UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: Why I Decided To Record A Song In German For The First Time
Former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider has just released a new solo album, «My Way», via Atomic Fire Records. The effort is billed as the 70-year-old German musician’s «most personal and extraordinary album to date,» containing 17 cover versions of the songs that have influenced the musician and singer the most, including classic tracks from URIAH HEEP, RAINBOW, THE SWEET, MOTÖRHEAD, LED ZEPPELIN, SCORPIONS, AC/DC and JUDAS PRIEST. «My Way» also features a cover of the WOLFSHEIM hit «Kein Zurück», which marks the first time Udo has recorded and released a song in his native language.
Asked in a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal’s «Metal Global» why now was the right time for him to put out a song in German, Udo responded: «It’s definitely about the lyrics. The lyrics on this song definitely reflect my whole career — the bad times, the good times; never look back; look always forward; there is no way back. And that fits perfectly for my thinking, how I think. I never look back; I always look forward and say, ‘Okay, everything is history and now look forward.’ That’s the most important thing for me.
«I heard this song in 2002, it came out, and the lyrics, I don’t know why, but I was really thinking in my head [about it],» he continued. «And when I was making up the list [of songs to cover on ‘My Way’], I said, ‘Yeah, I wanna do this song.’ But the first idea was to translate the German lyrics into English lyrics, but the sense was gone of the lyrics; it was not really the same. So then I said, ‘Okay, let’s try it in German.’ And this is also quite funny — I thought to sing in the mother language was easy. No — it was not easy. It was the most difficult vocal recording on the album — to get the words right. And the meaning and timing with German words are completely different than if you are singing in English. But I think in the end, the guy who wrote the song, he said also, ‘Well done.'»
Udo added: «This song in this version is more heavy than the original one; the original one is more electronic and poppy — very soft. But as I said, for me it’s a good version.»
Asked if «Kein Zurück» has opened the door to the possibility of him writing and recording an original song in German, Dirkschneider responded: «[That’s] a very interesting question. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know. Already some people said, ‘Wow. Why you’re not doing a whole album in German? Look, like RAMMSTEIN [have been doing it all these years].’ I said, ‘Yeah, RAMMSTEIN. I’m not RAMMSTEIN.’ I don’t know. Maybe if there’s something really interesting lyric[-wise] or whatever, it can be happening that we do something like a bonus track in German or whatever, but at the moment, nothing is planned for the next album. We have already some ideas for the next U.D.O. album, but slowly. It takes some time. Let’s say the next U.D.O. album will not be out before next year after the summer or something like that.»
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.»