Since reforming in 2009 with new frontman Mark Tornillo, Teutonic metal titans Accept have attracted a whole new generation of fans, joining those who remember them from their 1980s heyday. Currently on a world tour to promote their second post-reformation album Stalingrad, the band’s long association with Sennheiser continues.
As with most heavy metal and hard rock acts, seeing Accept play live is seeing them in their element. Hard-hitting anthems like Metal Heart, Princess Of The Dawn and the infamous Balls To The Wall had a huge guitar sound on record, which was then taken to another level in the live environment.
The band’s newer material continues this ‘no compromise’ approach and Frank Trzaskowski, Accept’s long-serving front-of-house engineer (and now also production manager), has Sennheiser equipment as a key element in the live rig. “When I originally started work with them they were heavily influenced by British acts like Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Rainbow and Iron Maiden, so my style of mixing fitted well,” he says. “The British approach was not to be scared of the midrange, which really helped me with mixing a band dominated by twin guitars, snare drum and screaming vocals!”
A key to the band’s distinctive guitar sound was the early 1970s’ version of Sennheiser’s MD 421 microphones, which Frank also took out on the road to ensure that the live sound didn’t fall short. “The 421 is definitely one of the best live microphones ever produced,” he says. “I have been blessed to work and tour with some of the greatest rock and heavy metal guitar players in the world and Wolf (Hoffmann, Accept lead guitarist) is truly one of them. We only use one 4 x 12 speaker cabinet for him onstage, which is miked with a Sennheiser MD 421 II and e 906.
“The e 906 is a great mic to translate the overall tone of his unique sound into the PA, while the 421 accurately reproduces the transients. The band’s music can get pretty busy with twin guitars, double kick, heavy snare attack and their trademark gang vocals, so the 421 is especially helpful here, without sounding harsh or cold.”
“We have a long history with Sennheiser, going all the way back to the early 80s,” confirms Wolf. “I remember using the 421s on most of the albums and live for guitar sound. I still like them today. Of course technology has changed a lot since then with all the wireless gear, in-ears etc and as a touring band I find it more important than ever to have reliable partners in the industry. So we were very excited to hook up with Sennheiser’s Global Relations Manager for EMEA, Pierre Morant, when we re-grouped in 2009.”
Further Sennheiser microphones include e 904s, e 614s and more MD 421s on the drum kit, another MD 421 on Peter Baltes’ bass rig, e 935s on backing vocals and an SKM 2000 wireless transmitter with an MMD 935 capsule combined with the EM 2050 receiver for Mark Tornillo’s lead vocal.
“I love having the e 904 on the toms it makes them sound really fresh, open, big and bright,” says Frank. “Besides the sound quality, reliability is always a major reason for me using Sennheiser products. Let’s face it, drum mics get hit sooner or later, no matter how good the drummer is. Some mics can handle it, some can’t and the e 904 is definitely in the first category!”
All of the band except Tornillo use Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 systems and evolution wireless guitar systems. “We have toured the world twice with these units now and have not had a single serious issue anywhere,” Frank adds. “The WSM wireless manager is a very helpful tool and a welcome addition to a perfect travel package, I find it very intuitive and easy to use.”
The workload for Frank, the band and the Sennheiser equipment is showing no sign of slowing, with over 60 shows booked for 2012 and then festivals in 2013. “There is big demand to see Accept live. To know that we have Sennheiser as a partner is a calming feeling in a hectic touring world,” says Frank. “With complex travel and production, taking care of artists and crew can be intense enough, so the last thing you need is any stressful equipment issue. The overall communication with Pierre Morant and the resulting prompt service of the whole Sennheiser Global Relations team is simply exceptional.”
“It’s been a wild ride these last few years, two studio albums and hundreds of shows worldwide,” adds Wolf. “Just like the fans expect us to put on a killer show each and every night, we expect a lot from our gear. Sennheiser has always helped us to make it happen. Thanks so much guys, we couldn’t have done it without you!”
Vorm geven aan de sound van morgen en voor zijn klanten unieke klankervaringen tot stand brengen… Dat is het doel waarrond wereldwijd alle medewerkers en partners van Sennheiser zich verenigen. De onderneming is opgericht in 1945 en uitgegroeid tot een van ’s werelds toonaangevende producenten van koptelefoons, microfoons en draadloze zendersystemen. Met zijn 21 verkoopfilialen en partnerrelaties van vele jaren is de groep actief in ruim 50 landen. Daarnaast telt hij nog eens eigen productiefaciliteiten in Duitsland, Ierland, Roemenië en de VS. Sinds 2013 staat met Daniel Sennheiser en Dr. Andreas Sennheiser de derde generatie van de familie aan het hoofd van de onderneming. In 2017 genereerde de Sennheiser-groep een omzet van in totaal € 667,7 miljoen.