ACCEPT's WOLF HOFFMANN: How We Wrote 'Fast As A Shark'

December 17, 2018

In a recent interview with the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann spoke about the band's mindset while creating "Fast As A Shark", considered by some to be the first true thrash metal track ever recorded.

"I clearly remember how we wrote the song and how it all came about," Wolf said (hear audio below). "It was really the drummer, Stefan [Kaufmann], who came up with the crazy idea of playing double bass, double kick, all the way through. And we had never done that [before]. So he came up with that basic idea, the concept, and we sort of had the riff — that was fairly easy — and then I wrote that weird middle section for it. But then, at the very end, we wanted to have an intro for it, or something. And I thought about it, and I came up with the idea to put on a record that's completely the opposite of what's about to happen, just to fool people into thinking something else… I thought everybody who buys the record [would think] that they might have bought the wrong record. That was the idea — you go to the store, you buy the new ACCEPT record, you put it on and say, 'What the hell? Somebody put the wrong record in the sleeve.' That was the idea. And I thought, 'Maybe we'll use an opera part,' or something. And then we already had recorded the basic tracks and we were looking for any intro to use, and we went, actually, through the record collection of the studio owner's mother. We recorded at Dierks Studios, where the SCORPIONS used to record and all that, and there was [Dieter Dierks's] mother; she had a record collection. And we [asked her], 'What kind of records do you have that we can possibly steal and abuse, scratch out?' Because we wanted to rip the needle off. And she had some children's records that Dieter Dierks, as a kid, actually sang on. So there was all these German traditional folk songs that everybody heard as a kid. And there was the one song — it's called 'Ein Heller Und Ein Batzen' — that had this middle section where there's no lyrics. Because we thought, 'German lyrics? Nah.' We don't want that. Because we didn't really wanna sound too German; we wanted it to be international. And that little segment is 'Hi De Hi Do Hi Da,' which… that's what we used. So we borrowed that album and put it on and ripped the needle off and kind of destroyed the record for Mama Dierks."

ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante has been vocal about the influence "Fast As A Shark" had on his early drumming style, telling Reverb earlier this year: "At the time [of the song's release in 1982], it was like the fastest double kick that there was. And for me, they set the standard."

ACCEPT has just released a live set, "Symphonic Terror - Live At Wacken 2017", via Nuclear Blast. It features a unique ACCEPT show, shot on August 3, 2017 at the legendary Wacken Open Air festival, where the band played the biggest and most extraordinary show of its career in front of 80,000, on top of thousands more fans watching via a live stream.

Last month, ACCEPT's founding bassist Peter Baltes announced his departure from the band. A replacement bassist has not yet been revealed.

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