MetalKings.com: For how long have you been doing interview so far?
UDO: Oh, since over a week.
MetalKings.com: Have you done many of them?
UDO: Yes, very-very-very much, really many interviews. (laughs)
MetalKings.com: Most of the musicians say that they have, - with a mysterious and unusual country that Russia is - they have a very special relation with it. So why did you decide to record your live record here?
UDO: Well… We've been touring all of the world for a long time with Accept and also with UDO. And I mean I was now, before we did the last tour in Russia, I was already two times in Russia. And it's very hard to explain, but in Russia the people, they are not completely different from the rest of the world, but there's a special atmosphere in Russia, with the audience. And when we started thinking where can we record the UDO live album, and then we said ok this atmosphere is what we wanna have on the album. And that was the first point. And then, now we have start talking about all the technical things, you know, and then we started talking with a promo agency in Russia. And really, what can I say for us everything was perfect, they were very helpful and that was the easiest way to do it.
MetalKings.com: How specific you were when you were picking out the material for the album, did you choose just songs that you like, or did you ask the fans what songs you should choose, or did you just record the tracks that were considered hits?
UDO: Let's say we, when we started thinking about which songs we wanna put on this live album of course there were a lot of songs that we had in our mind. Then we were also doing a voting on our homepage, but we said ok, please, don't vote for 'Balls to the Wall', or 'Metal Heart', or 'Princess of the Dawn', or 'Fast as a Shark' and all this stuff, and the reason why we don't wanna do these songs is, I mean, Accept was recording these songs already three times. And we knew, especially Stefan and me, that a lot of people, when we started thinking which Accept songs we can put on this album, that Accept never was recording songs off the 'Russian Roulette' album live, or let's say 'Winter Dreams' from the 'Balls to the Wall' album, some different songs, you know. And so the voting was in a way very near to the songs, that we were thinking to put on the live album.
MetalKings.com: I see. Well, you know, I like the way you sing, honestly I like your voice, but usually people with your voice, or with your type of voice, you know, hoarse and harsh, usually they are not becoming singers. And did you have to prove yourself as a singer for a long time when you started or did you just say 'I'm a rebel', and in general how important it is for you what other people think of your voice?
UDO: Oh, I mean, when I started of course I was always reading the critics, if they liked my voice or not, but now I mean in a way this vocal is unique and I mean in a way I don't care. It's nothing in between you could hate this voice or you love it. (laughs) It's the only way!
MetalKings.com: Talking of your tour in Russia, usually people say that you cannot record a good live album if you don't have a vibe with the audience, sort of a connection with the audience, so what of the concerts did you like the best in Russia?
UDO: They all were great (laughs) but a very good concert was in Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow was very good.
MetalKings.com: Which of the two?
UDO: In a way I prefer more the club gig.
MetalKings.com: The one without Aria, right?
UDO: But it had nothing to do with Aria, I just like more playing clubs, I mean big hall is also different atmosphere, and I like it too, but I like more to play in clubs because you are nearer to the fans and you can work more together with the audience, you know. Cuz, you've really got the fans in your face.
MetalKings.com: Nowadays in Russia everyone is talking about the duet you got with Kipelov from Aria. Whose initiative it was in the first place?
UDO: It was the idea of Aria. They asked me if I would like to do this and I said 'OK' and I asked what kind of song is this, they sent me three songs, and I liked this song most and they said "yeah, that's also what we were thinking about that you'll do this song 'Shtille'" But for it was not easy to sing this in Russian (laughs).
MetalKings.com: Oh, yeah that was the second part of the question, so how was it singing in Russian?
UDO: I was a lot of work really. But in the end I think it works out quite well.
MetalKings.com: A traditional question we ask all of the musicians who have kids. How do your kids react to you still being a sort of groovie young man who is jumping around the stage and all, what do they think of this and do they like the stuff you make?
UDO: Oh, brrr, let's say my daughter is more into different stuff, she is more into rap music, hip-hop music, and not really into heavy metal music, she doesn't listen to this kind of music. So she is not interested. But she was growing up with it, you know, so she knows exactly what I'm doing, and it's nothing really special for her now. And my son, I think, he's a little bit too young, he's just 7 years old, and of course he is interested, he was already two or three times at the concerts, but I think in way he is too young. But the family has no problem with this. But it's normal you know, they were growing up with this, so for them everything seems very normal.
MetalKings.com: Also a traditional question, would you like your children to take after you?
UDO: Oh, we'll see. I mean, my daughter is definitely not interested in any music things, she is not really playing any instrument or singing or something like that, I think she'll be doing a normal life. And maybe my son, maybe I'll know more in 5 years, but if he's interested in music, and if he likes to do this, why not I don't have any problems with this. I can help him a lot.
MetalKings.com: As far as I see from the track-list on 'Live from Russia' you've got both ballads and faster songs there, more aggressive stuff. And this is quite usual for you, because back in Accept when you were just becoming popular, everyone was saying that this German band is very aggressive, you know, but then if somebody heard 'Winter Dreams' they said that this guy has got so much romanticism in his heart. So who is Udo in real life? An aggressor or a romantic guy?
UDO: Let's say more romantic. I'm a very quiet person in private life and let's say in a way I am completely different from the kind of music that we're doing. In a way inside I'm two persons.
MetalKings.com: Do you have sort of a special ritual to prepare yourself to coming out on stage and turning into a heavy metal maniac that you are?
