Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)
The Scorpions may have been the most commercially successful German heavy metal act of the 1980s, but the most influential was Accept, who lent a major hand in the creation of thrash metal with their blazing rocker, "Fast as a Shark." The singer during this era of the band was Mr. Udo Dirkschneider, a gentleman who favored short-cropped hair and baggy camouflage trousers at a time when many metallists were spiking up their mile high hair with Aqua Net and squeezing into their spandex.

After splitting from Accept in 1987, Dirkschneider formed his own band, UDO. The group lasted until 1992, when the classic Accept lineup decided to give it another go. But by 1997, Dirkschneider had exited Accept once more, and resuscitated UDO.

While many UDO band members have come and gone over the years, one name that will be familiar to metal fans is Stefan Kaufmann, who was originally Accept's drummer, before moving to guitar for UDO (nowadays, he doesn't tour with UDO, but lends a hand in the songwriting department). In the process, UDO has issued a total of thirteen studio albums, with a new one - Steelhammer - on the way. To feed demand for the back catalog, eight UDO albums were reissued as expanded editions in 2013.

In this conversation, which is best imagined in his German accent, Dirkschneider chatted about his favorite UDO tunes, the filming of one of heavy metal's all-time classic music videos, and the creation of the aforementioned "Fast as a Shark."
Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)
Greg Prato (Songfacts): How did the idea come up to reissue the eight albums of the UDO band?

Udo Dirkschneider: The idea is that you didn't get all the albums of UDO for a long time in the US, so now we had the possibility to bring out the whole back catalogue. And now AFM Germany has opened up a office here over at the US and found a distribution label, stuff like that. For us, it was also important that we can make a tour, then people can buy the whole back catalogue.

Songfacts: What can fans expect from these reissues, as far as if there are going to be bonus tracks and things like that?

Udo: Yeah. Of course, the record company was asking if we had something left, like live songs, unreleased songs, to remix songs. So we gave them everything what we had.

Songfacts: What are some of your favorite tracks looking back on those albums, maybe for fans that may just be discovering these albums?

Udo: From Animal House, I like "They Want War." From the Faceless World album, I like very much "Heart of Gold." Time Bomb, "Time Bomb," the title song. This is hard to say - to pick one from each album.

Songfacts: I understand. And I'm curious, too, are there any songs that you rediscovered by going back that perhaps you forgot about?

Udo: Yeah. When you listen to the old albums and you find songs, and say, "I didn't listen to that song for a long time," and then you say, "Oh, it is a great song." It sometimes happens.

Songfacts: Are there any specific songs you could list where that happened?

Udo: I just found a song, I don't know which album it is on, "Animal Instinct" [from 2002's Man and Machine] is a very interesting song, but we never played this song live.

Songfacts: How has your songwriting changed over the years when you compare songwriting for Accept and writing for the UDO band?

Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)Udo: With Accept it was more teamwork. We had two periods of UDO. In the first place, I was writing the songs together with two guitar players, Mathias Dieth and Andy Susemihl. And now, with UDO for the second time, I wrote most of the songs - 90% - together with Stefan Kaufmann.

Songfacts: Are there any themes that show up in your songs?

Udo: Yeah. What we always do is what happens every day - you just put the news on and you have tons of ideas for writing lyrics. But sometimes you also do some normal stuff, like about the music and the fans. But we always try to do something about what goes on in the world.

Songfacts: Who are some of your favorite songwriters?

Udo: For me Ronnie James Dio was a big thing.

Songfacts: How did his music affect you and also his singing?

Udo: For me, he was one of the greatest singers in the metal scene. I was in a way a good friend with Ronnie. When we met each other, especially at a festival, we always had a long talk about music and stuff like that. So it was very similar in thinking of this kind of music.

Songfacts: Let's talk about some of your best-known songs. What do you remember about writing "Fast as a Shark"?

Udo: Stefan Kaufmann came up with just a fast song. [Laughs] The really funny thing was in the beginning, we said, "Bah! No, we cannot play songs like this." But we didn't know that we were exasperating "speed metal." So that was completely new. And then we put this funny thing in:"Hi De Hi Do Hi Da." It's from a folk song in Germany [titled "Ein Heller und ein Batzen," which translated in English means "A Farthing and a Penny"].

