DATE OF INTERVIEW:
20th August 2009
METAL DISCOVERY: You were part of…I’m sure you’ve had this question many times today already…obviously you were part of the Accept reunion in 2005, but you decided not to be part of the latest reunion - was that a straight “no” immediately or were you tempted at all?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: They came up in the first place and they asked Stefan and me - “maybe we’re going to do a reunion”, and then we said “guys…” [laughs]…I didn’t say directly no…“okay, we can talk about this, but really on many conditions”. I mean, I did already a reunion and I didn’t wanna have the same shit again. And then we told them we’d think about this, then they said “but ah no, this is too much, and then we cannot do this, and cannot promise this and this…”. And then we said in the end “okay guys, sorry but the risk to cut down U.D.O. again and do a reunion, and maybe do a studio album, and maybe do a tour, and then find out later it doesn’t work…again…the risk is too high”. I mean, we said “okay, we are feeling very well and very happy with what we have now with U.D.O.”. I mean, now with U.D.O., in a way everyone thinks it’s a continue of Accept - of course, it was - and we did more albums than I did with Accept. The band is now longer together than I had been together with Peter. And we said “no, everything is fine now with U.D.O. - we’ve just come up with a new album, the tour is worldwide, there’s a lot of interest and now U.D.O. really has a place in this business.”
(Udo Dirkschneider on the latest Accept reunion)
"…they said to a lot of people “without Udo, Accept will never happen again” and then, two weeks later, I saw on the internet that Accept is back with a whole lineup. I mean, come on, you cannot get a completely new website, and a new lineup, and a new singer in two weeks!"
U.D.O. - uncredited promo shot, 2009
Photograph supplied by, and used with permission from, Mike Exley at M.E.P.R.
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official U.D.O. Website:
Official U.D.O. MySpace:
Animal House (1987)
Mean Machine (1989)
AFM Records Website:
Thanks to Mike Exley at M.E.P.R. for arranging the interview.
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Live From Russia (2001)
Man and Machine (2002)
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Metalized - 20 Years of Metal (2007)
MD: Yeah, you’re a successful band in your own right.
UD: Yeah, so we said “sorry guys, we don’t want to do this”. And then they said, to a lot of people…that was the only thing that I was a little bit angry about…they said to a lot of people “without Udo, Accept will never happen again” and then, two weeks later, I saw on the internet that Accept is back with a whole lineup. I mean, come on, you cannot get a completely new website, and a new lineup, and a new singer in two weeks! I think they had already plan B in their pocket, you know.
MD: So they had a kind of understudy for you waiting in the wings.
UD: Yeah, they were just waiting for if he says yes or no.
MD: I guess that’s also not fair on the other guy they had lined up for the singing role.
UD: Yeah. The thing about what they have now is also an American singer, and I’ve nothing against American singers, but he did two songs which they put on the internet - ‘Balls To The Wall’ and ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’ - I mean, come on, this is for me, the sound is like an Accept cover band! I mean, he was trying to copy me, and also with an American accent.
MD: Oh dear!
UD: This is completely wrong. I mean, I have a German accent! [laughs]
MD: Exactly! I haven’t heard those re-recorded songs, to be honest, but I’ll…not bother!
UD: In the first place I was feeling like, come on, this is a joke, and when I listened the second time I couldn’t stop laughing! Like, come on guys, what are you doing?! Then I heard they really like it and “yeah, this is great”, but what can I say. I mean, I think what they’re doing is wrong. When they want to start making music again then maybe it’s wrong to do it under the name Accept.
UD: Maybe they’ll do a brilliant album…I hope they do a brilliant album! [laughs]
MD: It’s kind of using the Accept name to sell records because, I mean, you were, and are, the voice of Accept and it’s not going to be the same.
UD: But it will never be an Accept album, you know. And so, they’re taking a high risk and so far, what can I say…all the journalists and talking to so many people in the industry say to me “come on, this cannot work”. But, I wish them luck. We shall see!
MD: And you’ll listen to the album when it comes out?
UD: Yeah, of course! I hope they’re doing a good album! [laughs] What I also don’t understand is they did it already once with the ‘Eat the Heat’ album with David Reece. It was a good album, a good singer, but that was not Accept.
MD: Absolutely not, no.
