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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Doro

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Doro from 2000
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You have been away from the US scene for a long time. Why was that, and why is now the time to come back?
I tell you, to be honest, it was never my choice. I always had a world-wide record deal, but it didn’t mean anything because they wouldn’t release the records in the states anymore. Then it was impossible to go on tour. Luckily now we have a new record deal with Koch, and they put the record out a couple of weeks ago. Now we can go on the road again. If it would be up to me, I would always stay out making records and stuff, but they didn’t come out. It was very unfortunate. Can I just tell you how I got the new record deal? It’s wild. This guy in the states was doing the internet and the web page. His name’s Tony, and he’s been doing the American fan club for I guess 7 or 8 years. On the last tour, he came to Europe and went to a couple of concerts. He was so excited. He asked if he could do something in the states. I said, “whatever you think you can”. He said, “can I get permission to send out CD’s or tapes of the last record?” I said, “yeah, do whatever”, He sent out cassettes, didn’t even bother to burn the CD, and within two weeks we had a new record deal - and no manager and no lawyer could ever do it, and the fan club guy did it. We did 6 records which didn’t come out in the states and there was always heartbreak because every single record I thought would be great.
MSJ: The new disc features some interesting guests. How did those appearances come about?
Al Pitrelli, that was very spontaneous. I met Al Pitrelli in Cologne, Germany after a Savatage concert. We always wanted to work together for many many years, but every time we contacted him, he was on the road with Alice Cooper or Dee Snider. It never worked out. Then, last year, I met him in Cologne, and I said, “Al, I’m working on a new record.” He said, “I’d love to play on it, and how about right now?” It was like 3 O’ Clock in the morning. I said, “I don’t know, we can check if people are still in the studio”, but then nobody was there. I said, “how about tomorrow morning?”, and he said, “OK, I will be there.” He extended his stay in Germany and came to the studio the next morning with the whole road crew. He took all the road crew guys with him. We had a small studio. We could only squeeze in. He played all those great solos and licks. So, it was really a spontaneous idea. With Slash it was my band just laying down the basic tracks for this one song, “Now or Never”. Two days later I wanted to come over to New York and sing and stuff, and then they went to a concert in New York. It was like a festival, and they ran into Slash there backstage. The guys started to talk, and they were hanging out. Slash said that he was just mixing a record in New York. This one guy from our band just asked him if he’d be into playing the solo on this one particular song. Slash said, “I would love to, but I’d want to hear it.” They gave him a little tape and he said, “yeah, yeah.” Then he came back the next day with a big bottle of Stoli and 10 packs of cigarettes for breakfast, and he played his solo. It was actually almost a surprise for me. Then I came to New York the next day, and I listened to the solo and it was great. Then we went through some clubs and the whole night scene in New York. We had some good talks because when Guns and Roses had their first record out it was the first record we had out - or the first tour we did with Warlock back in the day. So, we exchanged some good stories. It was really great. He was a super nice guy.

Then Lemmy - that was my idea to contact him. I met him many many years ago. 18 years ago we played in Europe, many festivals, and the we lost track somehow. Then it was after a long studio day. I wanted to listen to some Motorhead stuff. I wanted to listen to this one record. It’s called “No Sleep at All”. The band gave it to me, and it was vinyl. I hadn’t listened to a vinyl record in a long time. I plugged in my record player, put the record on, and on the inner sleeve there was this little photo of Lemmy and me. I think it was taken at the Monsters of Rock festival, 1986 or 1988. That picture looked so cute. I thought, maybe I’ll give him a call or write him a letter, and that’s what I did. I wrote him a letter and said, “hey, Lemmy, it’s me, Doro from Germany, and how about we do something together or write a song together”. Then I sent this letter to his management, and I never expected to hear back from him, because I didn’t even know where he was. I know how it is sometimes you might not even get the letter or something or much later. Anyway, a couple of days later, the phone rang, and somebody at the other end said, “hey, it’s Lemmy”. At first, I thought, it’s one guy of my band playing a little joke because I told everyone that I wrote that letter. He said, “man, it’s really me. I think it’s a great idea, let’s do something any time.” The next day I bought a ticket and I flew over to LA We recorded the two songs together, “Alone Again” and “Love Me Forever”. Lemmy’s wish was to involved Bob Kulick. He said he had a great experience with him. I said, “if you like him, I’m sure I will like him, as well”. Bob introduced me to Eric Singer, or he asked me who should play on the record. He said, “how about Eric?” I was a huge Kiss fan, I still am, and anything connected to Kiss. So, it was a special event. We recorded in about two weeks and it was for me one of the highlights of recording. Lemmy was a super sweet guy and really cool to work with. I couldn’t keep up drinking with him. That’s impossible, but everything else was super.