We put the song in front of the album. So sometimes you have crazy ideas, and in the end it works out very good.

Songfacts: You just mentioned speed metal. Would you agree that that was the first ever speed metal song?

Udo: It was.

Songfacts: I agree too. When I interviewed Charlie Benante, the drummer from the band Anthrax a few years ago, he said that was the song that he played when he was trying out for Anthrax.

Udo: Yeah! [Laughs] It's sometimes really funny. [Laughs]

Songfacts: What about the song "Balls to the Wall," what do you remember about the writing of that?

Udo: "Balls to the Wall," that was just a riff in the beginning. The hook line "balls to the wall," the melody "balls to the wall," that was it. And nobody has a clue about the verse, how we sing the verse.

One night I was sitting there with Stefan Kauffmann at his studio, and we said, "Okay, what can we do?" We had a lot of drinks, and I was in a way really drunk, and then I start singing the verse in some way, and here we go. Then the words came out: "Balls to the Wall." Sometimes things happen.

Songfacts: Right. And what do you remember about the filming for that video? Because that video's gone on to become a heavy metal classic.

Udo: When we did this video that was shooting in January, it was very cold in London, near the airport. It was very cold, and especially when I had to step on this wrecking ball. That was something else. I said, "Please, no, I don't want to do this!" But in the end, I was young, so I said, "Okay, here we go." But it was freezing like hell.

Songfacts: And what do you remember about the songwriting of "London Leatherboys"?

Udo: A lot of people say that was a gay song, but it was not a gay song. "London Leatherboys," it was a song about a London biker gang. Nothing to do with anything gay. When we did the Balls to the Wall album, because of the cover, all the people called us then a "gay metal band." But, okay, here we go.

Songfacts: What are the future plans for UDO and are you working on a new album with the band?

Udo: Yeah. The new album is done, called Steelhammer. It's coming out at the end of May. And at the moment all we're doing is the short US tour after a long time, and see what's going on for UDO. So far everything looks very good. They're talking about how we have to come back next year for a longer tour. Then maybe when we are finished with the US tour, we'll go back to Europe. Then we start the whole tour doing festivals, and then in the middle of September we start the European tour - we start in Russia, and then you can say nearly everywhere in Europe. We have to go to South America, and then hopefully we come back next year, then, for another long tour of the US.

May 10, 2013. Get more on UDO, including the tour dates, at udo-online.com.

Comments:

No Comments yet! Be the first to leave a comment!

