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U.D.O. - Biography




U.D.O. started back in 1987. Since then U.D.O. has become a well known name in the heavy metal world. Within a short period of time U.D.O. became to be a global presence, with pure sound and the unmistakable voice of Udo Dirkschneider.

Closely tied to the name U.D.O. is "Accept", founded by Udo Dirkschneider and Michael Wagner (who later to become a top producer) in Solingen, which was the predecessor of U.D.O. Already back then, Udo gave the band the label "unmistakable". The path Accept took was marked with classics like "Breaker", "Restless and Wild" and " Balls to the Wall". After the breaking up of Accept in 1987, a large fan community followed Udo Dirkschneider to U.D.O. The loyal fans were not dissapointed, for Udo amazed them with new U.D.O.

Starting with the first albums "Animal House" in 1988 and "Mean Machine" in 1989 U.D.O. proved to be pure heavy metal without any "Trend-Sound" influences. Both Albums continued where Accept had left of in 1986 with "Russian Roulette". "Animal House" was played in by Peter Szigeti (guitars), Frank Rittel from Warlock (bass), Mathias Dieth from Sinner (guitars),Thomas Franke (drums) and of course Udo Dirkschneider (vocals)

When "Mean Machine" was released in '89 U.D.O. had a totally different look. From the line-up which had played on "Animal House", remained besides Udo only Mathias Dieth (guitar). New were Andy Susemihl (guitar), Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).

Even though the unwritten U.D.O. law "No-Keyboards" was broken, U.D.O. achieved a amazing success with the album "Faceless World", produced by ex-Accept drummer Stefan Kaufmann. Faceless world turned out to be, with Udo Dirkschneider (Vocals), Mathias Dieth (guitar), Wolla Boehm (guitar), Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (Drums), U.D.O.'s most sold album so far.

After "Timebomb" in 1991 U.D.O. , with a slightly new crew (Frank Fricke now played the guitar in place of Wolla Böhm), was temporarily put on ice by Udo Dirkschneider, to bring Accept back to life. From 1992 'til 1996 Accept performed in a highly watched over reunion, and Udo released three albums together with his old Accept colleges, until the definite end was called for Accept and U.D.O. was revived For this Udo Dirkschneider called Stefan Kaufmann (guitars), Jürgen Graf (guitars), Fitty Wienhold (bass) und Stefan Schwarzmann (drums) to him. Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann then went, together with the new line-up, "back to where we started" and with that to recording on the " Tribute to Judas Priest". On this compilation of Judies Priest cover songs U.D.O. performed the track "Metal Gods". On this track everything just fits together. This was not only through Stefan Kaufmann's input, but also do to his acting as an counterpart to Udo Dirkschneider.

A successful mix, which was improved on "Solid" in 1997. This is when the rythmic guitar tracks and Stefan Kaufmann's solos came from. The other parts besides Dirkschneider and Kaufmann were taken by Jürgen Graf (guitar), Fitty Wienhold (bass) und Stefan Schwarzmann (drums). The title of the album shows what kind of musik Udo always wanted to play: hard and heavy. And the success proved U.D.O. right. Solid was placed on the "Rock Hard" reader charts for more than a year.

"Solid" was followed by "No Limits" in 1998. Another U.D.O-Master-Piece. The songs are full of power and continue were U.D.O. had left of with last album. Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Stefan Schwarzmann (drums), Jürgen Graf (guitar) and Fitty Wienhold (bass) - the guys from U.D.O. amaze the fans with their enjoyment to play - and that world wide.

With the release of "Holy" Udo and Stefan decided to go back to the roots and get the original sound out of the cellar. The reaction of fans and journalists left no doubt that this was the right step. A World Tour was a logical consequence for this album. There were important lineup changes on the second part of the "No Limits" tour (1999) when Igor Gianola, former guitar player of the swiss band Gotthard, replaced Jürgen Graf. When the "No Limits" Tour was finished Stefan Schwarzmann quit the band, and before the "Holy" Tour (2000) Lorenzo Milani took his place.

In 2004 Lorenzo Milani quit the band for personal reasons. After succesfully playing on the Scandinavian part of the "Thunderball" tour Francesco Jovino was pronounced as the new drummer and latest band member.

In october 2005 U.D.O. released the "Mission N°X" album, and spent most of the year 2006 on the road, due to the "Mission Tour 2006".