Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Good morning UDO,you are about to release a new album “Steelhammer”which is the first not to feature Stefan Kaufmann.?
UDO”Yes that is correct. The problem was he is a very busy man. He did a recording with Tomas Repka which took three months, and also played on tour. I think then that the problem was he wanted to move his studio back to his hometown. He didn’t want to be involved in the composing and songwriting this time on this album. We had a problem then, at the beginning of this year. He was getting more and more work touring etc,and he said that he wouldn’t have as much time to do this. Then he said that he was out of the band. He did offer to come and help us out if there was any problem,and we needed him. ”
That must have been very difficult personally as well as professionally for you. Stefan has worked with you for a long time going back to Accept?
UDO”Yes we have been working together for a very long time now I do everything with Fitty, who is my bass player. We wrote some songs together for the new album and they came out well. He also has a studio where we are living, we produced the album together. In the end I think that it worked out very well.”
“Steelhammer”also features not just one but two new guitarists?
UDO”We had done some work with Kasperi Heikkinen. We have two really great guitar players with Andrey Smirnov and it sounds great. I am really looking forward to touring with them.”
I have read that the album is a sequel to the “Rev raptor”release. Can you outline the link between the two records for me please.
UDO”I don’t know.For me “Rev raptor”was recorded with live vocals so there is that similarity.”
There’s also some different elements on the new release. Tracks like ” Bast ya”for example?
UDO”Yes that is in Spanish, and is very different for me. We were always thinking of doing a song in Spanish, but a ballad. We were watching Spanish television, and that phrase came up. It means that “we have had enough”,with all this financial uncertainty currently going on. High unemployment figures also in Spain I think around 46%. Singing in Spanish was actually very easy its a good language to sing in”
In a way this release would signify a rebirth for U.D.O the band,new production and writing teams, band members etc…?
UDO”Yes I suppose in a way that it is the problem is with Stefan and his workload we couldn’t do much solo stuff. Now with two guitar players we have already just done one show with them and it was quite something else.”
On the new record “Steelhammer”are there any standout tracks for you personally ?
UDO”For me its definitely”Metal Machine”and I also like “A Cry Of A Nation”
While researching for this interview I came across a Japanese Manga cartoon series called “Bastard”.In it the main characters are named in parody of his favourite rock stars names including yourself Darkschneider. Are you familiar with that?
UDO”Yes I have heard of that. Yeah why not, it is good.”
The first time I saw you was in Belfast with Dokken in 1986, but to my knowledge you haven’t returned. Any particular reason for that, as you have many fans over here in N.Ireland. The rock scene is at a high over here at the moment, the best I think since I first got into it over 30 years ago. I therefore wondered if you had plans to include a Belfast date possibly on a UK tour?
UDO” Yes that is correct I have not returned to play in Belfast since that time with Dokken. UK Tour?(laughs) that is the thing very funny. We have tried so many times to do some show in the UK, but promoters are not interested in booking us. They are working on two to three UK shows for September. Hopefully we can do more including Belfast”.
There are many bands of the eighties which was when your former band Accept achieved their success that have reformed and reunited in recent years. Is that something that you have ever been approached about doing, is it something that would interest you?
UDO”That’s a very long story. Of course I have certainly been asked.Unfortunately Wolf is telling everybody that he has never been in touch with me, though I can show you tons of e.mails. I have been asked about rejoining for a reunion and didn’t directly say no.I did it already once and there was a lot of shit happened. I then said “OK guys if I do this then I want to have this and this..Wolf then said that he didn’t want to do it, so I said “Goodbye, thank you very much and good luck”(laughs)
Do you then prefer to focus on UDO, and the future for that band rather than looking back to your legacy with Accept?
UDO”Yes the problem is if I did Accept again and it doesn’t work..then there was an issue regarding the name with Wolf. He was stealing the name in the eighties. He was also doing interviews to promote”Blood of Nations”and talking so many bad things about me with so many lies. I don’t know why he did that. However that is history now. I will be sixty one in a couple of days on 6th of April when I am in New York.”
How do you maintain your energy particularly on stage?
UDO”Many people ask me that, I try to live healthily as possible. I do nothing special exercise-wise or whatever. I walk a lot, and in the summer time I do a lot of swimming and running. The shows are fun for me to do and I like to be on tour and that also keeps you fresh”
You have been in the music business a long time, do you still have dreams and goals?
UDO”Of course you always have to have those, one day maybe I would like to do an album with an orchestra perhaps…”
You are a hero and highly regarded by many through the music that you have created,who are your own personal heroes?
UDO”I don’t really have any, I’m not into sports. One of my best friends who helped me become a singer was Ronnie James Dio. Don’t know if You could use the term hero, but he was my favourite singer.”
Finally looking back would you have done anything differently?
UDO”I have done some things wrong and other things right, but generally I have no regrets”
Thanks very much UDO, for chatting to me today. Good luck with the album and tour !!!!!!!!!
Webzine Review for UDO – Steelhammer