Interviewer: Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
For more than thirty years now Udo Dirkschneider
has been screaming his lungs out to sold-out audiences worldwide.
Forming German hard rock act Accept way back in 1971 Udo and gang
rose to fame with their unique blend of rip roaring rock n roll. Over
the years Accept released many amazing albums, albums that still hold
up against any of today’s up and comers. Albums such as ‘Balls
to the Wall’ & ‘Metal Heart’ placed Accept in
the elite of Europe’s heavy metal scene. When accept members
Wolf & Peter fired Udo from his own band he went on to create
U.D.O. who have released an array of amazing albums over the years.
Recently Udo and gang released there long awaited album Mission No
X which has been music to the ears of many metal fans in Europe &
beyond. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of the world’s
greatest vocalist about his time in Accept & U.D.O., The latest
album and much more. It’s time to get your Balls to the Wall
with Udo Dirkschneider.
Metal Fanatix: Hi Udo, first of all
I want to thank you for putting some time aside to speak with us today,
it’s a true pleasure to have this opportunity to ask you a few
questions. I want to start by talking to you about the recently released
U.D.O. album Mission No X, were you guys pleased with the overall
Udo Dirkschneider: Hi Cameron, yes we
are more than happy with the whole thing!
Metal Fanatix: Awesome! For the fans
who haven’t heard it yet, how does the new album differ from
Udo Dirkschneider: This album is a more
straight forward album & more rock’n’roll then the
Metal Fanatix: How long did the new
album take to record? Was it a long drawn out process?
Udo Dirkschneider: It takes us four
months to write the songs & record everything, in a way it was
Metal Fanatix: Did you approach this
album in a different way to previous releases in terms of writing
& vocal styles?
Udo Dirkschneider: No! Not at all.
Metal Fanatix: When you prepare to do
a new album such as ‘Mission No X’, what comes first the
lyrics or the music & what different factors surrounded writing
the material for this album?
Udo Dirkschneider: Since the ‘Man
& Machine’ album we start first with the lyrics & then
comes the music.
Metal Fanatix: Udo, tell us briefly
about the following tracks from Mission No X
Scream Killers: Something is coming
from somewhere out of space.
The Eye of the Eagle: We have to be
more careful with our nature.
Stone Hard: We are still stone hard
in away with our music.
Number for a Number: About bad business
money wise, it’s about people that only count on money.
Mean Streets: The lyrics about dirty
streets, pervert sex things. Raping people.
Metal Fanatix: After all these years
of writing and recording how do you constantly come up with new fresh
sounding material without falling into the trap a lot of other bands
do by repeating themselves?
Udo Dirkschneider: I think in a way
we are lucky, sometimes I ask myself when it comes to record a new
album, hopefully we still have enough ideas but we’re always
coming out with new ideas.
Metal Fanatix: Udo, more then twenty
years on what motivates you to keep making music?
Udo Dirkschneider: Well, I’m still
having fun! For me that’s the most important thing!
Metal Fanatix: I’d like to talk
to you about life on the road, you guys are currently out on the road
in support of the new album, how have the shows been going?
Udo Dirkschneider: We’ve just
started the first part of our world tour & everything is going
well so far.
Metal Fanatix: That’s great I
hope the tour continues in that direction for you guys. Accept &
U.D.O. has never played shows in Australia, are there any plans in
the works to tour here soon?
Udo Dirkschneider: I would love to tour
in Australia. This time we are touring throughout a very big part
of Asia so, maybe there is a chance this time.
Metal Fanatix: Well we sure hope so
mate, when the time comes to work out the set list, do you find it
hard to choose the right songs, I mean there will always be fans who
want to hear the old stuff & the occasional obscure song &
of course you have to play some new tracks. Do you find it hard to
make a set that is for fans of all eras?
Udo Dirkschneider: This is a nightmare
for us [laughs]. This time we made a voting on our website. Only U.D.O.
songs so the people can vote for the songs they wanna hear live. So
it was a little bit easier for us this time [laughs]
Metal Fanatix: What is the most ridiculous
thing you have ever asked for on a tour rider?
Udo Dirkschneider: We never ask for
crazy, we don’t play that game!
Metal Fanatix: Over the years you have
shared the stage with so many great bands. Who have you enjoyed touring
with the most & could you share a funny road story with us from
Udo Dirkschneider: Ozzy Osbourne was
the funniest tour I have been on. They are so many funny stories.
Oh I remember one show during Tommy Aldridge’s drum solo, Ozzy
went out of the hall straight to the next bar, everybody was looking
for him so it was one of the longest drum solo’s I’ve
ever heard [laughs]
Metal Fanatix: [laughs] oh I bet Tommy
was pissed at Ozzy that night [laughs]. Tell us about the first tour
Accept did, what fond/horrific memories come to mind?
Udo Dirkschneider: The first tour was
in Holland & wow we had money left from this tour! [Laughs]
Metal Fanatix: Touring the world for
so many years must put a burden on family life? Do you travel with
family on the road?
