German Rock band U.D.O, led by Udo Dirkschneider (the original singer with Accept whose worldwide hits include Balls To The Wall and Metal Heart) has got together with the renowned Concert Band of the German Armed Forces, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Scheibling, for a rather unique musical project.
Rock band and orchestral collaborations aren’t new, but with We Are One, an album to be released through AFM Records on 17th July, U.D.O. and the Musikkorps der Bundeswehr (Concert Band of the German Armed Forces) cast a critical reflection of a world in which we all leave our mark, and in which we all have to show responsibility.
All participants involved have thought deeply about the challenges not only for the world, but for their own futures. For Dirkschneider We Are One is a dream that he has had for a long time, having previously played with Armed Forces’ orchestra at the Wacken Festival in 2015 and the Navy Metal Night in Tuttlingen the year before.
“All composers have done a fantastic job. The songs are excellent and really show the very best of orchestra and band,” commented Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Scheibling. “The album offers a variety that reaches from speed metal to classical metal, from ballad to funk style. As an orchestra, we brought in everything we could, a solo singer, a pipe, a drumline and some oriental percussions included.”
For the German Armed Forces internationally, engagements as well as the protection of the environment are two major focus points. Former military areas are becoming integral nature reserves. Soldiers are recruited to fight forest fires and ecological disasters. The German Armed Forces are also supporting the protection of Germany‘s coastal regions by monitoring the air space to protect it from people polluting the ocean.
“Several songs are pointing out the problems we have with pollution of our environment. We really have some heavy words about our global responsibility,” Scheibling noted. “Never before critical words against worldwide exaggeration of consumption or all this cyber insanity have been this loud. Never before the voice against protectionism, nationalism and against the right wing have been that intense. Let us join forces for a better planet! We are one!”
Climate change, worldwide refugee movements, and pollution of the environment and a clear position against society‘s right wing, are all topics to be chewed over on the 15 new songs developed and arranged by U.D.O. together with Scheibling. Former Accept musicians Stefan Kaufmann and Peter Baltes have been part of the songwriting too, as well as the German Armed Forces´ composers Guido Rennert and Alexander Reuber.
“We all live on this planet. No matter who we are or what we do, we all just have this one planet,” Dirkschneider explained about the message behind the songs. “There is no planet B. When I see the pictures of all the plastic in our oceans and when I hear about the next climate catastrophe in the news, I really start wondering how respect-less and irresponsible we sometimes are. It’s not just about us, it’s also about all the others and last but not least about our children!”
U.D.O. and the Musikkorps der Bundeswehr/Band of the German Armed Forces released the title track as a single, and you can watch the video for it right her at RAMzine.