WOLF HOFFMANN On ACCEPT's Songwriting Process: 'Riffs Are Really Easy For Me'

April 14, 2024

In a new interview with Ola Englund, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann spoke about his songwriting process, especially when it comes to coming up with riffs. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've said it often, and I say it again, riffs are really easy for me. I don't know why, but they are. But I look at a riff almost like only a starting point for a song. Having a riff is fine, and I have a gazillion riffs, and some of them are killer, and they never go anywhere just because you need more than a riff to have a complete song."

Asked what the hardest part of a song to write is, in his opinion, Wolf said: "The chorus is what most people remember, I would say, and I think that's the most important part of a song. Of course there's other parts — I mean, it all has to have a certain flow, and one part needs to lead into the other.

"The way I think about songs, 80 percent of it is vocals — at least for our music, because it's vocal-based," he explained. "We have choruses, we have hooklines, we have sing-along parts, we have pre-choruses, all these parts, and it's all vocal-based. And you can basically have a crappy backing track, but if you put amazing vocals on there, nothing else matters. And the other way around too — if you have the best and most tight rhythm track and it's killer, killer riffs and then you have some blah lyrics and some blah vocals on top, it all goes to shit."

Asked if he ever felt that had had written a really good riff and then he had to change it drastically to accommodate the vocals, Wolf said: "Sometimes it gets in the way, and sometimes you find, like, 'Oh, this is too complicated. It's really hard to come up with a meaningful vocal on top, because it kind of gets in the way.' Yes, we've had that.

"You have to understand a riff or whatever the guitars play has to support the vocals, 'cause that's what it's all about," Hoffmann added. "Yeah, you have an intro riff, but then it's time to sort of stand back and let the singer do his job and you can't noodle along the whole time and get in the way. It has to work together. And I like it, by the way, if you have vocal lines and then the playback does something in between. So, for me, it's kind of important to know during the songwriting phase what the vocals will actually do. I never write a song and say, 'Here's a blank canvas. Do whatever you feel.' Because, to me, that doesn't really work that well. I think it has to go hand in hand. If you know how the vocal lines go, then you have room for a little in-between bits and pieces. It all has to work together."

Due on April 26 via Napalm Records, ACCEPT's new album, "Humanoid", was once again produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by critically acclaimed heavy metal producer Andy Sneap.

Fans can immerse themselves in the upcoming album on an interactive web site, where they can reprogram the robot that is featured on the album cover, and discover different parts of the album in the process. Pre-save "Humanoid" now to gain access to the web site here.

ACCEPT recently announced a massive European headline tour, with more than 20 shows across the continent for autumn 2024. This summer, ACCEPT will also return to some of the world’s most important rock and metal festivals, like Wacken Open Air, Hellfest and more, following their South American spring tour.

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

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".

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