Name
Where are you from?
Your Comment
 security code

Dar WilliamsDar Williams
A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."
Wednesday 13Wednesday 13
The Murderdolls frontman on how growing up with horror movies led to a life of shock rock.
Andy McClusky of OMDAndy McClusky of OMD
Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Search in Songwriter Interviews
search
Songwriter Interviews titles
Aaron Beam of Red Fang
Aaron Gillespie
Aaron Lewis
Adam Duritz of Counting Crows
Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne
Adam Young of Owl City
Al Anderson of NRBQ
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
Al Kooper
Alan Merrill of The Arrows
Alex Call (867-5309)
Allee Willis: Boogie Wonderland, Friends theme
Amanda Palmer
Amy Grant
Andy McClusky of OMD
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
Angelo Moore of Fishbone
Ann Hampton Callaway
Anna Canoni about Woody Guthrie
Annie Haslam of Renaissance
Antigone Rising
Art Alexakis of Everclear
Asher Roth
Badi Assad
Bart Millard of MercyMe
Becca Stevens
Benny Mardones
Bill Withers
Billy Gould of Faith No More
Billy Joe Shaver
Billy Montana ("More Than A Memory" - Garth Brooks)
Billy Steinberg
Bo Bice
Bobby Liebling of Pentagram
Bobby Whitlock
Boz Scaggs
Brad Arnold from 3 Doors Down
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
Brandi Carlile
Brandon Heath
Brenda Russell
Brian "Head" Welch of Korn, Love and Death
Bronze Radio Return
Bruce Robison
Bryan Adams
Butch Vig
Buzz Osborne of the Melvins
Carol Kaye
Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)
Chad Urmston of Dispatch
Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler
Charles Fox
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
Charlie Daniels
Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's
Chris August
Chris Fehn of Slipknot
Chris Isaak
Chris Knight
Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes
Chris Squire of Yes
Chris Tomlin
Chris Willis
Chris Wilson of The Flamin' Groovies
Christopher Cross
Chuck Billy of Testament
Cody Hanson of Hinder
Colbie Caillat
Corey Hart
Craig Goldy of Dio
Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets
Cy Curnin of The Fixx
Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay
Dan Reed
Daniel Moore ("Shambala," "My Maria")
Danko Jones
Danny Kortchmar
Dar Williams
Darren King of MUTEMATH
Darryl Worley
Dave Clark
Dave Innis of Restless Heart
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Dave Stewart of Eurythmics
Dave Wakeling of The English Beat
Dean Pitchford
Denny Randell
Desmond Child
Devin Townsend
Devo
Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)
Dez Fafara of DevilDriver and Coal Chamber
Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)
Dino Cazares of Fear Factory
Don Brewer of Grand Funk
Don Felder
Donald Fagen
Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)
Dr. John
Dropkick Murphys
dUg Pinnick of King's X
Duncan Phillips of Newsboys
Dwight Twilley
Eddie Carswell of NewSong
Eddie Reeves
Edwin McCain
El Sloan of Crossfade
Elvin Bishop
Emilio Castillo from Tower of Power
Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls
Eric Burdon
Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots
Francesca Battistelli
Francis Rossi of Status Quo
Gary Brooker of Procol Harum
Gary Lewis
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
Gary Numan
Gentle Giant
Georgia Middleman of Blue Sky Riders
Gilby Clarke
Glen Burtnik
Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket
Gordon Bahary
Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)
Graham Parker
Graham Russell of Air Supply
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Gretchen Peters (Independence Day)
Guy Clark
Gym Class Heroes
Hal Ketchum
Harold Brown of War
Harry Shearer
Hayes Carll
Henry McCullough
Henry Paul of The Outlaws, Blackhawk
Holly Knight
Holly Williams
Howard Bellamy
Howard Jones
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"
Ian Astbury of The Cult
Ian Thornley of Big Wreck
Ingrid Croce
J.D. Souther
Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees
Jake Owen
James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges
Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed
Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go`s
Janis Ian
Jann Klose
Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup
Jason Michael Carroll
Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)
Jason Reeves
Jason Roy of Building 429
Jay Graydon
Jeff Walker of Carcass
Jello Biafra
Jeph Howard of The Used
Jeremy DePoyster of The Devil Wears Prada
Jess Origliasso of The Veronicas
Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms
Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds
Jimbeau Hinson
Jimmy Jam
Jimmy Webb
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers
Jo Dee Messina
Joe Elliott of Def Leppard
Joe Ely
Joe Grushecky
Joe Jackson
Joe King Carrasco
Joe Rickard of Red
Joel Crouse
Joey + Rory
Joey Burns of Calexico
John Doe of X
John Gallagher of Raven
John Lee Hooker
John Oates
