FeaturesU.D.O. - The Rev-Raptor Lives On

U.D.O. – The Rev-Raptor Lives On

Blistering.com: Will there be a U.S. tour in support of Rev-Raptor? It’s been far too long since you’ve had the chance to tour these shores. I remember your two phenomenal performances in 2001, headlining with Raven in the spring and then opening for Saxon on Halloween at the former Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI.

Dirkschneider: [laughs] Yes, great shows. What can I say about the US? We would love to come back to America, but we haven’t had a lot of good offers. It would be financially difficult without proper support. We will try to make it one day, we want to be able to make it over there sometime in 2012.

Blistering.com: Is it tough for you these days to balance your vast U.D.O. discography with the Accept songs fans really want to hear? I would imagine you switch things up in a shorter festival set list than if you are in a headlining situation?

Dirkschneider: When we do a festival it’s more like a hit parade, with Accept songs and U.D.O. songs. When we tour as a headliner, like here in Europe we will do only three Accept songs, the rest will be U.D.O. songs.

Blistering.com: In one of your recent interviews with Lords Of Metal webzine, you mentioned if you ever retire from recording and performing you would still love to work as a coach or record company person in the metal scene. What sort of advice would you pass on to the new generation of bands to keep the scene thriving over the next few decades?

Dirkschneider: There are a lot of good bands around and I would love to coach them. Teach them how they can make it. There are a lot of younger bands around and now the record companies are not really pushing the bands as much anymore. They will drop bands if they don’t sell well after the first or second albums. It’s a hard business at the moment, coming and going. I would love to show them how they can make it.

Blistering.com: You love to read biographies of political leaders. Who are some of your favorites to gain insights about through the years?

Dirkschneider: For me there is one German guy, Helmut Schmidt – he was the counselor of Germany, he talks a lot about the financial establishment these days.

Blistering.com: Within your career, you’ve had many special songs and moments- from “Balls To The Wall” and “Fast As A Shark” during your Accept days to albums like Animal House and Holy as U.D.O. If you had to put one song and one album in a time capsule for future generations to take away as definitive Udo, what would they be and why?

Dirkschneider: [laughs]. This is very hard to say. There are really two songs- “Balls To The Wall” definitely, and for the older U.D.O. material, “Faceless World.” I think those show my various sides.

Blistering.com: You’ve made guest appearances with acts like Raven, Lordi, and Russian band Aria through the years, as well as a duet with Doro Pesch on “Dancing With An Angel.” Which has been your favorite through the years, and are there other artists you wish to collaborate with in the future?

Dirkschneider: At the moment I have none in mind. For me the most important one was to work together with Doro. We have been friends for a long, long time. It was interesting for me to combine a male voice with a female voice. Also it was a very, very good song. Maybe I would love to do something with Lemmy, which would be very interesting.

Blistering.com: Is Germany still the metal Mecca of Europe? I as an American am jealous of all the fabulous summer festivals, stronger touring packages, and large metal magazines that seem to have a great overview of the scene in general…

Dirkschneider: Yes, Germany is still a very strong country for heavy metal but also its getting more depth in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. There are a lot of good bands coming from those countries.

Blistering.com: I also enjoy the oddball track from time to time on your albums, which seemed to start with “Cut Me Out” on Holy, “Trainride In Russia” from Thunderball, among others . What do you believe the response has been to those songs through the years, does it vary from country to country?

Dirkschneider: Yes. The one song “Trainride In Russia”, we did two versions with one in English and another with the chorus in Russian. Normally this song is about a travel adventure in Russia and this song is popular everywhere. With “Cut Me Out,” it wasn’t a song typical of metal music but we were creative with this song. If you have a crazy idea, it’s only one song on the album and people can take it or not.

Blistering.com: I’m wonder, I personally don’t feel there’s much competition between what Accept is doing and what you are doing right now, do you feel any pressure relating to what’s been going on with the resurrection of the band?

Dirkschneider: No, I don’t feel any pressure. On its own, in a way we are doing similar kinds of music but Accept is Accept and U.D.O. is U.D.O. at the moment. We will see what they will do in the future, I wish them luck in the future and they put out a great album.

Blistering.com: What are the rest of the plans for U.D.O over the next 12 months?

Dirkschneider: We are doing the summer festival circuit right now in Europe until the end of August. We start our headlining European tour at the end of September and go to Christmas. We have a break for two months and we then start a big Russian tour. And then hopefully we can make it to America.


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