The late ’80s marked a change for Accept when one of the founding members, Udo Dirkschneider, parted ways with the group. Following this, the band collaborated with David Reece to release the album ‘Eat The Heat,’ which didn’t achieve the expected commercial success.
Accept went on a hiatus in the late ’80s and returned with a new vocalist, Mark Tornillo, years later, leading to a series of long-standing comparisons between him and the former singer.
With the release of ‘Blood Of The Nations’ in 2010, listeners noted similarities between Tornillo’s vocal style and the raspy voice of Dirkschneider from earlier tracks like ‘Balls To The Wall’ and ‘Fast As A Shark.’
So, Reece shared his view on Accept’s current lineup during a 2019 conversation with ‘The Classic Metal Show.’ Saying that the band wasn’t ready to move on without Dirkschneider in the ’80s, he explained:
“Now, you’ve got Mark Tornillo. He’s a soundalike — I mean, he’s an Udo copy — and that sound works inside that German thing. But I never really heard them admit that they were prepared for what they really did, and they blamed me for a lot of things.”
The Band Dynamics And Fan Opinions
On the other hand, while Tornillo’s presence in the band remained more stable, Dirkschneider reportedly had conflicts with his bandmates during his run. In fact, according to his 2017 interview with EMP Live, Accept fired the singer in 1987 because of these conflicts:
“I never left Accept. That’s a very important point. They fired me. That’s a very important thing. It’s very interesting to be fired [from] your own band. I was creating Accept, and then, in the end, they said, ‘We wanna do more commercial stuff. Blah blah blah’ — like this. And then I started U.D.O. And in the meanwhile, Accept, for me, is, let’s say, far away.”
Meanwhile, the band released five albums with its current vocalist in the past fifteen years. Still, since it found a place in the music industry during Dirkschneider’s run, many fans kept referring to Tornillo as the ‘new guy’ throughout the years.
The frontman said this didn’t bother him while talking to Rockpages in 2018 and added:
“It could have gone south in a big hurry when I joined the band. If we had to listen to the Internet, it probably would have, but we decided we needed to take some time and write a killer record, and that’s what we tried to do, and it seems that it worked out that way.”
As Accept’s latest record, ‘Too Mean To Die,’ came out in 2021 and U.D.O.’s latest release, ‘Touchdown,’ hit the shelves in 2023, the two singers’ times in the band remained different chapters in its history for the fans, with some poll results about the best vocalist showing even split between them.