ACCEPT's WOLF HOFFMANN Explains Why He Didn't Use His Flying V Guitars In The Studio

May 22, 2024

On a recent episode of the "Talk Louder" podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist "Metal Dave" Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS),ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann talked about his early interest in the Flying V guitars. Asked if he is partial to Flying Vs because of their playability or looks, or both, Wolf said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's definitely looks, because especially during the 'Restless And Wild' time, we kind of worked on our image and the stage show and all that.

"First of all, in those days, Flying Vs were kind of unusual," he explained. "Everybody had a Strat and everybody had a Les Paul, but Flying Vs were kind of rare, to be honest. And I think WISHBONE ASH was an influence on that, because they played twin harmonies, they played Flying Vs, and we thought, 'Oh, if we get that element in ACCEPT, that might set us…' Anything that would set us apart slightly was kind of a thing.

"We were filming our shows a lot of times on home recording videos and such, just to see the stage choreography and to check our image, visual thing, and we noticed you can't see dark guitars," Hoffmann added. "So we said, 'Well, why don't we make them white?' So we painted them white, and it's the white Flying Vs that you see on those album covers and such, and all of a sudden it became a bit of a trademark. And that's how that came about.

"But I'll tell you a little secret: they [Flying Vs] didn't sound right for me in the studio because they — I don't know — they just didn't have that bright attack that I wanted. So I always played a Strat in the studio. On 'Restless And Wild', 'Balls To The Wall', everything was recorded on a Strat… And I now still play a Flying V, but it's actually a — for that reason, when Framus, the German guitar company, came to me and said, 'Hey, man, we wanna make you your signature model,' I said, 'Well, make it look like a V, but it's really a Strat in disguise. I want the long neck. I want the single coil in the neck. I want the switches exactly where they are. I want a Floyd Rose.' So, that's why they built me that one."

Asked if fans can buy his signature Flying V guitar from Framus, Wolf said: "Of course you can buy it, yeah. But there was a bit of a lawsuit issue with Gibson [over the Flying V design], because Gibson is what it is, and they like to sue people. But Framus won, and it is available, yeah."

In 2019, Gibson lost an important trademark fight in Europe related to its Flying V guitar shape. After Gibson was initially granted a mark on its Flying V in the European Union in 2010, the mark was challenged four years later by the owner of German company Warwick, and a court later declared the mark invalid. Gibson appealed and lost in 2018 and in June 2019 had its second appeal dismissed by the Second Chamber of the EU General Court.

Back in September 2020, a documentary, "Flying V", was released, telling the story of the iconic electric guitar model through interviews with a number of metal artists who have helped to make the V famous, including METALLICA's James Hetfield, MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine, SLAYER's Kerry King and Michael Schenker. Also featured in the documentary are former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, current PRIEST members Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap, SCORPIONS' Matthias Jabs, MERCYFUL FATE's Michael Denner and Hank Shermann, and Hoffmann, as well as DIAMOND HEAD's Brian Tatler, KING DIAMOND's Andy La Rocque, WISHBONE ASH's Andy Powell and ARCH ENEMY's Michael Amott.

Part of the "Inside Metal" series, the 67-minute documentary was directed by Peter Hansen and produced by Hansen and Michael Denner. It "chronicles the origin of the most unique guitar on earth and its incredible influence on the history of rock and roll and heavy metal," according to the product's official description.

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