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Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O.)

Interview with Udo Dirkschneider from U.D.O.
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 15 June 2009, 7:34 PM

Do I really need to tell you that Udo was in ACCEPT during the golden years? Or Do I have to remind you how influential his vocals are? Maybe I have to remember all the songs that are still sung in every Metal club who respects itself? No, I really don't! So, go ahead and read what the man had to say about the ACCEPT reunion and the excellent album that is on its way! (The Infected review will be online soon!)

Interview with: Udo Dirkschneider from U.D.O.

 You have a brand new single on the way entitled Infected; first of all I have to ask you why will you release it only in 2222 copies? Is there any special meaning behind this number?

(laughs) No there is none! Actually this was an idea of our record label and I have to admit that we are not really happy about this…


We don't see the point in releasing two non-album (and actually very good) tracks on a single. They will be on 2222 copies for a limited number of fans and then they will be lost. So, I do not know if there is any meaning behind this number. I guess they wanted to do something special for the band. We want to have these two songs as download-ables  in the internet because we do not want to lose them!

 Are we talking about new songs or leftovers from previous recordings?

No, they are totally new, too good for a single release and only for 2222 people.(laughs)

 So, the songs will be available for free or what?

This is what we are talking about to have them free but, you know, we do not know what the record label will think of this (laughs).

 Where does the new music stand?

The sound is bigger, modern…

(interrupting) Modern?

Yeah! There is more melody especially in the guitars and I think the entire album is more straightforward. Actually, the new album will be a mix of everything; really high vocals, ballads and, as I said, everything! There is the entire range of the band in this one when compared to Mastercutor. For example, in the vocals I have done some new stuff that I haven't tried before.

 Are you experimenting with your voice?

Yeah I do! After, I don't know, 40 years I actually like getting to places that I haven't. It is interesting to see that after all these years I can do more with my voice.

 What about the lyrics?

The lyrics deal with all the things that are happening to our day life. The stupid games, the stupid talk shows, the stupid politics and all those things.

 What does come first the music or the lyrics?

Actually this time we changed the sequence in our composing process. In the old days we had the music first, then the vocal melodies and last lyrics. Now we had the lyrics first. By this way we knew what the music should be to fit them. You know, where we wanted a fast or a slow song, whatever. This is way is so much easier for us. Having the lyrics you can ‘guide' the music.

 Did all the band members contribute to the songs writing? Or was you and Stefan?

On this album Fitty \[Wienhold bass player] was pretty much involved in the music and he actually wrote on song on his own. But all the band is totally involved in the arranging the songs. They all bring their ideas in the studio…

(interrupting) I am asking this because one could say that ‘this is Udo's band and he does not accept someone's opinion'

No way. I am not the type of person you would say that. After all the music is for the band and not for me!

 In the band's official site says that the new album is closer to ACCEPT;  can give us more details on this?

Yeah, in this album you can find songs from the Balls To Wall era or Russian Roulette  and stuff like that.

 But have you ever left the ACCEPT sound?

No! (laughs) This was a comment by the guys from the record label. I have never left this sound. Ok, it is a little bit different and if you think the main difference is that Wolf is not playing the solos. But if you take a closer 'look' at the solos in the new album you will discover more melody and that bring us closer to ACCEPT.

 And that brings us to the next question; what about the reunion?

Reunion? (laughs)

It's good to see you laugh about that! Of course I am talking about the proposition to re-join ACCEPT.

Yeah I know. Reunion for me would be if Stefan \[Kaufmann] and myself would be back on ACCEPT. It is good to see that Peter \[Baltes] and Wolf \[Hoffman] are making music together again but under the name of ACCEPT? I do not know. It will be very difficult. I listened to the new recordings (Balls To The Wall: Audio Stream, MP3 Download
Flash Rocking Man: Audio Stream, MP3 Download) and I can say that the new singer sounds like a copy of my vocals; and this is wrong.

But it is actually up to them. I believe that if they wanted to do a reunion without me they should search a different singer. This might work. So, when they asked me and Stefan to do a reunion I simply said ‘no'. The risk for me would be too high. I have been with U.D.O. for more time than I had been with ACCEPT and actually I have made more albums. U.D.O. is a band with strong chemistry and is working as a team. I do not have any problem with the guys in ACCEPT but I know that music-wise we would not be the same. It would be two different parts together; myself and Stefan on one side and Wolf and Peter on the other. But this would not be ACCEPT that back in those days was a whole. Listen to the Predator album it had nothing to do with the old sound.

 Yeah I know what you mean.

And I have to tell you that there was a lot of money involved but still I said no. The risk was too high for me and after all money is not everything! I am making a good living with U.D.O. and 'sorry I won't'.

 Fair enough! Let's move one. Have you every thought of planning a special show to celebrate the more than 20 years in music?

Maybe with in the next DVD it will be nice to get some old U.D.O. members or maybe Wolf can play a solo on this. I mean I do not have a problem on this. So, yes maybe we will do something special on the new DVD.

 What about summer festival?

Yeah we will be in a different country each week! So it will be great! In the middle of October we will start our European tour until Christmas and hopefully we will visit Greece. It has been long time since the last time!

Yes it was indeed! I read that Mastercutor receiver the highest rank on the German charts; did you expect something like this?

No! (laughs) This meant that U.D.O. was considered as a band. Because until then ACCEPT was always on top. So, this achievement brought the U.D.O. on the spotlight! You know that I am getting a lot of e mails from funs saying that I should not return to ACCEPT and that they want to listen to U.D.O. songs. It would be strange to be with ACCEPT and play a couple of U.D.O. songs. The other way around works better! So, this shows that I chose well and not joined this reunion.

Is there any ACCEPT song that you would love to play but for some reason you still haven't?

Yeah! When we are preparing the setlist for our shows we are always looking at the ACCEPT songs and start thinking what to add. You know, many people are asking for a song called Shake Your Heads \[from Restless And Wild] and we are thinking ‘why not?' We want to add a couple of surprises but you cannot leave Balls To Wall or Princess Of The Dawn out!

Have you ever thought of stop playing music? I remember you had some health problems back in 1992 (I think)

It was not a heart problem. It was from work anxiety and during that period I was doing a lot of stuff but after this I said ‘stop' and started taking one thing after the other!

Ok, Udo I am done here thank you  for your time!

Well thank you too, I hope that we will make it here and play a couple of shows in your lovely country.


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