Rock Overdose and Zisis Petkanas had the opportunity to talk to the legend of metal, mr. Udo Dirkschneider, about the release of U.D.O. new album, "Game Over". Through this discussion we learned all we need to know about the writing process of the album, the lyrics, as well as the band's upcoming touring plans.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Tonight on Rock Overdose we are talking to mr. Udo Dirkschneider. Welcome, how are you doing?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: I’m fine! We have a tour coming up, starting in the middle of November, first half of European tour. Hopefully it works, nobody knows at the moment.
ROCK OVERDOSE: I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: It’s getting better and better, hopefully by next year it will be over.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Have you been playing any live shows?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: We did a festival in Belgium, in August and another festival in Chech Republic. Everything was fun, everything worked perfectly. There wasn’t too many people in the audience, just 12,000 - 13,000, but it was good. But you know, with touring, some countries say “yeah, let’s do it”, in some countries you have to wait, some countries said “no, big problem”, so it’s a bit confusing.
ROCK OVERDOSE: You have your 17th album coming out.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: 17th, yeah! I sometimes forget it!
ROCK OVERDOSE: It contains 16 songs, it could be one song for each previous album!
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Yeah, in a way! But there’s actually 17 songs, there’s one bonus track for Japan. I’m really happy with the result of the new album, everything’s a little bit different. Normally, we collect all ideas, go into a room and start arranging face to face, but this time we had to do everything through Skype and Zoom etc, which takes longer, but in the end we did this auto, including our producer and the main recording was auto, everyone had to record on their own in the studio, only with the sound engineer. Everything was different, but I think in the end I’m really happy with the result, it’s a good mix of songs, a lot of melodies, good guitar structure, good solos…
ROCK OVERDOSE: So it’s an original U.D.O. album?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: It is, definitely!
ROCK OVERDOSE: What’s the meaning of “Game Over”?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: The title came out during the recording process, for us a lot of things were “game over”. We were just doing the whole recording thing and then we were “oh come on, is this game over…”. A lot of people were thinking I might stop making music, last album, last work, but no no no, it has nothing to do with this. Now we’re just waiting to go on tour and present the new album, hopefully everything will go back to normal.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Do you play any Accept songs during your shows.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: With U.D.O., I don’t think we play any Accept songs. I never say never, but now with the new album there are so many songs you can play. I have many people asking “can’t you just play 2-3 Accept songs as an encore?”. I say we’ll see how everything works. We did this festival in Chech Republic under Dirkschneider name, where we played Accept songs, there was a contract from 2020, it was “Metal Heart” anniversary shows. But I think now, if we go on tour with U.D.O., with “Game Over”, maybe we’ll see. Many colleagues say “give the people what they want”, so we will see.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Very normal for people to want to hear an Accept classic anthem from you. You’re the original voice of Accept.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: That’s another thing, yeah, people say they wanna hear that, but we will see.
ROCK OVERDOSE: How are things with the current band of Accept? Are you staying in touch?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: No, definitely not. There is no Accept anymore, only Wolf Hoffmann is left! I have contacted Peter Baltes, we did together the project “Dirkschneider & The Old Gang”. It was very interesting, it was for charity and all income went to the band and crew. It was a lot of fun to work together, we didn’t have to think of something, it was just nice songs, we had no pressure, it was just for fun!
ROCK OVERDOSE: You also play with your son on the drums.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Yeah, he has been in U.D.O. for 6 years, it’s not so much as a father - son thing, it’s more like a friendship, he’s very involved in the new album, we were writing all the lyrics together, he also wrote some melodies and had some ideas. It’s nice to work together and to have so many young people around me, like 27-28 to 30-35, it’s a different generation and there’s a lot of influence coming from them, they do some things different than older musicians, it was also a good impact on the new album.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Would you like to say a few things about the lyrics of the new album?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: We have some typical metal lyrics, like “Metal Never Dies”, it’s like a little biography of myself, the main thing is that metal, the kind of music, never dies. Then we have “Marching Tank”, also something about myself, because they used to call me “The German Tank”, always going forward and forward. Another classic metal is “Metal Damnation” and then we have “Kids and Guns”, where the lyrics are against weapons. Then we have “Holy Invaders”, it’s about some countries where the governments try to dictate to people what kind of religion to use, like Afghanistan. I think everyone has the right to choose their own religion. Then there’s “Prophecy”, which is a song about sex, but in a heavy way, like a documentary on TV, where they die in the end, it’s a little bit strange but it also happens in our world. There’s “Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye”, which can be used in many different ways, like if your father or grandmother dies or whatever, where you don’t wanna say goodbye. Also if your girlfriend or your wife is leaving you, there are a lot of different situations where you don’t wanna say goodbye, you know. We have a lot of different things, some are political, metal stuff, things that are going on in the world, loneliness, like “Midnight Stranger”, where he feels like a stranger but nobody cares… it’s also a little bit about the pandemic, because you’re lonely at home, nothing goes on…
ROCK OVERDOSE: Would you like to tell us with a word or two how you would characterize the new album?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Haha, you said “typical U.D.O. album”, it goes a little bit back to the roots, a lot of melodies, good songs for a live. There’s a lot of different character on this album, for me that’s the most interesting thing on it.
ROCK OVERDOSE: What are your memories from our country?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Greece, such an enthusiastic audience, of course! It was always nice to do some shows in Greece, hopefully we can come on the second half of the European tour, I would love to do some shows in Greece.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Greek fans sure love you!
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: I know! I know, that’s why I always wanna do some shows in Greece, most of the times it’s in Athens and Thessaloniki.
ROCK OVERDOSE: So let’s hope that Greece will be included in the next tour.
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Yes, I hope so. I think it will be.
ROCK OVERDOSE: Would you like to send a message to your fans here?
UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: It’s always great to be in Greece, it’s always fun and hopefully you’ll see us next year!
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