DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG have released a three-track EP, Arising, via AFM Records.
The EP can be ordered HERE.
It’s not too very often that the names of the people involved alone are enough to document the great importance of a new project. DATOG, short for DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG, consists of Accept / U.D.O. / Dirkschneider frontman Udo Dirkschneider and his longtime companions Peter Baltes (bass; ex- Accept), Stefan Kaufmann (guitar; ex- Accept, U.D.O.) and Mathias Dieth (guitar; Sinner, U.D.O.) as well as Udo’s son Sven Dirkschneider (drums; U.D.O., Dirkschneider) plus singer Manuela Bibert. (If these names don’t make your mouth water, figuratively speaking, then you have missed out on the past 40 years of German metal history.)
DATOG came into being, as producer and band member Kaufmann puts it, “in a flowing process. In the run-up to the production of the album ‘We Are One’ by ‘U.D.O.. & Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr’, Peter Baltes and I worked together for the first time in many years between July 2019 and March 2020 and contributed some tracks to the said disc. In this way, a meeting also came about between Udo and Peter, and a little later likewise with Mathias, whereby, our recently only sporadic contact, was intensified again.”
In addition, the head of the music corps expressed the idea of including Manuela Bibert, who was born in Kazakhstan and grew up in Germany, as a solo singer for the tracks “Blindfold” and “Beyond Good And Evil” as well as for a duet with Udo on “Neon Diamond” on the “We Are One” production.
“Usually there are more songs for an album than are recorded and released,” Baltes said. “From such a pool came ‘Where The Angels Fly’, which was no longer considered for ‘We Are One’ due to time constraints and was withheld with a heavy heart. Since all involved considered the number too strong to let it gather dust in a drawer, the idea was born to release it separately. Udo expressed the wish to sing a duet with me again after many years, and since Manuela had already sung the third verse, the idea of what Stefan calls ‘diversified main vocals’ was born.” With this idea, DATOG was also born, so to speak.
In May 2020, Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr first released its version of “Where The Angels Fly” via YouTube, then Dirkschneider, Baltes and Kaufmann rearranged the song and turned it into a thoroughbred rock number.
“We recorded more guitars, changed the orchestral and choral arrangements slightly, and remixed everything,” said Kaufmann.
The result: In September 2020, you could suddenly find a low-budget video clip of the new version on YouTube. The prompt response from fans was overwhelming: without any advertising or marketing, the clip has been clicked 2.3 million times to date.
In order to help the arts and culture sector, which has been particularly hard hit by the Corona lockdown, and to support artists during their economic hardship, the entire proceeds of the first DATOG single (the songs: ‘Where The Angels Fly’, ‘Face Of A Stranger’ and ‘Every Heart Is Burning’) will go to the band and crew members of U.D.O.
“And that’s despite the fact that until now all six members have never been together in the same room, and some only know each other through Facetime or similar digital communication channels,” stated Dirkschneider. “But we all agree that this project is a stroke of luck for everyone involved: We all make music for the sheer fun of it, everyone can inject their part according to their own gusto, there are neither conventions nor guidelines or even the pressure to succeed. What more could a musician ask for?!”