Interview date

01 Janvier 2012


Blaster of Muppets


Interview Peter Baltes (face to face)

Hi and thank you for answering these questions for the webzine Aux Portes Du Metal!

Ok! My pleasure.

Wow, you have been productive. Your last album was released less than two years ago, you’ve been touring the world before and after Blood of the Nations, and here you are, touring again with a brand new album. You don’t like vacations?

No, we don’t like vacations! Ha ha. We like to work.

So for this new album, you have worked with Andy Sneap again. Can you tell us more about this collaboration?

Well yeah, we felt so comfortable the first time around, Andy was just really good; the sound had improved so much from what we’d had before with this cool combination of a newer sound but with the old style, and we became really good friends… so there was really no question about who would produce the next album.

So, do you think he’ll produce the next one, or do you have any other producers in mind you’d like to work with?

Sure! At this point, why change a winning team? :)

When were the new songs written? Did you use some ideas that weren’t kept for “Blood of the Nations”?

No. Most of the new material was written right after the Blood of the Nations tour. After the tour, we had a little bit of time off, so we started writing. It’s not just so thrilling to pick up something you have already worked on, and you know, there’s reason why sometimes something’s been left over. When you come up with something new, it’s more exciting, and then you explore it… You know, it’s like coming back to an old girlfriend, it’s never as exciting as starting something with a new one, right? :)

Why "Stalingrad"? What did you want to express with this title?

Well it’s just an idea we had because, first of all, it sounds amazing “Stalingrad”. It has a good metal sound. We always look for ideas that have something to do with metal, and it’s quite difficult now because everything has been done with “metal” and “anvils” and so on… When we grew up, the Second World War was always in the back of our minds, we heard about it everyday, at school, etc. And Stalingrad was almost the deciding battle in this conflict, when the Russians were holding against the Germans… it was all about perseverance. That’s where the concept came from, because it was an incredible and horrible battle. We saw a documentary about it. So many people died and in the most horrible way, and for what? We tried to imagine how the soldiers felt, how it was to be in such a big battle and realizing you were dying for nothing. You would think that after conflicts like this, things would change… and yet, humanity never learns. More than sixty years after the end of that war, there are still conflicts here and there, every day you hear about them… Anyway, it was challenging for us to write about that and we like to do things that are challenging, we always ask ourselves what we can talk about, what we can do that we haven’t done before and this was in us too because we grew up with it.

How was the writing shared, as far as “Stalingrad” is concerned? Did everybody get to participate this time?

We live fairly far apart from each other now. Stefan is in Switzerland, Hermann is in Hannover… Basically, the writing is done by Wolf and me. Hermann plays solos and stuff; it’s always been that way.

Which new songs are your personal favourites? Which ones do you think might become Accept classic songs?

You know, that’s like asking a father which of his children he prefers. It’s a very difficult questions because these songs are all brand new. The way I can judge that, and that’s what we do when we write, is by asking myself how it will sound live. Can we play it live? How does that sound live? For instance, many people ask us why we don’t play “Blood of the Nations”. Well it’s because this song is not really a good live song. Nothing really happens on stage with that one. So if you ask me what kind of songs I like, I like the ones I can translate right on stage. For this new album: “Stalingrad” I love, “Hung Drawn and Quartered”, “Shadow Soldiers” is a great one…

I remember reading about recorded shows on the previous tour for a live DVD. Has this idea been dropped or is this DVD going to be released?

We always record things here and there but for a DVD, things have to been done right, it has to be something that’s well thought out and it has to be worthwhile for the fans. We collect some footage on this tour, and then we’ll decide, when the time is right, depending on the quality of the footage, if we do it or not. So far, there’s no DVD about to be released.

Back to your rebirth now. How do you look at the past two years? It is amazing how some people didn’t really expect or believe in such a great return and yet, "Blood of the Nations" was one of the great successes of 2010.

Well, first of all, it feels pretty good. It makes you feel great that the work you put into it, into “Blood of the Nations”, the risk we took, the chance we took to come back was worth it. These past years have been great because everything was just all right you know, for “Blood of the Nations”, the video we did, the work in the studio with Andy Sneap, the way things worked with Mark as a new singer, the fact that the fans accepted right away… Nobody knew at the beginning what the future would hold, we worked very very hard, and the way things worked, it gave us the feeling that we had a chance to come back and establish ourselves again at the status that we were before. And today “Stalingrad” is very important, because Blood of the Nations was our return and it’s like a new band, for the first record, people check you out but for the second, they have expectations and you have to deliver! But “Blood of the Nations” gave us some confidence. As you said, it got great reviews, it was number one or album of the year here and there… We thought “Ok, we did something right so if we stay the same course, we can’t fail!” So we did the same thing and we had so much fun doing it. We realize now that it is important to do something that fans like. Of course, you can think “I want to do this record, I want to do something for myself” but we’re passed that. We get a real kick out of it, making an album that fans like because then you meet people and they say “We love it!!”, we love it too… what’s better? And it’s always interesting because we always learn something and try to improve things that didn’t work so well.

You start this new tour as the album hit the stores. Can we assume that there will be more touring once people really know "Stalingrad"?

Yeah, absolutely. We’re going to take the summer off, then we’ll tour in the United States in September, and then, a little bit later, we’ll come back to Europe.

Why is the band named Accept? I’ve read interviews often given by Wolf but he could never answer that question because he was not there at the beginning of the band…

Well, you know… I arrived after Wolf, so I don’t really know. Guess it will remain a mystery forever! Ha ha ha…

The last word… for your French fans:

We always love to come to France. We are so sorry the last venue burnt down, that was a great venue, such a great place. I also remember the glory days when we played at Le Zenith, that was good. You’ve got great metal fans in France. We’re fighting to keep Metal alive and give it a little injection with “Stalingrad”, check it out. You know, there seems to be a lot of dance music out now in the world and we have to fight back! (Laughs)

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