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 U.D.O .................

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Messages : 5254
Date d'inscription : 20/05/2012
Localisation : saint céré

MessageSujet: U.D.O .................   Sam 13 Avr - 16:58

U.D.O. - Hot Tonight: Big Apple Blazing!



By Mark Gromen


Early April temps hitting uncharacteristic (in some cases, record)
highs, yet black shirted masses descend on the lower end of Manhattan,
to the Gramercy Theater. Lots has changed in the metal world during the
twelve years since Udo Dirkschneider last toured the US. Most notably,
his former bandmates in ACCEPT have regrouped and released a killer pair
of Udo-less albums and lit up stages around the globe. Now, without
longtime friend/drummer-turned guitarist Stefan Kaufmann, U.D.O. are
once again solely a Dirkschneider vehicle. As such, he might warrant a
second opinion, especially when it comes to song selection.






After a decade of seeing the diminutive blond singer at least once a
year, I've come to expect ample amounts of ACCEPT within the U.D.O.
repertoire. Why not? There are some great songs Herr Dirkschneider
helped make famous and, let's be honest, it's been a long while since
the last "good" U.D.O. platter. However, with Kaufmann gone and the need
to break in new members, the band has virtually ditched Udo's glorious
past, airing just five ACCEPT tracks, a trio of which closed the show!
Even more shocking, there were a pair of (short) guitar solos, while
offering nothing off the soon to be issued Steelhammer CD.



Earlier, Finnish guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen and fellow six-string
newcomer, Russian-born Andrey Smirnov, showed up at Dukes (the
unofficial NYC pre-game watering hole for Gramercy shows). At the
concert, they kicked off with 'Rev Raptor' and 'Thunderball', same as
witnessed in December, 2011, in Germany. 'They Want War' followed, while
'Leatherhead' came crashing back Earth. We began to get the idea Udo
doesn't understand what the fans (especially the long suffering ones in
North America) want to hear. Definitely needs to ratchet up the old
school quotient. After a rousing, green lit '24/7,' 'Screaming For A
Love Bite', the first ACCEPT tune, none too surprisingly, met with the
biggest ovation to that point: sixth in a 16 song set.





The frontman puffing out his jowls as he stalked the stage, trading
black tee and matching button-down dress shirt for customary
(stereotypical?) military fatigues. 'Vendetta' appears to be another
favorite, but nowhere near as massive as 'Head Over Heels'. Red lights
and the familiar bass line heralds this mighty number from yesteryear,
which eventually sees the stage bathed in a greenish-yellow tinge. As
the song winds down, it heads directly into a short solo from Heikkinen,
although some took the moment to head for the bar and retrieve a
beverage similar to his surname. First surprise: the appropriately
entitled (for the 80+/ 28 degrees C temps that afternoon) 'Burning
Heat', off tremendously overlooked Timebomb album. Apparently years of
complaining have been heard, as said title cut would close the proper
set, just a few songs later.


White lights illuminating the crowd and cannonading drums introduced
the staccato metered 'Man And Machine', the stringed musicos swaying in
synchronization, beneath Christmas colored lighting. Another surprise,
although not nearly as endearing: a second guitar solo, during which
Smirnov (bar-hoppers also ordering drinks laced with a homophone of his
last name) adapting Bach's well known 'Toccata & Fugue In D Minor'
into the histrionics. After such a protracted absence, they would have
been better served dropping the two brief, individualized showcases, in
favor of another gem. Like 'Break The Rules', which turned into one big,
cheerful sing-along.





Obviously, by now, having heard just two ACCEPT tracks within the
baker's dozen, the crowd was a little restless (& wild? No, sadly
never materialized, onstage or off), but 'Metal Heart' opening the
encore allayed many fears. The only question was how many golden oldies
would be coming our way, especially since my previous encounters had
nearly half the show padded with ACCEPTable material. Unfortunately, it
was just two more, 'Balls To The Wall', which thankfully proved not to
be the finale. That was reserved for 'Fast As A Shark'. Can't remember
any show with Udo Dirkschneider at the helm where he didn't sing
'Princess Of The Dawn'. Maybe next time. Just hope it's not too long a
wait!


More photos from New York can be seen here.
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Messages : 5254
Date d'inscription : 20/05/2012
Localisation : saint céré

MessageSujet: Re: U.D.O .................   Sam 13 Avr - 19:53

U.D.O. - Dropping The Hammer On North America




By Martin Popoff


ACCEPT legend Udo Dirkschneider and his crack U.D.O. band have been
flying the flag for metal for years, issuing like clockwork some of the
sturdiest, shiniest, pure, pure metal albums this side of SAXON. There’s
a new one around the corner called Steelhammer, but just as exciting,
the band is currently headbanging its way through North America
(BraveWords will be at the Toronto date set for April 14th at The Mod
Club).





“We’ve got two new guitar players,” begins the Teutonic throat that
roared, Herr Dirkschneider, offering comments on both situations.
“Stefan Kaufmann is not in U.D.O. anymore; he’s got some big problems
with his back. And Igor, he also quit the band; he couldn’t handle the
timing and the scheduling of U.D.O. anymore. And he had a side-project.
And so Andrey (Smirnov) from Russia, and Kasperi (Heikkinen) from
Finland. So yeah, I’m really happy with these two guys. They’re very
young and they fit into the band, and Andrey is playing all the guitar
stuff on the new album, Steelhammer.”


“Let’s say Rev-Raptor, the sound for me was a little bit cold,”
reflects Udo, asked to give shape to the bludgeon that is Steelhammer.
“And Stefan, now that he’s left the band, he says he doesn’t want to be
involved as a producer or songwriting this time: ‘Give me a break; maybe
on the next album I come back again for producing and songwriting.’ And
so then I started writing the songs together with Fitty, the bass
player, and yeah, the point was, who will be the producer? (laughs). And
I mean, I was producing already back in the ‘80s, together with Michael
Wagener, and then I said okay, let’s give it a try. Let’s just step
into the water and do it. And so, here we go. I’m very pleased with the
result. It’s more down-to-earth; it’s more live-sounding. We were
working with the musicians live in the studio, face-to-face, with a real
amplifier, playing the songs and all that stuff. So that makes the
sound definitely different from the last one.”





“And so Andrey did all the guitars in this album,” continues Udo.
“And he did a very good job. That wasn’t the plan that he would do all
the guitar on his own. It was the original plan that Igor would do some
stuff on it, but he had no time, and it was already a big problem,
during the recording sessions. And then so we were really happy—or I
would say happy and lucky—that Andrey was glad to come over for an
audition. But then he stayed for four or five weeks, and then he did all
the guitar stuff.”


As for Kasperi’s skills... “Yes, well, we’ll have to see on the next
album (laughs). The whole thing that they’re doing is great. Francesco
(Jovino, drums) also is younger. It makes me also younger, you know?
It’s a new experience, and so in a way, something new is going on. It’s
great to work with these two new guys. And so now there we are on the
tour with them. I feel very comfortable with these two guys. For me,
it’s like I’ve played with them for a couple of years, so everything is
fine at the moment.”


Lyrically on Steelhammer, look for the tried and true U.D.O. oeuvre or formula to be maintained.


“Yeah, we never change lyrics,” laughs Dirkschneider. “I mean, we
are talking about things happening around the world. For example, ‘A Cry
Of A Nation’,
we don’t want to see the nations cry, but with all the
financial crises that are going on... what happens every day, that’s
what we’re writing about. We also write songs about our own music. Plus
the new single that’s coming up, ‘Metal Machine’ is about machines
taking all the jobs from the humans, like in the car industry or even
the Internet.”


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