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Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals for UDO, former vocalist for Accept

Date: 05/24/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. The title of the new album is “Mastercutor”. What, or who, is the Mastercutor?

UDO: Yes… that means master executor, he is the host of reality television shows and when we recorded the record we tied it in as a little concept. Its like the mastercutor is the director and he is watching it on TV.

2. Tell us about the cover then, now I am assuming that is the Mastercutor.

UDO: Well yeah that is him and he looks very angry because of what we see and he sees on TV. He may appear a little too angry (laughs), but anyway. It’s a eye catching cover.

3. Who writes the music and all these great riffs from the new album like “The Wrong Side of Midnight” and “The Instigator”?

UDO: Most of the songs I write with our guitarist Stefan Kaufmann (former drummer for Accept), with this album music wise three were written by our other guitarist Igor Gianola, and three by our bass player Fitty. But that’s only for composing the songs you know, when it comes down to it when you get in the studio you have to arrange everything so in the studio there is a lot of team work and everyone contributes at some point.

4. How about the name of the band. Is it UDO or U.D.O. as it appears on the albums?

UDO: You could say it either way, you could say it stands for United Democratic Organization it you want. But in the beginnings of the band and we were looking for a logo the guy who was deigning it put those periods in between the letters. But it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

5. UDO and Accept obviously have some similarities between the two bands. What do you think makes UDO different from Accept?

UDO: Well obviously given my voice they are going to sound very similar (laughs) and also by working with Stefan in Accept and UDO he was a very important person composing wise and in the studio in bridging the two bands. I think in a way what makes UDO different from Accept is Wolf Hoffman’s guitar playing because he has his own style. With Stefan and Igor together they do keep the spirit of Accept for the UDO band.

6. Can you tell us about the video for “The Wrong Side of Midnight” and did you have any input on the concept?

UDO: The video shows the birth of the Mastercutor where he starts off with a normal face and changes into the Mastercutor, then he is looking for a stage to perform his stupid game shows. The video also incorporated some stop motion photography as well. It’s a bit different and it came out great. I know it is getting some airplay on television in Russia, the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Spain, but in Germany it’s a bit difficult for heavy music.

7. What other song from the album would you like to make a video for?

UDO: Ooohh I don’t know yet it’s a bit early to think about it, we have to see how well this one does first. Maybe we would do a ballad but I don’t know.

8. I am really digging “The Instigator” what about that one?

UDO: O yeah that’s another heavy one yeah I like that one a lot too.

9. Compare “Mastercutor” to the last album “Mission No.X”?

UDO: I think the new one has a wider range of songs, the sound is a bit different, maybe a bit more modern for UDO, we also used some effects on both the guitars and my voice, some underneath also. A couple arrangements are a bit different like on “Master of Disaster” “Dead Man’s Eyes” and “Walker of the Dark”. I think this album is a little for compact and harder than “Mission No.X”.

10. This is UDO’s eleventh studio album. So what albums do you find are the strongest?

UDO: (Laughs) well I always hope the last one, well the latest is the best really. But a strong one for me is “Man and Machine”, “Holy” has some really good songs because that is where this lineup really got its start. The first two “Animal House” to “No Limits” we were searching for ourselves. But with “Holy” is where we found our direction with this lineup.

11. UDO has not toured the States that much. So how much in the past has the band been able to do so and will you return for this record?

UDO: We were there in 2000 with Raven and then with Saxon in America that’s it. We really didn’t have a promoter to bring us over to America but now with the new album we have some new management and booking agency and they are already talking about the States which is nice. Maybe sometime in early 2008 when we already have some plans to play South America so that means we are already in the States and we can make our way north.

12. Are you in touch with your American fans and do you get a lot of feedback from them to play the States?

UDO: No not really much contact with the American fans, we have the forum/guest book on our site and unfortunately don’t get many people from the U.S. We get a lot of people from Europe and Japan and the eastern countries. I think we have to work more in the States again.

13. How about the Accept reunion shows. Why didn’t we get to see that in the U.S.?

UDO: O don’t ask me why it didn’t come to the States (laughs). Yes we did some shows in 2005, a couple in Europe and three in Japan and yeah but it was only for those live shows. It was never something that we saw as a reason to do another record it was just really a tribute to the fans. It was a lot of fun and not a lot of pressure for us we just played all the favorites up to the “Russian Roulette” album. But we never talked about, I know no one believes me, but we never talked about doing new music together again. I mean maybe we will do it again in two years or something but a real reunion no.

14. In the end was doing those Accept shows again satisfying for you?

UDO: Yeah it was. I think for me I found out something for myself. For me the band is UDO, there was no real magic working together again with Wolf Hoffman and the guys, it just didn’t feel like we needed to do a reunion together. I think it maybe was the right thing to do to find this out if it could work again for all of us. It was like a test.

15. Were any of those shows taped for a DVD?

UDO: Unfortunately no and I don’t know why. The only thing I know of was a few clips from the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany DVD from 2005.

16. What would you consider is the strongest period from Accept?

UDO: I would say from 1981-86.

17. Accept was a very influential band. So what albums do you think are the representation of the best work?

UDO: Well I know “Restless and Wild” is always regarded by fans and critics and I agree. I also think “Balls to the Walls” is as good and important.

18. After so many years of making music do you ever feel you are out of ideas and think the music is just not as good as it should be?

UDO: No not really its still a lot of fun and the ideas keep coming. I think we are lucky and the group of guys I am working with keeps the creativity going.

19. How much longer then do you see yourself doing the UDO band?

UDO: Really as long as we are healthy and it is still fun there is no reason to stop. We have plans up to 2010 but who knows. I know I still enjoy it and would not like to see it end just yet.

20. Since it has been a while since UDO has toured the States what type of setlist would you like to play?

UDO: O wow Hahaha, I would like to play something from all the UDO albums but it comes down to whether you do a headline set then its around ninety minutes but if you open up for a bigger band, which we may do, then you only have around fourty five to an hour to play. Songs I would like to include “Animal House”, “Heart of Gold”, “Independence Day”, “Holy”, “Thunderball”, “Man and Machine”, but when you only have one hour its hard to fit them all in.

21. If you could pick the band to tour with who would it be?

UDO: Well it would be great to tour with an Ozzy or Iron Maiden. I have toured with Ozzy before so that would be great.

I have been listening to this Finnish Band Children of Bodom too I really like them.

Official website: www.udo-online.de

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