Germany’s Accept have been heavy metal titans for 40 years. The band formed in 1976 from the ashes of a previous project, and the Teutonic Terrors were born. As Accept begins its fifth decade, it will unleash a new live set that captures the bold history and present of Accept in one massive Blu-ray/DVD and 2CD package. Restless and Live features video footage of the band’s full performance at 2015’s Bang Your Head Festival while the two audio CDs contain 27 live tracks culled from the band’s worldwide Blind Rage Tour and covering the monumental metal history of Accept. Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, who has been the backbone of Accept since 1976, spoke with Metalholic recently about the new live set, his recent solo album release, as well as providing a look ahead to the band’s next studio album tentatively due out in late 2017.
The new Restless and Live album really captures how powerful Accept is live. Those classic Accept tracks still stand the test of time, but they sound so much more powerful today. Part of that I imagine is that you have been playing them for years, but I think too the production in the 80s was not as meaty and muscular than as it is today.
“Yes, sometimes I have to go back to the old recordings and listen to a song like ‘Breaker,’ and it sounds terrible—the production and the guitars. It’s the best we could do at that time. Things have changed so much now. It’s bizarre.”
Of course you don’t want to go back in time and mess time or re-record them those albums.
“No, No. I wouldn’t want to. What’s the point? Now is now, back then was back then, but at least you can hear them on the live recording and see what they would kind of sound like if they were produced again or what it sounds like when we play it live on stage now.”
The video footage on Restless and Live is different from the CD recordings. Why did you choose to do it that way?
“Because we didn’t want to do it the same way and deliver the same thing twice. A lot of times when you have a DVD people just strip the picture away and call it a separate product; call it a live audio recording. Which it is, but it’s the same damn performance as if you just turned the picture off on your DVD. I thought if we’ve got the room and we’re going through all the trouble, we might as well use different performances from across the world and give the fans a different take on it. Plus when we do that we can pick a bunch of songs that were not already on the DVD.”
One of the fantastic things about the Restless and Live is that you gave us 27 separate songs, and you gave us a heavy dose of the newer albums, but also plenty from the band’s classic era. Were those all the different songs you played on that tour?
“There were actually a couple that we couldn’t include. There was a bunch more. ‘Breaker’ isn’t on there. There’s a couple more that aren’t there, but at some point you have to draw the line. We didn’t want to do three live audio CDs.”
Getting on stage is certainly nothing new for you, but is it a bit strange or surreal even now to watch footage of yourself performing?
“It is. I don’t like it very much because I don’t like watching myself that much. I don’t like listening to myself talking, like interviews. It’s a pain for me to listen back to what I said or even on stage seeing me jump around like that. It’s weird. It just is.”
Last we spoke you mentioned that you and Peter [Baltes, bassist] had been writing the new record and you planned to spend 2016 year recording it for perhaps a late 2017 release. Can you give us an update on how that’s coming along?
“I think it’s going to sound awesome. We have Andy Sneap [producer] on board again. We’ve done about 12 or 13 rough ideas. Some of them are pretty complete already. I need to work out my guitar parts. Mark [Tornillo, vocalist] has done a bunch of vocals already. We’re making progress, but it’s still a long way to go. I think it’s going to be quite good. I have a good feeling about it. I’m not very objective at this point.”
Check out the full interview with Wolf below as he talks in more detail about Restless and Live, the band’s newest members Uwe Lulis and Christopher Williams, his solo album, and more.
Restless and Live releases January 13, 2017 through Nuclear Blast Records.