GUITARIST WOLF HOFFMANN SAYS THAT HEARING MARK TORNILLO SING LED TO ACCEPT GETTING BACK TOGETHER
Ruben Mosqueda of KNAC.com spoke with Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. Highlights from the interview appear below.
KNAC.com: You have a new live Blu-Ray/CD set Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 coming out. This isn’t the typical live album though.
Hoffmann: That’s right, this was recorded last summer at Wacken with a symphony orchestra. I’ve always wanted to to this and this was a dream come true and it was in front of thousands of metal fans.
KNAC.com: As you know sometimes these kinds of things work, sometimes they don’t. We’ve seen Scorpions, Metallica, KISS and Deep Purple do it. Did you have any apprehensions as to how your music would translate in working with a symphony?
Hoffmann: Yes, but we had time to plan this out to ensure that we’d be doing it right. We didn’t have to change the arrangements too much. I think the mistake that some of the bands, in the examples that you mentioned, is that the arrangements are done so that the symphony plays the main riff of the song. We didn’t go in that direction, we rehearsed the set with keyboards in place of the symphony, which I believe helped us get the best arrangement possible.
KNAC.com:…The American market is hard to crack [for live rock shows], what’s your take on it?
Hoffmann: …America is like you said a hard market to crack and it makes it virtually impossible for bands to tour here. You can’t make any money and record sales? Well, you know that’s died down too. AcceptT does great business in Europe, we’re playing major festivals and we headline our own shows to large audiences, so we concentrate on the European market. We’re scheduled to start a short run in America in a couple of days and we have no expectations of making money. We’re doing this for the fans that have supported us in the United States.
KNAC.com: Mark Tornillo has been in the band since 2009, which is longer than it seems.
Hoffmann: There’s a neat story behind how this whole thing began. I was visiting Peter Baltes in Philadelphia. We wanted to blow off a little steam so we went into a studio with a local drummer and played some old Accept tunes. It was at that time that someone mentioned that there was a singer nearby that would probably be happy to join us for the day if we were interested. The guys said his name was Mark Tornillo and that he was very familiar with the classic stuff and that he was an incredible singer. Peter and I looked at each other and said, “Hey, why not?” Mark arrived and when he started to sing we knew we had something there. To be honest, before we heard Mark we had no intentions to ever get Accept back together again. We didn’t know a guy like Mark existed. It was never our intention to get Accept started up again. That’s how Mark got the gig.
KNAC.com There was no intention to “re-launch” Accept? There was no actual audition for Mark?
Hoffmann: Nope, none. This was a jam and it just felt right and the next thing you know we got Accept back together.
KNAC.com: Your producer Andy Sneap has spent a lot of time in The United States on tour with Judas Priest. Have you seen him with Priest? What did you think?
Hoffmann: We actually supported Priest this past July in Austria. It was a huge honor to open for Priest. I got a chance to see Andy’s performance and I think he did a great job stepping into the second guitarist role. He’s not trying to be Glenn [Tipton], he knows his role and didn’t overstep his boundaries. He was respectful to Glenn and Priest. I’m glad he’s gotten exposure in North America, he’s an incredible guitarist.
KNAC.com: Have you begun work on new material yet? When you’re ready to go into the studio do you foresee working with Andy Sneap again?
Hoffmann: We have some ideas that we are working on that will turn into songs, but nothing that more than that at this point. We will absolutely work with Andy Sneap again. We’ve been talking about it and he’s just as excited to work with us as we are to work with him. It’s going to happen.
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