Udo Dirkschneider - U.D.O.

June 25, 2008

Photo Credit: www.myspace.com

The last time we spoke you had released Man And Machine.

Oh, that was a long time ago.

Yeah, that was a long time ago. What have you been doing since then? Whatís been going on with U.D.O.?

Oh, a lot of things. In the meantime we did three studio albums, a live album, DVDs, and weíre working already on our next album. Touring all over the world instead of the U.S.

Yeah, one of my questions is when the hell are you guys going to come over here?

We try very hard but we donít get any good offers from America. We are looking for a good tour. Not only come over for two or three shows. We want to do a real proper tour in America. But so far we donít have the right offer to come over but at the moment a lot of things are going on now. Also with the U.S, we have a new record company in America. Letís put it this way, I get the feeling maybe next year that we can come over to the U.S.

That would be awesome because Iím sure there are a lot of people who would be looking forward to seeing you guys. I told some people I was interviewing you and they were wondering when the hell you would be coming to the U.S.

Itís not always up to the band. You also need a promoter who is doing the tour. We need the right tour with the right feeling. But what I said before, at the moment Iíve got a good feeling that maybe we can come over next year for maybe a couple of weeks in the U.S.

I sure as hell hope that works out. I know itís really expensive to tour over here. I had the pleasure of seeing Doro Pesch a couple of months back and talking to her. That was cool.

Iím very good friends with that girl. I know sheís doing a lot of things in America. Iíve been to America with Accept. We did a tour together with Saxon that was not so bad. Then we had to fuss with the record companies. If you want to do a proper tour in America you need a record company. After the Holy album, we didnít have real support from record companies. Sometimes a lot of shit just comes together.

When did you guys sign with Locomotive?

I think it was with the latest album, the Best Of album. I heard yesterday that they want to bring out the last three studio albums. The Man And Machine, Thunderball, and Mastercutor albums in a package. It will be very helpful.

Theyíre going to re-release them?

Yeah. Of course you can get Man And Machine and the other albums but you canít buy them everywhere.

Also when you re-release stuff, it draws attention to that material all over again. People who might have missed out on those releases will be happy to get them. Hopefully youíll have better distribution.

Yeah, letís see what happens.

You guys just put out Metallized which is a best of album.

Yeah, it just came out in America.

Yeah, it came out in May.

I think itís also good now to show the people a good mix up of all the U.D.O. songs that weíve done during the years. So far weíre getting a very good response. I think itís a good mix up of the U.D.O. songs on the album.

I understand your fans helped put it together. They voted on certain songs.

Yeah, the Best Of album wasnít our idea. It was the idea of the record company. Iím not a real big fan of best of albums. When the record company came out and said it would be nice if weíd do a best of album, rather than say okay, the best thing to do for a best of album is to let the people talk. We did a poll thing on our website and Iíd say 90% of the songs on the album were voted on by our fans. Iím very happy and I think it came out great.

Thatís a really cool idea. It makes the fans feel like they a were part of something important which they were.

Yeah, it is. I think it was great to include the fans in making up all the songs.

Have you guys been playing a lot of those really cool festivals that you guys have all over Europe?

Not this year. On Sunday I got a holiday for three weeks. Then during all of the holidays we work already on the next studio album. A DVD is coming out in October here in Europe. Then we do two weeks in South America at the end of September. Then we do two weeks in Russia. After that we have to work on the studio album so the next studio album will be out in the beginning of next year and then we start touring again. Next year there will be a lot of touring.

Have you started working on it yet or youíre just getting ready to work on it?

We work already on the next studio album. At the moment we are nearly finished with the DVD so thereís a live concert coming out on the market of a tour we did in Germany so thatís what weíre working on at the moment. In one week we are finished with this and then we start directly working on the next studio album.

Is there any kind of a sneak preview on what that new one is going to be like?

No. This is very hard to say. Of course we never change the basics but in a way itís maybe a little bit more melody or itís maybe a little bit more harder. I donít know yet. Weíll see whatís coming up. At the moment we have tons of ideas and then in two weeks we have to sit down and start listening to all of the ideas that we have. Then weíll see what we do on the next album. We never know whatís coming out on the next album.

Hereís a question someone wanted me to ask you. Since youíve had a very long career starting out with Accept and then going to U.D.O., have you noticed if your writing has changed? That maybe you write about different things as you get older then say when you were younger?

Not really. Letís say you get wiser.

There you go.

But no, there are a lot of things music wise that we have that is still the same. Of course, with every new album you learn more and you think okay maybe you can change it here a little bit. You can do it a little bit better. Sometimes we do songs like for example the Holy album, we did a Gypsy song like ďCut Me OutĒ. Itís not a metal song but the people liked it. Then what we did on the Thunderball album, we did the song ďTrainride In RussiaĒ which is like a polka. Sometimes we can do some different stuff and then see what happens. Why not? If you have letís say for example 12 songs on an album, you can do a little experiment with one song and see what happens.

There are some bands out there who think if it isnít broken, donít fix it. Then there are other bands that like to experiment a little bit. Thatís always cool.

Yeah, it was the same in the 90ís. Metal music was not so popular here in Europe or in the U.S. So a lot of bands felt they had to change their sound and thought metal was bad. We never did change it. Now here, especially in Europe, the metal scene is huge. The biggest festivals here in Europe like Wacken is already sold out. Nearly 70,000 people. Also we have more and more countries here in Europe like Russia opening up and all these different countries opening up. Definitely the next country is China coming out. This is a huge market so what can I say?

China has really been changing over the past few years. They have a new President.

I think China in one or two more years will be a new market for rock music. What can I say? That means we have a good future.

Yeah, because those people are doing a lot better financially now. They get to enjoy more and more perks.

Yeah, itís good for a live market. Letís say the sales of CDs are going down with all this downloading stuff. The whole scene is changing. Itís very hard I think for new bands. They donít have a long career so Iíve been on the road for nearly 30 years. We can make money on live concerts and merchandising. We donít have to make a living off of selling CDs. Young bands donít get that much money for a show or canít make a merchandise deal or something like that. Itís very hard I think now for new bands and also they donít get real support from the record companies like we had in part of the 80ís. A lot of things are changing.

Yeah, when you guys started out a long time ago you had all of these huge record companies that had a lot of money. Now that theyíve disappeared or merged into one conglomerate, you have all of these independent ones and they just donít have as much money.

What can I say? We were very lucky.

I think the million dollar record contracts are gone.

Oh yeah, theyíre definitely gone. If I remember how much money the record company was spending to make records, it was too much. What can I say? There are still a lot of good young bands coming out. Itís interesting to see theyíre using more of the modern stuff. All the download stuff. You can still make money.

When it comes to downloading, thereís a way to market that.

Oh yeah, of course. Definitely thereís a market. In countries where thereís already a market, with a young metal band itís not so easy but it can start working. I think in one or two years maybe you donít need a record company anymore.

Yeah, you can cut out the middle man after a while.

Yeah, you can make an album and put it on the Internet and people can download it for less money. I think record companies in a while will have a problem.

Theyíre considered dinosaurs at this point in time. Any other thoughts or comments?

What can I say? Hopefully next year with the next tour, I have a good feeling that weíll come over to the U.S. and I think there are still a lot of metal fans over in the U.S. We look forward to coming over there.