John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls
John Waite
John Wheeler of Hayseed Dixie
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde
Jon Anderson of Yes
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot
Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Jon Tiven
Josh Kelley
Josh Shilling
Josh Thompson
Julian Lennon
Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues
Kasim Sulton (Utopia, Meat Loaf)
Keith Morris of Black Flag and OFF!
Keith Reid of Procul Harum
Kelvin Swaby of The Heavy
Ken Block of Sister Hazel
Kenny Vance
Kerry Livgren of Kansas
Kim Thayil of Soundgarden
Kirk Franklin
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristine W
Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
Larry Burnett of Firefall
Larry Wiegand of Crow
Laura Bell Bundy
Lecrae
Lee Ranaldo
Leslie West of Mountain
Lindi Ortega
Lisa Loeb
Lita Ford
Little Big Town
Lori McKenna
Louie Perez of Los Lobos
Lukas Nelson
Mac Powell of Third Day
Marc Roberge of O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)
Marcy Playground
Maria Muldaur
Maria Neckam
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
Marshall Crenshaw
Martin Page
Martin Smith of Delirous?
Martyn Ware of Heaven 17
Marvin Etzioni of Lone Justice
Mary Gauthier
Mat Kearney
Matisyahu
Matt Pike of High On Fire
Matt Pryor of Get Up Kids
Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon
Matt Sorum
Matt Thiessen of Relient K
Matthew West
Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)
Mia Doi Todd
Michael Bolton
Michael Gilbert of Flotsam and Jetsam
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael Schenker
Michael Sweet of Stryper
Mick Jones of Foreigner
Mike Campbell
Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North
Mike Love of The Beach Boys
Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies
Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater
Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid
Millie Jackson
Mitch Myers about Shel Silverstein
Mitts of Madball
Mountain Heart
Neil Fallon of Clutch
Neil Giraldo
Nick Van Eede from Cutting Crew
Nick Waterhouse
Nick Wheeler of The All-American Rejects
Nina Persson of The Cardigans
Nona Hendryx
Oliver Leiber
Our Lady Peace
Ozomatli
Pam Tillis
Pat Alger ("The Thunder Rolls", "Unanswered Prayers")
Paul Dean of Loverboy
Paul Evans
Paul Williams
Pegi Young
Penny Ford of Snap!
Pete Anderson
Peter Lord
Petula Clark
Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")
Philip Cody
Queensr├┐che founder Geoff Tate
Radney Foster
Raghav
Ralph Casale - Session Pro
Randy Goodrum (Oh Sherrie)
Randy Houser
Randy Montana
Randy Newman
Randy Sharp (From Glen Campbell to Edgar Winter)
Randy Stonehill
Rebecca St. James
Reverend Horton Heat
Rhonda Vincent
Richard Hell
Richard Marx
Richard Patrick of Filter
Richie McDonald of Lonestar
Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)
Rick Finch
Rick Springfield
Rick Wartell of Trouble
Rik Emmett of Triumph
Robert Ellis
Roger Clyne
Rosanne Cash
Rupert Hine
Ryan Star
Sam Phillips
Sandy Chapin
Sarah Brightman
Scorpions Rudolf Schenker
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders
Scott Jason of Thriving Ivory
Scott Stapp
Scotty Emerick (Beer For My Horses)
Serena Ryder
Seth Swirsky
Shane Volk of One Bad Son
Shaun Morgan of Seether
Shawn Smith of Brad
Shelby Lynne
Skip Ewing ("Love, Me," "The Gospel According To Luke")
Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.
Speech of Arrested Development
Spooner Oldham
Squeeze: Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford
Stan Ridgway
Steel Magnolia
Stephen Christian of Anberlin
Steve Azar
Steve Hindalong of The Choir
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai
Sugarland
Sum 41
Sunny Sweeney
Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson
Tanita Tikaram
Taylor Dayne
Terry Cashman
Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")
Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos and Lost Dogs
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Dandy Warhols
The Fratellis
The Limousines
They Might Be Giants
Thomas Dolby
Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs
Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles
Tina Shafer
Tobin Esperance of Papa Roach
Toby Lightman
Todd Harrell of 3 Doors Down and 7dayBinge
Tom Gabel of Against Me!
Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers
Tom Keifer of Cinderella
Tommy James
Tommy Lee James ("She's My Kind Of Rain")
Toni Wine
Tonio K
Tony Hiller and Brotherhood of Man
Tony Joe White
Travis Stever of Coheed and Cambria
Trent Wagler of The Steel Wheels
Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)
Van Dyke Parks
Vanessa Carlton
Ville Valo of HIM
Vince Clarke
Vinny May of Kodaline
Vonda Shepard
Wayne Hussey of The Mission
Wednesday 13
Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burns
Will Jennings
Yael Naim
Yoko Ono
Zac Hanson
Zakk Wylde
ARCHIVES (Show)
Other Songfacts Blogs
Songwriter Interviews
Song Writing
Music Quiz
Fact or Fiction
They're Playing My Song