U.D.O. has a new album and they are an essential part of the German metal scene for about 2 decades. Their new album is called Dominator and we took the chance to get a few answers from Stefan Kaufmann! Enjoy reading!
Claudia Ehrhardt: I think you already got some feedback as you're doing promotion now... Are you satisfied with the response so far?
Stefan Kaufmann: We are very happy with the responses so far. Everybody seems to like the album and the variety of songs on it. It seems that we took the right songs on the right album.
CE: Let's go back a bit... You had the Mastercutor Alive album / DVD, but they were release on Zyx Records while the new album is again released by AFM Records. What's the story behind this?
SK: Our contract with AFM Records is only about studio albums. For live albums, DVDs etc. were are free to deal with everybody else. And ZYX Records simply had the best offer.
CE: Did you start writing new material right after the Mastercutor Alive was done?
SK: We are always writing new material. Whenever there is some free time or even on tour we are working on new songs. When it comes to record a new album, most of the new titles are already there.
CE: Did the writing progress changed through the years? Got the band more involved through the years?
SK: The band is getting involved more and more over the years. We first had to grow together to work in the same direction. Nowadays there’s a little bit of everyone in every song.
CE: With modern technology the recording changed a lot... There is no 'live recordings' in the studio like in the past. Do you sometimes miss doing it the old-fashioned way?
SK: No, I don't miss it. In former times a lot of time was wasted because of the way, the recording took place. We had to do demos, arrangement recordings and then the final recording. Today it is one big process. The flexibility and quality is much higher. I wouldn't wanna miss it anymore!
CE: Dominator... Why did you choose this title?
SK: We had more than thirty songs to choose from, recorded twenty of them and took ten on the final album. Dominator seemed to be the best song as a title. It also carries on the concept of a 'host' for the album, like Mastercutor already did.
CE: The album offers a larger variety of songs, even if you find the right balance between sticking to your roots and going new ways. How difficult was it to achieve this new sound?
SK: It's a floating process on and on over the years. So it is not difficult at all, it comes naturally. The only problem we had was to choose the final ten songs from twenty really great songs. But the other songs are not lost; they will be released (maybe with some changes) in the future.
Lars Björn: There is already a video of Black And White. Will there also be one of Whispers In The Dark?
SK: I don't think so. Of course, if you ask us, we would like to do a video of every single song of the album. They all have a great story and I can visualise every one of them. But it's a matter of financing – that's the problem.
CE: With Devil's Rendezvous you have a track which sticks out. I really like it, for me it's like a metal version of some Stray Cats tune... You already did such untypical songs and other bands would have put that kind of stuff on an EP... Have you ever feared that the fans won't get it?
SK: No! As you said, we always did untypical songs like Cut Me Out, Trainride In Russia, etc., and the fans always liked it. They always were also requested live and when we played them, they were always a great success. I'm quite sure, that we will play Devil's Rendezvous on tour.
LB: Have you ever thought about recording a cover version of songs from other bands? I mean: you have played other bands music on stage (fx. Metal Gods)...
SK: Not really. Metal Gods is fun to play, and if we are in the mood, we play it live. We once did a cover version of Love Machine, but in the end we prefer to create our own music.
LB: It is a question of who own the rights of the songs, but have U.D.O. any plans of including earlier Accept songs - like you did with I'm A Rebel - on a future album?
SK: The rights of the songs don't matter. We can record whatever we want to, like every other band could do a cover song. Right now there are no plans to record an old Accept song.
LB: When Accept took David Reece in as new singer, it didn't work well. Have you any opinion whether Accept will make success now with Mark Tornillo as vocalist?
SK: It's impossible for me to answer this question. When David Reece was Accept's singer, the fans didn't like it. So this time it's the fans' decision again.
CE: Talking about Accept... Any unreleased material you know of and which might see the light of day?
SK: There are no recorded songs that I know of that were not released.
LB: U.D.O. seems to have a special good relationship with Sweden Rock Festival. Do you especially like this festival, coz you have been there many times? And hopefully will play there again...
SK: Yes, we do like the Sweden Rock Festival. There's always a fantastic atmosphere and we always had a great response from the fans. You can be sure, that we will play the Sweden Rock Festival again, as long as the fans want us to.
CE: You play e.g. Summer's End Festival in August... How much will the set list differ at festivals compared to a coming tour?
SK: On festivals it's only the music that counts. You cannot do any special show effects. So it has to be pure party time. On tour there is a pre-rehearsed show and of course the new album we are promoting.
LB: It hasn't been sure what band(s) would be touring with U.D.O. Is there any news on that?
SK: No. It's the management and the booking agency who suggest the other acts. Up to now, we don't know who's joining us on tour.
CE: You played many places in your long career, is there still a place you want to go to? An area you haven't made it to yet?
SK: Australia – China – India – Africa... there are still a lot of places to explore...
CE: Anything else you want to add? Any news to spread?
SK: We hope that our fans like our new album and that we will see a lot of them on our upcoming tour. For any up to date news check our homepage www.udo-online.de .
Thanks a million to Stefan for taking time and answering our questions! All the best for the album and tour! See you somewhere!