Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that former Accept bass player Peter Baltes has joined U.D.O as a full-time member replacing Tilen Hudrap. Baltes stepped in to help the band out on their three-month tour last year when, unfortunately, Tilen Hudrap was forced to step back from performing live due to health reasons.
“I have a very long friendship with Peter Baltes, which has never been shadowed by the disagreements with Accept over the past few years,” Udo told us. “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.”
The three-month tour finished in November last year, and since then, it became apparent that Tilen would be unable to continue with the band. Baltes, who left Accept in 2018, has previously collaborated with Udo in Dirkschneider & The Old Gang.
“Since my departure from Accept, I kept myself very busy writing and recording for film/TV productions and various artists around the globe,” Baltes told us. “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 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 realised 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.”
“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,” Udoi told us. 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 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!”
For full tour date list, visit https://udo-online.de/tourdates.html.
05.05.2023 NO Kopervik – Karmøygeddon Metal Festival*
07.05.2023 AT Wiener Neustadt – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Arena Nova
14.05.2023 AT Innsbruck – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messehalle
21.05.2023 AT Vienna – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Stadthalle
08.06.2023 SE Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival
10.06.2023 FI Laihia – Lisää Löylyä Festival
16.06.2023 DE Augsburg – Metal am Kiez*
18.06.2023 BE Dessel – Graspop Metal Meeting*
14.07.2023 DE Balingen – Bang Your Head!!!*
21.07.2023 DE Pförring – Open Air Pförring
12.08.2023 ES Villena – Leyendas del Rock*
17.08.2023 CZ Moravský Krumlov – Rock Castle Open Air
20.08.2023 CH Vallamand (VD) – Rock The Lakes
16.09.2023 DE Tuttlingen – Beast of Rocks @ Stadthalle
07.10.2023 DE Würzburg – Keep It True Rising III @ Posthalle*
22.10.2023 AT Linz – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Tabakfabrik
29.10.2023 AT Salzburg – Wildstyle & Tattoo @ Messezentrum