This is an unusual interview, coz there ain't a new release or tour. Doro is just doing a handful of shows. Beside that I know her for a long time. I joined Warlock in December 1985 during the Hellbound tour and we met quite often since. This is more a chit-chat between friends than a typical interview. So, we sat at the dressing room at the Spirit of 66 in Verviers and talked about this and that.
You are now playing a few shows, but you are working on the new album. Already finished?
Not really, but not much left.
Last August you already did some stuff in Düsseldorf, you home town...
We did the pre-production in Düsseldorf. The 'real' production we did in the States. We thought it would be nice to do a few shows. Just to have fun and so we are doing two shows in Spain and on New Years Eve we played in Switzerland.
In Pratteln at the Z7!
Right, it was really amazing!
Definitely a great way to welcome the new year! For fans and the band!
Absolutely, there we played some of the new tracks for the very first time...
Does that mean that we will hear some new songs tonight?
Right, the two tracks we played there worked out very well. We do have a helluva songs and we haven't decided yet which we will put on the album. But the ones we play live will make it, I guess. One of these is dedicated to Regina Halmich. It's a Fight song and I think it would fit. Regina is a friend of mine for years and last Christmas she called me to say 'hi' and to wish me well. Two days ago I called her and told her about a track we are working on and which we will dedicate to her. She was really surprised and happy! I think we will do something together, perhaps before a championship title fight... Or something like that!
In the past you supported Rheinfire musically.
I like to do that kind of things.
So, people listen to your music which usually won't....
Right, but that's not my motivation!
But I think it's something special. Not the usual concert atmosphere... Like when you played at the stadium before the Rheinfire game.
It was unbelievable! We did it not just in Germany, also in Spain and other countries. It was amazing, partly there were 60,000 people!
It's a totally different scenery... Playing in a stadium. At festivals you play in front of a big crowd, but that might be a different thing... There you were standing in the middle of the field surrounded by thousands of football fans. I guess you were nervous...
Right, it makes you nervous to stand alone in the middle of the field. You look up... A different dimension, but it was a lot of fun! Later they ask me`, if I might can write a kind of anthem for them. I agreed and when we started writing songs for Calling The Wild we came up with Burn It Up. I liked it a lot and wanted to have it on the album. It was pretty successful, I think....
Today it's the opposite, you are playing in a small club which is a little unusual for you here in Europe...
Right, but it's always a great experience and absolutely amazing. Doesn't matter where we play. On our last tour we didn't play Belgium and so we thought it's a nice idea.
This club which is a small one, has a great atmosphere.
Totally! A great atmosphere!
I recognized it when I came here the first time to see American Rock Live and they felt the same way.
Absolutely right! I heard that the fans are really great here? Going wild?
Whenever I was here it was fantastic!
Cool! I'm looking forward!
Whenever I saw a band in Germany and at the same tour in Holland and / or Belgium, the fan reaction here was better than in Germany!
Really? We once played in Vosselaar.....
At the Biebob!
That was unbelievable! A great crowd!
Pretty often the crowd in the small clubs is more enthusiastic, but you don't play them that often these days.
That's right, but actually I don't care where we play.
I think it's more important to you to play anyway.
Right, to play for the fans! I recognized that heavy music is becoming more popular these days. That's cool!
Even in hard rock and rock... It's getting more melodic.
....But with a certain heaviness.
For several years it was almost impossible to play outside Germany. To tour with Calling The Wild was the longest tour we did in the last couple of years.
I remember when you toured Hellbound Pt. 2 in Germany you played about 17 shows! But that's a long time ago! And today almost impossible.
Really a long time ago.... I can't even remember it easily.
You just did one show outside Germany. In Switzerland....
Really? It's possible....
You saw the change of the metal scene, coz you are part of it. Now it's coming back!
Yes, also in America! For us it always been pretty okay.
You kept it on a certain level...
I could always count on my fans!
You do have really loyal fans!
