ACCEPT's WOLF HOFFMANN: 'We Are One Of The Very Few Bands That Still Play Everything In The Original Key'

April 20, 2023

In a new interview with Colombia's El Expreso Del Rock, Wolf Hoffmann said that ACCEPT is "one of the very few bands that still play everything [live] in the original key." He added: "That is something that a lot of [people in] the audience don't even pay any attention to. But a lot of singers, when they get older, they tune the guitar down and down, because it's easier to sing that way. But to me, it sounds different, because a key is a key, and as soon as you drop the key, it changes the mood of the song. But there are so many bands out there that drop the keys — they tune the guitars to E flat or D or C sharp. It gets lower and lower and lower, and it loses some of the original dynamic. But we are one of the very few bands that still do it in the original key, and I'm very proud of that, because our singer, Mark Tornillo, is incredible."

Last June, Michael Sweet admitted that he and his STRYPER bandmates no longer attempt to perform the group's songs in the original key. In a social media post, the now-59-year-old guitarist/vocalist revealed that and the rest of STRYPER are playing their music a half step down to accommodate his aging voice. He wrote: "I have found that it's not only much easier to hit the 'high' notes but it's just much easier to sing these songs. We did an 18-show run and I made it through without any vocal issues. I was able to retain my range and high end and sing much more consistently night after night."

Four years ago, IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson said that he takes pride in the fact that he and his bandmates perform their songs in the original key. "We don't detune, like some other people do," he said. "We don't do any of that. I suppose if one day we have to, we have to, but we don't have to do it now, and I think the songs sound better as a result of it. They're meant to be played in that key."

Back in 2014, QUEENSRŸCHE's Todd La Torre said that the fact that he sings the band's songs in their original key is one of the reasons he has been able to win over so many of the QUEENSRŸCHE fans following the departure of original frontman Geoff Tate. "We don't drop-tune," he said. "When I first got in the band, [the other guys in QUEENSRŸCHE] said, 'Hey, if you want us to tune down a half a step, if it's easier for you, don't be afraid to ask us.' And I said, 'No. I wanna do this the best way that I can to represent the songs the way that they really go, and if it's a struggle for me, I just have more work to do for me. But let me keep trying to do this.' So I think the fact that those old songs weren't being played [in the last few years with Geoff in the band]… I mean, some of them were played, but a lot of times they were tuned down or songs were not played in their entirety, like 'Roads To Madness'; we play that song in its entirety. We play 'NM 156' in its entirety. And those fans, they really love hearing that. So the fact that that wasn't happening, and then when I came into the band, it started happening, it really kind of made it easier, I think, for fans to kind of rally around and go, 'Awesome!'"

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