Accept is a German heavy metal band from the town of Solingen, originally assembled by former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes. Their beginnings can be traced back to the late 1960s. The band played an important role in the development of speed metal, being part of the German heavy metal scene to emerge in the early to mid 1980s.
Following disbandment in 1997 and resurrection in 2005, they reunited in 2009 with former T.T. Quick frontman Mark Tornillo and released their highest charting album to date, Blood of the Nations.They have sold over 27 million albums worldwide.
Accepts beginnings can be traced back to 1968 when Udo Dirkschneider and Michael Wagener formed a local band called Band X, which eventually changed its name to Accept. For many years Accept went through numerous line-up changes. This instability essentially kept the band on an amateur level, making sporadic appearances in festival concerts. Accepts professional career began in 1976, with Udo Dirkschneider, Michael Wagener, Gerhard Wahl, Dieter Rubach and Frank Friedrich, when they were invited to play at one of the first rock and roll festivals in Germany — Rock am Rhein. Following the festival the band were offered a recording deal. Their first recording was the self-titled Accept album, which did not achieve much commercial success.
The first stable line-up of Accept was composed of vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarists Wolf Hoffmann and Gerhard Wahl, bassist Peter Baltes and drummer Frank Friedrich. Friedrich and Wahl quit the band after the release of Accept and were replaced by Stefan Kaufmann and Jörg Fischer. This line-up of the band recorded Im a Rebel in 1980. The title track originally was written for AC/DC but never released by them. The album brought some media attention, the band being invited to make a televised appearance.
In 1981 the next album Breaker was released, and the band employed manager Gaby Hauke. Accept also joined Judas Priests world tour and obtained attention outside of Europe for the first time.
Restless and Wild was released in 1982, although Jörg Fischer quit the band a short time before the recording took place. Jan Koemmet was hired as guitarist, but departed from the band before the recording of the album. Restless and Wild saw an evolution in the bands sound, which incorporated characteristics defining the genre later dubbed speed metal. Gaby Hauke was credited as "Deaffy" on two of the tracks.
Accepts next release, Balls to the Wall was in 1983, now with guitarist Herman Frank (ex-Sinner). The album was more conceptual, and included lyrical themes about politics, sexuality and human relationships. "Balls to the Wall" refers to slaves revolting against oppressing masters, "Fight It Back" is about social misfits fighting against conformity. All songs were credited to Accept and "Deaffy". Deaffy was manager Gaby Haukes pseudonym as the bands lyricist, although she did not officially claim ownership until the band had broken up for the second time.
During a 1983 show in their hometown the band met Jörg Fischer by chance and on Haukes insistence, Fischer rejoined the band. A world tour followed through 1984, including the Monsters of Rock festival.
Metal Heart was released in 1985. Produced by Scorpions producer Dieter Dierks, it presented the bands creative peak. Accept toured the world supporting the album, and documented the live shows with the live mini-album Kaizoku-Ban.
The follow up Russian Roulette was released in 1986. In 1987 Udo Dirkschneider decided to embark on a solo career. Supporting this decision, the songwriting team in Accept wrote his entire solo album, released in 1987 as "Animal House" under the band moniker U.D.O.
Parallel to work on "Animal House", Accept started to audition vocalists. The band tried out a few singers, including Baby Tuckoo singer Rob Armitage, whom they even featured in promo photos and metal magazine interviews, and also recorded demos with. However, American David Reece was chosen and this new line-up recorded and released Eat the Heat.
Accepts career came to a sudden halt when Stefan Kaufmann sustained a serious injury to his back mid-tour. He was briefly replaced by drummer Ken Mary for the remainder of the US tour. By the tour end in late 1989,the band decided that without Kaufmann, and with differences surfacing with Reece, it was time cease its activities for the time being.
The live album Staying a Life recorded in 1985, was released in 1990 as a souvenir celebrating their career.
