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Mark Tornillo (Accept)

Interview with Mark Tornillo from Accept
by Maria Voutiriadou, Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 05 November 2010, 2:11 AM

After the announcement that Mark Tornillo would be the new ACCEPT singer there was a wave of criticism from all the fans. But, as it turned out “Blood Of The Nations” was a killer album and the ongoing tour has been facing most enthusiastic crowds. ACCEPT also returned to the US after 14 and METAL TEMPLE met the new singer for the second time this year to get additional info for the band’s whereabouts.

Did you film the Cleveland show?
Well, I believed that they recorded just the audio. I didn’t see that many cameras so, I am not sure. You are asking the wrong guy (laughs). The information highway does get off at my exit (laughs).

Ok, but did you have any special additions or changes in the setlist that night?
No, not really, After all, we are changing the setlist pretty much night after night to make it different for the audience and for us, you know. There are many people coming to multiple shows so, we don’t want them to get the same songs. As I said, we are changing it for us also; we are trying to get the new songs in rotation and get used to play all of them.

Even if we are not sure whether that show was recorded I want to ask you, do you feel additional anxious when you know that the show is going to be filmed or just recorded?
No, I can’t say that I feel that. TT QUICK did some live albums and it was just one night’s recording. There was no overdubs no nothing and that’s the way it was! This was the way that things were done back in those days. If a singer goes back to the studio and re-recorded the whole damn thing then it is not an actual live recording isn’t it?

 Yeah, I totally agree. So, here is the 100,000 times question; how did you decide to join ACCEPT?
(laughs) Well, the whole thing was kind of freaking since we met by chance, really and hit it really well in the studio while we were jamming together. And by that time, no one was thinking about doing it at that point. So, we had a good time in the studio and a few days later I got a phone call from Peter asking me whether I would like to meet him and Wolf to talk about doing a new album and bringing ACCEPT back on the road. I said: “What?” (making a really surprised face), “Let me get back to you,ok?” The first thing was to pass this through my wife because there is a saying “happy wife, happy life”. She immediately said “Are you crazy? Do it! Because if you don’t do it you are going to be miserable and there will be no living with you!”

 Clever move from her. So, did you have any second thoughts about getting in the shoes of Udo?
I had a lot of second thoughts in the beginning. There was a lot of negative reaction from the internet where people were saying “No Udo, no ACCEPT” and things like that. To be perfectly honest with you if I wasn’t the guy to be doing this I probably would be just like on these guys saying “Nah, he won’t be able to replace Udo”. And sometimes, after having said yes, I found myself thinking “what the hell am I doing?, Am I crazy?” But it has been a great experience and the fans have been supportive by receiving the band and me very well.

Let’s good to the new album. What was your input in “Blood Of The Nations”?
Well, the three of us (Peter, Wolf and myself) started working on ideas right way. But these two guys are just riff machines! Every day there was another riff and they were giving stuff constantly and I was amazed. Andy Sneap came in and listened to what we are doing and he proposed to all of us to sit down and listen to the old ACCEPT albums. Every album and every track to see what is special with this band. I wrote most of the lyrics in the album and a lot of ideas came to me while listening to those albums.

(interrupting)Some say that the lyrics in the new album are politically oriented?
More politically? What is more politically oriented than “Balls To The Wall”? I do not think we switched gears in this one. While I was listening to the old album I was also learning; so, I was in this mood and this frame of mind to begin with. Yeah, we did touch a few ‘touchy’ subjects in this one, like in “Blood Of The Nations”. But, we are not support war just the people who are fighting you know? The ones who are giving up their lives for us to keep going on with our lives. We also did a second about Wall Street but ACCEPT has been always this kind of band. ACCEPT did not write lyrics talking about chicks every five seconds.

Are you facing strong criticism on these lyrics?
I haven’t really but there have been a couple of people, and I mean a couple, in facebook, in ACCEPT’s webpage or even Blabbermouth saying we promote war. But you have to listen to the lyrics, read them, don’t be an idiot!

Are you reading all these online comments?
I try not to. But my wife lets me know about them…

So, is she your unofficial manager?
(laughs) I guess she is. She getting a kick out of them but I don’t.

Ok, let’s move on. What is your favorite ACCEPT song to sing them live?
Ah, that’s a tough one. I would say “Breaker”, “Fast As A Shark” and definitely “Neon Knights” where is an old song where you are actually singing.

Were there any songs where you faced some difficulties to sing it?
“Breaker” was a tough one due to the phrasing and being able to breathe. The difficult task for me was to find a way to sing it and make it sound like the album as much as possible. I was all about breathing and muscle control and muscle memory control. It took me about five or six shows for me to start feeling comfortable with singing.

Is there any ACCEPT song that you would like to get it in the setlist but for some reason you haven’t?
I wanted to “Ahead Of The Pack” but we have done it and I think we will in some point. We have a lot of stuff under consideration like “Objection Overruled” but there is so much good stuff… In this tour we are trying to give the fans all the most know tracks and some of the new ones. Next time around we are going to dig deeper…

That’s fair enough. What about TT QUICK, is anything new from there?
Not really. We had done some reunion live dates a couple of years ago but that’s all. Of course, I did talk to them before getting to ACCEPT and they just told me to just do it. There are no plans to get a new album but you never know… I do not want to rule it out. Never say never.

Ok, last question do you have anything in your mind about the next ACCEPT album?
We have been tossing ideas around and Peter writes music constantly and me and Wolf have some ideas. And Herman who also had a lot of input in this album. So, we are talking about returning to the studio by the end of next year and get something out at the beginning of 2012. Just like the old days; make a record-go on tour-make a record-go on tour…

Ok, Mark you can say anything you like to close this interview.
Anything? Well hi mom! (laughs) Just to say to all the ACCEPT fans to enjoy the new album and hopefully we will meet them in the audiences out there. Bang your head and scream your balls off!


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Edited 04 October 2022

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