In-depth phone interview with Doro Pesch
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
September 24th 2010, Los Angeles CA
Andrew: It's great to have you on Metal Assault again, Doro. How are you doing today?
Doro: Thank you! Yeah it's going pretty good. Right now I'm in Germany and tomorrow I'm going over to New York. We've got rehearsals for the tour. We are doing four gigs in the States and then it'll be our first time in Japan, so I'm all excited. I've never been there and it should be another adventure.
Andrew: How have your preparations been for these four upcoming US dates?
Doro: I'm planning to play all the highlights and some goodies that fans didn't hear in a long time, then of course something off of the new record 'Fear No Evil' and stuff from Warlock's 'Burning The Witches' and 'Triumph And Agony' albums. There will be some surprises too but I don't want to say yet (laughs). I'm super excited to come back to the States. We want to have a really good time and we want to play as long as the fans want us to play. There are absolutely no limits!
Andrew: These are just four dates, so it's more like a warm-up tour. Can we expect you to come back for a full tour, probably early next year?
Doro: Yeah, that's the plan. Actually, we just finished working on our DVD. It's called '25 Years In Rock'. It will be released in Europe in December and in the States in spring, probably in March. So we'll come back after it's released. I'm glad that we're able to do the four gigs now. It's definitely better than doing nothing. After this we have another tour lined up in Russia and Germany. In Germany we support Motorhead on their tour. I'm so excited and happy about that. So it will be an exciting end to the year and next year we'll work on the new album. For now we are concentrating on the DVD stuff and playing songs from it. We did something on the internet where fans could tell us what they would love to hear. We'll play anything that makes the fans happy.
Andrew: So, are you playing the songs that the fans voted for?
Doro: Yes, definitely. In our shows we always ask fans to call out song names specially for the encore, and we are 90% prepared to play anything. After such a long career, it's hard to be prepared for every single song (laughs).
Andrew: I think this is the biggest DVD project of your career. Would you agree?
Doro: Yes, I think it is. We did four DVDs. The 20th anniversary DVD was very nice and we had great guests from bands like Motorhead and Saxon. It was hard to top the 20 years DVD, so we tried to make a bigger production, more pyro, and a great place in my hometown in Dusseldorf. It looks like the German version of the Madison Square Garden (laughs). It was a very nice setup. The sculpture we used almost didn't fit the venue but we played and had great guests like Bobby Blitz [Overkill], Warrel Dane [Nevermore], We played with the old Warlock band members for a full Warlock set. Tarja [Turunen, ex-Nightwish] sang on 'Celebrate', which is a song on the last record. Axel Rudi Pell, members from Grave Digger, The Scorpions were there and it was really awesome. It was the longest concert we ever played, for three and a half hours. We cut it down to three hours for the DVD along with the best of Wacken from last year and some of the festivals from this year. There is a China special from the time we went to China. It was something very different. So I think it's a good package and it looks beautiful. Specially because of the artwork and I think the die-hard fans will love it.
Andrew: You signed a European deal with Nuclear Blast. Is that only for this DVD or is it also for future albums as well?
Doro: Yeah, I think it's for four more records. We are very excited. It came about just two months back. I have a good feeling about it.
Andrew: How was the summer this year? You must have played a lot of festivals in Europe.
Doro: Yeah, we played the Bang Your Head festival, which I love. This year I was there at Wacken to sing the Wacken anthem called 'We Are The Metalheads'. Then we did all kinds of festivals in Bulgaria and Czech Republic. Other than that also there were some really great festivals and the season was awesome. We recorded some stuff that might be released as bonus tracks on the next record. There are so many festivals there, I guess it's great for the headbangers as they can choose and go anywhere they want. There aren't many festivals here so we usually spend summer over in Europe. But we definitely want to come to the States and play at least a couple of gigs.
Andrew: You also took part in the Ronnie James Dio tribute show in Germany. How was that experience? I think you had guest musicians like Kai Hansen [Gamma Ray].
