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THE QUEEN’S SPEECH: THE ROCKSALT INTERVIEW WITH DORO PESCH

April 5, 2011
By

The Metal Queen

For twenty-five years the reigning queen of metal has been touring and recording with a boundless enthusiasm. At 46, the comely blond German looks as fresh and is as vital as she ever was when she first blared out of speakers in the ‘80s with her band Warlock. Over the years, with her eponymous band, she has continued to make heavy metal and earned an incredible following around the world. From her most famous anthem, “All We Are” to songs like “Love Me In Black,” “Herzblut” and the more recent “Celebrate” and “Running From The Devil” Doro’s music showcases a timeless power and majesty that rocks the floorboards and moves the soul. Her music, from straight-up rock to soaring power-metal to sultry ballads, is at-once always metal. She transcends languages and has rocked nations; and she looks damn good doing it.

 

On December 13, 2008, the singer commemorated her 25 years in metal with a concert in her native Dusseldorf, Germany that featured a slew of special musical guests (and which was recorded for DVD release). Soon to be available in the United States, Doro made the transatlantic call to chat about it with ROCKSALT.MX – and spent an hour talking – breathlessly and with an endearing accent – about growing up in Cold War Germany, her love of metal, her move to New York City, her special friendship with Ronnie James Dio and working with various artists, including Peter Steele.

 

 

Click to listen to Doro’s telephone greeting!

DORO: Hi! How are you doing?

ROCKSALT.MX: Good, good – Wie geht es Ihnen?

DORO: Ja! Sehr gut! Sehr gut! Thank you so much! I just came back from New York a couple of days ago and – ja, I’m in Germany. Ja!

ROCKSALT.MX: Oh, you’re back in Germany?

DORO: Yes I’m back in Germany. And we have a Scandinavian tour coming up and like, there’s a little cruise ship – something, I think, like the “70,000 Tons of Metal” – throughout Scandinavia. Something like that!

ROCKSALT.MX: Oh, nice!

DORO: Ja, ja! I heard from some bands a couple of years ago that did it, so it’s probably cool. It’s from the Sweden Rock… people and they always do a good job! Ja! And then we go to South America, in April, and then I’m coming back to the States. Ja, ja!

ROCKSALT.MX: Well, it’s terrific to talk to you. Bear with me for a moment while I check the levels… OK! The levels are good – you’re coming in loud and clear so…

DORO: Oh, I have to watch what I say! Did we ever talk before?

ROCKSALT.MX: We’ve never talked before – but I did just see you recently in New York out at The Crazy Donkey.

DORO: Ah, ja! That was in October – that was two days before we went to Tokyo! Ooh… that was the last show and I got so sick before at The Crazy Donkey! They have like, no, no dressing room and I was standing there in the kitchen and it was so cold! And then after that show I was sick as a dog. We hopped on the plane two days later and – ooh! I was sick and it was so bad. Everybody else went sightseeing and they went through every city and I was just in the hotel room in bed, just trying to make the shows. But it was cool to go to Japan. So cool! But now everything is good.

ROCKSALT.MX: Where in Germany are you exactly?

DORO: I’m in Dusseldorf.

ROCKSALT.MX: That’s where you’re from originally?

DORO: Ja! When I’m here we’re usually in Dusseldorf – actually the band, they like Cologne (Koln) more. Cologne is like a great city, so cool. We’re always rehearsing in Cologne. But my mom is in Dusseldorf, so when I’m in Germany I’m here.

ROCKSALT.MX: When you were growing up in Dusseldorf, at the time, that was West Germany; what was that like? Did you ever go to the East or have relatives there?

DORO: Ja, that was West Germany then. There was no contact with the East Germans. When I went to school, my best friend Angie, she had relatives in East Germany and we collected stuff, like, cool jeans and magazines and they were always going crazy when they got something. But my first time in the East was actually in Hungary and it was 1983. The first record was out, “Burning the Witches,” and we wanted to do a little promotion tour and we had no idea. I went with my then manager and we wanted to do some interviews and so on, so we were at the border and they said, “Okay you have something with you?” And we said, no – just some promo copies of our album. And they, “Okay, let’s see…” And we had the whole trunk full of the promotional vinyl, “Burning the Witches” record, and they said, “That’s pornography! Everything has to go!” And then they schlepped all the records into the offices – ja – and there were at least five hundred, maybe a thousand records. And then they said we could go, into Hungary with nothing. And – pornography! That was so insane! You know the “Burning the Witches” album cover, right?

