Silver Tiger Photography and Media had the absolute pleasure to speak with heavy metal guitarist WOLF HOFFMAN from the legendary band ACCEPT.
STM’s Casper and Wolf chatted about their album BLIND RAGE and their upcoming tour and the first time in Australia visit.
May I say what an extreme privilege it is to speak with such an esteemed veteran of music and also guitar. Congratulations on the enormous success of Blind Rage. You must feel vindicated to reform in 2009?
Oh yeah man it feels great, finally, it has come full circle and we have a number 1 record. It is more than anybody could’ve hoped for when we started this whole adventure five years ago. Who would’ve known, yeah, it’s going better than we expected.
Absolutely! The success of BLOOD OF NATIONS and STALINGRAD was fantastic but BLIND RAGE is something even more superior. Have you felt the band’s mastery growing with each album?
I think what we have been trying to do is just be true to ourselves more than ever and try to only write songs that are totally on target as far as what the fans want to hear from us and as far as what we are really good at. We really concentrated on those two things to get better at what we do, without being any different at all. We tried that with STALINGRAD but think this time it worked even better because we took more time to write those songs. Peter and I spent a good 8 to 10 months writing songs and then when we finally started recording everything was ready and written and we had a lot of strong stuff.
Thank you for that Wolf, I was going to ask the essential difference between STALINGRAD and BLIND RAGE and the answer as you just mentioned it would’ve been just time to prepare?
Well, there really wasn’t a major difference other than the fact that we wanted a little more time in the forefront, and when we recorded STALINGRAD that we had so little time. We had to record the first 6 songs without even having the last 6 songs being written completely. So we were still writing while recording the first half and that was quite stressful, it is much better if you have time, before you start recording. You got all your ducks in a row, and all your songs properly demoed and you know what you’re going for. It just works out to be so much better, it is ideal in a number of ways. Just doing STALINGRAD, we didn’t have that time. So we felt this time there was just a huge luxury to have all these extra months.
Indeed, and obviously, Andy Sneap is very much of the same mindset?
Right right right… and you know working with Andy Sneap works really well because we know each other quite well and we have done the last 3 albums together and this time Peter and I knew what we were going for and what we wanted and didn’t want stylistically so all these songs written were pretty much on target. There were some songs that fell by the wayside, but not too many. Most of the songs were winners when we wrote them.
Well as an introduction STAMPEDE is such a phenomenal track and your guitar work is astounding but I have to ask, was the DEVILS PUNCHBOWL film clip as enjoyable to make as it is to watch?
I like that STAMPEDE song a lot and it makes a perfect open up for the album. We are hoping to use it for the live shows for the first song. We had a great time filming just outside of Los Angeles in the mountains, it was bitter cold in the morning when we did it, and you can’t see that in the video, haha, nevertheless it made for an epic music video. There was miniature helicopters flying all around us, we wanted to catch that first sunlight in the morning and it would’ve been about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it was bitter bitter cold wind but who cares huh? If it’s for metal we endure anything right?
Absolutely!!!! It’s your first visit to Australia performing and I must admit that when I first learned of you coming to our shores I was so excited that I was sure I misheard and you would be in Austria.
What prompted the Australian inclusion in the tour?
Man, this time around it just worked out with the timing. For some reason it just never worked out in the past, because one of the problems is, well, first of all, Australia is quite far away and for a band like us, there is not a huge amount of shows to be played. If you think about North America or Europe, for instance, you can stay there and tour at different venues for weeks and weeks and weeks but in Australia, there are only a few shows you can do. It is hard to justify that long travel time and expense. But this time around we are going to play whatever venues we can find there and whatever shows we can book. But the most important thing for us is to finally come there for the first time and actually meet our fans and see what it is all like. I have no idea what it is like down there.
And we have the pleasure of your company here!!! We will be reviewing and hopefully photographing your show in Sydney, I know my 13 year old son is bursting at the anticipation of the Melbourne shows. Are you experiencing a new generation of fans worldwide?
Definitely, definitely especially here in Europe, we played a lot of shows in Scandinavia and it is amazing to see how many young fans we have nowadays. You would think we have been around for so long that there will be mostly older people in the audience but that’s just not the case. There are some who have grown up with us and who have seen us many times over the years but there is a whole bunch of people who were not even born yet when we made our first albums. It is great to see that younger generation rediscovering an older band like us. It’s perfect.
Our friends TEMTRIS will be playing as part of the support line-up in Sydney and we are certainly familiar with their fan base, but I wanted to ask if there is anything particular you’re expecting from the Australian audience?
Well….. It’s too early to say man. We have hardly met anyone from Australia and we have never played there but I am hoping that there is going to be a bunch of people who know our songs, sing along and have a great time, we usually require a lot of audience participation during our shows and want them to be a part of the whole experience. We don’t want them to passively just stand there and nod their heads. We want arms up in the air, we want them to clap along and sing along. We want them to get into it. That’s usually what happens wherever we play wether we play South America or Europe or wherever we go, our fan community is all about that. They get into it and get excited.
We were very pleased you were able to book a second Melbourne show as well.
Yeah, very happy about that. So, apparently, there are is some people who know us down there. (laughing)
Yes indeed…Do you have a favourite track to play live from the BLIND RAGE album?
I really like playing FINAL JOURNEY, its fun and a little challenging song to play, so I really enjoy that one. It’s great, I incorporated some classical guitar melody which I stole from Edvard Grieg, it’s a very well-known classical piece, but most people can’t name what exactly it is. (I wonder if our readers can. Ed) It is one of those melodies that everyone has heard in the past but we are presenting it in a totally new context. Obviously, in metal, double bass song that has nothing to do with the original but everybody, as soon as they heard it, say “oh I have heard that!”
Well, that answers another question I had, I knew I had heard the tune but didn’t know where from, thank you again. Will you have a chance to head home between Melbourne and the USA tour?
We will go back home… yeah… actually, even before Japan, we will go back home just for a few days. After this European run is over we will all head home for about four days, you know, get a good night’s sleep and wash our clothes and then head off again and the same thing after Australia. We have been on the road now for 2 and a half months solid, so it is nice to be home for a few days.
Can you tell us a little about your signature model guitar?
Sure!!! Built by a German company, to my specifications, by the name of Framus, we call that guitar the flying fortress guitar. It’s not a flying V it is a Flying fortress. Totally bad ass and not only looks amazing, they made it look like a World War II bomber, but it also sounds killer, I use it live and in the studio. It is by far, the best signature or custom guitar I have ever had. Honestly, and of course, I am going to bring it Down Under!
We can’t wait to get some photos of you performing with it!!!
Well, thank you for taking the time to speak this evening. Everyone I know is thrilled that you are coming to Australia and I look forward to watching you perform. Our very best wishes to you and the band while on tour and we will look forward to seeing you shortly.
Yeah man, I am so looking forward to coming down there so we will make it a night to remember ok?
Thank you very much Wolf.
Thank you my friend goodbye.