Growing up as a fan of heavy metal in the late 80’s the German band Accept was a staple in my musical diet. Accept helped define the genre and when Balls to the Wall was released, it was one of those CD’s that sort of just got in your head. Definitely one of my top ten favorite metal albums of all time and absolutely a disc I would need if I were ever stranded on a deserted island for any length of time. I find myself going back to this album when a lot of the newer stuff just starts to makes no sense to me. At any rate, I was ecstatic to learn that while Accept might not be still intact anymore in its original form, Udo Dirkshneider, the bands enigmatic lead singer, who I believe also happens to have one of the best metal voices ever, has been fronting a band called U.D.O. for the last few years. I was even more excited to learn that Udo was more than willing to answer a few questions via email from his residence in Germany where the band is putting the finishing touches on their latest release entitled Mastercutor Alive.

What can fans expect when they pick up the latest CD, Mastercutor Alive?
Udo: 150% Live. No studio overdubs and I think a good mix of U.D.O. and Accept songs.

You guys have been in the business for a long time now, how do you think the internet and sites like MySpace have impacted the industry and your band? Do you think that downloading of songs helps or hinders the artist?
Udo: I think it helps and it is the modern way to enjoy music.

How do you think heavy metal today compares to metal in its heyday back in the 80s?
Udo: It is still handmade and it still comes from the heart.

Germany has long been known to be a hotbed of metal. Who do you think are some of the best German heavy metal bands?
Udo: We have many – Doro, Helloween, Edguy, Rage, Gamma Ray, Kreator, Primal Fear and many more good ones.

The title Mastercutor Alive is interesting to say the least. What is the story behind it?
Udo: In a way he is the host of a TV show and he is presenting the CD.

Your brand new CD Mastercutor Alive is about to be released. Now that it is complete how do you feel about it? Are you pleased with the outcome?
Udo: What can I say; we are more than happy with the whole thing.

You are signed to an independent label after having previously been signed to a powerhouse major label. How has that affected the band? Do you feel you have more input into your project from start to finish? Did you feel you were able to express yourselves creatively enough?
Udo: Yeah, you are right we have more input and we can control everything right from the start.

What song from that album is still exciting for you to sing?
Udo: This is hard to say, I love them all.

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Udo: In the Studio – singing harmony vocals! On Stage – you never know what will come up technical wise.

Life out on the road can be very difficult. What keeps you going on those long drawn out tours? Do you still enjoy touring and being on the road? What have been the best countries to play so far?
Udo: Touring for me is the best part of being a musician. South America and Russia.

When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Udo: Yes, we put a lot of things that we see on tour into our lyrics.

What can the music business do to stop the decline of record sales?
Udo: Get the price down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [ END ]