ROCKSALT.MX: Yeah, yeah!

DORO: It’s like a painting with a girl, and she’s naked but you can’t even see it. And they treated us like, very strange. And we had to exchange money and for every day we stayed there, it was a lot. I don’t remember how much, but a lot. And we had planned to stay there for two weeks, but after two days I couldn’t take it anymore. I told my manager “I can’t take it anymore. I’m so depressed here, I’ll get suicidal if I stay one more day!” But we changed all our money and we were there; but after three days, it was so dark and there was always something – we were feeling like we being watched. It was so terrible. So we left. That was in 1983. And then – when I came to America for the first time it was the first song I ever wrote there called “East Meets West” and it was about being in the East and just, wow, totally shocking. It was really heavy. That was for “Triumph and Agony.” I remember also being in the East of Germany shortly after the (Berlin) Wall came down and it was so black and white. No bird was singing. It was really depressing. And the poor people – oh, man. But now in Berlin there are a lot of former East Germans, I worked with on the DVD, and I feel they have so much creativity because they had to do without. And they had to make something out of nothing. And I feel that they are much more creative than the West Germans, I would say. I mean, of course, that’s only somewhat true, but I definitely feel that there is something, ja. But now it almost feels like it never happened.

ROCKSALT.MX: Were you there (in Germany) when the Wall came down?

DORO: I was actually in L.A., I was recording with Gene Simmons. I forget which song. I was singing and doing my vocals And Gene came in and said, “Doro, stop for a moment. There’s something on TV that might be very interesting to you.” And I said, “Hey, Gene – nothing can be that interesting – like metal and you know.” (laughs) And he said, “No, no. I think maybe you should see it.” And still I said, “No, I don’t want to.” And he said, “Just have a little look.” So I came from the recording room into the lounge where there was a little TV and I saw that the Wall was coming down and – wow – it was really unbelievable. And there was change: after something had been so carved in stone it seemed. And… I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have so much information – usually when you’re doing a record you’re day and night at the studio and plus with Gene Simmons and I was such a big Kiss fan, so I didn’t watch TV and I didn’t know what was going on. And I just saw it on TV and – wow! I was blown away!

ROCKSALT.MX: And that’s interesting because I understand that now you make your home in New York City.

DORO: Oh, ja! Ja! I still love it so much! Actually, my first time I came to New York in ’87. It was ’86 or ’87 and it was for a small promotion tour. It was three days and after two days I made up my mind. I wanted to stay. I loved it so much! It was so much like coming home – I loved it. I felt so alive and so excited – ja! And I called up all my friends and my parents and said, “I am staying in America!” And they all said, “Are you crazy?” And I said “I gotta do it!” And I started to write some songs for the “Triumph and Agony” album and I met someone – he was in New York and he was a guitar player. His name was Joey Balin – which, actually, I wrote some songs with him for the new album just a couple of weeks ago – and we met and somehow we hit it off. And he was supposed to show me around and the club scene, and I said, “That’s pretty good, but in Europe, with the metal, the club scene was so big and strong, so…” And he said, “Well, what do you want to do?” And I said, “Shall we do some music?” And so we went to his apartment and the first night we wrote “East Meets West” – and the next day I went up to my manager – he was actually my American manager – and I said “Alex I think there’s something great – great energy!” And he said, “Really?” And then the next night we wrote another song and that was awesome, too – and then the next night another song! And I said, “Alex, I want to stay!” And then we did some demos in The Power Station – which was the best studio – and actually I visited there two weeks ago to do some demos – it’s called Avatar now. So then we called up the record company president and he flew in from Switzerland – he was the boss for the German label, it was called Polygram back then. And he came to the studio and he said, “Wow! That’s the best I’ve ever heard! So just you stay here and that guy is the producer!” And then we did the “Triumph and Agony” album and I stayed and I loved it so! And now I’m a proud Green Card holder and I’ve it for twenty years and I’m always going back and forth because we’re touring so much. So sometimes I’m there and sometimes I’m here.

