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23rd April 2009
METAL DISCOVERY: And you had your 25th anniversary concert in Düsseldorf. How was that?
DORO PESCH: I think it was one of the nicest concerts we’ve ever had. It was three and a half hours long. We couldn’t stop. We had many guests on there. It was the reunion of my old band, Warlock. Tarja was there and all of the girls of the full female metal version, except Veronica. She couldn’t make it but everyone else was there. Bobby Blitz and Warrel Dane. With Warrel Dane I played my first big America tour with Megadeth and Sanctuary.
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(Doro Pesch on the mammoth warlock head built for her special 25th anniversary show last year)
“It’s so huge. We can only use it probably at Wacken again. The head is already as big as the whole stage downstairs! It’s so huge!”
Doro Pesch - uncredited promo shot, 2008
Interview by Elena Francis
Official Doro Website:
Official Doro MySpace:
Force Majeure (1989)
Thanks to Mike Exley at M.E.P.R. for offering and arranging the interview.
Doro (1990)
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)
Fight (2002)
Classic Diamonds (2004)
Warrior Soul (2006)
Photograph supplied by, and used with kind permission from, Mike Exley at M.E.P.R.
MD: Wow, that must have been a long time ago if Sanctuary were there!
DP: Ah yes, it was ’88 maybe?
MD: Wow, amazing.
DP: Yeah, so he was there and then lots of German friends like Chris Boltendahl and Thilo of Grave Digger. The Scorpions were there. Klaus and Rudolf. We did ‘Big City Nights’ and ‘Rock You like a Hurricane’. It was awesome. I think it was one of the best shows and we actually recorded it so the DVD will come out I guess around Christmas. We’re on tour so I don’t know when we’ll have it all mixed and nice. It looks so nice. The stage was all ruins and then we had as the special highlight for the song of the night, we had a big Warlock coming out behind Johnny’s drum set. It’s so huge. We can only use it probably at Wacken again. The head is already as big as the whole stage downstairs! It’s so huge!
MD: And it was made especially for this?
DP: Yeah, it took one year to do it.
MD: A whole year?!
DP: A whole year, yeah.
MD: So a lot of preparation went into this show?
DP: Yeah, a straight year like non-stop preparation. One and a half years or two years ago we were talking about it and figuring which venue. It’s where I come from, Düsseldorf. It’s nice. Where all the roots are. There’s a new place called ISS Dome and it holds about 10,000 people. But it’s so huge I thought the warlock definitely needs to be big, not like it’s Spinal Tap [laughs]. But it came out even bigger than we ever imagined.
MD: That’s definitely something to be proud of.
DP: Yeah, that was definitely one of the highlights.
MD: You’ve done a lot of amazing stuff in your career. I mean, you were in a film as well.
DP: Yeah, for the last record. ‘Anuk - The Path of the Warrior’. Luke Gasser, the other guy who was doing the film, we’re still good friends; we do little projects on the side. He’s now doing a documentary on American Indians. I had to translate it into German so we’re always in a sense stuck together and that’s exciting. I love music but I like little underground things.
MD: They go hand-in-hand, music and film. You have to have music in film.
DP: Yeah. It was so nice. We did all the music, the score, together for the last movie. It didn’t have any lyrics, just chants and it was so nice. So we will definitely do some more stuff but it’s not like the big Hollywood movies; it’s like the underground.
MD: The independent ones. You have to support the underground, don’t you? That’s how you get to the big ones.
DP: Yeah. I think it’s so exciting. In the movie, they were doing it for free and they took off a couple of weeks for their jobs and it was so nice. There was enough heart.
MD: And dedication! Obviously 25 years is a really long time. How has the role of females in metal changed from when you started to now? Obviously bands like After Forever and Nightwish are really successful.
DP: Yeah, I mean there are so many more women now, aren’t there?
MD: Yeah, even in the heavier stuff, like Arch Enemy. Have you heard that really brutal death metal band Merlin from Russia?
DP: Ooh, I’ve heard about them.
MD: Very heavy but there’s females in all genres. There’s Meanstreak, that thrash metal band in America - I don’t think they go anymore – but all the genres, even the more ‘masculine’ ones. Astarte, the Greek black metal band. I mean, what was it like before?
DP: Yeah, originally there were just a handful. Girlschool, Rock Goddess. I was a big Rock Goddess fan. They were a three-piece and I loved them so much. They had a phenomenal singer - Jodie Turner was her name. It was way in the ‘80s. So I think there were great women. But now there are so many more and I think that’s great, especially in gothic metal. There’s so many, they’re so beautiful and I think it’s good and I’ve always enjoyed it. If someone has a great voice or talent then I think it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. I think there are tons of great women out there. I think it all looks very dignified. In the early ‘80s it was like very sexy but sometimes, on some women, it looked a little bit cheap too. That’s not the case anymore at all so I think that changed greatly.
MD: Why do you think females in metal became so much more popular as time went on?
DP: Why? When you do it once, you fall in love. I fell in love with music when I was like three years old but I guess when you pick up an instrument or form a band you feel it grows of you and you can never leave the rock ‘n’ roll or metal stuff anymore. I think in the ‘80s when we started our first band, we didn’t even know then it was heavy metal. I remember one example was we were invited by a promoter and he said: “You guys want to do a gig?” and we said “Yeah, of course” and there’s another brand new band from America. We thought: okay, that’s good. We went on stage and played and there was maybe about 400 people there. Then we thought let’s check out the new band. They just had their record out two years ago and it was Metallica! That was way back when. So the beginning of metal - so exciting to be a witness of that. I must say, it was pretty rare to be a girl, a lady, but it truly never made a difference. Now, I think metal in general is much bigger. So many more bands and all female bands, for example we toured Russia with Crucified Barbara, a great band. And my band fell in love with all the girls [laughs]. It’s great and I think in general it became much bigger again. In the ‘90s it was a tough time but in the last seven or eight years…
MD: It really exploded.
DP: Yeah, I think it’s great. These great, powerful women. I love that. I always get inspiration from good stuff.
MD: So another 25 years to come, hopefully?
DP: Yeah, absolutely.
MD: What are your future plans apart from the touring or is it just touring?
DP: Yeah, there’s definitely touring for the next year. We are doing all the summer festivals. I’m looking forward to playing Wacken again. It’s their anniversary and I’ve played five times and it’s always one of the nicest experiences. I’m looking forward to playing all the festivals. Then we go to China again in June. I was in China for the first time December last year. It was an amazing experience. It was totally different but great. People are not so used to metal but I think they will all become metalheads. So we’re going back there, touring all these great new countries; new territories. Now on this leg we go here England, then it’s Russia, Spain, Germany then China. We play with Heaven and Hell in Germany. If there’s a day off, I want to work on the DVD so the DVD may come out among Christmas time. But you can imagine with a three and a half hour concert there’s a lot of cutting and work. We’ve got a couple of DVDs out and I think they’re all very nice so it gives us a scale to up to keep it exciting. But we definitely want to put another China special on the DVD too because the China experience was so unbelievable as a bonus thing. That’s about it - the tour and the DVD.
MD: Do you have any final words for the readers of Metal Discovery?
DP: Yeah, I want to thank all the die-hard fans for all their great support. They kept me alive for 25 years. Without fans, I could never have done it. I got all my inspiration and motivation from all of the fanbase. I hope I will see them soon. See them on tour. Keep metal alive.
MD: Thanks for the time for the interview!
DP: My pleasure!
Fear No Evil (2009)