Too Mean to Die

Too Mean to Die

On their 16th album, German metal fixtures Accept issue a warning to all those who might think a band founded in the mid-’70s might be on the way out. “We just wanted to say we’re the metal warriors immortal, and we can’t be killed,” guitarist and ringleader Wolf Hoffmann tells Apple Music. “Just a bit of fun, really.” Featuring the debuts of new bassist Martin Motnik and new third (!) guitarist Philip Shouse, Too Mean to Die is the triumphant sound of a band that can still write better songs than most headbangers half their age—as evidenced by the festival-ready chant “The Undertaker,” the rip-roaring title track, and the classically influenced instrumental “Samson and Delilah.” Below, Hoffmann takes us through each song. Zombie Apocalypse “We chose this song to go first because it’s got an intro and feels like a natural show-opening-type song. Once the intro is over, it gives you that full-force metal assault with guitar riffs galore. But it’s not talking about zombies. It’s not talking about dead people. It's really talking about people walking down the streets with their cell phones, looking like zombies disconnected from the world.” Too Mean to Die “It’s a statement about the times that we live in. We just wanted to have a bit of fun and write a sort of in-your-face metal song saying, ‘We're the German metal machines that can't be killed’—that sort of thing.” Overnight Sensation “That's a catchy, fun song. I think it's going to be one of the best live tracks on this album. Lyrically, it's talking about the modern generation of YouTube kids, because we found it intriguing to think that when we got started you had to learn something for years and years until you got good enough to be maybe famous one day. Nowadays kids go online, post something, it goes viral, and they're basically overnight stars. It's sort of an interesting thing to think about—the whole YouTube, TikTok, Facebook generation. All the rules are changed completely.” No Ones Master “That is a song that was mostly created by our new bass player, Martin Motnik. To me it sounds like a very typical Accept song—like a melodic idea I could have had, but I didn’t. It was his idea, which is great. I think it's talking about the fact that you want to treat everybody like you want to be treated—no one's master, no one's slave. You don't want to bow down to anybody, but at the same time you don't oppress people.” The Undertaker “This one seems to have all the typical Accept elements, with the chanting vocals, the melodic parts, and that sort of midtempo driving beat that we have. It’s interesting because [vocalist] Mark [Tornillo] wrote the lyrics first in the form of a poem, without any music in mind. He just gave me those lyrics and I wrote the music afterwards. I tried to write in a spooky kind of way. That's why this intro works so nicely: It kind of sets the tone for the lyrics, which are talking about this creepy undertaker guy.” Sucks to Be You “That's another Motnik idea. I rather liked it. It’s got a cool riff, and we all jumped on it when we heard it. And the saying ‘sucks to be you’ is kind of a nice phrase. I guess we all have people that we feel that way about, but it’s not about anyone in particular. I think it's more of a general statement, and you have to use your imagination about who it could be for or who is meant there. Quite honestly, if you are a jerk, that must suck. So it must suck to be you. I like it.” Symphony of Pain “This song is about Beethoven’s life, and it’s got all these Beethoven symphonic elements in there, which is something I’ve been doing my whole life. I’ve always been a great fan of classical music and I've always tried to incorporate classical elements into Accept songs wherever appropriate. Of course the best-known symphony of them all is probably Beethoven’s Fifth, and I found a place in this track for it. Also during the guitar solo there’s an element from Beethoven’s Ninth. So yeah, it’s all about Beethoven in this one.” The Best Is Yet to Come “This is not your typical ballad because it’s not quite as slow and draggy as ballads often are. It’s got somewhat of a bouncy feel, which I like. And this is one of my favorites, actually, because the statement ‘the best is yet to come’ really means a lot to me personally. It's sort of my life philosophy, in a way—not only personally but also musically, I think the best is yet to come. I honestly think the best show maybe hasn't been played yet and the best song hasn't been written yet. And I'm really amazed at the job Mark has done singing it. He really did a fantastic job.” How Do We Sleep “‘How Do We Sleep’ is really talking about the state of the world that we live in, whether it's environmentally or politically. There’s so many problems out there, and sometimes you start to wonder, how do we actually manage to keep going? I think we all find a way to tune out these problems because otherwise you would go crazy. But sometimes you wonder, ‘How can we just sit here idle and go on about our lives?’ Well, I don't know. The rainforests are being burnt down. The climate is getting worse, and politically everything's going to hell. So it's definitely worth thinking about that sometimes.” Not My Problem “This is another saying that you hear a lot of times. It might be this, it might be that, but at the end of the day, that's not my problem. It's exactly the opposite of ‘How Do We Sleep.’ It's just something that people say, and it worked well in this song.” Samson and Delilah “This is an instrumental. It's a direct reference to a classical composition of the same name by the French composer Saint-Saëns. I used the main theme out of that piece, and there's another piece by Antonín Dvořák, called ‘The Symphony From the New World.’ I put the two together and made a rocking metal instrumental out of it. It serves as a nice little outro, I'd say. You’ve heard 10 tracks with vocals, and this is your last one as the credits roll down the screen.”

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