INTERVIEW: Wolf Hoffmann (ACCEPT)
About his new classical inspired album 'Headbangers Symphony':
Wolf: The 'classical' passion has been a life long obsession of mine. The idea of combining classical music and metal music is not new to me at all. I made a previous album in 1997 and even with ACCEPT I've constantly been trying to find pieces that work, where I can use classical elements and stick them in our music. To be a full blown album of classical music is still a challenge from using a small element in ACCEPT's music here and there. The way I recorded this album is sort of a layered approach over years. The first demos of this project go back to 2006, I started working on these pieces but unfortunately or fortunately ACCEPT was busy all of a sudden again, we re-grouped and made new albums and went on tours. I had no more time to work on this project, I just had to sit and wait till there was some free time here and there and that's why it dragged on over years. Now this year ACCEPT is less busy and I had a chance to finally get it out, to get it mixed and done. It's been a long time coming. I was able to work on this stuff a little bit here and there, maybe once a year for two weeks then it would sit for another two years or one year.
On AC/DC's decision to hire Axl Rose to front the band after doctors told Brian Johnson he faced a total loss of hearing if he did not stop touring immediately:
Wolf: It's not really up to me to have an opinion on that. I imagine that they had good reasons why they went with Axl. AC/DC is an amazing machinery that's been successful for so many years, so who am I to comment on their decision? I have no insights [and I don't] know [any] more [about it] than you do, and out of respect to other musicians, I wouldn't dare of having an opinion on it, or publicly voicing it anyhow. I'm sure they had good reasons why they went with Axl. Quite honestly, everybody said… I've heard a lot of people bitching about Axl and stuff, and I thought what I heard sounded pretty damn good to me. Everybody was saying, 'You can never…' But it kind of reminded me a lot of what people were saying when we started with [current ACCEPT singer] Mark Tornillo. At the end of the day, you always have to sort of wait and see and hear and listen and be objective about it, and then have an opinion, not beforehand."
On whether it was a dream come true opening for AC/DC back in 2010:
Wolf: As you can imagine, man. I've been an AC/DC fan since the '70s. When I first heard about 'em, I got all their albums — still on vinyl back then, of course — and I've been hooked ever since. So to actually be on the same stage with them, and to be on their stage, it was amazing. It was really fantastic. It was two outdoor shows we did in Germany. I guess it was about eighty thousand people each, or sixty, but huge. It was amazing. [I] never met the guys, [I] never got to talk with them. We had to leave while they were playing, and they just came, and I guess they always do, just one minute before the show and they went straight on stage and had no time for anything. And an army of stage managers kept everybody away. Of course, I wanted to go and pay our tribute and shake hands and all that, but it never got that far.
Listen to the full interview here!
‘HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY’ was released July 1st via Nuclear Blast! The long awaited follow up to his previous solo album ‘CLASSICAL’.