JOEL HOEKSTRA Explains How He Landed Gig As ACCEPT's New Touring Guitarist

February 3, 2024

In a new interview with The Logan Show, Joel Hoekstra spoke about how he was recruited to play guitar for ACCEPT for all of the band's European festival appearances in 2024 and the South American tour in May. Hoekstra will be standing in for Phil Shouse, who will remain with the band as their permanent live guitarist for all other gigs.

Joel said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, it all clicked. It happened so quickly. And Wolf [Hoffmann, ACCEPT guitarist and leader] is just a real bright, sharp, super-friendly guy as well as being a great player.

"Sometimes you have people make those intros," Joel explained. "[Michael Cartellone from DAMN YANKEES and LYNYRD SKYNYRD] connected us. First, Michael hit me and said, 'Hey, I'm with Wolf Hoffmann.' Sometimes the next thing is, like, 'Well, I'll connect you guys via text.' And maybe that means a week later or maybe that means two weeks later or something, via e-mail or whatever. But it was literally five minutes later — not even; it was like a minute later. He said, 'Okay, Wolf, here's Joel.' 'Joel, [here's] Wolf.' And Wolf was, like, 'Great.' And I said, 'Well, I'm in Nashville in a couple of days [with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA]. Let's have coffee.' It was two days later or something like that, that we were all set and ready to go with this, because it made sense for both of us. They needed somebody to fill in for Phil Shouse, and I needed something to get out this year and play some of the bigger shows, be able to do the European festivals."

Regarding how he feels about the prospect of performing with a veteran metal act like ACCEPT, Joel said: "They're a great live band. They sound great. Wolf is a great guitarist [with] a killer tone. And they're a well-oiled machine live. All the YouTube footage I've been watching is very impressive and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

"It's just gonna be, I think, something that's good for everybody," he continued. "It's kind of a fun little window for the fans to see me hop in and play with them. And it works out great for me because I would obviously prefer that to sitting on my couch at home or something like that, or, for that matter, playing smaller shows. So having the opportunity to get out and be seen and play with a great-sounding live band like ACCEPT, it makes a lot of sense and it just worked out great, like it was meant to be in a way."

New York-based Joel Hoekstra is best known to fans as a current member of the legendary band WHITESNAKE and is part of TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. He has also played with Cher, NIGHT RANGER and FOREIGNER, to name just a few of his numerous collaborations.

When Hoekstra's addition to ACCEPT's touring lineup was first announced last month, Hoffmann said in a statement: "It is a great honor for us to be on stage with Joel Hoekstra. Joel is an exceptional guitarist and I have huge respect for him. The whole band is really looking forward to playing with this string magician."

ACCEPT recently completed work on a new studio album for a 2024 release via the band's new record label home, Napalm Records.

In the fall of 2022, ACCEPT completed a North American tour with support from NARCOTIC WASTELAND. The band played a career-spanning set of new and classic tracks, including mega-hits "Balls To The Wall", "Princess Of The Dawn", "Fast As A Shark" and many more.

ACCEPT's latest album, "Too Mean To Die", came out in January 2021 via Nuclear Blast. The LP was the group's first without bassist Peter Baltes, who exited ACCEPT in November 2018. He has since been replaced by Martin Motnik. ACCEPT's lineup has also been expanded with the addition of a third guitarist, the aforementioned Philip Shouse, who originally filled in for Uwe Lulis during 2019's "Symphonic Terror" tour, before being asked to join the band permanently.

"Too Mean To Die" was recorded in Nashville with Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH),who has been responsible for the studio sound of ACCEPT since 2010.

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".

In February 2022, it was announced that ACCEPT had inked a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.

Photo courtesy of Frontiers Music Srl / REVOLUTION SAINTS

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