Ron Keel (also of KEEL and STEELER fame) of KBACK Radio recently conducted an interview with former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider about his current DIRKSCHNEIDER “Back To The Roots” North American tour, where his band is playing ACCEPT songs for the last time. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how the “Back To The Roots” tour is going:
Udo: “It’s going great. I mean, I didn’t expect to come over to America again with DIRKSCHNEIDER the second time. But, yeah, here we go. Now, we have a little bit of a different setlist, we’re enjoying it and what we’ve seen so far, the people are enjoying it as well.”
On making the distinction between DIRKSCHNEIDER and his long-running solo act, U.D.O.:
Udo: “The band is the same, but, of course, DIRKSCHNEIDER only plays ACCEPT songs. A lot of people ask me why I don’t do this under U.D.O., I say ‘No, I only play ACCEPT songs now and it makes no sense to do it under U.D.O., it could get a little confusing.’ We said okay, we do it under the name DIRKSCHNEIDER, so everybody knows it has nothing to do with U.D.O. And, also, for one thing: This will be the last time I play ACCEPT songs. I want to close a chapter with all that stuff. Now, I’m coming out with the 16th album with U.D.O. [later this year] and we have classic stuff already. I mean, ACCEPT are still on tour and making albums, so if people want to hear some ACCEPT songs, maybe they can go see ACCEPT.”
On his reasoning behind no longer wanting to perform ACCEPT songs live:
Udo: “Yeah, let’s say a little door is open for ACCEPT, that’s what I always say. Maybe when ACCEPT stops and doesn’t tour anymore, then there’s a possibility to say, ‘Okay, I’ll play ACCEPT songs again.’ As long as ACCEPT is existing and touring and all that stuff, no, I don’t want to do them. There’s a reason for it: All the journalists were sometimes asking who is doing it better and the other way around, all of it is really petty; I’m really tired of it. I don’t want to be asked this anymore. For me, it’s okay, I’ll stop with ACCEPT songs after this tour and continue with U.D.O. U.D.O. has 16 albums since ’87. It’s been going longer together than I was in ACCEPT.”
On whether he’s still in touch with famed German producer Michael Wagener, who also was a founding member of ACCEPT:
Udo: “Yeah, I’m always in good contact with Michael. We’ve been friends since we were six years old. I started ACCEPT with him in ’68. Of course, we are still talking to each other. If I have time, maybe I’ll go to Nashville [where Wagener is based] for one or two weeks and stay at the house and talk about a lot of things. We’re always in contact, with what’s going on, what he’s doing, what I’m doing. It’s a really good friendship.”
On his memories from ACCEPT‘s 1985 American headline tour in support of “Metal Heart”:
Udo: “That was a big tour for us. The whole thing started in America in ’84 with KISS when we were supporting KISS. Then we were on tour for 13 months in America and we ended up as headliners and then we were staying in America and composing the album ‘Metal Heart’. Then we went to Europe, did some shows in Europe and came back to America.”
Dirkschneider has spent the last two years touring under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner. The trek, which was originally supposed to conclude with the band’s North American run in January/February 2017, has now been extended through the fall of 2018.
In addition to Udo and his son Sven (drums), the DIRKSCHNEIDER and U.D.O. bands include bassist Fitty Wienhold along with guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Bill Hudson.
DIRKSCHNEIDER released “Live – Back To The Roots – Accepted!” last August as a DVD/2CD, Blu-ray/2CD and gatefold triple vinyl in two different colors.