ROCKSALT.MX: New York has gone through a lot of changes in twenty years…

DORO: Ja! Ja! I miss all these great clubs – the Cat Club and The Ritz and Limelight! It was great! And all the great record stores! And now it’s like… no more. But I still love it so much. But now I don’t live in Manhattan anymore, I live on the beach in Long Island and I’ve never been there in the summer because I’m always on tour and doing all the summer festivals. Oh, and I was just back there and it was so cold! Always like freezing cold when I’m there! But it’s still so nice and I love it there! I love America! And now having seen all the countries all over I still love New York so much! It’s still my favorite city! Or one of my favorite cities, I mean, to live. It’s so awesome. But I must say some other cities are great, too! Like just having been in Tokyo – even being sick. And Osaka and we visited the great Budokan where all the great live records were recorded. And Russia – Moscow – when we visited it was not possible in the ‘80s, but now it’s always part of our tour plan. And China! We went to China and it was so different but really great! I must say, though, I love it all over the world as long as the metal fans are there! Ja, ja! Actually I guess the tour bus is home…but New York is great!

ROCKSALT.MX: Did you always want to perform, growing up? Did you have other interests or was it always about performing for you?

DORO: Ja, actually I wanted to become a singer when I was like three years old. I had my first band when I was fifteen or sixteen and I always loved music. I was just about singing and making music. I started in 1980 and then we recorded our first record in ’83 – so when you think of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, we counted from ’83 so that it was professional. And there was a big metal scene, like unbelievable, and we actually played, I think it was in Belgium – because “Burning the Witches” was actually on a Belgian record label called Mausoleum – and the reason we actually recorded with them was because of the cool logo, it was like two drops of blood on either side so we thought that was great – “Iooks like metal so it should be great!” And actually it was oookay… it was oookay. So we were playing Belgium and toured in Holland. And then one time there was a club owner and he said “Do you want to play, I have a little club here…” And we said, “Yeah sure.” And he said, “There is another band, they are from America and they are brand new and they are happening as well.” And we thought, “Oh, great!” And we went to play there and there were three, four… let’s say five hundred metal fans there maximum – and we had a great show. So we decided to check out the new band from America – and it was one of the first concerts for Metallica in Europe. And it was awesome! And, actually one time in ’86 we were on tour with Judas Priest and I was in Warlock and there was a big festival supposed to happen and that was actually the day when the tour bus… had they accident and the bass player died. Ja. Very sad. And there have been so many ups and downs but it was great to have been part of the beginning of the metal scene, you know? Just seeing it grow worldwide… it was awesome!

ROCKSALT.MX: And I understand you’re recording right now.

DORO: Ja, ja!

ROCKSALT.MX: Have you written the whole album yet, or is it still..?

DORO: Oh, no Mick, no! It was just, actually, the last tour we just came off the tour with Motorhead – we played with Motorhead here in Europe and then we had our own tour started about four weeks ago, so it’s just the beginning.

ROCKSALT.MX: Just the beginning then.

DORO: Ja. We have this one song, though, I want to write for Ronnie James Dio to pay respect. I was always such a big fan, like so many other people, just adored him and loved him. But there’s one song, we will be working on that and I think it will be wonderful. But I first want to show it to Wendy Dio and let her listen to it, so that’s one thing. I kind of want to make many versions of that song, I think it’s beautiful and I like it a lot. And we have some other songs but I don’t know which ones will make the record. Definitely the one for Ronnie; but everything else, we usually write as much as we can and pick and choose the nicest ones.

ROCKSALT.MX: Do you have a title for the song about Ronnie James Dio?

