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Every once in a while I get the opportunity to interview a musician that I not only respect, but really get into their music.  This could be said of Wolf Hoffman who recently took time out, for a third time, to discuss the latest from Accept and upcoming touring, as well as other things.  Always gracious and well spoken, Wolf called in recently from Los Angeles…


Toddstar: Wolf, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule. I understand that the last-minute plan to LA opened up some press opportunities for you.

Wolf: That’s right. Yeah, yeah. We are just here in town to do shoot a video for the new album, and today is a day where we went to the label, and played them some of new tracks, and at the same time, they took me aside and had me do some press. There you have it.

Toddstar: All right, well thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it.

Wolf: Hey, my pleasure.

Toddstar: Lucky for me, this is a three-peat. You’re my first three-peat interview for our site, so I’m excited. I’ve been able to interview you for each album now, so that said, let’s talk about Blind Rage.

Wolf: Right on. Yeah, let’s talk about it.

Toddstar: What can you tell us about that? There’s been, I don’t want to say secrecy, but there’s just been not much leaked out or given to the public yet. What can you tell us about this album?

Wolf: Really, I have no idea. What do you know about it? It’s pretty hard for me? Huh?

Toddstar: I know it’s coming out July 18th. I know that you guys have done a lot of writing.

Wolf: That’s right. You’ve seen the cover most likely.

Toddstar: I have seen the cover.

Wolf: Yeah, that’s about all we have released so far. The label people here are now the first people that actually, some of the first to hear this stuff. What can I tell you? Man, it’s a collection of 11 totally classic Accept, killer tracks. Nothing stylistic new or surprising there, which is exactly what we want. We want it to just do what we’ve always done, only better, basically. We tried to not reinvent the wheel, we tried to not really leave our path that we’ve been on for the last 2, 3 years. Only to get better than ever, and hopefully, we succeeded.

Toddstar: You talk about the classic Accept sound. I think you guys are … If you guys are building on the last 2 albums, which would’ve been Blood of Nations and Stalingrad, I think you’re headed in totally the right direction. I still listen to Blood of Nations as if it was new.

Wolf: Cool, yeah, then I think you will like this new one just the same, even better maybe. If anything, there’s a little more melodic stuff on this album, maybe. To me, it sounds a little more live, because we spent some time to getting a little more of a live vibe in the studio. It’s not dramatically different, but I can definitely hear it. With Andy Sneap, we have Sneap’s sound on the album as well, which is very cool. Typically a classic, old-school songwriting by us, by Accept.

Toddstar: Now, it’s the same lineup. Was it also up to mostly you and Mark and Peter to do most of the writing on this?

Wolf: Yeah, all of it, actually. It’s always the same. Peter and I usually come up with the basic concept, with some scratch vocals that Peter is doing, and that usually happens at my studio at my house in Nashville. Then we present that to Mark, and he goes, either comes to us for a week here and there and puts his spin on the songs, which then makes us change the songs again or rewrite certain parts. It’s a little bit of a back-and-forth between Peter and I and Mark, and then, eventually, we all meet in the studio, but at that point, especially this time around, the songs have gone through so many revisions that they’re pretty well defined and we only do tweaks, from a certain point on.


Toddstar: Wow, okay. Are you a band that, typically, especially with the 3 of you together, well the 2 of you writing and then adding Mark’s lyrics. Is there somewhere where you guys heavily demo these, or do you just…

Wolf: Yeah. Well, this time more than ever. Because, tell you the truth, with Stalingrad, we had a little bit of the problem that, we were only half-finished when we started recording this stuff. While we were already recording the first tracks, we were still writing parts of the second half of the album, and we were under tremendous pressure to get everything done in time.  I hated that, I really wanted this time to say, “You know what? Let’s make sure we’ve got enough songs,” and you always need extra songs, too. You can’t just record, say, 10 keeper songs and that’s it. This time we started with 18 or 19 basic tracks, and sort of took the strongest 14, and then from those, we took the strongest 11, and we made really sure we went overboard on that department. We really had finished songs before we went into the studio.

