In a new interview with Hardrock Haven, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann reflected on the band's ill-fated late 1980s period when they were fronted by American singer David Reece.
Reece was recruited for ACCEPT's "Eat The Heat" LP in 1989 following the departure of Udo Dirkschneider. Reece's higher-pitched delivery was in sharp contrast to Dirkschneider's distinctive style, and overall, the album was a critical and commercial disappointment.
Midway through the "Eat The Heat" tour, differences between the band and Reece had come to a head, leading to the altercation between the singer and bassist Peter Baltes in Chicago. By the end of 1989, ACCEPT had hung it up.
Asked by Hardrock Haven what he thinks about this particular record, Wolf said: "Well… it was a dark time in our history of ACCEPT. I would say that all of the '90s were very difficult and very dark in a way, and I don't even like to think about it so much. If only you journalist guys didn't constantly ask me about it, I would never even think about it. [Laughs] 'Cause it was just a time when heavy metal was going through a very dark period. The traditional sound was out of style and nobody wanted to listen to it, so it was sort of searching for a new direction — especially in the '90s. 'Eat The Heat' came out at the beginning of that era and it was meant to be a new chapter, but it's just never panned out because basically everything went wrong with that album. And it's just something you go through in life. I don't see why I still have to defend myself in a way… People always ask me this question almost in a provocative way, as if I have to defend myself about this album. It's ridiculous… It's almost like people have to apologize that they like it."
He continued: "There's something about this album that rubs a lot of people the wrong way and they have such a strong opinion about it… It's sometimes laughable. In my mind, it had some fantastic songs but it was just never executed properly, and it was not meant to be. But over the years, I've met so many fans who said exactly the same thing, 'Man, I really wanna apologize, but I really like this album… I know nobody likes it, but I think it's great.' And I think that's so bizarre. If you like it, you like it. It's so strange that people are so opinionated about it.
"It's just music," Wolf explained. "You can like it or not, but it's not more than that. In any case, it wasn't the period of time that I like to even think about much, 'cause it was very difficult."
ACCEPT will release its new album, "Too Mean To Die", on January 29 via Nuclear Blast. The LP will be the group's first without Baltes, who exited ACCEPT in November 2018. He has since been replaced by Martin Motnik. ACCEPT's lineup has also been expanded with the addition of a third guitarist, Philip Shouse, who originally filled in for Uwe Lulis during 2019's "Symphonic Terror" tour, before being asked to join the band permanently.
"Too Mean To Die" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with British producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH), who has been responsible for the magnificent studio sound of ACCEPT since 2010.
ACCEPT's last album, 2017's "The Rise Of Chaos", marked the band's first release with guitarist Uwe Lulis and drummer Christopher Williams, replacing Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann, respectively.
ACCEPT's latest release was "Symphonic Terror - Live At Wacken 2017", featuring the band's performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.