Marko Syrjälä and Arto Lehtinen of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffman and vocalist Mark Tornillo of reformed German heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal-Rules.com: Mark, when you first get the request to join ACCEPT, how did you feel back then? Did you get hot at the thought, I'm going to join the legendary German metal band?
Mark: Well, at first... I had no idea that was where this was going; we literally just got together to jam, you know. So, I mean, I didn't really have my hopes up for anything, I figured if anything I'd get a couple of autographs, you know. [Laughs] But as time progressed and it became known that we were really going to do this, it was kind of like, yeah, wake up in the morning and go, "Am I awake?" and "Yeah, I guess I'm awake!" and I was always waiting for the other foot to fall too and then, you know, maybe this isn't going to happen but it all seemed to pull together, and I was thrilled then and I'm thrilled now.
Metal-Rules.com: When you're now singing all those old ACCEPT classics live, don't you get any nervous about how the old-school ACCEPT fans will accept you in a first place?
Mark: Oh, of course. I had no idea what to expect. I kind of knew... what I was getting into in New York, I mean that's my turf, you know, so I really wasn't too apprehensive about that, but I had no idea what I was getting into in Russia, whether I should bring a shield up with me or what. [But ticket] sales were great, the fans were great, I got a really warm welcome so I couldn't be happier, you know.
Wolf: I could sort of sense in the audience that some people that where sort of reluctant at first, a little skeptical, you know. The first two, three songs they were like checking out this new guy: "Who does he think he is?" But at the end, they were all like, "Aaaaarrgghhh!" you know. That was awesome!
Metal-Rules.com: When you now decided to reunite, was it obvious that you were going to do new music and not staying just a nostalgia act like many other bands are doing on these days?
Wolf: It became clear very, very soon, because we realized we should not just try to do shows with a new lineup right away. It seemed to make sense to make a new record and to give the fans new material and also to showcase Mark's ability the most and we wanted to write songs also. Everything came together right away.
Metal-Rules.com: Actually this is not the first time when you're promoting a new ACCEPT album with a new lineup. How are things different if you compare this current situation to for year 1989 when you had the album "Eat The Heat" out and David Reece on vocals?
Wolf: It's true, but the situation with David Reece was much different back then because we wanted to take ACCEPT — then — in a much different direction. This time when we got back together we decided we're not going to do any experiments in the sense that we going to try to change ACCEPT, we just wanted to do… Really, we just wanted to go out and tour, but if we make a new record, it should be along the lines of what people like best about ACCEPT; that's the '80s stuff: "Restless And Wild", "Breaker" and "Balls To The Wall". That whole time span is what we're best known for, but then you go and ask yourself, "Well, what is that? What is so unique about these records you don't have in the later records?" and that is where [producer] Andy Sneap, or someone from the outside, comes in and gives you more direction, because it's really hard because it's all your ideas and at the time they're all new, too. So if you write something new now, you think like, "Is this going to be as good?" It's really hard to do yourself.
Mark: It's hard to be objective about your own material, you know. You need somebody to look at it for you, sometimes and that's basically what a producer does.
Wolf: And then it gets really difficult to say, "Well, this sounds typical German," you know. Because, back when we wrote "Restless And Wild" and all this stuff, to some people this is typical German metal, or whatever. And to me — back then — we didn't want to sound German we wanted to sound International; we just wrote what is in us. But... you know, now to go back and say again to sound German is really not that easy because... what is German?! [Laughs]
Mark: I think you just hit the nail on the head. You were trying to be international and you felt comfortable doing what you were doing and I think we're feeling comfortable doing what we're doing, again, is what it is. Not trying to be something, just being it.
Metal-Rules.com: What if you compare this brand new era for times when you first reunited with Udo in 1993 and you then did album "Objection Overruled" with original lineup. Wasn't it such a same kind of situation what you now have with the band with exception of some band members?
Wolf: Yeah, and in a little sense it's sort of similar because it was exciting to go out again and start again, you know, it always is. Certainly is. We're all like full of energy and full of hope and we're trying to do this long-term and hopefully we can stay around and make another record and come back year after year from now on. It's certainly an exciting period, but there was completely different... vibe in the band, for sure. The situation is somewhat similar but, on the other hand, having Mark in the band is totally different from working with Udo.
Read the entire interview at Metal-Rules.com.