DORO: Oh, yes! (whispering) It’s called ‘Hero’ and it has a beautiful melody and I would like to make many versions of it, like an acoustic version and a full-blown band version and maybe an orchestral version… and we are just working on it. I definitely want to take care of that one – that song’s nice. But first I want to let Wendy listen to it. I’m really hoping… but I’m sure she will like it a lot, ja. Every time everybody is listening to it in the studio everybody is crying and so – wow – so touching.

ROCKSALT.MX: What is your songwriting process like? Do you work with your band exclusively or do you write lyrics first?

DORO: Every song actually comes out in a different way. Usually I like when the idea is there first. When I have an idea, like a burning desire out of the heart and soul, sometimes when I go to sleep or I’m truly not stressed out and relaxed sometimes stuff just pops out and I feel like that’s when I feel it has some real power and real magic. And that’s when the real melody and the chorus and the lyrics are just all there and then I take care of it and it makes it nice… but usually the idea is there and sometimes I finish it by myself and sometimes I go to the person who I know feels what I mean or how it’s supposed to be. For example, if I have an idea which I feel touches people and is like, deep and meaningful, I call up actually, my friend Joey Balin, with the melody and the lyrics and see if he feels if he likes it or something. And if he does then immediately we finish the song. And if I feel this is a band idea then I always take it to them and say, “Hey, you know, hope you guys like it!” But sometimes I finish it myself. Or sometimes the guys in the band will have an idea and I’ll listen to it. Not every idea makes the record but when you feel like it’s great, that’s when I get super-excited and I can’t sleep at night and I’m just like, on fire – that’s probably worth it to work on it! And I always feel that when I really really love something, that then maybe the fans will feel the same. So every song and every idea is actually coming out in a different way. But I prefer when the lyric idea and the idea is there first – which in the ‘80s we usually did it, riffs first then melody and lyrics – because I couldn’t speak English! I was really slow! But now, now it’s different.

ROCKSALT.MX: So with that process, do you feel that the album you’re working on will be out this year or more likely next year?

DORO: We’re so much on tour this year and I just heard that the DVD is coming out in America in July or August, so I definitely want to tour America to support it and maybe make some nice DVD release parties – I definitely want to do that in the summertime. And then some festivals and maybe a big tour in October; so maybe not until next year for a new album. But maybe have a single – like a twelve inch – in September – but since we’re always on tour and things have changed so much it takes sometimes a little bit longer. When I’m on tour I don’t usually work on the songs, I’m totally concentrating on the fans and the show and everything on top of that. But next year, ja.

ROCKSALT.MX: What can you tell me about the DVD coming out?

DORO: Oh! I’m glad you asked! It’s called “25 Years In Rock – And Still Going Strong!” and we actually have really great guests on it! The heart-piece of the DVD is the 25th Anniversary concert – that was a great concert – and that was the longest concert I’ve ever done! Like three and a half hours nonstop! We had great people like Bobby Blitz of Overkill and Klaus Meine and Rudolph Schenker of The Scorpions and Tarja Turunnen, she was the singer from Nightwish – my old Warlock band members for a little Warlock set… And then had the version of “Celebrate” – from the last album – and we tons of great ladies – all the girls from Girlschool and Liv Kristine of Leaves Eyes and so many great, great ladies – that was definitely one of the highlights! And the absolute highlight was “All We Are” when everybody was jumping on stage and we all sang together endlessly – it was so great! And that’s like, actually, like three hours long! And the second DVD is like a great documentary and there’s all of my heroes and all of this stuff and saying “Congratulations!” with like Saxon and Lemmy and everybody! And then you can see the behind-the-scenes stuff like the making of the “warlock” – we had this big warlock on stage done in a mystical thing, like ruins and a castle with the warlock – and I wanted to have, not like a backdrop but a real sculpture and I got it! It took like a year to make – that’s actually on the DVD as well, the making of it, which is hilarious! So funny, something to see! There’s a big truck, just having one, like finger of the warlock, driving through the city, and going from one place to the other! Or just the head or the whole arm! It took a whole year, but really it’s great!