MSJ: Are there any other musicians who you would like to work with?
Yeah, actually, there are great musicians out there. At the moment I’m still so happy that I did the stuff with Lemmy. It was definitely a dream come true. .I would love tow work with James Hetfield or Rob Halford on something.
MSJ: You seem to have a unique perspective in that you were one of the first women in the metal scene. What has that taught you?
I don’t feel it necessarily as a woman. I love music and am just a human being who loves music and would like to give everything to it. I think there’s not much difference. It’s very hard to survive for anybody in that business. I the beginning I thought it would be much easier. It was quite tough. I’m so glad that I can still do it. I realize that it always goes up and down. The first couple of years in the ‘90’s it was quite hard for heavy metal because when grunge hit - when Nirvana hit - that was like the end of all the other heavy metal bands for a couple of years. So, early ‘90’s it was very hard to survive. That’s when the records didn’t get their US release any more. In Europe we could still go strong and stuff, and touring was good, and concerts were sold out. But in America, it was really hard. I learned that you always have to fight for it, and keep at it. Stick with it, and fight for what you believe in. Go out on tour, and dedicate your whole life to what you love. I think you always have to follow your gut and your heart and your instincts. I think that’s a good lesson. I always believed that, but the longer I do it, the more I know it’s important to stay true to your faith and what you feel - not let anybody take over or have too much input. When I was younger and we were a young band, many people had control over so many things. That was actually the end of Warlock because the management took the name, and nobody could do anything more under the name. It was hard to realize that some people are not that trustworthy. It was quite naive when I started, believed everything and signed every contract. I think I learned that you have to be a little bit more careful.
MSJ: What do you see as the differences between working with Warlock and the solo career?
Not much at all, it was never my idea to not have Warlock anymore. It was just unfortunate that we couldn’t use the name anymore. I always thought that I wanted to stay in music and that I never want to do anything else. I just tried to keep up the Warlock spirit, but it was hard to use a different name. The record company said, “you can’t use a different band name. You have to name it Doro, otherwise that will be the end of the contract”. So, I said, “OK, we’ll name it Doro”. But, we still play all the Warlock songs. The set list is like 50/50 - 50% Warlock, 50% Doro songs, and to me it’s not much different. Every record was different, you know - the sounds. I always tried to have every record totally different and a totally unique experience - to create something new or add a new spin on it. The rules are still the same.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Oh, I have a good one. For many years I didn’t think of this, but yesterday I had an interview, and this guy is writing a book on heavy metal/hard rock, so I thought of this story again. A long time ago, during the Warlock, days, I had this manager in Germany, and we wanted to have international management, especially America or England. So, we got hooked up with these weird people in England. I always felt not good about it because they were very shady. The deal was that we would work together for one year, and after the year we would sign the contract. I went with my German manager in England after this one year. When we were sitting on the plane he said, “We can’t sign this contract. The company is totally bad”. I said, “I agree. We can’t sign the contract.” So, we went to England, went to this bar where we wanted to meet. We went to sit down and tell the guys to forget it, we aren’t signing it. So we came in, and there were like 8 people sitting there waiting for us. There were two guys who were like the management team. And the other people you could feel had the baseball bats in the back. We could tell that it was a situation where if we didn’t sign they would probably kill us. we were sitting down and we decided that it was impossible to do anything. I almost started crying. I thought, “what shall we do?” We could, luckily, speak German. I said, in German, “Peter...” Peter was the name of my manager in Germany. I said, “Peter, what shall we do?” He said, “I don’t know.” I said, “you know what? Shall we run away?” He looked at me and said, “Doro, I think that’s the only solution.” We both got up and ran for our lives. Two of the guys ran after us. The other guys were so blown away that that happened. We ran through London - somewhere out in the rain in the night. I remember I had no money. I was sitting for a whole night somewhere in London thinking that this was like a movie, but we got out of the contract and we got out of it alive. It was definitely like a little Spinal Tap movie. We were lucky.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought?
Rob Halford-Resurrection
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended?
That was the Motorhead concert in England. They celebrated their 25th anniversary. Lemmy asked me if I would sing “Born to Raise Hell” together and I did, and it was so much fun. It was a fantastic concert.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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