DORO PESCH’s Relationship With Fans Gives Her Strength To Survive In Music Industry
Doro Pesch, known to most as just Doro, has been carrying her metal flag proudly for over three decades and she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. She burst onto the scene in 1984 fronting the band Warlock and their debut album Burning the Witches. In 1989, there were some legal issues which forced her from continuing on under the name Warlock. So, after four albums and amassing quite a loyal following around the world, she recorded her first album sans the Warlock banner and started a newer path under the Doro banner in 1989 with her album entitledForce Majeure. She’s continued to make albums even since, even though many of the bands who she toured with and worked with are no longer around. She’s always been true to herself and kept that metal blame burning for over 30 years. Fads and styles may have come and gone since she started out in 1984, but Doro’s still around and kicking ass like never before. She’s about to release a new DVD/Blu-ray which chronicles the shows and events that centured around celebrating her 30th anniversary in music. She’s also back in the U.S. for a handful of dates with another female rocker who kicks ass Madame Mayhem and then she will return to work on her next studio album due out next year. We sat down with the Queen of Metal recently and talked to her about the new DVD, the new album and the loss of her dear friend Lemmy Kilmister.
When was the last time you made it over here to the U.S. for some live dates?
It was the beginning of last year and I remember that we finished in L.A. It’s been a while now, but we’re coming back for a few dates including Florida which we didn’t do last time.
We saw that you were also doing the Monsters of Rock Cruise right before those U.S. dates and was wondering if you’ve ever done any of those type cruises before?
Yes I have and my first cruise ever was the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise and I got so sea sick. We all had such a hard time, my whole crew and band, and I think I was green in the face. It was the weather and the boat was shaking like crazy; it was very hardcore. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to do another cruise again, but now I’ve done four of them. I did the Monsters of Rock Cruise two years ago and everything was really cool. It’s definitely a different atmosphere when you’re in a very intimate and close environment. It was like having a nice vacation with all of your best friends and everyone was so relaxed. You could tell that nobody was worried about everyday stuff like worrying about going to work the next morning or being stressed out by your boss. It was a nice vibe with great energy from really happy people. I would have never thought that I would ever go on a cruise ship when we first started this.
You also announced a handful of dates after the cruise is over with. Things are so much different with the industry these dates and you don’t necessarily have to release a new album before you go out on tour these days like you did “back in the day.” It’s been 2012 since the regular edition of Raise Your Fist was released and of course the deluxe anniversary edition came out in 2014. Is there thought of new material anytime in the near future?
Yes, the first single will be coming out in April and it’s called “Love’s Gone to Hell” and we just shot a beautiful video or it with the help of our fans. We did it for the first time with Kickstarter because the song is just so great and I didn’t want to wait until the record was done to release it. I’m thinking that the entire record will come out sometime next year because we’re still doing some songwriting for it. This song has so much magic that I really want to get it out right now. It’s a mid-tempo song, like a power ballad, but not the traditional power ballad. The video is beautiful and very old school like back in the 80s. I didn’t want to do a little video that just looked ok; I wanted to do something really beautiful. We shot it in one of the most beautiful castles that I’ve been to in my life. Then, we went all over the world to shoot the video and it’s kind of a love story which goes to hell. I just saw the rough cut and it’s very nice; I think it’s coming out the first of April. It’s a maxi-single with two songs from the DVD on it with “It Still Hurts,” again for Lemmy and two new songs. “Rock to Death” which is with Hansi Kursch from Blind Guardian and “Save My Soul;” I’m sorry, they’re not new songs, but live versions from the upcoming DVD. We also put the demo of “Love’s Gone to Hell” on there as well.
Can you tell us a little more about the DVD?
It’s coming out in June and it’s called Strong and Proud – 30 Years of Rock and Metal. We’re in the middle of doing the artwork and it’s painted by my favorite artist Geoffrey Gillespie who did the artwork for Triumph and Agony (Warlock). I think it looks really worthy of this special 30th anniversary stuff. We did many anniversary shows with special guests like Biff (Byford) of Saxon, Lordi, Sabaton and everybody’s on there who did something with us. There’s also a 1 ½ hour documentary which shows us going one year, all round the planet celebrating the 30 year anniversary. It starts out in Wacken and I think that’s always one of the best locations to shoot for a DVD.