Yeah, they are really loyal!!!!
And they follow you everywhere....
Right, I think a few came several hundred kilometers for tonight's show.... I think from the Eastern parts of Germany.... That's great!!!
Today a friend from Nuremberg is with us. And another friend would like to have something signed....
No prob! You know, I always sign all the stuff fans bring!
Right, it doesn't matter what they bring! ;-)
Even the big display....
The one from Triumph & Agony! That's something label don't do anymore these days!
These days we have CDs and the booklets where the artwork isn't working out as good as on the covers for vinyl.
Right, with the last album our label SPV did a double vinyl with pictures and also this limited edition. That was a little bit back to how it was in our early days. Really nice!
The limited edition was in a box with a kind of snake leather-look. Looks pretty cool!
I agree and the fans want that kind of things. They love it!
That's the difference to the major labels, but you made your experiences....
Right, they didn't understand and they didn't had the love for it. They haven't been dedicated.
It's a pity, coz you give so much for it!
Especially with one album we did... With Love Me In Black! We worked on that album almost 3 years! Daily! And they just did a so/so-job. That was... Anyway.
Is there a working title for the new album?
I had a few working titles, but with the terroristic attacks of September 11th everything changed! One was Go For The Kill, but that one I immediately kicked off the list. I think it wouldn't been a good idea to keep that one. One of my favorite songs is a ballad which is somewhere between Für Immer and Fall For Me Again. It's called Undying I wrote it for all the people who had to face loss....
Doesn't matter where and how...
Exactly, it's a beautiful track. I first thought that could be the album title... But now we do have a lot of heavy tracks and so it might be Fight.... I really don't know...
Fight can have a positive meaning, not just negative...
Absolutely! Beside that we have two tracks... One is Fight By Your Side and is a wonderful ballad against war. Listen to it and you'll have tears in your eyes! The other one is Fight / Gather My Forces and might be for Regine. It's a really heavy tune! That one we'll play tonight! But it has a positive message.
Aggression not necessarily has to be negative!
Right, and I think that Go For The Kill would have worked out, the Americans use this term. They don't take it literally. But I think it won't fit now. We do have a same named song, but I don't know if it will end up on the album
There are possible other ways to use it..... As a single or bonus track...
Right, beside that I usually make up my mind about two weeks before we have to deliver the album. Or we do the photo session and when I see the results, I change my mind. Perhaps we will have a painted artwork for the limited edition... We will see. Perhaps one title will fit more to the photos than another... Usually it's changing just before we have to hand the stuff to the label. I experienced that several times....
Another unusual thing you did was the show in Düsseldorf at the Tonhalle where you played with an orchestra. How came? Just a limited number of people could see. So, we you do something like that again? Or was it a unique thing?
I think it was pretty unique. But the conductor Gottfried Engels is a really nice guy and he did a lot to make it happen. If we do it again? Perhaps in Hungary... Or Brazil.... We have someone in Brazil....
In Brazil it would be a happening, a real event!
The guy who arranged it, Leandro Braga, he came from Brazil to Germany, coz we couldn't find anyone to do it here in Germany. To combine heavy metal and classic, to do it with an orchestra is really difficult!
Peavy said that when they did the Lingua Mortis thing.
Classic has a different groove. It ain't the rock'n'roll groove. But then we found Leandro!
It was crazy and difficult to realize! We couldn't found a local promoter to organize it. Nobody wanted to do it, not with a symphonic orchestra which are about 60 people. That costs a lot of money, beside that the costs for promotion and the costs for the venue. Luckily the people from Rheinfire wanted it and so they jumped in!
That's cool! I guess most people don't know that! But it's great that in reverse they supported you.
Absolutely great! They just said 'We do it!' and then we rehearsed a few times. Not that much, but it was great!
I guess, you were pretty nervous, right?