Toddstar: Okay. Now, going into the studio … you mentioned it has kind of a live sound. Do you guys, when you’re recording, do you guys all sit in the studio together? Do you guys do it in bits and pieces? How does Accept work?

Wolf: We usually do the backing tracks, the 3 of us jamming together. Not jamming, but you know what I mean.  We’re trying to just get the drums down first, and then replace everything else, but we actually do play together initially, yeah.  I think, especially with guitars, it’s incredibly difficult to do to keep track rhythm guitars, especially since we want them doubled up later on, and I play all the guitars in the studio, always have. If you want them really accurately, almost have to go back and do them yourself after the fact, when the drummers have done their part. Then I go down and really sit down with Andy and make sure they’re 100 percent accurate, the way we want them to be. At that point, we work out those minor little details of where you finger the chord, and which inversion of a chord you play where and stuff.  All those minute differences, those little details, that’s the fun part. We take our time doing that.

Toddstar: Now, you’re involved in the writing, and you sit down with Andy, and you do these things. When is Wolf going to produce the next Accept album?

Wolf: I don’t know, probably never. I don’t think … I’ve never saw myself as a producer. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t, but I’ve never been too interested in the technical aspects, so I couldn’t even tell you how to get to get a good drum sound, for instance, or how to set a compressor, and all that stuff doesn’t really interest me too much. I’m more about the essence of a song, I’m much more about the songwriting and the writing solos and recording stuff. I’ve never been too interested … or mixing, for instance. I could never see myself mixing. It would drive me nuts. Yeah.

Toddstar: You mentioned the Sneap sound that you have.  Hopefully, with this album, again, I still listen to Blood of Nations and Stalingrad quite a bit, and it did have just a certain push that earlier Accept stuff didn’t have. Is that a reason you guys keep going back to Andy?

Wolf: Yep. We felt … We’re a band from another generation, in a way. We do things old-school ways, we actually … Like I said earlier, the way we write a song and structure a song is totally old-school. We could easily record everything onto tape if we wanted to, but we really like the idea of having that old-school approach, in combination with Andy’s sort of “Pro Tools” approach of the way that he gets his sound, and the way that he works. I think the combination is what gives it the nice old-school feel, but with a new sound.

Toddstar: That being said, when can we expect to start hearing the lush sounds from Blind Rage?

Wolf: Well, in … What’s the release date? I forget now what it was, mid…

Toddstar: I think mid-July.

Wolf: July, 17th of July or something? Don’t quote me on it, because I’m not certain, but somewhere around that time is when it…

Toddstar: Yeah, I think … or in Europe, I think it’s the 18th, so it’s probably the following week here in the States, so probably around the 22nd.

Wolf: Yeah. Got it. We’re going to be heavily touring, mostly in Europe and Australia, and South America, wherever the rest of the world’s starting in September, I believe. Just to not neglect the US too much, we decided to throw a few dates on the West coast. In the fall, we even go to Europe, so the first 3 shows on that tour are going to be in the US. I think Los Angeles, what was it? San Diego, maybe, and Las Vegas. Something like that.


Toddstar: Okay. Any plans to hit the East side? We miss you here in Detroit?

Wolf: Yeah, I know it. It’s a shame, isn’t it? I know, but there isn’t enough time to do a full run of US dates this year. We’re planning to come right back after this European stuff, after the first of the year, and hopefully catch up with the rest of the US by then.

Toddstar: Okay. Last time I saw you here, it was at the … Blondies in Detroit, and you guys were-

Wolf: Too long.

Toddstar: Yeah, it’s been too long. It’s definitely been too long. Speaking of traveling, when you’re getting ready for these big treks like this, Wolf, what kind of things do you pack up and say, “I can’t leave home without this”?

