DORO PESCH **EXCLUSIVE** Interview
It seems like yesterday I had my first opportunity to interview the reigning queen of global metal, Doro Pesch. It was an unexpected and unique conversation nearly a year ago that revealed a suprisingly spiritual side to the woman that is known more for kicking metal ass than she is for her belief in miracles and angels. http://www.xplosivemetal.com/interviews/148-doro-pesch-interview
At a drop-dead gorgeous 47 and more than a quarter century in the business Doro isn't slowing down. The night before the interview I watched a recent video recorded in her first language of German. I couldn't understand a word but I couldn't help but notice her powerful physical presence, the unmistakable results of pushing iron and cardio, nuturing the physical that is the catalyst for her creative expression so umistakably metal.
We reconnected for a telephone conversation this August.
XM: Doro! Hi. How are you? Where are you?
Doro: I'm in Germany, we just finished up the festival season and I'm heading back to the States.
XM: You are just always kicking ass!
Doro: Oh yeah, yeah, we just did some great festivals. There was one in France. I don't know if you ever heard of it.
XM: Actually I just watched you at Hellfest in France last night on Doro.de
Doro: Of course it's online. We just finished 2 days ago our last concert it was in a castle. The castle was unbelievable. It was built in like the 1100's. It was beautiful! It was so haunting, really magical, it was just awesome. It was just 2 days ago. Then I was in Wacken 2 weeks ago. I opened up the festival with the Wacken anthem. I played a new song for the upcoming new record next year. The song was called Raise Your Fist. I think it was good. 3 days of non-stop metal in Wacken.
XM: I've been reading about some of your new collaborations with other musicians.
Doro: I don't know if you heard the duet I did with the band called Saltatio Mortis, I don't know how to describe their style, maybe medieval. You know the band In Extremo? Maybe similar to them. They have ancient instruments, very cool, very happy. I had such fun. We had a great time. They are young. I love doing side projects.
XM: Sounds like it is inspiring for you and I'm sure for them. You are royalty in this business so I'm sure it's a big deal for newer and younger musicians who get a chance to work with you.
Doro: You know Angela, I'm just a normal metalhead.
XM: No you're not! You are so not a normal metalhead! Sometimes I notice you will suggest that you are just one of the boys and I want to say, you really are so much more, a unique personality. A strong, metal female side that can hang with the boys yet at the same time you also have a beautiful soft, loving and spiritual side to you.
XM: What would you say to young people today?
Doro: I would say, always give it your all, follow your voice. Never give up. Never let other people bring you down. If things don't go well then turn to something positive. Sometimes I will get my favorite books to get me back on track or listen to great music. It's important to always have a source of good, positive energy. I feel like it's really tough. It's a hard fight. Life gets harder and harder and is tougher than ever. Follow your own instincts and do what you love wholeheartedly. Throw yourself into it 1,000% and stick to it. Sometimes the time is not for you but just stick it out and be yourself.
Most of the time when you hear negative comments try not to even let it get to you. It can really bring you down. In the beginning I couldn't even deal wtih it when people said they didn't like the record. I thought they would love it. I cried for days sometimes.The record was my baby.Then I had to learn not to take it too hard and do what I knew my mission was. Try to find good people who are helpful and supportive and if nobody does believe in yourself and do it every day. Sometimes when I'm not on tour and doing other stuff I think 'oh man my whole routine is gone'. I think it's good not to take too long breaks. If you're serious about it try to find other people who are just as serious. People that want to do it half-time are not so good.
XM: Yeah, sometimes you have to let people go out of your life.
Doro: Sometimes when people are unique other people want to bring you down but you need to find your own special thing and run with it. Put all your energy into it.
XM: What would you add to that for young women?
Doro: I think...(Doro pauses to give this more thought because she really is speaking from her heart. Empty words are not hers.)
Doro: I think it's great to be a woman. Make the best out of it. Use your female sensitivity. Sometimes women have a great sense of what's going on; maybe they are more sensitive in some areas. Use the female wisdom inside. That's a great power. I always feel that sometimes people feel like, 'oh you always want to make it real nice, peaceful and harmonious' but I think that's important. I think women know what to do to survive, not to fight. I think violence, brutality doesn't lead anywhere so you have to be smarter to think it out, feel it out. Use your female spiritual side. I think that's important.
To compete with a man it's, anyhow, that's probably not a good way even to start. I think women have their own thing and way of being.
XM: Thanks for tackling that big question. I want to mention to the people that are reading this interview that you are a great supporter of women in need around the world through Terres Des Femme, http://www.terre-des-femmes.de.
Doro: Yes. Angela I'm so glad you asked me that. I just wrote a song for Terres Des Femme! Actually you are the first one I've told, I haven't even told Liz yet. Nobody else really knows. It's so great. It's heavy. I played it for my manager and he said, "Oh man, that's so provocative. That's so heavy." I promised Terres Des Femmes I would write a song for them and it's maybe a year ago and now I got. I think it's going to be really great.
XM: Of course it's going to be great! When will the world be able to listen to it?