2016 has seen quite a few icons from the world of music taken from us and many of them I am sure you have crossed paths with over the years, especially Lemmy from Motorhead. Does it ever make you stop and question your own mortality when something like that happens?
Yes, it really does make you think and I always thought that Lemmy would out live us all. He was someone who was always there and he was actually the first musicians that I ever met back in 1984. I couldn’t speak English at all when I first met him but we became friends instantly. We had some cigarettes and whiskey cola and it was really great; ever since the friendship deepened after that and we toured together. My first collaboration was a song with Lemmy that he wrote in 2000 called “Alone Again” and it was a beautiful acoustic guitar song. We did the Motorhead classic “Love Me Forever” and the last duet was on “It Still Hurts” on Raise Your Fist. We always talked or text messaged each other and we would always try to visit each other when we were out on tour. The last time that I saw him was about two months ago and we had just started the touring going to England. We had one last rehearsal and everyone was saying that we would have to rehearse all night long, but I knew I had to see Lemmy. He was playing in my former home town in Germany, so I went to see him and the show was great. I went to see him backstage and I congratulated him on his sold out tour and he told me that he was too old to enjoy it. It brought tears to my eyes when he said that because he sounded so serious. A friend called me later when I was in New York and told me that Lemmy’s health was going so well and that Lemmy’s doctor was thinking that he might not survive the night. I went to the funeral in L.A. and everybody was there including Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Metallica, Dee Snider and Gene Simmons and everybody that I grew up with. It was a mixture of being super sad, plus trying to keep that spirit up that Lemmy had about him. I wrote a song when I was flying there and it’s called “Living Life to the Fullest” and it’s for Lemmy. I hope that we can work on it in the studio soon because it’s just a demo right now. I think it will be on the new record coming out next year. Then there was also Jimmy Bain who was super nice, great guy and a sweetheart; he was on my second big tour in 1987 when we toured with Ronnie James Dio. I love and miss Ronnie so much and between Lemmy and Ronnie, they are definitely two of my favorite people in the world and my closest friends. They’re gone and it feels a little bit strange and lonely without them.
When you look back on your thirty plus year career, what are you most proud of?
I’m just so happy that we can still go anywhere in the world and play a gig and all the diehards will show up. It’s that excitement and happiness that I can feel and it’s in the eyes of the fans when we meet them all over the world. There’s always that little light ion their eyes and it seems to mean something to them and those memories I will never forget. I usually know the fans by name, but sometimes I only remember their face, but I always love to talk to them. They have the coolest things to say and there was this one lady from Belgium named Vanessa and she only speaks French. She wrote a letter to me and her biggest wish was to have a song by me in French because she doesn’t understand English that well. I told her I would do it, but I didn’t know when, but I promised I would. A couple of months later, I had this song called “Herzblut” off of my Fear No Evil album and the melody was great. It was in German and I translated it into French and it came out so great. I told her that song was for her and she was so happy. She told me that she had two little boys who were metal heads and that she would love to have a girl again. If she did, she said she would name her Doro and I asked her what she would do if she had another boy. She told me that she would then name him Herzblut and you know what? Herzblut is alive and well and I think he’s now four years old and he’s the cutest kid; things like that mean the world to me. It gives me the strength to continue on and to survive in the music industry because it can get pretty ugly.
Have you ever thought about doing a tour where you would do a Warlock album, like Triumph and Agony, in its entirety?
I’ve thought about it before but now I have seventeen albums and it’s so hard to pick and choose one. One definitely wouldn’t be long enough because we usually play for two to two and a half hours at each show. It is an idea that we haven’t done just yet and on this tour, we have dubbed it the ‘Full Metal Warlock Show” because we definitely want to play all of the Warlock classics because I feel that the fans love the old school stuff. We may do it one of these days and do three of four records in one night, but I know I would miss the other highlights from my set list, but who know, maybe one day soon.