Updated: 11/30/02

Does this man even need an introduction? Udo Dirkschneider - rock and roll superstar and former frontman of the legendary German metal band Accept. Their latest album Man & Machine is U.D.O. in their finest hour, still achieving the heavy metal glory after all these years. So without any further adieu, here's an interview with the man himself...

Where did you get the idea for the title song Man & Machine?

The meaning of Man & Machine is that the humans we're creating all the technology like computers, bionic and robotic stuff. What we see at this day is all the computer stuff and what's going on. We have to care that one day the machines are ruling the humans.

Overall, how do you think Man & Machine compares to your other albums?

All the groove stuff and choruses and melodies - I think it's a step back to the roots of Accept. And I think what we want to do with U.D.O. is keep the spirit of Accept alive.

Tell me about the song Dancing With An Angel and how Doro Pesch became involved with doing the co-vocals on it?

We had this ballad already finished for the album. This idea to sing together with Doro - this is not a new idea - we had this idea 10 years ago when we had the reunion with Accept for the Objection Overruled album. At that time, it didn't work out with the record companies - who's more famous and all the business stuff. I know Doro very well and when we had this song for the Man & Machine album, Dancing With An Angel, Stefan came up with the idea to contact Doro. I called Doro, told her about the idea - then she came to the studio, started working on the song - and there we go.

Will you and Doro be performing that song live?

If we have a chance to get Doro onstage, but she's very busy. She's also releasing a new album and going to tour. So at the moment, it's just the festival situation here in Europe. Maybe when we start the second part of the European tour in October, we'll have a chance to do this live onstage.

Prior to Man & Machine, a live U.D.O. album was released. What made you decide that it was now time to do a live album with U.D.O.?

At the time, it was right to do it. A lot of people were asking for a live album of U.D.O. and so we did it on our last Russian tour that took place last year in April and May. We had an earlier release date in Europe and it was out later in America. I'm very satisfied with the album - in Russia they had a special atmosphere and we had a chance to record this in Russia. I think it's a good live album. And the Accept songs that we did, it was a good selection of the old songs.

How did you decide which songs would appear on the live album?

With the U.D.O. songs it was not a big deal - we knew which songs we wanted to put on this album. With the Accept songs, we did voting on our home page. We said directly from the beginning we don't want to put the classic Accept on the album. We want to do some songs that have never been recorded live (on our three previous live albums). Of course we had some songs in mind, and it was very interesting to see which songs people wanted to have on this album. Our ideas were very near to the people. There were some surprises when we did this voting - like Loaded Gun and Protectors Of Terror.

Do you have any plans of bringing the U.D.O. show out here to the States?

Yeah, but not before the beginning of next year. We are still busy here in Europe and the second part of the tour will end near Christmas. We would love to come back. We went with the Holy album to the US - we did the East Coast, Texas, Arizona - and then we did one show in California, which was in San Diego.

When performing live, do you still enjoy doing the old Accept songs?

Of course. What can I say? I was very much involved in the songs. And the people want to hear a lot of Accept stuff, so we play 60 percent U.D.O. stuff and 40 percent Accept stuff. I enjoy playing to Accept stuff, and it's very interesting to see a lot of young people coming to the shows and they all know the old songs.

What do you think of the Accept tribute albums from Nuclear Blast?

It's interesting to hear how all these bands are playing Accept songs. In a way, it makes you proud that the people make a tribute to Accept. That means that Accept did something in the music business. I know from a lot of musicians that they were inspired by Accept to play this kind of music.

What made you decide to perform XTC on one of the tribute albums?

The song was on the Eat The Heat album, but that was with a different singer David Reece on vocals. But I knew this song as a demo version, and I've always said if I had a chance to record this song and put it somewhere on a record, then I would do it. And when Nuclear Blast was planning the second tribute album, I said I would love to do this song. This song was written for my vocals normally, but then we split up and somebody else was singing it. But now I make it.

What did you think of the Eat The Heat album and of David Reece's vocals in particular?

In a way, there are a couple of good songs on that album. But I think, after all of these years, I can say this - it's not a bad album but it's not the Accept sound. It's different.

Whatever happened to David Reece anyway?

I don't know. I saw him once again a long time ago in Germany with his new band, but then he disappeared. Nobody knows where he is or what he is doing.

Looking back, what do you think of Predator, the final Accept album?

When I listen to this album now, a lot of things are going in different ways. It was not a real Accept album songwriting wise. When we did this album, I think everybody was feeling that it was over. It was not magic anymore. We decided to do one more tour and then split up. There's a couple of good songs on this album. But the chemistry was gone.

Do you still keep in touch with any of the Accept members who aren't in U.D.O.?

Yes, of course. We spent nearly half of our whole lives together. We are still in contact. Wolf and Peter are living in America and Stefan is living here with me in Germany. But we talk from time to time over the telephone about what is going on, but more private things than music wise.

What advice would you give bands who are just starting out?

The most important thing is that you have your own character, both music wise and personal wise. And believe in what you are doing. I think that is the most important thing. Don't try to be somebody else. It's very important to have your own style and character.

With all the ups and downs you've had in your career, what has kept you going on with that rock and roll dream?

What can I say? I still love to make music and I still love to be on tour. I'm not tired of doing it. For me, it's a lot of fun to do this. Especially with U.D.O., this band has been together with the same line-up for over three years. It's a real band - it's not a solo project. At the moment, it's so much fun. The people like this band very much. I'm very happy at the moment, and that also keeps you going.

Do you have any messages for long time Accept and U.D.O. fans?

I hope we come back for another tour in the US. I liked the last tour we did together with Saxon in 2000 and hope to see you all on tour in the US.


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