2022 var ett händelserikt år för U.D.O.: Efter släppet av sångaren Udo Dirkschneiders första soloalbum, »My Way«, den 22 april 2022 genom Atomic Fire Records, spelade kvintetten några utvalda sommardatum innan de gav sig ut på ett 3-månaders monster turné som ledde dem över hela Europa såväl som latinamerikanska städer. Tyvärr tvingades basisten Tilen Hudrap lämna bandet i början av september på grund av hälsoskäl. Det tunga slaget för U.D.O. öppnade scenen för Udos mångårige vän Peter Baltes. Baltes, som spelade med honom i många år i hans tidigare band ACCEPT, som basisten lämnade 2018, och som redan hade samarbetat med Udo som en del av DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG de senaste åren, var tillgänglig för att hoppa på turnén bara några få dagar efter Hudraps avgång och stannade kvar till november. Ursprungligen bara en tillfällig lösning, det blev med tiden klart att bandet istället måste hitta en ny bandmedlem på bas. Idag är U.D.O. glada att kunna meddela att Peter Baltes har anslutit sig som permanent medlem i bandet och kommer finnas med på livepremiären som äger rum i Australien och Japan under de kommande dagarna.

Petersson Baltes säger själv:

Since my departure from ACCEPT I kept myself very busy writing and recording for film/TV productions and various artists around the globe. That’s how I reconnected with Udo working on his solo album »My Way,« the U.D.O. album »We Are One« and the D&TOG album »Arising.« Since Stefan Kaufmann [guitars; ex-ACCEPT drummer] was also involved, it all had a very familiar feeling.

That’s why when Udo called me in September to fill in for his injured bass player I did not hesitate. The set list had mostly U.D.O. songs which I was not familiar with and a few ACCEPT tunes. When I arrived in Berlin a few days later for the first show, I was nervous and had no idea what to expect.

But as soon as we all took the stage standing next to Udo, it felt like home: His voice took me right back to where it all began. It was a total surprise for the audience at first, but as we played on I realized they where as happy as I was to see Udo and me together again.

Over the next three months, I really got to know Sven, Dee and Andrey as extremely talented musicians but also as very humble and respectful guys. It all feels very authentic.

That made my decision to say ”yes” very easy when Udo asked me to join the band permanently.”

Udo själv lägger till:

I have a very long friendship with Peter Baltes which has never been shadowed by the disagreements with ACCEPT over the past few years. The arguments were exclusively with another person and his wife. It should be clear to everyone who is meant! All other ACCEPT members have always been united in friendship.

It meant a lot to me when Peter spontaneously helped us out on some U.D.O. tour dates last year. From the first day, I experienced the great feeling and trust from the past with him again. A feeling that always connected us throughout the years in ACCEPT.

I’m aware that Peter had many lucrative offers from other bands on the table, all of which he had turned down over the years. To be honest, he can’t earn these sums with us. It means even more to me that he still decided to stay with U.D.O. and to also join DIRKSCHNEIDER as bassist. This shows me that he has a real metal heart beating in his chest and that friendship and fun are more important to him than money. Thank you, Peter!

We are very happy that after so many years you are finally having fun on stage again!”

Du ser bandet uppträda på Sweden Rock Festival i sommar.

Udo Dirkschneider | sång
Andrey Smirnov | gitarr
Sven Dirkschneider | trummor
Fabian Dee Dammers | gitarr
Peter Baltes | bas


Photo Credit: Martin Häusler