martin really is doing his best and he’s doing a tremendous job filling in, he’s great. He even contributed a lot to the songwriting, which took me completely by surprise. He wrote some great songs for this album and that was a blessing, he’s awesome. I really didn’t want the album to be all mine, mine, mine – I didn’t want it to be like a solo album, so I welcomed input from everybody and Martin was the guy who really stepped forward and delivered some cool stuff.“
We discovered what a great player, nice guy and easy going and perfect fit for the band Phil is. You know, when we toured with him on this orchestra tour last year, Headbanger’s Symphony, Symphonic Terror tour and we found out what a great guy he is. We basically didn’t want to let him go after this tour, it’s as simple as that. And we decided, why not have three guitar players? We did some shows together and it worked brilliantly. I gotta say I was not one hundred percent sure it would be as good as it is, but I was actually pleasantly surprised how well it sounds and how well it looks and how well it works on stage. It’s a good camaraderie in the band and yeah, it’s just one more guy, awesome! And he plays a lot of lead on the album too, so we deliberately made enough space for him to be on the album and especially with that in mind for live shows. We gave him enough space to play leads and with trading licks and we do a lot of twin leads together – so there’s a lot of room for Phil on this album.“
Order “Too Mean To Die” here