In a new interview with Metal Express Radio, former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider, who turned 68 in April, was asked if he can see himself retiring anytime soon. He responded (hear audio below): "No. [Laughs] I don't think so. A lot of people ask me, 'Are you thinking about retiring?' No. I mean, I still have fun to do this. At the moment, with this album [U.D.O.'s upcoming 'We Are One'], I'm very excited about this, and I can't wait to go on tour again. Everything is canceled. We planned to do a long American tour in November-December, in Canada, and Russia, along with a European tour together with HELLOWEEN. Everything is canceled, so that means I'm really looking forward and hopefully everything getting normal next year and then there will be a lot of touring coming up."
He added: "I always said, as long as I still have fun to do this, as long as I'm healthy and my voice is working, so… I don't know. Maybe another 10 years or whatever — I have no idea."
Early last year, Udo used a walking cane during some of his concerts after dealing with a "serious health" issue. The singer reportedly couldn't walk at all for an extended period after experiencing pain in his left knee. He later ignored doctors' advice when deciding whether to return to the road and joined his bandmates as they kicked off a European run of headlining shows in January 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
Although it has been reported that Dirkschneider suffered a heart attack nearly 30 years ago, he told Metallian that the reality was a bit different. "Around 1990, I had — what is the word — a body breakdown and not a heart attack. I was overworked, singing, recording, writing songs, producing and even being a manager. I was working on other albums. It was too much. It was not a a heart attack. I remember the reports. I don't know where the report on a heart attack came from. In a way, I am lucky. I have never had a problem with my voice. I have managed to stay healthy. I also stopped smoking [in 2003]. Especially, while on tour, you have to do your best to stay healthy. I always say that I am lucky, I am very lucky. Of course, we get drunk sometimes, but I never party or take drugs or something like that. I have always been a healthy man."
U.D.O.'s current lineup includes Udo's son and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, bassist Tilen Hudrap and guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Dee Dammers.
U.D.O.'s latest studio album, "Steelfactory", was released in August 2018 via AFM.