ROCKSALT.MX: And where was the concert? This wasn’t at Wacken…

DORO: It was in Dusseldorf! But for the 30th Anniversary I’m thinking of maybe celebrating that in Wacken! But that would be in 2013. But the DVD has some goodies from Wacken – and a little special from the 2, 500th concert – we just had that in March (2010) – now it’s way over that! And there’s something we celebrated at that Female Voices of Metal in Belgium…

ROCKSALT.MX: Oh, cool – I was actually at the second one back in 2005. That’s a fun show!

DORO: Oh, who did you see there?

ROCKSALT.MX: Uh, a lot of bands. There was Lacuna Coil and Liv Kristine… but I think the highlight was After Forever. Floor Jansen…

DORO: Oh yes! Floor is actually on the DVD and now my guitar player, Bas Maas is from After Forever – so you saw him also at The Crazy Donkey!  Wow! Ja! When they split up – we were always great friends so Bas is in the band now!

ROCKSALT.MX: Now is that everything on the DVD?

DORO: Oh, there’s some TV special and this one video where I tattoo a fan… but there’s tons of bonus stuff – and there’s a live CD of the concert!

ROCKSALT.MX: Wow. I’m curious to know if it has your appearance on a German TV show where you sing that ABBA song?

DORO: Of what?

ROCKSALT.MX: You did an ABBA song I think…

DORO: (laughs) Oh! Ja! That was the metal version of the Abba song! Oh! No, no – it’s not on there! (laughs) Ja, that’s, like a comedian and we did it together – but that was actually more for comedy. But, ooh – I think the song sounded great and the metal version (- untelligible, possibly German-) but it’s always tricky to get TV stuff. All the rights to the performances… that’s usually a pain-in-the-ass…

ROCKSALT.MX: But the DVD is done now, correct?

DORO: Yes! It’s done! It’s out here in Europe, it actually came out when we started the Motorhead tour – but it’s always coming out later in the United States and I don’t know why that is. But it’s coming out soon and it’s a beautiful package – with three booklets and one photo-book; two DVD discs and one live CD. But yeah, it’s like six, seven hours long. And it has the most beautiful artwork done by my favorite painter and if you see the artwork with great colors – if you see it on the internet you will know what I am saying. This DVD is out here on Nuclear Blast and it will be out on Nuclear Blast in America as well.

ROCKSALT.MX: So you’re moved to Nuclear Blast then?

DORO: Ja, ja! Ja! The deal was up with AFM and we had a great relationship with them but then with Nuclear Blast we thought, “Ah, ah, ah, ah…” So this is our brand new release for them and probably many more records to come. Ja.

ROCKSALT.MX: Now when I saw you at The Crazy Donkey, you covered Dio’s “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – did you perform that song…

DORO: Ja, ja! We did that one, oh, let me see… we did the version from the “Bang Your Head” festival and we did it on the twenty-year anniversary… I had asked Ronnie if he could sing it with us, but I had no idea that he was sick, and so…

ROCKSALT.MX: When was the last time you saw him?

DORO: Oh, I met him, actually it was the last time we played together in Germany. It was actually the Heaven and Hell tour and it was one and a half years ago – and he sang so great and I didn’t even know and… like so many people I loved him so much and, oh, man. And we had actually talked about doing something together like doing a duet and I had heard actually from some journalists that he had mentioned it. He was talking about doing “Magica II” and “Magica III” and we were thinking about doing something together – and I always wanted to do something together. Ja. But it’s unfortunate. (long silence) It was so sad. So sad.

ROCKSALT.MX: Not to dwell on sadness, but you did get to record with Peter Steele, on “Descent” – I wonder if you could talk about that for a moment.

DORO: Oh, ja… he was a great guy and definitely the biggest person I’ve ever met! He was so super-sweet and so nice. And – wow – it was great, ja. I thought he did such a great job on “Descent.”

ROCKSALT.MX: Can you talk a bit about how that came to be?

