U.D.O., the German metal band led by original ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, has signed with Atomic Fire Records.
Udo states: "As a globally active artist, it is very important for me to work with our respective partners in a trusting and highly professional way since large parts of our careers depend directly on their work. But a friendly relationship and fun in day-to-day cooperation are just as important. With my U.D.O. and DIRKSCHNEIDER bands, I have always paid attention to long-term partnerships, which really did not make the decision to change labels again after nearly 20 years of cooperation with AFM Records easy for me. I would like to specifically thank Jochen Richert and his team once again for the very trusting and personal cooperation over the last two decades! But when the opportunity arose to follow a fresh path with the newly founded Atomic Fire Records label and experience new inspirations, I seized it immediately and won't let go. The opportunity to work with a nationally and internationally experienced and successful team consisting of friends and years-long companions was too tempting. The team and the concept as well as Atomic Fire Records' professional setup worldwide has convinced me completely and I look very optimistically and happily toward the future and a cooperation with Markus Wosgien, Markus Staiger and Florian Milz and their team."
Atomic Fire Records CEO Markus Wosgien says: "I was nine years old when I listened to a real metal song for the very first time, a live version of 'Metal Heart' and it hooked me immediately. On that day, heavy metal became the center of my life. I started spending my whole pocket money for ACCEPT's records before I also discovered other groups. ACCEPT were the ultimate band and the definition of heavy metal — it just had to sound like this. I was working with U.D.O. in support of their 'Mastercutor' album during my time at AFM Records, but I even had the chance of cooperating with ACCEPT for four full-lenghts after their reunion in 2009. To welcome Udo Dirkschneider to Atomic Fire Records is a kind of a knightly accolade for us. He's an icon and an old hand of metal who still has a lot to say. We're pleased to release an outstanding album around his 70th birthday and can't wait for all those U.D.O. hits that are yet to come."
Dirkschneider, who will turn 70 years old on April 6, 2022, plans to release a "special album" to coincide with his birthday.
U.D.O.'s latest album, "Game Over", was released in October via AFM Records.
Last year, U.D.O. collaborated with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, the military band of the German federal armed forces, on an album called "We Are One", which was released in July 2020 via AFM Records/Soulfood Music.
U.D.O.'s current lineup includes Udo's son and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, bassist Tilen Hudrap and guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Dee Dammers.
Udo's DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG project, in which he is joined be fellow former ACCEPT members Peter Baltes (bass) and Stefan Kaufmann (guitar),recently released a new single and video, "Every Heart Is Burning".
DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG, which is rounded out by Udo's son Sven Dirkschneider (drums),Manuela Bibert (vocals) and Mathias Dieth (guitar),issued its debut single, "Where The Angels Fly", in September 2020. A second single, "Face Of A Stranger", followed in April. In August, all three songs were released as the "Arising" CD, a 12-inch vinyl and a download.
Left to right in photo below (photo credit: Thomas "Zwini" Zwirner): Florian Milz (Atomic Fire Records CEO),Udo Dirkschneider, Markus Wosgien (Atomic Fire Records CEO),Frank Süpfle (ITM Agency).
Band photo credit: Tim Tronckoe