DORO is a legend of hard rock and heavy metal. Since rising to fame with her band WARLOCK in 1984 she has achieved international acclaim as a solo artist and iconic figure in our genre. She is a one woman force majeur as a performer and her huge catalog of great music speaks for itself. In honor of celebrating 25 years in the business she is releasing a DVD this September and having two release concerts, one in New York and one in Chicago. It was an honor and a pleasure catching up with DORO and chatting about her past, present and busy future.
MAA: Your new DVD, DORO: Twenty Five Years in Rock is being released in celebration of your entire career? What does it mean to you to have endured this long in music?
DP: To me it doesn’t even seem that long. It seems like I just started a two or three years ago. I was always a big metalhead and then some highlights of my life I will probably never forget. Great festivals, tours, like my first tour was with JUDAS PRIEST in 1986. My second big tour was with RONNIE JAMES DIO, who I loved so much and I miss him terribly. And then my first big tour in the States was with MEGADETH and we toured with all these great bands. like we just did a tour with MOTORHEAD for a couple of months. It’s just been fantastic, all these years. It was always up and down, but it was great as long as enough metalheads were there. The 90′s weren’t bad, just a few good spots. All in all the last couple of years, it’s been great. Almost as good as the 80′s were.
MAA: The concert sounds amazing. How much rehearsal and work went into the show in perform a career retrospective for you?
DP: It took a whole year to prepare and to invite all the guests and to prepare the big stage set. We did a nice stage set, it looked like actually the castle of the WARLOCK with all and the ruins. Then I wanted to have like a real Warlock coming up on stage, kind of like the Eddie of IRON MAIDEN. A really, really big sculpture was made and that took a whole year to do too. We found somebody who was great. I think they were one of the highest level to do it. Then whole show, it took a year to prepare and then actually took another year to even start working on the DVD. It was like our longest show, three and half hours long with all the highlights of each of our albums. Then we did some songs with other artists like some WARLOCK songs and then the SCORPIONS guys they came up; Klaus Meine and Rudolph Schenker and we did two SCORPIONS songs. Actually they were one of my first rock bands, when I grew up. When I was 7 or 8 years old and I was still in school and I didn’t even know the Scorpions where from Germany, but I remember I listened to their songs on the radio. Then it was a great treat, that they would come up and play with me. So I actually played some of their songs in honor of our guests. Definitely one of the highlights of my life. It looks visually really great. Like the best light show, pyrotechnics and the whole stage setting.
MAA: The DVD release is being celebrated with two shows, New York and Chicago. How do you keep your voice in shape for touring after all this time?
DP: Oh, actually when I see the fans, when I see they are excited then I can sing ten times better than I could sing like when I’m in the studio or like normal setting. I think the fans, that’s the most important thing in my life, always was and always will be. When I see the people, then the voice is just there. I don’t have to sing ten hours straight, it doesn’t matter. The voice is always there and the more I do it the better I am getting. I feel like it’s just the opposite. I always thought oh, maybe eventually I couldn’t sing anymore. But I think the more you do it the better it works and so now I’m touring so much even when I have a bad cold or when I’m touring hard, when I’m on stage then everything is OK. Afterwords, that’s a different story, but on stage it’s always cool. I don’t do much, just keep on touring and that’s actually the best exercise too for the body. Jumping up and down and headbanging like crazy and stage diving! (Laughing) It’s better than any gym, I think.
MAA: Can you talk about your shows earlier this summer in Spain with THE DIO DISCIPLES? The videos look amazing!
