UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER Says Younger Metal Bands Need A 'Concept' In Order To Stand Out

August 30, 2023

In a new interview with Let's Talk Music, former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider spoke about his recent switch from longtime record label AFM to Atomic Fire. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I was together with AFM for 14, 15 years. So then there came up a French investor. He was buying AFM, he was buying Nuclear Blast, he was buying nearly every record company in Germany and Austria and whatever. So, and then these people, they only wanna do everything, like, digital — not more physical stuff, that you can watch a book [with] pictures and lyrics and all that stuff. And that was the point we had to change. I mean, we're still good friends with AFM — my whole back catalog is on AFM — but then Atomic Fire came up, and on Atomic Fire, they're all the old people from Nuclear Blast. They know how metal works, and they said, 'Okay, we don't wanna do only digital; we also want physical stuff.' So the first thing I did with them was like 'My Way', my cover album that I did, and they pushed me on No. 4 in Germany on the chart, on the album chart. And it was, like, 'Whoops.' They did a really good job. And so far now with the new album ['Touchdown'], with the first real studio album for U.D.O., they did an amazing job. They know exactly how to do it. So I'm happy with them. Sometimes you have to change [your business structure] to something different in this business.

"But, anyway, the whole business with record companies, especially for new bands, younger bands, it's not like it was in the '80s," Udo continued. "They don't give any money for supporting or whatever. It's really, really heavy for new bands.

"If some people, they ask me what kind of advice you can give to young bands, and I always say I think the only chance what you have is you need a concept — not only music, but you need a concept. Like SABATON and POWERWOLF, what we have here in Europe, and then you stick out. You have to do something special. Only with music, it's not so easy.

"For me, I think I'm lucky," Dirkschneider added. "I have everything what I need. We can tour, make a touring worldwide. Okay, Russia not, and Ukraine not at the moment, but the rest of the world is open for us. And that will be definitely, with 'Touchdown', a long, long tour. I know that already."

"Touchdown" was released on August 25 through Atomic Fire Records. The 13-track LP was recorded at various locations with producer Martin "Mattes" Pfeiffer and was mixed at Redhead Studio (Wilhelmshaven, Germany) while the mastering was handled by Stefan Kaufmann at ROXX Studio (Solingen, Germany),The record also includes a guest appearance by violinist Stefan Pintev on the title track, and bass tracks were recorded by former ACCEPT bassist Peter Baltes. Artwork was provided by Martin Häusler who was also responsible for shooting band photos in support of the new album campaign.

In April, Baltes officially joined U.D.O. and DIRKSCHNEIDER, the two bands fronted by Udo Dirkschneider. The former ACCEPT bassist had been playing bass for U.D.O. since last September, initially as a temporary replacement for U.D.O.'s then-bassist Tilen Hudrap who was hospitalized after the band's show in Munich, Germany.

DIRKSCHNEIDER is the name of Udo's band which performs ACCEPT material exclusively.

Although Udo announced eight years ago that his initial DIRKSCHNEIDER tour would mark his final time performing ACCEPT songs, he has continued to play select shows under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner.

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