INTERVIEWS

2010-01-31 // 18:23

Accept

Accept was one of the few bands in German rock history that was able to take on the giants from abroad. Accept played in the same major league like their counterparts from the US and Great Britain...and Accept ruled. The thunderous guitars, the energetic sound, the exceptional voice of Udo Dirkschneider – a mixture that became Germany’s powerhouse in the 80s. Eight years ago the band called it quits and left behind a dedicated fanbase that today still cranks up the radio, gets out the air-guitars and shakes the thinned out hairline when an Accept song hits the airwaves. A few weeks ago the good news spread fast: Accept are reunited and going to play several festivals around the globe in 2005. Reason enough to call up guitar god Wolf Hoffmann on his ranch in Tennessee to talk to him about these plans:

Radio Goethe: Wolff, let me read this to you: “In June of 1996 they bowed to their fans for the last time in Tokyo, Japan. It was time to leave… The Metal legends ACCEPT are resting - this chapter is closed, but not lost and their music will live forever.” Do you have to add something to this?
Wolf Hoffmann: Well, here is a new little chapter…actually, no, we don’t start a new chapter with Accept, like a new record and stuff like that. We are just going to do some live shows, just because we get the opportunity and we really wanted to do this for some time. So we don’t start a new chapter in the sense that we go to the studio making another record, but we want to bring the Accept show one more time to the fans and have a great time. That’s it pretty much.
Radio Goethe: Why a reunion and why now?
Wolf Hoffmann: It’s not a reunion, like I just said. We’re gonna do shows in the old line-up and it’s because the demand is there. All our plans allow it. We were trying to do this for the last two years and it never really worked out. Udo’s schedule and my schedule, but this year (2005) the stars are right, all lined up.
Radio Goethe: So there are really no plans for new material, nobody of you guys has something lying around in their drawers…
Wolf Hoffmann: No, not at this point. I’ve learned a long time ago never to say never but at this point we all want to go our separate ways after these shows. Udo goes back to his U.D.O. project, I want to concentrate on another classical record. We all wanna do our own thing, nobody really plans anything further than these festivals.
Radio Goethe: What kind of festivals are you planning to play?
Wolf Hoffmann: Oh, all across Europe. They start in Russia with some warm-up shows. The first show is in Gelsenkirchen, the Rock Hard festival. We do the “Sweden Rock”, we do Italy “Gods of Metal”…I don’t have the list in front of me, but there are a bunch of festivals like that, big shows, 20.000 to 30.000 people. All Metal bands are lined up and we’re gonna have a great time.
Radio Goethe: Are there any gigs planned in the US and Canada as well?
Wolf Hoffmann: There have been talks but nothing has been confirmed yet. And I kind of doubt it that this might happen. We’d love to do it but the market for this kind of music is not as strong as it is in Europe. We’re going to do South America and Japan, also maybe some other Asian countries.
Radio Goethe: Most bands after such a long time have nothing to say to each other anymore. So, did you stay in contact with your former bandmates?
Wolf Hoffmann: Yeah, sort of. Peter Baltes also lives in the US, he lives near Philadelphia and he was always my closest buddy in the band. And we kind of talk like every other weekend. I correspond with Udo on a regular basis, but since he is so far away less frequent than with Peter. The time change makes it also a bit harder to call him up all the time. But yes, we talk. I just saw Udo two weeks ago in Sweden. There was the kick-off party for this huge “Sweden Rock” party in front of an audience of several hundred people. We went on stage together and it was great. We saw each other for the first time in eight years in person, can you believe that.
Radio Goethe: You and Peter are living here in the US, the other band members are in Germany. How do you rehearse for the festivals?
Wolf Hoffmann: Actually we haven’t started rehearsing yet, but I know it will be fresh and energetic. I’m going to fly over to Germany with Peter in January. We’re just gonna rent a room and, you know, crank up the amps and have fun, see how it goes, I’m sure it’s gonna be great.
Radio Goethe: Are there any new Cds or DVDs planned of concerts?
Wolf Hoffmann: I think we are starting to record them, for sure, just to have them in our archive. But my personal feeling is, I think we shouldn’t do it right away. There are so many live recordings. Udo has put out a bunch of those with his own band and the same songs. You know, you don’t want to flood the market with yet another live recording. We will record it, yes, but we will have to see how it all goes down and how well we feel about the performance and what songs we actually end up playing. If there is enough material in the set that we haven’t released yet, than sure, why not, but it’s not a necessary thing we do.
Radio Goethe: Are there any plans for some show elements or is it “just” Accept on stage?
Wolf Hoffmann: I think….well….I don’t know (laughs). We haven’t really discussed all the ins and outs yet, but probably it’s just gonna be us on stage with a stage set. I don’t think we can bring a big production on stage, it’s a festival environment, where every band has the same kind of set.
Radio Goethe: You have released a solo record “Classic Diamonds”, are you planning to release it overseas as well?
Wolf Hoffmann: Like I indicated earlier, I want to concentrate more on that right after these shows. I surely want to make another record like that, because I really enjoyed it. I think, personally it’s one of my best guitar playing. But it’s very demanding and time consuming, so I want to get started as soon as possible, maybe even go on tour with it, maybe with an orchestra. There are many plans and we have to see which of those we actually can realize.
Radio Goethe: You have started a new career as a photographer, how does all this fit with your concert plans and your planned move back to Germany…?
Wolf Hoffmann: Well, if I could look into the future, I could answer that. Since I can’t, we have to play it by ear. I have to try to coordinate these things. I mean, Accept will be priority number one. This is one of the decisions I have to make, because I got a really good going career right now as a photographer and I really enjoy doing it. I really love it and I hate it to give it up, so I won’t. I’ll try to combine the two careers as much as possible. One of the cool things as a photographer and a musician is gonna be that on this next tour it will take me place where I normally wouldn’t go. So going to Asia and South America and Russia allows me during the day to shoot photographs wherever I go and maybe I publish some of those later on. At least on my website.
Radio Goethe: How about a backstage Accept photo book?
Wolf Hoffmann: There you go, I can do that. And I already have quite a collection from over the years, I have thousands of them. I’m never in one of them, because usually I’m taking them. But I could do that, the life of a musician from my perspective.
Radio Goethe: Good luck for the concerts and whatever comes your way…
Wolf Hoffmann: Thank you…and who knows what comes after this tour. But we don’t want to put ourselves under the pressure of like committing to anything now. We want to take one step at a time. I think this is a smart thing to do.

Band-Homepage: Accept

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