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Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O.)

Interview with Udo Dirkschneider from U.D.O.
by Charlotte Whittingham at 16 January 2015, 3:00 PM

With a hugely successful music career capturing the hearts with their music U.D.O. still continue to do so after a couple of decades especially with a new release in January. Fellow writer Charlotte Whittingham with frontman Udo Dirkschneider about changes in the music industry and their new album.

So you are going to be releasing Decadent in the New Year, what was the writing process like when producing this album?

After recruiting two new guitar players I wanted to see what they would add to the sound, to see if they were coming up with new composing stuff and interesting songs. A lot of surprises came up so we started writing a lot of songs together as a lot of the songs were written by the whole band, I am really happy.

At the start of May we had a lot of ideas and decided which songs we were going to do and start working on it. It was also their first time playing together in the studio and we had to find out how it worked. We did everything quite easily; we’re in a lucky position as we have our own studio in Spain. We take our time to record the album, it was very interesting and what can I say? I am very happy with it.

How do your two new guitarists impact your sound? Is it similar or different to your previous album Steamhammer?

On Steelhammer we had Andrey \[Smirnow] playing all the guitars on the album. The departure of our second long term guitar player came as a surprise to us so of course I started to look for a second guitarist. We then found Kasperi Heikkinen from Finland. Of course we did the tour for Steelhammer and then the time came round to write a new album and the sound is a little different with two guitar players. In the old days on our previous material it used to be a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist but nowadays for the recent material they are now on the same level. I expect a lot of great things and I think the guitar work on the new album is brilliant.

Is there a particular song on the album that stands out for you?

I think all the songs are great but I particularly like the song Decadent, the title track. I also like the track House Of Fake, Pain and Under Your Skin so you see it’s not just one song I like on the album.

As someone who has been in the industry for a couple of decades, what has been the biggest change for you?

Of course the whole Internet thing has been a huge change regarding uploading stuff. In one way everything is much quicker, for example spreading news around the world in seconds and on the other hand it’s a little bit dangerous especially for new bands when they start.

Another change is that the CDs are now not selling as well because now you can find a way making money. I can’t be saying this as I am on a record label but you can make more money by making the album by yourselves and selling it over the Internet.

A lot of these Internet bands you have mentioned have turned to a tool called CrowdFunding to help pay for the making of their albums and tours; were you aware of this?

No I wasn’t and I’m not worried.

What about streaming online and the fact people don’t have to pay to listen?

We  \[UDO]are in a lucky position; we have a huge back catalogue which is still selling incredibly well and where we tour worldwide all of the time we can make money on the road through merch and ticket sales. So I am not in a bad situation.

I am sure there will be touring and festival appearances to promote Decadence?

There will be festival appearances in the summer time; we will be appearing at Wacken in 2015 and our European tour starts at the beginning of March and this time we will be coming to the UK. We start this on 31st March in London. We also have two or three more shows confirmed there so yes we are coming to the UK.

And what do you personally prefer out of huge festival appearances or your own live shows?

I mean festival appearances are OK; the atmosphere is great and you get huge crowds but I prefer the more rock and roll shows we do on tour where you have the crowd up to your face. Yes you get huge crowds at festivals but people are so far away so it’s a little bit different.


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