UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER On Former U.D.O./DIRKSCHNEIDER Guitarists KASPERI HEIKKINEN And BILL HUDSON: 'There Was Too Much Ego'
Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On writing tracks for latest U.D.O. album ”Steelfactory”:
Udo: ”If we get the feeling that an idea just doesn’t really work, we stop with it. It’s like ‘Okay, bye bye,’ and also, we never use older stuff. Always when a new album comes up, we start with new stuff. If you put something aside when you are in the process of a new album, then there’s something wrong with it. We always come up with new stuff. The band come up with the music, in general. Sometimes I have an idea about a riff or whatever, but most of the time they come up with the music. I come up with the vocal lines; how my vocal ideas work, sometimes also I have ideas about the melody and will sing them in my microphone. [Laughs] Then I don’t forget the melody. In the end, everything comes together and fits together, but sometimes I come up with ideas about the music. We had 15 songs, and continued to work on all of that in between the DIRKSCHNEIDER tours. Jacob Hansen, the producer, also helped. When we had all of the ideas together, he said, ‘Okay. These are the songs.’ Then he stepped in, and worked with us. He gave us advice, like about arranging and all of that stuff. And, there you go. There’s ‘Steelfactory’. I’m very happy with the album, and then in the end, we had 15 songs on the limited-edition version.”
On how ”Steelfactory” sounds:
Udo: ”I never sit down and say that we have to do an album like say ‘Faceless World’  or ‘Man And Machine’  and ‘Thunderball’ , or something like that. We always rehearse songs, and I never know what’s coming up. One album might be harder, the other one might have more melodies, and sometimes we use keyboards, so I never know what’s coming up. This time though, it’s timeless, and I think that we have a good mix. It has everything on it; it has a lot of melodies, big choirs, a lot of harmony solos. For me, it’s a timeless album. Going in this direction, like I said, there’s a lot of different stuff on this, like ballads, double-bass stuff, and so on. I think for me, it’s a good mix, and that’s the way I wanted this album to be. Everything sounds good, and I’m fine with everything.”
On the departures of Kasperi Heikkinen and Bill Hudson:
Udo: ”Both of the guitar players, Kasperi Heikkinen from Finland and also Bill Hudson, they were not team players. I’m not a solo artist; we work in the band as a team. They were definitely not team players, and that’s the reason why they are not in the band any more. Andrey [Smirnov] did all of the guitars on this album. At the moment, we’re looking for a new guitar player. I think in two or three weeks, I can announce a new guitar player. He’ll be from Germany, and very young.”
On how the two ”were not team players”:
Udo: ”There was too much ego. They were not willing to work on songs together, let’s say. For example, Kasperi, he came up with an idea, and we said, ‘Okay, maybe we can do it like this and this.’ Then he said ‘Nobody changes my songs or ideas, thank you very much,’ and that was it [laughs]. With Bill Hudson, for example, he wasn’t really interested in composing anything and wasn’t really interested in playing on the album. He was working on something. Yeah, I don’t know, and he never really became a member of the band. He was always away, and doing some different stuff. Sometimes there was the feeling that he was doing the Bill Hudson show, and not a DIRKSCHNEIDER show. It isn’t possible for us to work with people like this.”
Read the entire interview at Metal Forces.