A few years later the ex members met with Dirkschneider and decided to relaunch the band with core members Hoffmann, Kaufmann, Dirkschneider and Baltes.
The comeback album Objection Overruled was released in 1993 and was a qualified success in Europe and the USA. A world tour followed, with another album entitled Death Row, which was released in 1994. Kaufmann became unable to play once again due to his recurring back injury and Stefan Schwarzmann became the temporary replacement.
Predator was recorded in 1996,in Nashville with Udos long time (school) friend and producer Michael Wagener at the helm and with Michael Cartellone (from Damn Yankees) guesting on drums. Accepts tour supporting Predator, took in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, with their last concert in Tokyo, Japan.
Between 1997 and 2005 all members continued working on their own projects. In 2005 Accept received an invitation from various European promoters for a short summer European Festival tour with Accepts classic line-up (Hoffmann, Baltes, Dirkschneider, Frank und Schwarzmann). These festivals turned out to be a stunning success, with the last show on 27 August 2005, in Kavarna, Bulgaria at the Kaliakra rock fest.
Asked in May 2007 if Accept were planning on writing and recording new material in the near future, Dirkschneider replied:
“That would be a problem. You know, its easy to play the old songs, because they already exist. Especially for me it was easier, because I still do those classics with U.D.O., but for some of the guys it was a bit harder. But everybody did a great job on stage. I understand that people want a new Accept album, but composing songs together would have been a disaster. That way we would destroy more than we would create. We have a good relationship now and its best to keep it that way.
— Udo Dirkschneider, Lords of Metal
On 14 May 2009 Udo Dirkschneider officially announced that he would not be participating in the rumoured Accept reunion.
At the end of May 2009 rumours again surfaced on a possible Accept reformation when bassist Peter Baltes revealed he spent a weekend at his house in Pennsylvania "shredding away" with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. "Something amazing is in the works," Baltes explained. "As soon as I can, Ill let everybody know. Lets make the Metal Heart beat again."
A coincidental meeting between Accept and former TT Quick singer Mark Tornillo at this informal jam session meant shortly after Tornillo was announced as the new vocalist.
A new album was written and recorded with Andy Sneap (of Megadeth, BLAZE, Exodus, Testament, Arch Enemy and Onslaught fame) as producer. Titled Blood of the Nations, it was the first original Accept album in fourteen years.
The new line-up made their live debut on 8 May 2010 at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, their first American concert in fifteen years.
On 21 May 2010 their video for "Teutonic Terror" was number 5 on the worldwide video charts in all genres on MySpace, topping such artists as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Christina Aguilera. The video also topped the MySpace Global Metal Charts at Number 1.
On 13 June 2010 Accept opened for AC/DC in Stuttgart, Germany, and on 25 June 2010 headlined the Sonisphere festival in Romania and Turkey. With a set of over 2 hours,classics like "Balls to the Wall", "Metal Heart" and "Princess of the Dawn" were played along with the new album material. Blood of the Nations was released in Europe on 20 August 2010 and made a chart debut at Number 4 in the official German Media Control Charts, the band’s highest chart debut in their career.
Blood of the Nations was released 4 September in Japan, and 18 September 2010 in the United States. Accept spent 80 days on a summer tour traveling over 65,000 km and playing for over 450,000 fans. In October, the band appeared at the prestigious Japanese Festival LOUDPARK outside of Tokyo to 40,000 fans along with Ozzy Osbourne, Motörhead and Stone Sour.
Within a month of the release of Blood of the Nations, Wolf Hoffmann told "Metal Asylum" ; "We are already thinking about and writing for the next record. Weve all missed doing Accept and we realized we missed doing this. Of course we are not 20 years old anymore and not ready to do just anything to be successful, were not that desperate. We are looking to do what makes sense and thats fun."
Accept worked with Andy Sneap again to produce a new album, completed in early 2012. Entitled Stalingrad it was released in April 2012.