DATE OF INTERVIEW:
5th December 2008
Doro Pesh started out playing with metal band Warlock back in the 80s. After changing labels, she lost the right to use that name and went under her own name, Doro. During her long career, she has remained a true icon for female metal over the world and celebrated her 25th anniversary on 13th December in her native Germany. Guests included Arch Enemy, Tarja, Leaves Eyes and many more, as well as the full original Warlock line up. Despite her hectic schedule, she agreed to spend a bit of time in the cosy environment of her tour bus, a few hours before her show on the Hard Rock Hell main stage.
METAL DISCOVERY: How did you choose the special guests for your anniversary gig?
DORO PESCH: The first one was Leaves Eyes because we played a festival together in Belgium last year. Then, we thought that it would be cool to have bands from all metal genres from gothic metal to death metal. Bobby Blitz from Overkill and Warrel Dane from Nevermore are coming. The guys from Scorpions are coming too. There are also a couple of very good bands from Spain and Czech Republic. Maybe this show is good for people to discover some great talents. Tarja Turunen will be there too. Also, the whole ‘86 line up from Warlock will be playing which I guess might be nice for younger fans as they probably have never seen that live.
(Doro on how women were viewed during the 80s metal scene)
“Most of them were just used in videos to take off their clothes and look sexy!”
Doro Pesch on her tour bus at Hard Rock Hell, Pontins, Prestatyn, 5th December 2008
Photograph copyright © 2008 Kristell Gathoye - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Kristell Gathoye
Official Doro Website:
Official Doro MySpace:
Force Majeure (1989)
Thanks to Mike Exley at M.E.P.R. for offering and arranging the interview.
MD: Was it difficult to reunite everyone from your old band?
DP: Well, there is this one guy, the bass player, we still don’t know if he is coming or not but everybody else will be there. If he doesn’t come, my bass player will take over.
MD: Will it be recorded?
DP: Yes, everything will be recorded for a DVD. It’s exciting as more and more people are confirming now. It starts at 5 and I come on stage at 8:30 so I think we’ll play for almost 3 hours. Fans from all over the world are coming, even from Australia.
MD: How did the idea come up to organise a big 25th anniversary bash?
DP: We did a similar thing for the 20th anniversary and that was the first one. We were expecting something like 3,000 people but over 6,000 turned up from all over the world and guests like Lemmy came too. We had all these great guests and suddenly it was a big thing and we didn’t expect it at all. It was such a nice evening. I prepared the set list and after 2 hours, my band told me we hadn’t even played half of the songs! Then, we did a DVD with the footage so when the 25th came up, we decided to do something as good or even better if possible!
MD: You have now the right to use the name Warlock again. Will you use it?
DP: I’m not sure. I’ve been with these guys under the name of Doro for years now so it wouldn’t be fair to change. Maybe, we’ll use it for a DVD of our Wacken performance as Warlock last year but nothing is really planned tight now.
MD: How was it back then when you started to be one of the rare females in metal? Has it changed?
DP: I never really thought about it at the time. I just did it. I have always loved music so much that for me it was never a big deal. I was always treated good and with respect. You always work with what you have and do the best you can. In the music industry, you always have to fight anyway so I don’t think being one of the rare female was a major difference.
MD: What are your views on the current scene when it comes to female fronted bands?
DP: It’s pretty good! When I started out in the 80s, there were only a handful of female metal artists. Most of them were just used in videos to take off their clothes and look sexy! Now, it looks very dignified. Women in metal are very talented, strong and unique. They have so much to offer. In the 80s, it looked a bit cheaper I think. It definitely changed. Before, my audience used to be 90% male and 10% female, now it’s more something like 60/40 I think.
MD: After years sharing stages with the biggest, is there someone you admire and haven’t met yet?
DP: Yes but they are dead already! I would have loved to meet Janis Joplin. But I think I met all my heroes so far. Every time I was blown away. Especially when I started with the band, I was a big Judas Priest fan. We still all had our day job and I wasn’t allowed to take phone calls at work so when my manager called, my boss told me he hoped it was important and I took the call. Then, my manager said on phone: “Doro, are you ready to quit your job? You have the opportunity to go on tour with your favourite band in the world, Judas Priest!” So I quit my job. It was surreal. We couldn’t even speak English. I remember that at the end of the tour, I wanted to write a little “thank you” card and I really didn’t know what to say. One of the crew members told me to write that one line and when I asked what it meant, he said: “Thank you for the spirit”. So I gave it to Priest.
MD: Have you ever thought about ending your career?
MD: If you could go back in time, which one of the 3 metal decades (80s-90s-00s) would you go back to?
DP: The 80s were so amazing to me. Now is pretty good too. The 90s weren’t so good. I was overwhelmed in the 80s so yes, the 80s definitely.
Rare Diamonds (1991)
True At Heart (1991)
Angels Never Die (1993)
Doro - Live (1993)
Machine II Machine (1995)
A Whiter Shade of Pale (1995)
Love Me In Black (1998)
The Ballads (1998)
Best Of (1998)
Calling The Wild (2000)
Classic Diamonds (2004)
Warrior Soul (2006)