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U.D.O. / DIRKSCHNEIDER welcome Peter Baltes as new band member on bass

L-R: Sven Dirkschneider (drums), Fabian Dee Dammers (guitars), Peter Baltes (bass), Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Andrey Smirnov (guitars)

Photo Credit: Martin Häusler


2022 was an eventful year for U.D.O.: After the release of singer Udo Dirkschneider‘s first solo album, »My Way,« on April 22, 2022 through Atomic Fire Records, the quintet played a few select summer dates before embarking on a 3-month monster tour leading them all across Europe as well as Latin American shores. Unfortunately, bassist Tilen Hudrap was forced to step back from performing live with the band in early September due to health reasons. The heavy stroke of fate for U.D.O. opened the stage for Udo‘s long-time friend Peter BaltesBaltes, who played with him for many years in his former band ACCEPT, which the bassist left in 2018, and had already collaborated with Udo as part of DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG in recent years, was available to jump on the trek just a few days after Hudrap‘s departure and stayed on through November. Originally only a temporary solution, it became clear over time that the band would have to find a new band member on bass instead.

Today, U.D.O. are pleased to announce that Peter Baltes has joined their ranks with his live premiere taking place in Australia and Japan during the last few days. The current U.D.O. / DIRKSCHNEIDER itinerary can be found below!

Baltes says, “Since my departure from ACCEPT I kept myself very busy writing and recording for film/TV productions and various artists around the globe. That’s how I reconnected with Udo working on his solo album »My Way,« the U.D.O. album »We Are One« and the D&TOG album »Arising.« Since Stefan Kaufmann [guitars; ex-ACCEPT drummer] was also involved, it all had a very familiar feeling.

That’s why when Udo called me in September to fill in for his injured bass player I did not hesitate. The set list had mostly U.D.O. songs which I was not familiar with and a few ACCEPT tunes. When I arrived in Berlin a few days later for the first show, I was nervous and had no idea what to expect.

But as soon as we all took the stage standing next to Udo, it felt like home: His voice took me right back to where it all began. It was a total surprise for the audience at first, but as we played on I realized they where as happy as I was to see Udo and me together again.

Over the next three months, I really got to know Sven, Dee and Andrey as extremely talented musicians but also as very humble and respectful guys. It all feels very authentic.

That made my decision to say “yes” very easy when Udo asked me to join the band permanently.”

Udo Dirkschneider adds, “I have a very long friendship with Peter Baltes which has never been shadowed by the disagreements with ACCEPT over the past few years. The arguments were exclusively with another person and his wife. It should be clear to everyone who is meant! All other ACCEPT members have always been united in friendship.

It meant a lot to me when Peter spontaneously helped us out on some U.D.O. tour dates last year. From the first day, I experienced the great feeling and trust from the past with him again. A feeling that always connected us throughout the years in ACCEPT.

I’m aware that Peter had many lucrative offers from other bands on the table, all of which he had turned down over the years. To be honest, he can’t earn these sums with us. It means even more to me that he still decided to stay with U.D.O. and to also join DIRKSCHNEIDER as bassist. This shows me that he has a real metal heart beating in his chest and that friendship and fun are more important to him than money. Thank you, Peter!

We are very happy that after so many years you are finally having fun on stage again!”

Tilen added in a separate statement last year: “This is the hardest thing I ever wrote publicly.

“As a public person I feel compelled to write what I will write, especially because I owe it to the fans: the fans of the band, my own fans’n’supporters from all the years of touring and to everyone involved in this touring commitment going on at the moment.

“Yesterday my body gave in on stage.

“In twenty years I never cancelled one single show and in all my professional years I never cancelled a tour or a concert. Not with a broken finger, not with 40C body temperature, not while barely standing, after I haven’t slept for 52 hours, not ever.

“At the beginning of the world tour this was the last thing I wanted to do (to cancel ANYTHING, let alone a 3 month tour) so despite my burnout condition that I never talked publicly about and against the advice of my doctors and my family I went on tour to not let down my brothers in the band and the hardworking crew and management/booking agency. I always prided myself in being a road warrior and went through way crazier situations in my career so I thought this would not be a big deal (to do a nice 3 month tour). It turned out it was.