UDO: No, I mean... (laughs) I sometimes ask this myself, how is this changing possible? It's like one minute before the show I am very quiet and then I go out, and something's different, something's changing. Maybe you could say you put on a big switch, you know, and then there is something different coming out.
MetalKings.com: And when you come off stage does it take any time to go back to normal?
UDO: After the show yes, I mean you need a couple of hours to calm down. You're very-very pushed after the show, I mean you're very awaken. So you need to or three hours to calm down again.
MetalKings.com: Ok, as far as I know you are fond of classical music too and one of your favourite composers, to the best of my knowledge, is Bach, and you also did Beethoven's 'Fur Elise'? But whom do you like from the Russian classical composers?
UDO: Oh I like very much Tchaikovsky.
MetalKings.com: Talking of after the show. It must be pretty much fun when you come home and can sit down and relax with a glass of wine, or beer, or whatever you do. So what do you do in normal life?
UDO: Let's see, when I am not busy with my record label, when I am not busy being the singer of UDO, the most important thing for me is the family, the free time with my family. And I like reading books - biographies and I play some tennis with my daughter, and I like very much too go swimming.
MetalKings.com: When anyone mentions 'Balls to the Wall' some people start smirking and laughing, because they don't quite understand the original meaning of the expression. Some of them think that this means something totally different and that you refer to some other balls to the wall.
UDO: (Laughs) Yes right, they get it totally wrong.
MetalKings.com: A lot of people do, and a lot of people in Russia. Like I remember when Accept was really big here in mid 80ies and we all thought that 'Balls to the Wall' meant not what it actually meant. Did you expect that kind of a reaction when you were naming the song.
UDO: Yes in a way, I mean this is English slang. But when we did this song we expected that there may be something, some wrong ideas about the title 'Balls to the Wall'.
MetalKings.com: When I was 12 a friend of mine who was crazy of this kind of music, told me that the message of the song was: "if you are a real man you gotta crush your balls against the wall…"
UDO: (breaks out laughing) ohhh, this is totally wrong…
MetalKings.com: Did you hear the first part of the Tribute to Accept?
UDO: Yeah, it's interesting to hear how all the bands play all these Accept songs, in a different way from how we play it, and I mean that also means that we did something in the music scene with Accept, and the most of the bands they were inspired by Accept. And that was also that they were listening to Accept when they were young it was also a point to say "yeah, I wanna be a musician, I wanna do this kind of music, so in a way this makes you proud, you know."
MetalKings.com: Whose cover impressed you the most?
UDO: Ohhh, this is… uh-oh, gotta be very careful to name any bands (laughs). I liked Therion very much and for me there was this Finnish band… argh, I forgot the name, they did "Generation Clash", I mean this was a very interesting version.
MetalKings.com: And particularly what did you think of Dimmu Borgir's "Metal Heart"?
UDO: Interesting. I heard this already live at Wacken Open Air. Very interesting.
MetalKings.com: Talking of politics, we cannot really avoid this question now, talking of last year's happenings in New Your, USA. Everyone was really connected to this tragedy, but then they started coming up with ludicrous things, for instance one of the US radio stations came up with a top-100, that were not really banned from air, but were recommended to be removed from the air, because allegedly they were causing some associations with the tragedy. Among these songs were Metallica's "Seek & Destroy", "Harvester of Sorrow", "Enter Sandman", "Fade to Black", Megadeth's "Dread and Fugitive Mind", "Sweetened Bullets". Ok, I can live with that. But then they had 'What a Wonderful World'. What do you think about this sort of a censorship?
UDO: Yeah, I mean in a way I can understand it, in a way, but music is music, you know. You cannot ban everything. Music is entertainment, for me music is to go away from the problems you have or whatever. I mean sometimes you can relax to the music, you can have fun with music. It's entertainment. Maybe, in a way, sometimes they go a bit too far, you know. Of course, it's a bad thing that happened, but I mean life goes on.
MetalKings.com: What was the most embarrassing moment on stage?
UDO: What was the English word for it… My trousers were going off on stage. Not really off, but the were broke on stage. It felt really dangerous.
MetalKings.com: Did they fall?
UDO: No, not really.
MetalKings.com: For how long did you have to jump around the stage in these trousers?
UDO: Oh, not that long they did a drum solo so I could change my trousers.
MetalKings: Why is the affection for military clothing?
UDO: It has nothing to do with political things its just stage clothes.
MetalKings.com: I understand that it's not about politics but why military clothes, I mean mostly metal is spikes, leather…
UDO: When we started thinking about stage clothes in Accept, we just went into a military shop I tried these on, and everybody said "this is for you. And now you have to cut your hair." We found out that this clothes was the perfect thing for me and also my walking on stage, my singing, my whole acting on stage fitted perfect to the military clothes and short hair. It was not easy to come to this, it took a long time for me. But then I said, "Ok, here we go! Show-business!"
MetalKings.com: To change the mood, usually when we come to the second half of the interview, we come up with the stupido questions? Suppose Dalai Lahma ever invited you to a party, what song would you play there?
UDO: Errrrrrrr… Balls to the Wall.
MetalKings.com: There were some scientific researches recently which discovered that insects can be affected by music. What heavy metal band would you recommend against cockroaches?
UDO: Jesus Christ! (laughs) I have no answer for this…
MetalKings.com: Three things you'd do should you be turned into a gorgeous blonde with 36C tits?
UDO: Take a different colour of my hair. Looking for rich men. And have fun, a lot of parties.
MetalKings.com: Ok, your final word…
UDO: Yeah, what can I say, I hope we see everybody on tour again and keep on working.
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