DP: Oh, yea, I’d love to actually. I was a big RONNIE JAMES DIO fan. I miss him terribly and I think it’s such a big loss for the world. I got the phone call for it. Actually it was friend of mine and she said ‘Hey, I’m just sitting here with Wendy Dio’ and THE DIO DISCIPLES have a tour coming up and Ripper owens, his daughter is getting married. Would you like to fill in to do the Spanish shows.’ And I said ‘Oh man, fucking awesome! And then I said yes! I didn’t even care what I had to do. I said I would want to cancel everything, whatever it takes I definitely want to do it!. Spain, the first one was in Madrid and everything worked really good. Then the second one was Barcelona, I think that was really, really nice. It was so nice to sing all the great RONNIE JAMES DIO songs and some BLACK SABBATH songs, some RAINBOW songs and actually I fell in love all over again with his great music and man, it was awesome! Of course it was very ambivalent on one hand, so sad and on the other hand it was so great too. To keep the music alive and to keep the spirit alive and since we toured together many times I knew all Ron’s band like the guitar player, Craig Goldy. He was so nice. Simon Wright the drummer and Scott Warren on keyboards and we had a great time. I was very welcomed like a big family and the other is singer Toby Jepson. He knew that I was nervous filling in. Because it’s like man, you have to learn 12 songs or 13 songs and it was so much lyrics and I wanted to do really good. Everyone was super nice and amazing. James LoMenzo, he was super nice too and we had a great time and it was a great honor. But I must say nobody can sing like RONNIE JAMES DIO. He was the best and the greatest and we just all tried to do a good job. I definitely sang my heart out, but you can’t touch Ronnie’s voice and Ronnie’s songs. But it was great. I was so happy that they asked me to do it and I would love to do it again in the States. It would be great and I was very happy and thankful and grateful that they asked me to do it.
MAA: You are certainly a hero and an icon to many women in rock and metal. What advice can you give to any ladies just starting out in a band today?
DP: I just would say always follow your heart and and then do everything 150%. Believe in yourself, love your fans and just go for it! Never, ever, ever give up and do what you love and don’t ever let them break you or put you down. Just go for it and I think it does not matter if you are a man or woman, if you have metal in your heart that’s all it takes. I’m still a big metal head and a fan. I love so many bands and musicians so I would say if you need a lift just listen to great bands and get energized and then go out and knock ‘em dead. Give it all you got and try to find good people around you who support you. Maybe a good manager but, in this day and age with the internet, you can do so much stuff on your own. Just work hard on it because it’s never easy, but never give up and eventually it will happen.
MAA: What is the progress on the next DORO album?
DP: Yeah. Actually, I think it will come out next year early spring and then I want to do like a full tour in the States. We have a couple of songs already. One song, it’s dedicated to RONNIE JAMES DIO and the title is called “Hero” and I think it’s so nice. I definitely want to take care of this one Like in the end, it’s sounding great and of course Wendy Dio she, she would the one who, who hears it first. I hope she will love it. There’s another song, the working title is “Raise Your Fist” and I want to actually play it at Wacken because I’m playing the opening band this year. I’m doing the Wacken anthem “We Are the Metalheads” and then the new song too. I wanna get all the metalheads and all the fans singing like a choir. We have good songs in the making, but it’ll probably take a couple or 6, 7, 8 more months to really finish it. Sound-wise, I think we are in good shape and all excited and the album will be the whole spectrum from anthems to thrash, to rock to hardcore to speedmetal and some ballads. I love it all! Whatever feels good, but early next year I would say.
MAA: Thanks so much for your time today and good luck at Wacken. It’s been and honor an a pleasure!
DP: Thank you so much for having me and for all of your years of support!
(Special Thanks to DORO, Nuclear Blast and Earsplit PR)
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes
Tags: Anthems, ballads, bassist James LoMenzo, career retrospectives, Doro Pesch, drummer Simon Wright, Eddie the `Ed, elaborate stage sets, guest appearances, guitarist Craig Goldy, hardcore, headbanging like crazy, heavy metal, icons, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Keefy, Klaus Meine and Rudolph Schenker, living legends, Megadeth, metalheads, Motorhead, rock, ronnie james dio, Scorpions, Scott Warren on keyboards, singer Toby Jepson, Speed Metal, stage diving, THE DIO DISCIPLES, thrash, Tim “Ripper” Owens, twenty-five years in metal, Warlock, Wendy Dio, years in the making, “Hero”, “Raise Your Fist”, “We Are the Metalheads”