ACCEPT's MARK TORNILLO: How I Got Involved With GOTHAM Covers Band

March 13, 2022

ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo spoke to the "Nothing Shocking" podcast about GOTHAM, his cover band with Scott Metaxas (PROPHET) on bass, Paul Crook (MEAT LOAF, ANTHRAX) on guitar, and Craig Scoppa on drums. Regarding how he got involved with the project, Mark said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, GOTHAM was actually a band that they had in the '90s. I'm guessing it was Paul and Scott Metaxas from PROPHET. And I don't remember who the singer was at that point; I'm not sure of his name. Craig Scoppa was the drummer [and] still is. And it was just an industrial thing that they did; it was all [covers of MARILYN] MANSON and ROB ZOMBIE and KORN ā€” you name it; really, really, really heavy stuff. And they hadn't played for years. And Scott and I were hanging out one day, and Paul came over. They were talking about putting GOTHAM back together, and I just said, 'Hell, I'll sing.' They were, like, 'What?' [And I said,] 'Yeah. Why not?' [I get to] step out of my comfort zone a little bit. Why not? But I've also injected a bunch of AC/DC into it, some AEROSMITH and stuff like that, but we heavy it up."

He continued: "We do mash-ups. So there'sā€¦ we call it 'Led Zombie' ā€” it's [LED ZEPPELIN's] 'Immigrant Song' to [WHITE] ZOMBIE's ['Thunder Kiss '65']. It works. But we do some other mash-ups like that. We do a cover version of 'Twilight Zone' that we mashed up. We do a lot of cool stuff. It's just a lot of fun. We go out and have fun, make a few dollars, have some drinks. And Paul Crook is just an amazing musician. You remember him from ANTHRAX and Meat Loaf. He's been Meat's music director for the last 15 years."

Mark Tornillo joined ACCEPT in 2009 as the replacement for the band's original lead singer, Udo Dirkscheider. He can be heard on ACCEPT's last five studio albums: "Blood Of The Nations" (2010),"Stalingrad" (2012),"Blind Rage" (2014),"The Rise Of Chaos" (2017) and "Too Mean To Die" (2021).

In a 2018 interview with Metal Shock Finland, Tornillo stated about what it was like to first join ACCEPT: "It was frightening. When we first announced what was going to happen, there was really not many people on board with it. Online, there was a lot of naysayers, a lot of badmouthing. It was very disheartening. We all sat down and said, 'Look, we have to make an amazing record, or else we're gonna die here. This is going to be a swansong. We have to make an amazing record.' And that's what we did. We spent a lot of time writing 'Blood Of The Nations' and a lot of time recording it, and I think in retrospect, it paid off. If that album wasn't what it was, we wouldn't be here."

Asked about fans who have yet to "accept" him, Mark said: "Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I'm a purist too with certain things. I get it. But I think we've moved on. We're almost a different band at this point. We really are a different band at this point. We still pay tribute to the old ACCEPT by playing the old songs ā€” I mean, we have the two people that wrote most of the songs, [so] we have to. That's always going to be part of ACCEPT's history. You can't change it. All we can change is the future. But everyone's entitled to their opinion, and I get it. I wish them all well, and I wish Udo well, and his band, you know. No hard feelings on my part, that's for sure."

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