DORO: Ooh… I think I just called him up. I had this song and I thought it would be great if maybe somebody with this great low, dark voice would sing on it and then I thought, maybe I will just give it a shot. So I called him up and he said he would like to hear it. So then I went over to his apartment and we had a very nice dinner – and he was very, very polite, like a total gentleman – and we talked and talked. And then he said, “I would like to do it!” And then my bass player, Nick, he had been getting all the files together, and then we mixed it and it was awesome! And then we did a photo shoot and the photographer said, you know, maybe Pete should sit down because if he stands up you look like the little daughter! (laughs) And that’s how I feel when I look up, like the eight year-old girl! But he was so nice! But he was a great guy and, you know, I didn’t know him as well as I knew Ronnie of course, or even Lemmy since we toured together. But I met Pete just a couple of times and he was super-nice, ja!

ROCKSALT.MX: You’ve worked with a lot of people on duets.

DORO: Oh, ja – and I always say it’s a big honor to work with such great musicians and usually always I was just a big fan I became an even bigger fan after we worked together. It’s always a highlight of any album I do, whether it was Lemmy or Udo Dirckschneider or Peter Steele… and the last time when I was doing a duet with Tarja Turunnen was the first time I did a duet on my album – I had done one with After Foerever with Floor on their album – but for me – and all the women on “Celebrate”… from every metal genre from death metal to thrash metal to melodic metal to gothic metal and everybody got along great and in harmony and on the DVD you can probably feel it, that great spirit of metal coming together with all the metalheads – doesn’t matter what kind of metal you do, it’s all metal, deeply connected. And it’s awesome.

ROCKSALT.MX: Is there anybody you haven’t worked with that maybe you’d like to in the future?

DORO: That was the only deep wish, of course it’s not possible, but to work with Ronnie, just would have been so awesome, ja. That would have been great. But the people I grew up with, of course, like Judas Priest – to sing with Rob Halford – that would be awesome to something with him. And my very first concert was with Whitesnake, David Coverdale would be great to work with. Ja, it was 1980 and it was my first concert and he was fantastic! So, ja – I guess in the future maybe. I definitely want to do it until I’m seventy-five years old! I actually just did something recently with a great German band, Saltatio Mortis, did you ever hear of them? Saltatio Mortis – it’s a little bit in the vein of In Extremo – like a medieval band. But awesome, awesome! I did a song on their record and now they have a DVD coming out and it’s gonna be great! But in the future I definitely want to do many, many more things! It can be crazy or maybe a little different than from what people expect, but as long as it feels good then I will do it!

ROCKSALT.MX: I’m a little surprised you never worked with Kraftwerk – aren’t they the other big band to come out of Dusseldorf? Something cool with the hometown heroes?

DORO: Actually, when I grew up, maybe when I was seven or eight years old they were huge, so maybe a little bit before my time. And then when I did music I was pure heavy metal, so… I was not very tolerant in the ‘80s! (laughs) Now I’m much more open-minded, but when it was the ‘80s if it wasn’t metal, then no, no, no, no! (laughs)

ROCKSALT.MX: Now I’m wondering, well, did you ever cross paths with Nina Hagen or…?

DORO: Oh, ja! I’ve met her maybe a couple of times and she’s… definitely from a different planet! (laughs)

ROCKSALT.MX: (laughs) Yeah, she seems crazy!

DORO: (laughs) I actually don’t think she’s crazy – she has tremendous wisdom I think, like deep spiritual wisdom. Where I know everyone wonders if she’s crazy or making it up, but I don’t think so. I think she knows something. She probably works with another dimension.

ROCKSALT.MX: You were mentioning that you want to keep on until you’re seventy or so – looking back at how far you’ve come – especially as a woman – what have you learned and what can you share about that?

