Doro talks 30th US anniversary tour
Dorothee Pesch is an astonishing person and an amazing woman. Better known simply as Doro by her fans and friends, Pesch has been a dominating force in hard rock and metal music for over 30 years. The German vocalist is getting set to return to U.S. soil this winter and again next spring as part of her 30th Anniversary Tour, celebrating three decades of her place as the frontwoman of Warlock and her namesake band. This week, Metalholic caught up with the Queen of heavy metal to discuss the new tour and look back on her iconic career.
Doro began the journey that would become Warlock in 1980 under the band name, Snakebite. The group would evolve into Warlock in 1982 and the debut album Burning the Witches was released in 1984. Just 20-years-old at the time, Pesch was a novice in the studio and she revealed that because of this all of her vocals were done in a single take.
“Nobody really knew what to do and how to do it. I did every song one time because I had no idea you can redo it, and I was afraid to ask the sound engineer. I screwed up some lyrics. I sang some verses twice, but I had no idea that you could redo a song—10 times, 20 times—so I did every song just one time. I gave it my all, and then I was hoping nobody would hear the mistakes.”
“We had no idea that anybody would hear the record. Maybe 100, 200 people would know about it. But then the record came out and in the first month it was like 25,000 copies sold. We had no idea that people would even know that we exist, so it was a total surprise. So it was all just one take—the purest form of the song, I guess. It was very rough, but people liked it and when I look back on it and listen to the first record, I still like it too. It has a good spirit and it was very spontaneous. It was very real, very honest, and very metal.”
After four albums as Warlock, a legal battle with the band’s former manager and a poor court decision cost the band its name. With the release of the group’s fifth album, Force Majuere, the unit took on Doro as the new band name in what they assumed was a temporary manner. It took another 20 years, but eventually Pesch re-secured the rights to the Warlock name, but the band proved just fine under her own name. Doro talked about the whirlwind of making Force Majeure:
“The [Warlock] name was gone. It was a disaster. I was heartbroken. I never planned on doing the solo thing. I’m a team player, and I love being in a band. It was hard and it was the first time we [realized] it’s the music business. It’s not always fun and you’re not always friends. It was really the first time we ran into difficulties. We thought okay we’ll name it Doro—just one record and we’ll go back to Warlock, but it never happened. But the record came out really nice. It had great songs on it. I think technically; songwise and soundwise it was great.”
Throughout her amazing career, Doro has worked with some of the most notable names in rock and metal, appearing onstage, or in the studio. Her talent, her charisma, and her genuine nature are a force that others gravitate toward. For her 2012 album, Raise Your Fist, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead did a duet with Doro, who then did a collaboration with Liv Jagrell and Sister Sin on a cover of Motorhead’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll”. This summer she also made a cameo performance on the new studio album by Leave’s Eyes vocalist, Liv Kristine.
Pesch offered plans to return to the studio to record her next album in 2015. When asked about possible collaborations, Doro would not name names, but hinted of a love for Scandinavian bands like Amon Amarth. Whatever, Doro’s fourth decade brings, it will no doubt be astonishing, inspired, and “very metal!”
Check out the full interview below as she also chats about her last US tour with Sister Sin, the possibility of an autobiography, and shares her “go to” album–you may be surprised at her choice.