"Mission No.10" was perhaps UDOís best album in a long time and mister Dirkschneider intends to stay true to heavy metal music. The new album called "Mastercutor" was produced by Stefan Kaufmann who also mastered the CD and it opens a new chapter in the history of Udo and the band. So it is about time to have another chat with the always sympathetic German metal "madman".

To tell you the truth Udo, I have not heard anything from the new album yet as the promo has not arrived due to the always delayed mail...

Udo: Ok, thatís it then, that was a short interview, ha ha ha . next, please. The title of the new album is Mastercutor and it is a word that does not actually exist in the English language, but I think that it is derived from the word executor. The album is about reality shows and games shows on TV, you know what I mean.

Shows you really like, right?

Udo: Absolutely, I love them, hahaha, no not really.. So, that was our ground idea, but we still did not have a cover for the new album. Then, one day I went into the room of my son and I saw the wallpaper on his pc and I liked it from the start. It was a frightening face, horror like and I thought, well that is it, that has to be the cover of our new album. The CD starts with the Master Cutor talking and then the story starts.

So, it is a concept album?

Udo: Not really, it is about games and playing with things and persons. The Master Cutor is the director, the manager, he is the master, and he makes the rules. The album has a great production and if you listen to my older stuff then you will probably think that they sound rather old-fashioned compared to this new album. Our sound engineer had a very direct and modern approach and the CD really sounds great and different. Actually the guitars and the drums sound rather different and he really gave us some good ideas and thoughts. So the new album is a huge step forward, you could call it a modern rock album without leaving our musical roots. Of course you still hear those Accept influences and I cannot change my voice, so you will hear that it is UDO, but it is heavier and the album covers a broader musical spectrum. We used a lot of different styles, so you can enjoy a ballad with cello and piano, but also some trash metal songs. We have really opened some new musical doors on this CD and we were very nervous about the first listening sessions. How would other people like our new stuff? You never know what the fans and the critics will say if you change your musical direction... But the first reactions were great, so now we have a new design, a new look and a new musical package.

Tell me something about the video...

Udo: Well, it is really difficult to describe as it is completely different from what we have been doing so far. "The wrong side of midnight" tells the story of how the Master Cutor comes to life and how he becomes crazy. You really have to see the video as it has a completely new approach. It is artwork mixing videos and photos to become a music video. We really did not know what to expect and we filmed for two entire days. I think that the technical term for this sort of videos is stop motion and it looks like slow motion really. Anyway, it was a great experience and the video turned out awesome. Check it out.

Will you do something with this Master Cutor character during the upcoming tour?

Udo: We will have a meeting in two weeks where we will discuss the tour, how big it will be and which band to take along. Of course we can not do a lot of visual things on stage as we are not Metallica or AC/DC, our finances are limited.. Maybe we will use a huge Master Cutor puppet but there will be lots of things to enjoy on stage, that is for sure. We will do some summer festivals in Mexico, the Earthshaker festival, Rock am See and a couple of shows in Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

Are there only up-tempo songs on the album?

Udo: No, even a ballad called "Tears of a clown", which is about the fact that the show must go on under all circumstances. You cannot skip or cancel a show just because you feel ill... That song has lots of emotions and on that song I actually sing hahaha... "One voice" is a half-ballad, very melodic and deals with the problems we have with the earth and our pollution of mother earth.

Those songs could be played on the radio?

Udo: My voice is not really radio compatible, ha ha ha.. But maybe "Tears of a clown" could turn into a small hit, you never know. I have a typical voice, I know that, some people hate my voice, but I do not care really, it all depends on your taste. Most of our music is simply too heavy to be played on the radio.

How do you keep your voice in shape?

Udo: Not, ha ha ha... No, I really do not do anything special with my voice. I must say that since I stopped smoking my voice regenerates better and faster after a show. I am also more relaxed now since I quit smoking. I do not practice and it is sheer luck that my voice never lets me down, I have never ever cancelled a show.

Thanks for your time and looking forward to the new album.

Udo: Thank you.

Interview for Rockunited by Martien Koolen
Photos by Katja Piolka, borrowed from www.afm-records.de and www.udo-online.de

7 May 2007
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