Doro: Actually, Kai had to cancel as he got sick at the last minute. But other people were there. Doogie White sang Rainbow and Axel Rudi Pell the guitar player was there. It was a great evening and everybody sang Dio songs. We raised money for the cancer foundation. I think 8000 Euros were made for it. Our new DVD is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio. I was a big, big fan and I had a great time when we toured together a couple of times. But the tribute concert was great for us and for the fans. It was actually done by the fans and wasn't like a huge thing, but it was done with the right spirit.
Andrew: You'll be touring with Motorhead in Germany. I think Doro and Motorhead is a great combination. When was the last time you toured with them?
Doro: We've usually done some festivals together. The last time I think was at Wacken last year. Then we did one festival in Spain and that was it. We never really did a long tour together and I guess this will be the first time. Wow, it's going to be really awesome. Mikkey Dee and our drummer Johnny Dee are great friends and it's going to be a great tour. I know Lemmy from the early 80s. I remember in 1983 when I went to England and met him for the first time. For the 'Calling The Wild' album we did two songs together. One was called 'Alone Again' which Lemmy wrote. May be we can do something like this on this tour, we'll see. It will start on the 13th of November. I'm sure something will happen together and we'll sing a song. I would love that.
Andrew: You also took part in the cartoon Metalocalypse. It was screened in Germany this year. What was the response like at the screening?
Doro: It was really funny. I was in the great company of Schmier of Destruction and Mille of Kreator. We had a great time and I think it came out really good. It's may be a little bit different from the English version but still very funny. For musicians, it's great. I don't know if people get that dark humour. I hope so, because it came out really good.
Andrew: Nick Douglas started his own band. What did you think of that? Did you get to check out their music?
Doro: Yeah actually Nick had already recorded something on his own and he put out the record. I support that, of course, and I'm proud of the guys when they do something like this. It's hard to survive as musicians, so when we are not on tour, then they should do something which they really enjoy. I think it's great!
Andrew: You got a new guitarist Harrison Young. What was the reason for the change and how has he been performing for you?
Doro: Yeah, we got Harrison because our guitar player Luca didn't get the work visa in time. Harrison played the last American tour, which turned out superb. But Luca is still in the band. Only in the States we play with Harry. He's super nice, super talented, but we're still all in the band.
Andrew: I also read that you acted in a movie in Switzerland in 2006, made by a guy named Luke Gasser. How was that experience and have you done anything after that in terms of movies?
Doro: Yeah, we're actually working on the 2nd part. I saw the script and I think it's a great story. He's just trying to find people who can finance it. It'll be a bigger project than say doing a record so it'll take a couple more months. The second part is written, and yes I'm definitely doing something in the movie and want to write the music or the title track. We already talked about it and I guess next year we'll try to do it. He just won a prize in New York for the best documentary movie. It was a story about American Indians. May be it will get a bit more attention from people who can finance the movie. But yeah, it's hard and even though the last movie was rather low budget, we want to do everything perfectly right and it takes a lot of work to do that. The plan is for next year.
Andrew: You'll be going to places like Japan and Russia. As you said, you've never toured in Japan before. So, would you say it's kind of easier to play in those places because people would enjoy any song you play?
Doro: Yeah! (laughs) We've waited so many years to go to Japan. We were pretty big in the 80s but it never happened. Finally we are getting to go over there and I hope it'll be good. In Russia we've played quite a few times and I almost feel at home there. Whenever we do a tour, it's always on the list. It's great because the people are so enthusiastic. I like to play all over the world, doesn't matter if it's festivals or small clubs. Wherever the fans are, it's good and we feel at home.
Andrew: What advice would you give to female singers who are trying to make it in the world of heavy metal?
Doro: I would say, follow your heart and go for it. Always give it 150%. Believe in yourself and try as hard as you can. When you get knocked out, just get up very quickly and fight again, for your belief, your music and your band. I know it's hard to find good management sometimes, but try to get good people around you. Try to be the best you can be and eventually you'll be successful. If you have great energy and really want to do it, it will happen.
Check out Doro's official website.