Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Stefan! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you guys and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Stefan Kaufmann: Hi Hanna! We’re fine. We are just busy playing the summer festivals in Europe. Up to now, everything went great and the reaction of the fans was fantastic everywhere.
Hanna Tsepesh: For those who do not know U.D.O could tell us a little how it all started?
Stefan Kaufmann: U.D.O. first started after Udo had to leave Accept in 1987. Then he recorded the albums “Animal House” (1987), “Mean Machine” (1989), “Faceless World” (1990) and “Timebomb” (1991). After Accept split in 1989, I was producer for the albums “Faceless World” and “Timebomb”. Accept then reunited. After the second split of Accept in 1996, Udo called and asked me, if I would like to reunite U.D.O. again with him. And I said YES! So we recorded the Album “Solid” (1997) and carried on recording albums and doing tours until today.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is the inspiration to create the lyrics? The band writes the lyrics first or first the band creates the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Stefan Kaufmann: With a good British friend of ours, Mr. Frank Knight, we always do one or two brainstormings at the beginning of a production. We then create most of the hooklines, lyrics, phrases and so on. So, in most of the cases, the lyrics are there before the music is composed.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favourite bands? You have any guitar player that you admire the most?
Stefan Kaufmann: I love the old bands like Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Sweet. The only modern band that I really like is Rammstein. The guitar players that I admire most are Ritchie Blackmore because of his feeling and Eddie Van Halen because of his technique.
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know when you start to playing guitar? What is the guitar brand you use and why?
Stefan Kaufmann: Actually I started playing guitar before I started playing the drums. My mother played in a mandolin orchestra so she taught me the first chords on the guitar when I was about eight years old. At the age of ten I got my first electric guitar and amplifier. Today I mainly play a Gibson Explorer because it suites my style best. For ballads or songs that need a more tender sound I use a Fender Stratocaster.
Hanna Tsepesh: how is to work with Udo Dirkschneider?
Stefan Kaufmann: It’s fun working with him. We’re now together for more than thirty years, so each of us knows what the other one wants without saying a word. That makes working together very easy and very efficient.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band has a new album called “Dominator”. Fantastic album Stefan! You guys make an excellent work like always! I send my congratulations for the entire band! For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about “Dominator” and what is the big different for you between this album and the previous one?
Stefan Kaufmann: Thank you very much! The newest album is always the best. “Dominator” to me has a greater variety of songs and a much more modern sound compared to previous albums. We tried to connect the classical heavy metal music with up to date arrangements – and I think it came out great!
Hanna Tsepesh: Everything went well at recording studio?
Stefan Kaufmann: It was a long process – but that’s what it takes to produce a good album! We started recording the album in August ’08 and kept constantly working on it until June ’09 – except for a little break in November ’08 when we did our Russian/Ukrainian tour. We recorded more than twenty songs and had to choose twelve of them to be released (that was maybe the hardest part of the work …).
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Stefan Kaufmann: As the album just came out, I don’t know the reaction of the fans yet – but I hope it will be good. The reaction of the media is overwhelming up to now. Everybody seems to love the album and also the critics are great. So far we are very satisfied with the result.
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Stefan Kaufmann: I don’t know exactly what you mean – but if you mean to buy an official album and not an illegal copy of it, I suggest buying it at www.amazon.de
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes is that! what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Stefan Kaufmann: So shortly after finishing a new album, I love every song of it. They’re all my little babies and up to now I cannot really say, which ones I love most. But once we’re on tour, the favorites will establish and then you can ask me again …
Hanna Tsepesh: the band have already a tour, right? You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something?
Stefan Kaufmann: The European tour will start in October ’09 and will carry on until January ’10. Of course we plan to play every European country including Portugal.
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Stefan Kaufmann: 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
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a big success with “Dominator”! We hope to see U.D.O very soon in here…
Stefan Kaufmann: In the name of the whole band I would like to thank our fans worldwide for their support all over the years! Without them we wouldn’t be there where we are today. And I wanna thank you, Hanna, for your attention and a very interesting interview.
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome! Thank you very much and all the best for you and U.D.O.
By: Hanna Tsepesh
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Publicada por THE GATES OF METAL Webzine