U.D.O. / DIRKSCHNEIDER Welcome Bassist Peter Baltes To The Band

L-R: Sven Dirkschneider, Fabian Dee Dammers, Peter Baltes, Udo Dirkschneider, Andrey Smirnov
Photo by Martin Häusler
2022 was an eventful year for U.D.O.: Following the release of singer Udo Dirkschneider’s first solo album, My Way, last April via Atomic Fire Records, the quintet played a few select Summer dates before embarking on a three-month monster tour leading them all across Europe as well as to Latin American shores. Unfortunately, bassist Tilen Hudrap was forced to step back from performing live with the band in early September due to health reasons. The heavy stroke of fate for U.D.O. opened the stage for Dirkschneider’s long-time friend and bassist Peter Baltes. Baltes, who played with him for many years in his former band Accept (the bassist left the band in 2018), and had already collaborated with Udo as part of Dirkschneider & The Old Gang in recent years, was available to jump on the trek just a few days after Hudrap’s departure and stayed on through November. Originally only a temporary situation, it became clear over time that the band would have to find a new permanent bassist.
Today, U.D.O. is pleased to announce that Peter Baltes has official joined their ranks as a full-time member. Baltes made his live premiere in Australia and Japan last week.
Baltes comments, “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 Dirkschneider & The Old Gang album Arising. Since [guitarist] Stefan Kaufmann [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 were 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.”
Dirkschneider adds, “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!”
European fans can catch U.D.O./DIRKSCHNEIDER live in the coming weeks. For tickets and to stay up to date on upcoming shows visit THIS LOCATION.
5/05/2023 Karmøygeddon Metal Festival –  Kopervik, NO *
5/07/2023 Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Arena Nova – Wiener Neustadt, AT
5/14/2023 Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messehalle – Innsbruck, AT
5/21/2023 Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Stadthalle – Vienna, AT
6/08/2023 Sweden Rock Festival – Sölvesborg, SE
6/10/2023 Lisää Löylyä Festival – Laihia, FI
6/16/2023 Metal am Kiez – Augsburg, DE *
6/18/2023 Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, BE *
7/14/2023 Bang Your Head!!! – Balingen, DE *
7/21/2023 Open Air Pförring – Pförring, DE
8/12/2023 Leyendas del Rock – EVillena, ES *
8/17/2023 Rock Castle Open Air – Moravský Krumlov, CZ
8/20/2023 Rock The Lakes – Vallamand (VD), CH
9/16/2023 Beast of Rocks @ Stadthalle – Tuttlingen, DE
10/07/2023 Keep It True Rising III @ Posthalle – Würzburg, DE *
10/22/2023 Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Tabakfabrik – Linz, AT
10/29/2023 Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messezentrum – Salzburg, AT
Order UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER’s My Way (limited earbook edition and more) HERE.
View UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER’s videos for “We Will Rock You” HERE and “Kein Zurück” where he sings in his native language for the first time ever HERE.
Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Andrey Smirnov – guitar
Sven Dirkschneider – drums
Fabian Dee Dammers – guitar
Peter Baltes – bass