DORO: I can’t say that I had a hard time and I never had any disadvantages. It was maybe rare for me as a woman metal singer in the ‘80s, but I was always a die-hard metal fan and a die-hard metalhead. And it was hard enough to fight for your music to be heard. It was never an issue of being a woman, it was “You’re being a metalhead!” You had to really fight for your music and normal people don’t get it. And you have a long way to go – in Germany there’s no metal radio. That was always the struggle. And being a woman just getting a great reaction from the fans – your fanbase is always what carries you if you’re good, through the bad times. From the first shows we always had a deep connection through metal and I think it didn’t matter that I was a girl. So I never could say that I had it harder, because it’s hard to survive for any musician and for any band. Sometimes now someone will come up, a female singer maybe, and say, “You were always a big inspiration to us!” And that makes me very happy: I think that’s great. It’s great to hear. But I feel that metal music is above that all. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it doesn’t matter what sex you are, the music is more than everything. The magazines now, they maybe put together stories about “Who Are The Real Women In Metal?” but I never felt like that. To play for the people and to play for the fans, I am just so grateful. So it never really mattered if I was a man or a woman – I think if I was a man I would have done exactly the same. It’s hard to be a metalhead; and to have a band and to be a musician. So… that, ja, always takes heart and soul and desire to survive. Especially in the ‘90s when everything was grunge and nobody was liking metal. But those were some of my favorite times for touring. Even when the record company, we would bring them the record and they would say, “Is it grunge?” And we would say, “No.” And they would ask, “Is it even a little bit grunge?” And we would say, “No.” And they’d say, “We can’t even listen to it.”

ROCKSALT.MX: But you survived.

DORO: Oh, and I remember in ’99, I was recording the “Calling The Wild” album and we had one fan club in the U.S., and the person who ran it, Tony was his name – Tony Canella – he said, “Doro, I’m so upset. The records don’t come out in the States – can I do something?” And I said, “Whatever you think you can do, just do it!” And he said, “Do I need permission from the manager?” And I said, “No. Whatever you feel you can do, just do!” And in two weeks he had four record company deals! And he said, “Check it out, they’re interested!” And this was 1999 and I couldn’t believe it! And I went to the first record company, which was Koch Records, in New York, and they listened to the demos and said, “That sounds great!” And we got our deal through the fan club!

ROCKSALT.MX: Wow…

DORO: Oh, but then I went to the release party of Ronnie James Dio for “Magica” and I said “Congratulations on the new record!” And he said, “That’s so nice –“ and then he actually said, “I think the song off the tribute album, Egypt, that’s awesome!” Because, you see we had put the song on this tribute album through the record company. He said, “It’s wonderful! I love it!” And I thought this is so great! I was so happy that he liked it! And then a few weeks later, I remember I was doing this interview for KNAC and the record was coming out and they asked if we had any touring plans, and I said, “No, not yet.” And they said, “You know who’s going out on the road, soon? Your favorite singer. That would be a good match, wouldn’t it?” And I said, “Oh, yes – that would be awesome!” And they said, “How about we suggest it to Ronnie? He’s calling up in one hour, he has an interview with us!” And I thought this would be great! So… to make a long story short, a couple of weeks later we were on tour together!

ROCKSALT.MX: Amazing!

DORO: And that was my first tour in the States in many, many years! And everyone had said, metal is not doing so well. But! You could feel that metal was coming back – in a big way! And that meant so much to me that he would take us out and we had a really, really great time together and it was an awesome tour! And we sang a couple of songs together at some of the last shows and we just became such great friends! And Mick, needless to say – the new DVD is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio in the booklet! And that was awesome and I just wanted to tell you that story!

ROCKSALT.MX: That’s a great story! So when the DVD comes out will you be making your way around support it with some shows – I think you started to mention…

Doro – Live at The Crazy Donkey 10/10

DORO: Ja! Ja! Definitely! Definitely! I think, maybe a release party to show the DVD and play a concert, maybe acoustically, ja – I would love to do that! The Blender Theater… The Gramercy Theater… that would be great! Something really nice! Maybe not anymore at The Crazy Donkey!

ROCKSALT.MX: (laughs)

DORO: But small or big, I love it all! So thank you so much for taking the time for me!

ROCKSALT.MX: Well, Doro – thank you for taking the time!

DORO: Stay metal, Mick and hopefully we’ll see you soon!

ROCKSALT.MX: Very good! You, too, Doro! TschuB!

DORO: Ah, ja! TschuB!

Check out all things Doro Pesch at her official website!

(Live photos from The Crazy Donkey courtesy Evelyn Duncan)

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