ACCEPT fans, rejoice! It appears that three former members of the band will reunite on stage this summer.
Founding ACCEPT singer Udo Dirkschneider and bassist Peter Baltes were photographed with longtime drummer Stefan Kaufmann late last month while they were apparently preparing for Dirkschneider's upcoming concerts at the 2020 edition of the Wacken Open Air festival.
Udo is scheduled to play two shows at this year's Wacken: the first will see his band DIRKSCHNEIDER perform ACCEPT's classic 1985 album "Metal Heart" in its entirety to celebrate the LP's 35th anniversary, while the second will pair Udo's main band U.D.O. with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, the military band of the German federal armed forces. U.D.O. and the 100-plus musicians of Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr previously teamed up for the 2015 edition of Wacken and then for another concert in Elspe in 2018.
Several pictures of last month's rendezvous were posted on Twitter by Ulrich Fonrobert, spokesman for Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr in Siegburg. In the accompanying caption, he wrote: "1st meeting for the next heavy metal session of UDO and the Bundeswehr Music Corps in Siegburg. After Navy Metal Night 2014, Wacken 2015 and Elspe 2018, the next project: CD, Wacken, Tour ... Orchester-Metal as it's best"
Udo previously promised "a big surprise" for the 2020 Wacken show. He also said that a "joint album" with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr featuring "exclusively new songs" would be released in mid-2020.
Last November, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann told Powermetal.cl that he no longer kept in touch with Baltes after the bassist exited the group a year earlier. "Unfortunately, when somebody leaves the band, they're always kind of out of sight, out of mind," Wolf explained. "It's very sad. I wish it wasn't that way, because we've been friends for so long. But the reality is I haven't really heard from him — even though I reached out a couple of times. He's almost like he wants to disappear or he wants to leave the music business altogether. It's sad and I still don't quite understand what really happened. But it is what it is, and we move on."
Kaufmann was the drummer for ACCEPT on nine albums but was forced to give up drumming towards the end of the band's initial run after sustaining a serious injury to his back.
Stefan joined U.D.O. as a guitar player in 1996, following ACCEPT's second breakup, and recorded nine albums with them, including his most recent release with the group, 2011's "Rev-Raptor".
In 2018, Udo told Greece's Rock Overdose that he would no longer perform any ACCEPT songs live once he has completed his current touring obligations with his DIRKSCHNEIDER project. "I did now the DIRKSCHNEIDER thing for nearly three hundred shows — I played only ACCEPT songs," he said. "If [the fans] wanna hear some ACCEPT classic stuff, what can I say? Then please go to [see] ACCEPT; they're still touring.
"I would say as long as ACCEPT is existing, I don't play any ACCEPT songs anymore," he explained. "If they maybe split up and I'm still continuing to tour, then it's a possibility to play some ACCEPT songs. But at the moment, they're still going on tour and they play also a lot of old ACCEPT classic stuff, so here we go. I mean, I have now 16 U.D.O. albums out and I think we have enough songs to do a setlist without ACCEPT songs."
Back in 2015, Hoffmann dismissed Dirkschneider's comment that the band's then-lineup — which included Baltes and ACCEPT's singer of more than a decade, Mark Tornillo — performed live "without any emotion." "It's just hilarious at this point," Wolf said. "It's just a big joke in our lives. And we just go on about our lives, and we do our thing, and we just… We let these things go by and laugh about it. He's actually sort of our press agent, in a way. He keeps us [in the news]."
1. Treffen für die nächste Heavy Metal-Session von U.D.O. und dem Musikkorps der Bundeswehr in Siegburg. Nach Navy Metal Night 2014, Wacken 2015 und Elspe 2018 jetzt das nächste Projekt: CD, Wacken, Tour... Orchester-Metal as it's best ??. #Wacken #metal #dirkschneider pic.twitter.com/l4BtlaIziI
— Ulrich @ Queen Games (@UFonrobert) January 26, 2020
Ein neues Traumtrio der Musikgeschichte? Accept 2.0? U.D.O. 4.0? Dirkschneider 5.0.? Metal Heart 3.5? Johnny The Foxx...
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