“(Un)Fortunately!!! My body gave in during the last two songs yesterday.
Respiratory alkalosis, total hyperventilation, uncontrollable tremors, momentary collapse of body functions and complete burnout. The doctors in the emergency room in München said I should never went on stage for the last week, let alone during the whole summer. My body was running on fumes. They basically saved me.

“I’m in the hospital now, writing this and thinking about everyone involved.
Sorry to everyone and all the fans, but I need to take some time to get back to 100%.

“Please know I would never not go play if it wasn’t serious as it is. Most of this was caused by unreal amounts of no sleep, stress, e. rollercoasters and on top corona period. All this, plus decades of work that took me to where I am, put a price on my body.

“Yes, I remain in the band, the new album is in the works and someone nice will come to replace me indefinitely until I get back in shape for which you always known me for. You know I always gave 200% and always will!

“I will make a few updates in the following days to keep everyone in the loop. Got many worried msgs, I wanna assure everyone that I will be fine and come back stronger than ever. A metal heart is hard to tear apart!

“Last, but not least and most important: indescribable gratitude to my band brothers and crew for their support in the most dire situation yesterday and in general. I love you guys!

“METAL Lives!”

U.D.O. — the band led by iconic singer Udo Dirkschneider, who celebrated his 70th birthday (April 6th) in the form of his first solo album titled »My Way« last year (released April 22, 2022 through Atomic Fire Records kicked off their 2022 »Game Over« world tour in Nuremberg (Hirsch), Germany this Thursday. French heavy metallers EXISTANCE will be supporting the quintet at all 47 shows until the end of November, interrupted by a 2-week Latin American trip in October (U.D.O. only!).U.D.O. / DIRKSCHNEIDER live:

Tickets: https://udo-online.de/tourdates.html

05.05.2023 NO Kopervik – Karmøygeddon Metal Festival*
07.05.2023 AT Wiener Neustadt – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Arena Nova
14.05.2023 AT Innsbruck – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messehalle
21.05.2023 AT Vienna – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Stadthalle
08.06.2023 SE Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival
10.06.2023 FI Laihia – Lisää Löylyä Festival
16.06.2023 DE Augsburg – Metal am Kiez*
18.06.2023 BE Dessel – Graspop Metal Meeting*
14.07.2023 DE Balingen – Bang Your Head!!!*
21.07.2023 DE Pförring – Open Air Pförring
12.08.2023 ES Villena – Leyendas del Rock*
17.08.2023 CZ Moravský Krumlov – Rock Castle Open Air
20.08.2023 CH Vallamand (VD) – Rock The Lakes
16.09.2023 DE Tuttlingen – Beast of Rocks @ Stadthalle
07.10.2023 DE Würzburg – Keep It True Rising III @ Posthalle*
22.10.2023 AT Linz – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Tabakfabrik
29.10.2023 AT Salzburg – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messezentrum

Order UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER‘s »My Way« (limited earbook edition & more) now, here:

More on »My Way«:

‘We Will Rock You [Udo Dirkschneider Version]’ OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO:
‘Kein Zurück [Udo Dirkschneider Version]’ OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO:

»My Way« – Track Listing:

01. Faith Healer (ALEX HARVEY)
03. Sympathy (URIAH HEEP)
04. They Call It Nutbush (TINA TURNER)*
05. Man On The Silver Mountain (RAINBOW)
06. Hell Raiser (THE SWEET)
07. No Class (MOTÖRHEAD)
08. Rock And Roll (LED ZEPPELIN)
09. The Stroke (BILLY SQUIER)*
10. Paint It Black (THE ROLLING STONES; Edit)
11. He’s A Woman, She’s A Man (THE SCORPIONS)
12. T.N.T. (AC/DC)
13. Jealousy (FRANKIE MILLER)
14. Hell Bent For Leather (JUDAS PRIEST)
15. We Will Rock You (QUEEN)*
16. Kein Zurück (WOLFSHEIM)*
*Udo Dirkschneider Version

Udo Dirkschneider | vocals
Andrey Smirnov | guitar
Sven Dirkschneider | drums
Fabian Dee Dammers | guitar
Peter Baltes | bass

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