Udo Dirkschneider, the 69-year-old former ACCEPT and currrent U.D.O. vocalist, says he has no plans to retire. In a recent interview with Dead Rhetoric 's Matt Coe in support of U.D.O.'s 17th studio album, "Game Over", the legendary German frontman was asked how he sees heavy metal evolving and what improvements can be made to the genre.
"I'm still enjoying the whole thing," he said. "Thank god I was quite busy during the pandemic. I did a lot of work — the 'We Are One' album with the orchestra, the live album for the Bulgaria show, DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG with that EP, and the 'Game Over' album. I still enjoy what I am doing. I have a lot of people asking me when I am thinking about retiring. No, come on — this is nothing for me. As long as I'm healthy and my voice is working, we can tour worldwide and there is no reason to stop."
In early 2019, Udo ignored his doctor's advice and performed live with U.D.O. According to a statement from the band, Udo had pain in his left knee and couldn't walk "at all" for a longer period. Udo was seen using a walking cane during the ensuing dates.
"Game Over" was released on October 22 via AFM Records.
Last year, U.D.O. collaborated with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, the military band of the German federal armed forces, on an album called "We Are One", which was released in July 2020 via AFM Records/Soulfood Music.
U.D.O.'s current lineup includes Udo's son and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, bassist Tilen Hudrap and guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Dee Dammers.
Udo's DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG project, in which he is joined be fellow former ACCEPT members Peter Baltes (bass) and Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), recently released a new single and video, "Every Heart Is Burning".
DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG, which is rounded out by Udo's son Sven Dirkschneider (drums), Manuela Bibert (vocals) and Mathias Dieth (guitar), issued its debut single, "Where The Angels Fly", in September 2020. A second single, "Face Of A Stranger", followed in April. On August 27, all three songs were released as the "Arising" CD, a 12-inch vinyl and a download.