UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER is contemplating big 50th anniversary event in 2025
German heavy metal singer Udo Dirkschneider, who started his professional career in the mid-1970s with ACCEPT, has told Belgian Jasper in a new interview that he is contemplating staging a “big event” to celebrate his decades-long involvement in the music industry.
Speaking about the possibility of playing special shows to celebrate various anniversaries of some of his classic albums, Udo said: “Maybe we’ll do one anniversary celebration, 50 years. That will be then in 2025. We’re talking about already this. I did stuff in Wacken together with Doro (Pesch). She had the 40th anniversary. That was also fun. And I think I will do something if we can celebrate 50 years. And that will be a big event, believe me.”
Udo, who turned 71 this past April, was scheduled to celebrate the 35th anniversary of ACCEPT‘s “Metal Heart” album by performing it in its entirety at the 2020 edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, but the entire event ended up getting canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent interview with Finland’s Chaoszine, Udo spoke about the evolution of his singing voice. The vocalist said: “The first real proper European tour we did in — before we did the tour together in ’81 with JUDAS PRIEST — it was the ’80s; we did the first real European tour. And then also you have to learn that you keep your voice working. But never, ever — knock on wood (chuckles) — I never had any problems. For me, it’s better to sing in a row maybe four or five shows than instead of singing just two shows, have a day off, and maybe three shows, maybe two days off. For me, I like to have, let’s say, four or five shows in a row and then a day off. But the voice is still working, you know? So I don’t know. I never had any problems. Of course, sometimes on tour you get a cold. But, for me, I have always a secure — I have a Plan B. And nobody really realizes that when you have a cold or something like that can always go around. But I think not many people will realize that.”
Asked how his “warmup routine” has changed in the five-plus decades that he has been singing professionally, Udo said: “In the old days — now, I’m out of smoking for 20 years — but in the old days, I just was smoking a cigarette and then go on stage. I never warm up. Never. I never, ever did this. And this is for me — it’s nothing bad against other bands, but sometimes when we have a support act, and they are warming up for half an hour and screaming like hell, I say, ‘Woah’ — it goes on your nerve. But anyway, I do only just one shout, and then I know everything works and here we go. So that’s enough for me.”
This past May, Udo talked about his vocal approach during a press conference for U.D.O.‘s latest album, “Touchdown”, in Hamburg, Germany. He said: “For me, the most important thing is that you are open-minded with music — not have the attitude of, ‘This is what I did for 40 years. I don’t wanna change anything.’ For me, it’s important to be really open-minded. I always was open-minded. I mean, I was working with so many musicians. It was out of my control. We had a lot of changes. And I always had the attitude of, ‘Yeah.’ I’m interested for me, myself, to see how far I can go with my vocals, with my voice.
“It’s a different thing, but when I did this cover album (2022’s ‘My Way’, released under the Udo Dirkschneider banner), I was making like a spectrum… For me, it was, like, ‘Yeah, I can do that,'” he explained. “It was helping me also to see, ‘Oh, can I cover this like this?’ The range — this is also very interesting — my range got wider. I mean, I didn’t expect this. It’s like an old wine; the taste is getting much better.
“With my voice now, I can do so many different stuff,” Udo added. “This is also a miracle for me, for myself. 20 or 25 years ago, to sing some songs, it was, like, ‘What?’ (Laughs) But now it’s easy for me to do some also different stuff. And yeah, it’s good to see. That means, for me, I see we can do a lot of different stuff also in the future.”
“Touchdown” was released on August 25 through Atomic Fire Records. The 13-track LP was recorded at various locations with producer Martin “Mattes” Pfeiffer and was mixed at Redhead Studio (Wilhelmshaven, Germany) while the mastering was handled by Stefan Kaufmann at ROXX Studio (Solingen, Germany),The record also includes a guest appearance by violinist Stefan Pintev on the closing track, and bass tracks were recorded by former ACCEPT bassist Peter Baltes. Artwork was provided by Martin Häusler who was also responsible for shooting band photos in support of the new album campaign.
In April, Baltes officially joined U.D.O. and DIRKSCHNEIDER, the two bands fronted by Udo Dirkschneider. The former ACCEPT bassist had been playing bass for U.D.O. since September 2022, initially as a temporary replacement for U.D.O.‘s then-bassist Tilen Hudrap who was hospitalized after the band’s show in Munich, Germany.
DIRKSCHNEIDER is the name of Udo‘s band which performs ACCEPT material exclusively.
Although Udo announced eight years ago that his initial DIRKSCHNEIDER tour would mark his final time performing ACCEPT songs, he has continued to play select shows under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner.