Doro - Doro Pesch

Doro - Doro Pesch

Doro is a true soldier of the Metal scene and has been serving our beloved music with all her soul for almost 30 years. No, this is not an overstatement and you will understand my saying if you get the chance and the pleasure to talk to this dedicated musician. So, METAL KAOZ had the privilege to have an extremely nice talk with the one and only Metal Queen about Her new album and upcoming tour.

Hi Doro, how are you?
Very good, Dimitris, thanks for asking! Where are you calling from?

I’m staying near Chicago, US.
Oh, that’s great! I love Chicago and I have the greatest memories from  the great gigs.

I don’t want to take much of your time, so let’s start right away, right?
Oh, yes! I wish I could do more than 30 minutes but there are tons of interviews to do during this period of time! You know, there is nothing better than talking all day about Metal, so it’s ok! (laughs)

So, you had a special event regarding the album release with the DORO fan club, right?
Yes! How did you know that, Dimitris? We had the record baptism and I invited people from the fan club who came from all over the world. We celebrated in Hamburg because a part of the record was done there. The rest of it was done in New York (Lemmy recorded his part in LA), in Denmark, all over the world (laughs). There is a festival in Hamburg called ‘Metal Days’ that I really like and I thought to do the baptism there. We have people from Scandinavian, Ireland, Morocco, Casablanca, Belgium, Germany, from everywhere. Then I asked some questions because the die-hard fans always know more than the average people stuff about me, so a guy from Sheffield, UK who answered the most questions, got the chance to baptize the record with champagne. I would love to do the same with the vinyl edition but unfortunately it was not ready.

The new album will be also in vinyl, right?
Yes, it will; on vinyl, picture disc, I think also in gold, orange and other colors. Of course there is the CD and a special edition with the painting (the cover artwork) along with some other goodies, like a buckle with a cool skull and engraved “Raise Your Fist”. You know, stuff for all the die-hard fans.

So, the vinyl edition will be available also in the US, right?
Yes, I hope. You can always find everything via Nuclear Blast. It’s so hard in the States to find record stores, but it will be available worldwide.

Awesome! So, you said that the album was recorded in both sides of the Atlantic, right? How long did it take you? Was it tough to travel all around or did you stay in one place and you just exchanged recordings? How did this work?
I love doing the recordings like that, and in fact, this is the best way. Even if I was born in Germany, I feel like a world-citizen and also I love traveling. It depends on the song; some songs call for different people, different studios and engineers. I always try to do the best for every song. The night after doing the “That Metal Show” TV show, I got in the studio with Lemmy and recorded the vocals for "It Still Hurts" and I was so happy! It’s such an honor to have Lemmy on the record! We’ve been friends for many many years and we did two songs in 2000 for “Calling The Wild” album. Also I worked a lot in Hamburg with a friend of mine, Andreas Bruhn for many years, since 1980, and the first song written for the record was the one about Ronnie James Dio in a way to say ‘thank you’ and give him honor and respect. When I was in New York and I was getting ready to record vocals for the new album and I almost fell asleep, when I woke up the idea about the song came to me and the entire song just came flowing from my mind! I called a friend of mine, Joey Balin, who has worked with me in the “Triumph And Agony” album and had toured with me in 1987 with Dio and told him my idea for this song and he was excited. So, I went to New Jersey to record this one as soon as possible. Then I did some more recording for this one in Germany with Rudy Kronenberger who had worked with me in the tribute album for Dio when we recorded "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" many years ago. I have to tell that Ronnie had many nice things to say about this version; he loved the sound and the feeling of this recording. Anyway, Rudy was also the guy with whom I worked my first demo back in 1982! The plan was to send everything in Denmark because I wanted to have Jacob Hansen do the mixing who has done a great job with VOLBEAT. Actually Jacob also worked in other songs from the new album. So, Rudy asked if I wanted him to make a rough mix before sending the stuff to Jacob and I said "yes", but he did such a great job that eventually we did not send it to Denmark. Some songs were mixed by Andreas Bruhn in Hamburg with whom I always work great and there are times I think he is the only one who can do the mixing for a certain song. I wanted Jacob to work on the heavier songs because when I listened to the first version, I thought they sounded kind of thin, you know.

No one can say "no" to Doro, right (laughs)?
Yes (laughs) and when someone feels it, then you don’t have to talk about certain things since everybody knows what to do. I always follow my heart and if somebody doesn’t connect with a song, then I think “leave it there”. If somebody says “I love ballads but I don’t care about speed Metal songs” I would never think it’s a good idea to have him mixing the faster songs. So, everybody can do what they love. Like Rudy who did “Hero”; we have the same background, we have watched the same concerts, so we know exactly what we are talking about. And maybe somebody else who doesn’t have the same old school history or experience, maybe it’s hard to explain what he should be doing.

Of course. So, let me back up a little bit; did Lemmy have anything to do with writing the song?
Yes, he sings on it but honestly Dimitris he can make a song sound ten times better. Actually I wrote the song that is about a heart-breaking story and we were working in Hamburg on it. I had the whole chorus completed and then I talked said to Andreas Bruhn about it and, while he was singing during one of the recordings (Andreas is an excellent guitar player, he was an ex-guitarist of THE SISTERS OF MERCY and he is also a great singer), I said “you know what, Andreas somewhat I hear Lemmy singing on this.” And he immediately said “yes” and prepared a rough mix to try if Lemmy liked and apparentlys he did!

I can imagine. You also had Gus G. from FIREWIND and Ozzy; how did this collaboration come up?
Actually, another friend of mine worked in “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)” and his name is Alex Krull from ATROCITY and LEAVES EYES. We are great friends and always met in ‘Wacken’ and in other festivals. So, Alex and his wife, Liv Kristine who has sung “Celebrate” with me in the previous album, came to the 25th anniversary show, so we are always in touch and one day we agreed to do something together. So, we were working together on the song “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)” and then he went to the music fair in Frankfurt (which is a big music fair with a lot of people from all over the world) and called me and said “you know, Doro I am sitting next to somebody and guess who” and obviously I did not know. Alex told me he was Gus G. and I was like “Oh, it’s awesome”. He said “maybe I’ll tell him that we are working on this song and if he wants to play in this?” and I said “yes!” and then he played him the song and he loved it! He did a killer solo on this! I think we are going to play in some festivals next year together. We did last year’s ‘Hellfest’ and FIREWIND was there. Gus is a great guitarist. I always have some unexpected guests in every album.

Yeah, you do that. By the way, Doro, the album sounds amazing!
Do you really mean that? Oh, I’m so happy to hear that!

Actually, I think it sounds heavier than the previous one. I mean, you have a song called “Revenge”. Is it my idea or did I find something from the WARLOCK days there?
I guess it’s not conscious because this song was written by Bas Maas, our kind of new guitar player (he has been in the band for the last 3 years) but he came up with that and I think he wasn’t even alive when WARLOCK was active (laughs). Maybe unconsciously he was influenced by those days. You know, sometimes we do stuff that reminds us people certain things but it was definitely not intentionally. But I’m happy when you say that “Revenge” reminds you of WARLOCK because I have a couple of songs in the record which will please the old-school Metal fans. You know, the old-school fans love to listen live songs like “Burning The Witch” and “Hellbound” so I thought to have tracks like that in the new album.

It’s a great song and actually I love the vocals there. You sound extreme and heavy. Well, you said that in the upcoming tour you are going to use 5-6 new songs…
Yes, I definitely want to have “Raise Your Fist In The Air” or “Rock Till Death” or “Revenge” and then I’d love to try “Hero”. Also I want to have some surprises songs of the old WARLOCK records which nobody have even heard live, so this would be interesting.

So, how many songs do you think of using in the upcoming tour?
We usually play a two-hour set or two and a half, it really depends on the venue and if there is a curfew, like in the US. But usually I play as long as the fans want. So, I’d say 25 to 30 songs, something like that.

Awesome! I cannot imagine how difficult is to take out some songs and add new ones.
Yes, it is and I tell you we did a 3 hours and 40 minutes on the 2500th concert, 2 years ago, and then, some fans came up to me and said “why didn’t you play this song or the other?” and I thought “Oh, my God, 3 hours and 40 minutes, I was like almost dead”. So, when we’ll do the 30 anniversary celebrating in ‘Wacken’ next year (and I heard ‘Wacken’ is already sold out! Unbelievable!)...

Yes it is…
...we want to do 2 shows in Dusseldorf like two nights having the old songs or maybe in one night will be really special with an orchestra and great guests. I also want to do something in New York because it’s my second home and I definitely want to celebrate this 3 times. People come to me and say “why don’t you do this in a whole tour” but it’s really impossible to have all the guests in a long tour so we have to pick and choose, you know.

The show in Dusseldorf will be next year, right?
Yes. In ‘Wacken’ next August and then in Dusseldorf we’ll do it in December. I think the 05th and the 06th of December 2013 that I think it’s Friday and Saturday. It’s not really confirmed because we want to do something really special and we have to book the venue, but I think it’s gonna be on those dates.

So, it’s not confirmed, because we have to book the flight tickets…
We are going to put it on our website immediately when it’s confirmed, so if you want to come, please do not book flights yet because we have to confirm this 100%. In the next 4 weeks I think we are going to have the exact dates for this.

In the US tour, you are going to have SISTER SIN with you, right? Any other supporting bands on the billing?
I don’t know; sometimes the venues add some artists, so I really don’t know. SISTER SIN will be the one we are going to tour with along the whole United States.

Can we expect to see you performing with SISTER SIN “Rock ‘n’ Roll”?
I don’t know; we haven’t rehearsed that yet but we’ll definitely do something together or maybe Liz can come up to sing “All We Are” with me. I really do not know because there are many things before the show, meet and greets, interviews and stuff like that. And I only want to concentrate on the shows and give the people full Metal power, but we’ll definitely do something together, we will see on what the song will be.

You also did some filming; the second part of “Anouk”, right? How was that experience?
Yes, actually it’s the second part of this adventure movie that will probably come out in 2013 - 2014 and it was great! I had to get up every morning at 4 o’clock and filming 20 hours a day and usually in the water, and I was like “Oh, gosh, I gotta to go on tour”; it was hardcore, it was like a boot camp. So now I’m fully prepared ready for the tour. I survived that, I survived the first part which was hardcore and the second part was really hardcore too, so I’m definitely ready for the tour. I have to do some more filming in January before the US tour start because I said “now I have to take care first the new record and do a promotion tour and then I’ll do my finishing parts in the movie”. I did 50-60% already and it was great!

Are you also gonna use some songs from the new album in the soundtrack of the movie? I think “Free Your Heart” is one of them.
Yes, “Free Your Heart” and we are writing some more atmospheric songs for the movie, but I’ll do that after the tour. It was great; it’s another adventure movie, it has many battles and most of the blood was real; it was not only fake blood or ketchup. The movie’s producer, Luke Gasser, said “It needs to look real because when it doesn’t it’s not good”. And it does look good. It’s a traditional story between Good and Evil.

I have one more question for you and a kind of difficult one; so, what makes Dio a hero for you? Because the song you wrote for him it’s called “Hero”...
I think he was, like for millions of fans including myself, a great inspiration. He was so talented and so sweet. His voice was unbelievable, something out of this world. With so much positive energy he filled every heart with joy. I think he was very meaningful, very real and had like 150% energy – I think his energy level was always the highest you could possible get from a singer. He was a voice to die for and the sweetest person I have ever met. I had the great chance to tour with him a couple of times and he had a heart of gold and he was as person, as musician and as a spirit one of the most special people in the world with such tremendous, unbelievable voice. I just wanted to say “thank You” for all the inspiration, power and energy he gave us. He will always live on and he will always be the one and only Ronnie James Dio, one of the best singers of all time.

I could not say this better than you just did; you put with those words very nice, Doro and I have actually to tell you that we are also considering you a Hero in this scene, because you have been for so long in Metal and have created so many great songs and you are doing even better now.
I want to say “thank you so much” Dimitris. I always try to make the fans happy and to give you, guys, all of my energy. I hope we can rock together 20 more years from now. That’s my joy and the only mission in my life, to give people some happiness and forget all the everyday stress and problems. I love the fans more than anything else in this world.

We know that, Doro. It was a real pleasure talking to you! I hope we’ll meet in the Chicago show in February.
Yeah, I would love that, Dimitris. Thank you so much! I’m so looking forward to seeing you, guys. Take care!