Doro: I think next year. The record will probably be finished by the end of next year and then it will come out in spring. It's not like a normal song. I think it's really heavy. I have 2 versions of it. One in German and one in English. Even the German one, it's mixed up, half German, half English. I think it's powerful.
XM: That's great news! I'm so glad that we connected on this today.
Doro: Yeah, nobody ever asked me about that too. When you said, Terres Des Femme, I thought wow, yeah!
XM: Is there any information in terms of how or how much Terres Des Femme can benefit from the record?
Doro: No, I don't even know yet. I just finished it. The record needs to be mixed. The recording is not 100% done yet. I will want to let them hear it. We will find a way to see what is best for them and then there's the record company too. Writing the song is probably the easiest part. It makes people feel and think, I think it's great. I hope you will like it but I have a feeling you might.
XM: So exciting. We will look forward to it. I wanted to ask you about the Metal Female Voices Festival this coming October.
Doro: Yeah, that's right. It's a great festival. It's for female musicians and singers. I'm so happy to go back there. It's so well put together.
XM: A lot of the ladies in that festival are part of your 25th Anniversary Project that is about to be released here in North America on Sept. 13th/11!
Doro: Yeah the main part of the DVD was the 25th Anniversary Concert. We worked for that whole year to build the wole stage, to build the warlock . The whole stage looks like the home of the warlock, with magical ruins, really mystical. The warlock actually appears under Johnny's drum set. It's so big I can never use it anymore, it's so huge. It looks awesome. Then we played the song The Night of The Warlock. It's great. So that's one of the highlights and all the great guests. Bobby Blitz of Overkill, John Bouvoir, The Scorpions were there, my old band members from Warlock, and we played a female version of Celebrate with all the great ladies of metal. The last song, we sing altogther, all the great guests. Sometimes I worried that the stage wouldn't hold all of these great people together. Then two of the great ladies, Sabina Classen from Holy Moses and Liv Kristine from Leaves Eyes, in the end it was like somebody was touching my legs and I said, 'what's going on?!' and I looked down and Sabina and Liv, they had me up in the air. The ladies they had such a good time backstage, really partying, then when they came on stage they were really buzzed and holding me up in the air. We were all shaking and I thought oh my gosh we will fall down in the photographers pit but it was great. When you see it, it's hilarious. It was a great time.
XM: Wow, it sounds like a great time and a must have. We will look forward to buying it here in North America this September!
XM: Just keeping an eye on our limited time Doro I wanted to ask you about your new song, Raise Your Fist, that you sang at Wacken this summer, your 22nd year at Wacken. The song is part of your new album expected to be released in the spring of 2012.
Doro: Yeah. It was the first time I performed it. It was at Wacken this year with the Wacken band. It got great feedback. It will be a killer song. I want to play it at the 2 shows in the U.S. in September. ON the 9th of September at the Gramercy Theatre we want to do a great DVD release party show and bring highlights of the DVD and do a great concert with great guests and I definitely want to play Raise Your Fist to bring something new and exciting for the fans.
At Wacken too, we played the anthem. It was originally written by a Wacken fan, a metalhead, and then I did my own thing to it. It was actually a diehard Wacken fan who did a demo and sent it to the promoter. He sent it to me and said, 'hey, how about we make a Wacken anthem and here's an idea from a diehard Wacken fan.' I listened to it and thought, 'hey that's great.' Then we worked on it and continued working on it. Just to tell you how that song came about. It was a collaboration with a diehard fan and it was actually really good. Sometimes the fans have the best ideas. It was so dead on. I always sing it at every concert in the States too. Usually people know what Wacken is, or they went there. It is a great honour to do it. I am always happy to be there.
We maybe want to celebrate the 30th anniversary at Wacken in 2013. We are talking about it. It's not confirmed yet. When you see the DVD, I couldn't top it anymore and then we thought maybe at Wacken with the biggest stage and the pyrotechnics and the lights. They are always up for new, exciting ideas and they actually helped me for the 25th anniversary and for the 2,500th concert as well. They are really innovative. They are metal fans but they have the know-how from doing Wacken for so long.
XM: Raising the bar again!
XM: Doro, there is another song, part of the new album, Hero, a tribute to your friend Ronnie James Dio.
Doro: The DVD is also dedicated to Ronnie. There are some nice photos in the booklet as well. I love him so much. He is always in my heart. I had the great chance to fill in for Ripper Owens just a couple of weeks and the Dio Disciples in Spain. I want to thank them for treating me so good. It was like family. I fell in love with his music all over again. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't fuck it up and I just wanted it to be good. A lot of people listened to it and liked it. I gave it my all. I tried my best. It was a great honour to do that.
Hero was the first song that I wrote for this new record. It came out right from the soul of the heart. I wanted to write a song in honour of Ronnie James Dio. It's not done yet but when it's mixed and mastered it will be great. I don't know if it will be a single but it was the first song which was written for the record. I love it. It's very soulful. Just to give thanks to Ronnie and to his spirit and his magic. Just to say thank you.
XM: I want to respect your time Doro and I know we are at the end. You are a great lady. Thanks so much for another great conversation today!