Wolf: Surprisingly enough, there isn’t too much stuff you can pack is … the developed. That’s actually an interesting question, nobody’s ever even asked me that. You sort of develop this art of what you really absolutely need and what you don’t need, because after a while, you get sick and tired of schlepping stuff with you that you never use, so it comes down to the bare essentials. Obviously, you got to take your stage clothes and all that stuff. That takes half your allowance, so to say. Then there’s a few items that I always take, like I said, workout gear, sometimes.  Got to have that, got to have your iPhone, no matter what you do. I’d say the number 1 thing that I always carry is the laptop and my iPhone, couldn’t survive without those 2 things, because wherever I go it’s … it’s all about the Wi-Fi nowadays, and being able to connect to the rest of the world.  Then of course, guitars and all that stuff, so that’s a given. That personal stuff, that’s, I’d say … The gadgets, got to have them.

​Toddstar: Okay, well if you’d left the gadget behind at a venue, and your fans went through your iPhone and were looking at your musical selection, what’s the oddest thing they would find?

Wolf: They’d be mighty disappointed, because I don’t think there’s any music on there, to be honest. I’m not much a music listener, that’s what’s most surprising, probably, to most people. I don’t listen much to music, to be honest.

Toddstar: Really?

Wolf: I mean, we make – Well, yeah, when … Because then, like these last few months, I had zero time. I was writing songs of my own all day long. The last thing I want to do is listen to a bunch of other people’s music also, so … If I listened to anything for relaxation, it’s always classical music.

Toddstar: What’s the best song you’ve ever written, Wolf?

Wolf: Oh, shit. The best song? Define best there, that’s where we would start. The most famous, the most popular?

Toddstar: The one that, when you hear it, whether you’re hearing it on the radio, or you hear yourself playing it live, what’s the one that, when you play it or hear it, it still just revs you up?

Wolf: “Teutonic Terror” is pretty damn good.

Toddstar: That is damn good.

Wolf: There’s always the stuff from the 80s, where I thought, “Ooh, that was pretty … some of that was timeless,” like “Fast as a Shark” and … or “Princess” and whatnot. I don’t think there’s really one song that’s the best of all. It’s hard to say.


Toddstar: Okay. I was going to say, “Teutonic Terror” definitely ramps me up.  That album, just for me, is quintessential itself.

Wolf: Cool, cool.

Toddstar: If there was one piece of music in the history of time that you go back and put your stamp on, whether you could say you helped write it, or you played lead on it, what would it be?

Wolf: Oh, man. Pick any song from … Deep Purple or Rainbow, any of those. That’s the stuff that I grew up with, and that I wish I could’ve written, “Gates of Babylon” or one of those songs. I wish I would’ve, but I didn’t. My hero did, Richard Blackmore.

Toddstar: I was going to say, if you had to say, “Who would be the guy that made you pick up a guitar and want to play, would it be Ritchie Blackmore?”

Wolf: It would be Blackmore and Uli Roth. Yeah. AC/DC, also. He’s also been … that slightly bluesy kind of stuff that I sometimes do? I think a lot of that comes from AC/DC, Angus Young.

Toddstar: Okay. Well, one more for you. I know you got a busy day.

Wolf: Yeah, man, I got a … because it’s cascading down, I’ve got a whole list of people ahead of me.

Toddstar: I’m sure you do. One last one. At this point, you’ve got another great album getting ready to be launched on the public. What’s the meaning of life, Wolf?

Wolf: The meaning of life. I’m meant to be doing this, and I realized that a few years ago, when we restarted this, because I don’t know if you know, but I’ve had a different career in the meantime. I was a photographer, and quite successful doing it, very comfortable, making great money, doing great projects. Blah blah blah, but I realized, this is not why I’m here on this earth, in a way. I’m really … As much work as it is, and as much as we love bitching about traveling and all this, but it’s so rewarding. For me, doing this metal kind of stuff, and traveling around the world, that’s what I’m here to do. That, for me, is the meaning of life, if that means anything.

Toddstar: Awesome. Well, again, I appreciate the time you took out for us. I know you’re very busy, we can’t wait to hear Blind Fury when it hits the streets here in the US, July 22nd. Then when you’re able to bring that tour full spectrum and hit the whole US.

Wolf: You bet you. I’ll see you soon, my friend.

Toddstar: Thanks Wolf, talk to you.

Wolf: Yeah, man. Nice talking to you.

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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