Accept - Teutonic Stalwart Metal
By: Matt Coe
Blistering.com: You have a fall tour in North America with fellow German veterans Kreator - how do you feel about the billing and what can fans expect for a setlist?
Hoffmann: I think people can expect a killer double bill of German metal! Kreator, man - they are one of the bands that are very influential in Germany. We have never really toured together, oddly enough - we are friendly with them and have played a few festivals together through the years. They helped form the roots of German/European metal - they look at us as an inspirational thing because weíve been around a little longer than they have, they saw us perform ďFast As A SharkĒ and that was one of the first speed metal songs ever. They went to another level with speed metal and thrash - itís going to be a great package for the fans to see these two historic acts together.
Blistering.com: Would you ever consider anniversary shows in remembrance of pivotal albums like Restless and Wild or Balls to the Wall Ė playing them in their entirety?
Hoffmann: Actually we have done that, one time. It didnít coincide with a typical anniversary thing, we did the entirety of Restless and Wild, it was either last year or the year before. That was a lot of fun; we had to re-learn a lot of the songs that we hadnít played in forever. We re-discovered a lot of great material.
Blistering.com: Are you surprised by the reception youíve received with the latest Accept band? Itís like you havenít lost any ground from your 80ís heydays.
Hoffmann: We are totally and pleasantly surprised. We were hoping this was going to go down well but at the end of the day no one could have anticipated this overwhelming support. We are very happy about that obviously. Quite honestly, I think we are having a better time with this lineup, a better team and a better overall package than maybe, ever.
Blistering.com: Since Mark Tornillo is the relative ďnewĒ guy, did the band or crew practice any practical jokes or hazing rituals to welcome him into the Accept fold?
Hoffmann: No, not really [laughs]. Not that I can remember. We concentrate on other stuff. I guess he is still considered the new guy. It was funny - I donít think he had ever been out of the country, ever, before playing with Accept. The very next day we took him to Moscow, and St. Petersburg, then onto all over Europe, all across the globe to South America and Japan. Heís seen the world since joining us.
Blistering.com: At this point, how important is it for Accept to have the right team in place to further advance the career- between management, record labels, tour promoters, sponsorships, and so forth?
Hoffmann: Itís more important than ever - especially with everything you have to do on the internet. You always need a whole team of people that help to make things happen. We have a great team as far as management, publicityÖthey are doing a great job with all of that.
Blistering.com: What do you feel about the state of the metal scene in 2012 in comparison to the first wave of success the band had in the 1980ís?
Hoffmann: Itís totally different. Some things will never change, but the business has changed dramatically. Just look at all the labels that have vanished, all of the online avenues changed everything. There are more and more bands competing and selling tickets and records online, itís not getting easier. Certain things do stay the same, there is still a demand for a band like us who have been there from the start - bands that do things on a handmade basis. We are definitely not a computer-type band, we are a metal band.
Blistering.com: So you arenít one of those bands that sends files to each other back and forth when it comes to writing, you actually get together to rehearse and hash material out?
Hoffmann: You know it, that doesnít work for us. Weíve tried that, but it doesnít get us anywhere to be honest. Even though we live in different parts of the world, we get together physically every time to rehearse when we are working on new material. Thereís no other way - we try to use modern technology, we arenít dumb and stuck in the 70ís or 80ís - but certain things you canít mess with and one of them is the human element of interaction, thatís definitely important.
Blistering.com: What do the next 12-18 months look like for Accept?
Hoffmann: Touring, touring, touring, and a live DVD is whatís in store next for us. And then we will hit the studio again for another album. We want to spend the right time to make a real, complete live DVD. We donít have a lot of historical footage left, we will concentrate on this new side of things. Itís like a new chapter has opened which is so dramatically successful and different from what weíve been doing before. Especially because we had such a long break between things, we are a new band in a way. We are building on the success of the past and yes, we have that great back catalog but to me, it feels like a new chapter instead of a mere continuation.