Udo Dirkschneider - U.D.O.
The master executer - Udo Dirkschneider - is back with another new U.D.O. album called 'Steelhammer' due out in late May on AFM Records. I spoke with him while he was visiting America for a brief, but wholly dedicated Greatest Hits Promotional Tour.
For well over two solid decades this Teutonic Titan - a freelance man or metal machine - who means business, has dominated or delivered the bomb, time and time again, showing no limits to his 24/7 independent leatherhead banging "I'm a rebel!" approach.
So come experience his metal heart of gold, as we break all the rules....
MettleAngel: Happy 61st Birthday! I so respect how you have been doing this for such a longtime, with no sign of ever slowing down.
MettleAngel: I respect that. I am amazed how U.D.O. has remained active for well over 25 years. Many thought it was just your side project away from Accept.
MettleAngel: Actually give or take your leaving and returning to Accept, and U.D.O., I think the two are commensurate; however, I know you have had more control in U.D.O. as far as the direction of the music and how the band is managed.
MettleAngel: I so wish I could have had a chance to see you perform in Cleveland on the 18th of April. Something important came up, and I am unable to make the show. Last time I saw you was when I went on my first date with the woman who would become my wife. You came to Cincinnati in May of 2000 while on tour with Raven. Unfortunately, Raven did not make the show, as they suffered from mechanical concerns.
MettleAngel: I am pleased to say, that I married that woman, and we are still together! Will you be debuting any new material on this brief stint through North America?
MettleAngel: Well that is quite encouraging! I think you booked some good cities.
MettleAngel: I hope to see you then. Will you also be bringing some other better known AFM acts on tour with you?
MettleAngel: Well with the release of those "Anniversary Editions" of most of your back catalogue, fans should be quite familiar with the songs you select.
MettleAngel: I have all the BMG and Gun originals, some on Vinyl, Tape, and CD. The label was kind enough to send me the Anniversary re-masters of "Timebomb" and "Mean Machine", both of which I still have the originals on CD. As far as the forthcoming album, I have only heard the single for "Metal Machine".
MettleAngel: I do not think it has been publically. I received a promo download of the song. Last time we spoke I teased you about having so many songs with the word "Midnight" in the title. Now it seems like you really like "Machine". You know, 'Man Or Machine', 'Mean Machine', "Metal Machine", etc.
MettleAngel: I sure can see that given so many album covers like 'Dominator', 'Rev-Raptor', 'No Limits', 'Man And Machine', etc. Although, when I last saw you, I bought a 'Holy' shirt. I wore that shirt while I was on my honeymoon in Florida. That was Andreas Marschall artwork, right?
MettleAngel: You mean like Running Wild, Grave Digger, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, who did an interesting cover of "Metal Heart", etc. Speaking of covers of Accept songs, I will see an American band on the third installment of the "Metal Alliance Tour" tonight who do an excellent rendition of "Fast As A Shark".
MettleAngel: The band is called Holy Grail, and they are from California. They are young, hungry, talented musicians signed to Prosthetic Records here in the U.S. Another American act who are making waves covering U.D.O. is Sister Sin. I understand they joined you on stage to perform "24/7" live while on tour?
MettleAngel: I have seen them perform live a number of times. The most recent tour was with your good friend Doro. I just wish they would announce that this is an U.D.O. cover, and not claim it as their own. They even have a video, and most fans are not aware that it is not really their song. I guess this has always been the case for bands.
MettleAngel: I guess, I am not quite sure how I feel about the band, overall. So, I hear that you now have a new line-up, with younger musicians.
MettleAngel: The last release with him, then was the 'Live In Sofia' DVD?
MettleAngel: Kasperi is in that Gamma Ray Tribute band from Finland called Guardians Of Mankind. I heard them on the 'Hello-Ray' Tribute Thomas Hansen from Gaia Epicus released last year. Your other guitarist is from Russia, right?
MettleAngel: I am not too familiar with them. I do know you have quite a following in Russia though. First the Scorpions paved the way, and now U.D.O. have set the standard.
MettleAngel: You still live on an island off the coast of Spain, correct? Unlike Doro, who is married to metal, you have a family, though.
MettleAngel: I understand that your son is a musician too.
MettleAngel: You mean, no nepotism? On the new album were you not originally working in the studio with Michael Waegener?
MettleAngel: How do you mean?
MettleAngel: I have always been an avid supporter of the band, so I am very excited to hear the new album.
MettleAngel: I liked that album too. So, I imagine you have some more heavy touring in your future after this brief deal in North America?
MettleAngel: That is awesome! Just look how you opened the border of Russia! More power to you. If The Stones, The Who, Aerosmith, etc, can do it, so can you! Real quick, last time we spoke, you had not heard Mark Tornillo sing with Accept. I will not open old wounds, but now that they have had two very successful albums, I was just wondering about your current view.
MettleAngel: Man, what a perfect way to end this interview, knowing that there is no more bad blood. Accept are my thrid favourite band, ever, but I really like this incarnation, as well, as the others. I also have always supported U.D.O., so I am grateful that both bands exist. It is the same with Iron Maiden and Blaze Bayley. Mark will actually be playing a reunion show with TT Quick next month with The Rods, Anvil, Raven, etc. i New Jersy. I would love to attend that too.
MettleAngel: Yes, Johnny and Marsha Zazula are working with Eddie Trunk for the benfit show. I think there are two or three scheduled. I know Twisted Sister are headlining the first one. Damn, yet another awesome gig on U.S. soil that I am unable to attend. Udo,Thank you so much for youor time and energy!
MettleAngel: I know how you are inundated with interviews every half an hour, and I was reticent to even mention Accept. Now, I am glad I did. I look forward to hearing the new album, and hopefully catching you next time you come to America. All The Best!