After a successful run with Dirkschneider for the "Back to the Roots II" tour, U.D.O. announced that the band and guitarist Bill Hudson split due to different "visions for the future." The band will seek a replacement for touring commitments for Dirkschneider and U.D.O. and Hudson will concentrate on his new band, which features ex-Twilight Force vocalist Christian Eriksson.
The band statement reads: "As of today, the German-based metal band U.D.O./Dirkschneider and their US-based Guitarist Bill Hudson have decided to go their own separate ways. The split is due to a difference in their individual visions for the future, and is without any negative feelings on either side. Bill will now concentrate on his new project, while U.D.O./Dirkschneider decides on a replacement guitarist."
Hudson added on Facebook: "There's not much to add to the band's own statement; we view certain issues differently and so decided to amicably part ways. I would like to publicly thank this legend named Udo Dirkschneider for allowing me to stand next to him on stage for over 100 shows all around the world. To my friends Sven, Fitty, Andrey and the entire crew: thank you for making me a part of the family. See you guys somewhere soon! And of course, catch me on tour with I Am Morbid here in South America right now and this summer during the European festivals."