Former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. singer Udo Dirkschneider has just embarked on a special tour during which he is performing ACCEPT songs one last time before he closes the chapter for good.
Fan-filmed video footage of the tour kick-off — which took place last night (Thursday, February 18) at Union Scene in Drammen, Norway — can be seen below.
Asked about his decision to perform classic songs from ACCEPT for the last time in 2016 under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner, Udo told rock journalist Mitch Lafon: "A lot of people ask me, 'Why do you do this?' And I said… Always people are asking, 'Oh, can you play this ACCEPT song and this ACCEPT song and this ACCEPT song?' I mean, I have fifteen U.D.O. albums out, and, for me now, U.D.O. is U.D.O. Of course, I know that the people like to hear ACCEPT songs with my voice, but I wanna close something — I wanna close, like a book, and say, 'Okay, that's it. I read it.' Sometimes you have to come to an end with something. I wanna close up everything with ACCEPT. And this will be the last time. And I said, okay, I'll do one more tour. It will be a world tour. Hopefully we can do this also for America, around maybe a couple of shows. And yeah, that will be the last time that you… When we are on tour with U.D.O., we'll never play any ACCEPT songs again."
He continued: "I also wanna stop to be compared with… Now ACCEPT is still on tour, and they have a new singer, and they are doing also 'Balls To The Wall' and they are doing also 'Metal Heart', they do 'Princess Of The Dawn'. And I don't wanna be always compared and have to say, 'What do you think about this and this and this?' This is also another reason. I wanna close the ACCEPT chapter. I mean, it was a great… I mean, in a way, I was creating this band, you know. Sometimes you have to say, 'Okay, that's it.' I have enough U.D.O. songs, so I can play more U.D.O. songs and be U.D.O. I can say without being arrogant, U.D.O. has its own fan base now. Sometimes you have to say, 'Okay, that's it.'"
Udo went on to say: "There is a band called ACCEPT. And please, if you wanna hear these songs, please go then to [see] ACCEPT. [Laughs] So that's the only thing I can say. Now you'll have the chance next year to hear it with the original voice, but Mark [Tornillo, current ACCEPT singer] is doing a — I would say — really good job on it, so please go there and listen then to ACCEPT and U.D.O. is then U.D.O."
Regarding what makes the classic ACCEPT songs so special, Udo said: "I don't know what is special. You never can tell it, really. Like [DEEP PURPLE's] 'Smoke On The Water', in a way, something like this. Sometimes there's a song that, in a way, that stays forever."
Asked about the possibility of the DIRKSCHNEIDER tour being professionally filmed and recorded for an upcoming DVD and CD, Udo said: "Yeah, I think. Normally the record company says, Oh, you put out so [much] stuff. We have to suffer.' But I think definitely I can say there will be a live CD out. Definitely. I mean, you have to do this. It will never happen again like this. And I think you have to put this on a CD. What was very interesting [was that] the record company came up with this. They said, 'We have to do this.' And I said, 'Yes, I know.' [Laughs]"