UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER's Advice To New Bands: 'Don't Sign A Contract With A Record Company'

April 2, 2022

In a new interview with Chaoszine, former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider spoke about the changes he has seen in the music industry since he started out more than five decades ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "There have definitely been some changes in the music business. [Laughs] Yeah, it's not like the '80s anymore. Definitely the selling of CDs going down. On one hand, we can be lucky with our kind of music — the people wanna really have the physical [product] in their hands, so we are not [as affected by the music streaming revolution] as what's happened, for example, in pop music or whatever. But it is like, really, you're selling less albums. The biggest problem, I think, it's for young bands. They cannot sell that much albums, and the record companies don't have that much money to support them for a longer time.

"I saw some bands, really good bands, they're coming up, and sometimes after one year, after two years, they [don't] exist anymore; they're gone," he continued. "It's completely different than it was in the '80s. When I started with ACCEPT, the record company said, 'We wanna make money after five albums.' Can you imagine — after five albums? And they were putting [a lot of] money into [the promotion]. But I think these days are over. [Laughs] I know that.

"For me, I know that record companies hate me for it, for me, to give an advice to young bands is, first, believe in what you are doing, [your] kind of music, and [second], don't sign a contract with a record company," Udo added. "Just try to make your album on your own. I mean, now with all this technical stuff, it's possible; I know that. Then sell the album over the Internet. Just maybe have a guy — you can pay him I don't know how much money a month — he can go on all the metal sites and say, 'Hey, there's a new album.' And make also your own video clip. I mean, you can do that with all these modern mobile phones; the quality is so good. And then the whole money, it's going to the band. What I can say for young bands is do everything on your own and don't [sign] a contract [with a record label], so all the money [goes to] you. If somebody asks me, do it like this. Okay, maybe the record companies hate me more now [for saying that], but anyway, I don't care."

Udo is currently promoting his upcoming album, "My Way", which will be released on April 22 via Atomic Fire Records. Billed as "his most personal and extraordinary album to date," the effort contains 17 cover versions of the very songs that have influenced the musician and singer the most. All kinds of classics from music history are among them — including those that you might not expect from Udo.

Seven years after announcing that he would embark on a special tour during which he would perform ACCEPT songs one last time under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner before closing that chapter for good, Udo is continuing to play ACCEPT material at select shows.

A year ago, Udo confirmed to Canada's The Metal Voice that U.D.O. will "definitely" play some ACCEPT songs if the band's North American tour materializes in 2022.

Dirkschneider said in 2016 that his vow to never play ACCEPT material again came with one caveat. "If the band ACCEPT dissolves one day in the near future and I am still around with U.D.O., then there is a chance that I put ACCEPT songs back in the setlist," he said. "But currently there is ACCEPT, so go see them [if you want to see those songs performed live]. They are playing these songs."

Udo previously said the original plan was for DIRKSCHNEIDER to only "a few shows," and "then [the tour] got bigger and bigger [due to demand]." But, he added, "I don't want to complain about that."

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