Before we jump into any questions, I would like to greet you and of course, congratulate you for your passion and energy. During the last two years you’ve done two studio albums, a live album, you changed a roster and now here we are with yet another album. What is the source for this energy?
After we were finished with making “We are One” with Musikkorps der Bundesweh, we were supposed to do some shows with them, while we were already preparing to work on the new album, but what can you do. We had just done also a live album in Bulgaria, also, in this beautiful, ancient theater location and they asked us if we wanted to record this thing. Since on that time we were not touring so there was no money, haha, we thought about making this charity thing where the money would go to our crew. The whole gang agreed. Afterwards, “Game over” was out in October 2021, and since touring was not possible we started working on studio again. Right now I was supposed to be on tour but I’m home doing interviews for the covers album.
Let’s go to “My Way”, which is already out. For those who don’t know, it’s an album consisting of covers of legendary songs. I’ve seen it being characterized as a “personal” album. What makes a cover album to be personal?
I was working on the studio already when I got the idea of making this album of cover songs that matter to me. It was not planned, it was an idea proposed by Stefan. He first asked if I remember any songs that I love from when I was young and dancing, and then asked if I would be able to make it a little faster. Then my producer came to the studio and found the idea really interesting and asked if I would be able to do a full album of this, and I was like, sure! I was then ready to give them a list of the songs I chose. That was quite easy! These are song I listened a lot, I really liked anyway. The songs are from my personal collection, that’s why they say it’s really personal for me, it really is. What I also loved is that the album is recorded by people we work with for a long time, members I’ve known forever.
What’s the most personal song from all these on the setlist?
It’s hard to say. Really. I really like the slower song by Frankie Miller, “Jealousy”. Another one would certainly be the German one we did, “Kein Zurück”.
How did that feel for you, was it weird singing in German for the first time?
It’s the lyric that are really important to me why I chose this song. It says about don’t look back and always go forward. It was like resetting my whole career. In the first place we thought about translating it in English, but we thought that the entire sense would be gone, nothing would make sense afterwards. Since german is my mother language, I thought it would be easy but it’s really hard to sing in german in general. Nothing like english. It was still something really interesting for me to sing in my mother language, in any case. I put my own character on this album – I was not trying to sing like Klaus Meine, Rob Halford of Ronnie James Dio.
Apart from the music, which was out over these two kinda cruel years for everyone, we’ve been under this virus situation. How has it affected you as a person? Was it like a period of inner peace that led to this creativity, or music was like a “runaway” from this whole thing?
No, actually it was not a good thing for me honestly. When you are my age, losing two years of your life at home reading the news and just doing nothing (even though we were working on the studio the whole time as we talked about before), you can’t just be OK with that. I’ve been on the road for a very long time and it’s part of my life, which was taken away in a night. Now we were supposed to be touring already but the tour has been moved to autumn 2022.
Up to this day, with all these decades of experience, what would you say that has been your peak as a musician?
Many things, definitely. Of course it was the fact that I got to be famous with Accept back in the day. Also, what we did with the symphonic military orchestra was something I am really proud of as a person and a musician.
I saw you live in Greece back in 2016 with the Dirkschneider project, with Anvil. Ever since I have been wondering; how does it feel like touring with your son?
It is great. He grows up with me on the road, and we are having a good time. It’s really special to have Sven here with me.
I was listening to “Metal Never Dies” yesterday while writing down these questions, and I was wondering, how does metal sound and seem like, in comparison to back in the day? Has it changed, evolved, for the best or you think that the “glory” days are not coming back.
Everything has changed in music industry. No record label spends money on a new band. They don’t invest their money or time on them. There are so many releases. And the think this is a problem that the record companies created. Too much bands no time for the listeners to hear them. I have listened to many interesting new bands and after a couple of years these bands are gone. Not existing any more. The band members have to work as they don’t have the support from the label and finally they split-up. You can’t sound professional in your holidays or tour on your holidays… And that is in a way the biggest difference with the older days.
Are there any plans to come soon back in Greece? It’s been three years already. What else is marked down to the calendar for now? After so many back to back releases you feel like taking a break or not yet?
I don’t know at the moment. We had plans for Ukraine, Russia, England and if I remember well we tried hard to book Greece. The war changed our plans though. But now as everybody wants to be on tour it’s not easy to book any date on Greece right now. We will see it from September again if the pandemic will be defeated for sure and will become even easier to tour. I’m looking forward if possible to play again in Greece of course. Thank you very much for the interview Metal Invader!
The pleasure was ours Mr. Dirkschneider…