UD: So, I mean, what can I say, I have to do a lot of things with U.D.O.. We are very busy so we will see what’s coming up.
MD: So many bands have covered Accept songs over the years - what’s the best version of an Accept song you’ve heard?
UD: The best version of an Accept song…
MD: Or a U.D.O. cover - I’ve heard one or two of those.
UD: There was a song on the ‘Death Row’ album, there was a song ‘Generation Clash’, and then a Finnish band did a brilliant tribute to Accept - there was two ‘Tribute to Accept’ albums coming out…I was also doing a tribute to Accept with ’X-T-C’ [laughs]…and, yeah, I think this is a brilliant, brilliant cover version of Accept.
MD: I think one of the best versions I’ve heard…have you heard of a Swedish band called Godgory?
MD: They split up a few years ago, but did ‘Princess of the Dawn’ on an album around 2000 - a very, very good version - kind of in their own style.
UD: Uh-huh, I’ve not heard it. And another good version is the song ‘Balls to the Wall’…there is a band called Fozzy - they did a very good version of ‘Balls to the Wall’. But in South America..this is funny…they have one band in São Paulo in Brazil, they really look like Accept! [laughs] The singer’s coming out in camouflage, and the rest of the band did exactly that…very funny cover, but they’re doing it very well. I mean, it’s interesting to see, you know.
MD: Do you make the effort to check out any new bands or music in the scene or do your tastes lie mainly with the classics of the genre?
UD: No, I mean, I have a son who is sixteen years old so now he’s a drummer with his own band, so you can imagine that I have to listen to all these young bands! [laughs] But there’s some very interesting stuff.
MD: What’s the last best album you heard?
UD: The new album by Billy Talent I like very much. That’s a very good album. And then some bands…I cannot really remember all of the names - they are too complicated! All the new bands, they have names you cannot remember! [laughs]
MD: And logos sometimes that you can’t even read!
UD: Yeah, that’s another problem! [laughs] But I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff around.
MD: With such a long, successful career to date with many great achievements, do you feel you have anything left to prove in the world of metal, or is it purely about just having fun these days and making the music you enjoy making?
UD: I’m still enjoying making music, and the most important thing for me is that I still have fun. I mean, this is the most important thing.
MD: It’s not for the money!
UD: [laughs] Yeah, of course, you have to make a living. If I get the feeling, or I have the feeling, it’s not fun anymore then I think I have to stop. Definitely that’s the point to say that is it.
MD: Finally, what plans lie ahead for both yourself as a musician and the band, U.D.O.?
UD: Of course, first touring. We start touring now at the end of October, the beginning of November, the first part of Europe. And then we do the second part of Europe in January, and yesterday they told me “you can promise that you’ll come back to the UK”. I don’t know any dates or places, but “you can tell them definitely you’re coming in January to England”.
MD: Great, brilliant.
UD: Yeah, I’m looking forward to this from a long time ago. And then we go for a long tour in South America, then we go, also after a long time, to the US and Canada. And then, of course, to Russia, and the we do, for the first time, three shows in China. And I think the tour will maybe end up in Japan. And then I know that we are doing a lot of big festivals next year already.
MD: Oh really, you’re already booked for next Summer?
UD: Yeah, already. And this is also interesting…don’t get me wrong, but Accept already have management and a booking agency and stuff like that, and they tried to bring Accept on all these big festivals and, now, a very interesting thing is coming up and they say “no, we don’t want to have Accept, we’ll take U.D.O.”.
UD: This is like…okay…! [laughs]
MD: Well, you still play a lot of Accept songs at festivals, like you said at the start, so as the voice of Accept, I guess that’s obviously the better thing for them.
UD: They say “no, we don’t want to have Accept”. But it maybe…[laughs]…maybe it would be very funny to play on the same festival, maybe Accept is playing Friday, we play Saturday, and the people can make a decision! [laughs] They’ll get to hear a couple of songs twice!
MD: It would be interesting to read the reviews afterwards!
UD: Yeah, that would be interesting! [laughs] Yeah! [laughs] So, yeah, looking forward, there’s a long, long tour coming up and, also, there’s a lot of interest at the moment.
MD: Brilliant. Right, that’s my time up I believe, so thank you very much for your time.
UD: You’re welcome.
MD: And enjoy the rest of your day.
UD: Yeah, I will do! [laughs]