Udo Dirkschneider: They just travel
with me when we do festivals! On tour they visit me from time to time
or I fly home on off days!
Metal Fanatix: Do you do anything specific
to warm up & prepare for a show?
Udo Dirkschneider: No, nothing special.
Metal Fanatix: You have an amazing &
unique voice and you’ve been singing for quite some time. These
days is heavy metal still giving you any challenges?
Udo Dirkschneider: Oh of course! Every
time when we record a new album I try something new with my voice!
Metal Fanatix: Udo, I want to talk about
the Accept reunion tour, overall were you pleased with the response
you received from the fans?
Udo Dirkschneider: It was a lot of fun
for me & I think the people enjoyed the shows?
Metal Fanatix: Will there be a DVD released
showcasing the reunion?
Udo Dirkschneider: I know that the Wacken
show was recorded, so maybe there will be a DVD coming out.
Metal Fanatix: Going back to when you
first left Accept, what did you think of the vocalists that followed
(Rob Armitage, David Reece & Jim Stacey)? Did you keep an eye
on what the band was up to?
Udo Dirkschneider: Sorry, but that is
wrong. I never left the band they fired me in a way. Wolf & Peter
were not happy with my vocals anymore & they were looking for
a more commercial singer to hit the American market, what a stupid
idea!? Of course I was keeping an eye on the band. But you know what
happened...... They split up!
Metal Fanatix: Going way back to when
you recorded the first self titled Accept album, if someone had come
up to you & told you that you would still be doing this all these
years later & that you would be in one of the most influential
bands in heavy metal would you have believed them?
Udo Dirkschneider: No. I started the
whole Accept thing in the beginning as a hobby. If somebody told me
that I’d still after 30 years be in this business, I wouldn’t
have believe him
Metal Fanatix: Anthrax is just one band
that has said many times that if it wasn’t for bands such as
Accept, they probably would have never have been playing, when you
hear those sort of comments, you must be proud to have helped start
that generation of thrash metal bands!
Udo Dirkschneider: Yeah I am. When I
hear those things it makes me proud. It means I made a great contribution
in this business!
Metal Fanatix: Udo, you certainly have
made a great lasting impression on the business. After all these years
& tremendous success what goals have you set for yourself these
Udo Dirkschneider: I hope I can go on
for a long time & still write some good songs & make some
people happy with our music.
Metal Fanatix: There has been so many
highlights in your career, what would you say have been your greatest
achievements to date?
Udo Dirkschneider: The Monsters of Rock
1984 & our first U.S. tour with Kiss in 1984
Metal Fanatix: Out of the amazing array
of albums you have appeared on over the years which is your favorite
to listen to & why?
Udo Dirkschneider: Queen – Innuendo.
There are so many emotions on this album!!!
Metal Fanatix: Late last year you did
some work with Lordi, how did you get involved with those guys?
Udo Dirkschneider: I got an e-mail from
Sony/BMG Finland & they asked me about this relationship with
Lordi & told me that Lordi is a big fan of mine. So it was very
easy. I told them to send me the song as I have to listen to the song
first & what can I say? I liked the song very much so I traveled
to Helsinki & did the recording together with Lordi! Yesterday
Lordi came up on-stage in Helsinki & he was singing Balls to the
Wall together with us, it was a lot of fun!
Metal Fanatix: In your honest opinion
what do you think about the direction hard rock & metal music
has taken over the last few years?
Udo Dirkschneider: Oh, what can I say!
Still a lot of young bands still come up with this & some of them
are very good!
Metal Fanatix: What advice do you have
for up and coming rock/metal bands?
Udo Dirkschneider: I think the most
important thing is to believe in yourself.
Metal Fanatix: As an artist what are
your opinions on downloading & file sharing, do you think it works
for or against many artists including yourself?
Udo Dirkschneider: I think it takes
a while before the music industry can handle this in a good way for
artists. But anyway, this is the future & we have to deal with
Metal Fanatix: If you could put a band
together consisting of musicians passed and/or present who would they
be & what would you call the band?
Udo Dirkschneider: Ritchie Blackmore
on guitar, Ken Hensley on keyboards, Cozy Powell on drums & Jimmy
Bain on bass guitar. I’d call it Heroes of Rock!
Metal Fanatix: Udo, thanks so much again
for taking the time out to speak with us today, as a huge fan I was
thrilled to have this opportunity. Do you have any last words you’d
like to share with our readers?
Udo Dirkschneider: Hopefully we can
make it once again to the U.S.A. & I would love to make it to
Australia. I know a lot of fans are waiting for this & we will
do our best for a tour very soon! So stay tuned and keep it heavy!
The latest U.D.O. Album ‘Mission No X’
is out now! Pick up your copy today.
To keep up with all the latest on Udo make
sure you check out the following websites:
- Official U.D.O. website
- Official Accept website
- Dedicated to 40 years of hard rock & metal music
© Cameron Edney March, April 2006 Not to be re-printed in any
form without written permission.