German “metal queen” Doro Pesch (DORO, WARLOCK) recently spoke with Sally Steele of Vegas Rocks! Magazine. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the early years of her career:
Doro: “We were just doing what we loved. Back then, I felt I was one of the guys. I didn’t feel any different. I think metal is in your heart — it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. I never felt it was a problem — like being a woman was so out-of-this-world. I always felt equal. I was always treated great, especially by other musicians or bands. We went on tour with so many great artists. My first big tour was actually JUDAS PRIEST in ’86. I was a big fan, and they treated us like gold. The second tour was with Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. in the U.K., and then [the] third tour, Ronnie James Dio. I always felt like I was very supported. They were very, very kind to me.”
On whether it was difficult to learn and sing in English:
Doro: “In the beginning, yeah. When you’re not growing up speaking English, the lyrics were sometimes hilarious… I wrote a song about how it feels to be on stage — the lights, the people, the energy and the power. The title was ‘Red Light Star’. ‘I am the red light star.’ We went to England, and I performed the song, and the journalists were asking me, ‘That’s a weird title. What do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘How it feels to be on stage.’ They said, ‘Thank God. You know what it means? Red light is the districts where all the hookers go.’ I said, ‘No way!’ I didn’t know… It never made our record because of that reason.”
On whether she ever had any “great loves” who were also musicians:
Doro: “Actually, not really. I was always really caught up with doing a record, going on tour. I always had a big crush on the headliner. When we were on tour with JUDAS PRIEST, I was in love. I always loved singers. I didn’t know [he was gay], but he was very nice. We’re still great friends. When you’re a support band, it’s great to be on tour, and usually, in the ’80s, they were real headliners. You could learn; you could see how they would do things. I learned so much from Ronnie James Dio. He was so gentle and had such a great heart. His singing was awesome. I was always into that, and never into having a relationship… The music always came first. It was always the music. From tour to tour, record to record, and I never really felt this deep desire to settle down, to start a family, to have kids. The kids were always the CDs or the vinyl records.”
On Lemmy Kilmister:
Doro: “When you asked me before, who did I love, I really loved Lemmy… I’ve seen him a couple of weeks before [he died]. We had a tour coming up, and it was our last day of rehearsal, and I then I told my band, ‘I’ve go to go. I’ve got to go see Lemmy,’ because he was playing close [by]… That was the last time [I saw him]. He looked really thin. I was so glad that I went. We had a long, long friendship, and he meant so much to me.”
On Gene Simmons, who produced five songs on her self-titled 1990 sophomore release:
Doro: “He was very nice. He was totally professional. He was really a great mentor to all of us. We were writing songs in New York, and we recorded in L.A. [at] Fortress [Recorders] studio, where KISS recorded ‘Hot In The Shade’. Tommy Thayer was doing all the guitars. He was the co-producer. Gene was totally professional. He was very supportive. He was great.”
On whether she’s do anything differently if given the chance:
Doro: “I always try to make the best out of every situation. Sometimes, times were on your side, like when metal got huge in the ’80s. In the ’90s, it was really difficult to keep it up because grunge took over so much. It was kind of a domino effect. We did so many records which I thought were great. For example, ‘Angels Never Die’, ‘Machine II Machine’, ‘Love Me In Black’, great records, and they never got released [in America] because they didn’t have any grunge sound… Many, many years went by, and in Europe, we could still release the records. [Grunge] was never that big in Europe, but [in America], it was tough, so it was tough to tour or get on festivals when you don’t have a record released. Sometimes, it was hard, but then in 2000, I felt it was picking up again. Then I had the great chance to tour a second time with Ronnie James Dio. It was a fantastic tour — it was Yngwie Malmsteen, DIO and us. It was packed, and it was just when grunge was not anymore as popular… All the metalheads were dying for some real metal again.”
DORO‘s most recent full-length release, the double album “Forever Warriors, Forever United”, was released last August via Nuclear Blast.