Absolutely! And this 60 people who play different stuff each. The re-arranged songs sounded so different that I initially didn't recognized which they were playing! It was really hard to have the right timing! There we didn't have drums or a 'real' rhythm section. It was a challenge, an adventure! But the songs sounded great, really beautiful! All the stringed instruments and the keyboards.... It was amazing! Totally different! Nothing to compare with!
It should be possible for every fan to hear this.
We already talked to our record company, but they are not sure, if it would be interesting for the fans. But we recorded it, anyway!
I think that the fans are interested in. You could do a kind of poll on your homepage where the fans could vote for.
SPV are already nerv-wrecked, coz some many requested it! The fans who were there, loved it and we had some 30 sec. sound clips on the page.
I think it would sell very well.
I thought about putting 2 or 3 songs on the limited edition. It's recorded, but not mixed yet.
Which is relatively easy to realize.
But it takes time.
For sure, but you have the recordings and so there is a chance to do it! It would be a pity, if there wasn't any recordings.
The crowd was amazing! Enthusiastic... It was a totally different thing, but amazing!
There are a few recordings with orchestras, but it's always sounding differently. No matter if it's Rage or Metallica....
A few songs got a certain kick.
Certain songs get a certain magic.
Right, for example a track which we haven't done live for years is Live It. It's a track from True At Heart, a decent song, but nothing special. That song was one of the highlights of that night! I never expected that! I really hope that the recordings will be released and if the fans help us to convince the label....
I'm pretty sure that the fans would bomb SPV with emails...
SPV soon will be fed up... It's to wait and see.... It was an event!
Remembering the shows with Van Halen, even if just one took place. In Hamburg you were supposed to do a few songs acoustic after the show at the Headbangers Ballroom. That was something different as well and the fans love it!.
It was my birthday!
Actually it was planned to do just 2 or 3 songs and than you played Burning The Witches by request. It wasn't that easy to do acoustically.
That was the first time ever we did it acoustically. It was great!
Perhaps you should do something like that... Acoustic shows.
We do that on promotion trips. There we also do signing sessions and then we play an acoustic set. Actually it's Joe and me. It always got a great response.
But at the Headbangers it was special!.
That kind of experiences are always something special, even after doing it for years. That day especially, coz it was my birthday. These days it's even more important to have that kind of experiences.
Which leads us to September, 11th! You moved to New York years ago. How do you experienced that tragedy? You were in Germany....
I live there since 1986 and I still love to live there. But I still love Düsseldorf!
For sure, it's your hometown.
When we recorded Love Me In Black, I lived for 3 years opposite to the World Trade Center. That part of town is called Battery Park City and my apartment was directly opposite to the World Trade Center. Every day on my way to the studio I was at the WTC to have a coffee or for shopping. When I was in NYC at least I visited Ground Zero. I was there twice and I was shocked... Speechless for hours! The building I lived in is still there, but might collapse... It was really depressing to see it and to see all the photos, letters and flowers.
It's touching to see on TV, but in reality it's different.
Right, it's much bigger! I was here in Germany when it happened and wanted to fly over a week later, but all flights were cancelt. It's a lot bigger when you face it personally and you can still smell the fires. It's still moving to see it. It's impressing and I had tears in my eyes!
In Germany you took part on a benefit single.
Michael Voss called me up the day after and we talked about it. We both thought that we as musicians, even here in Germany, should do something. To show we care. And everybody joined us! I think that we did something beautiful, I just heard it once... But the reason to do it and that everybody supported it, make it something special.
Most of the participants are part of the scene for a long time. You know each other and that makes it easier to realize.
Vossi said that in the beginning no label was interested.
Okay, but from the musicians side it was easy to do..
Sure, and that's why we met at the Demon Drive show in Düsseldorf. I told Vossi that I'll try to promote it in the States as much as I can. I handed the single to some radio stations, they liked it, but couldn't believe that German musicians gathered to do a benefit single for the victims of the terroristic attacks. It was hard to believe for them that the whole world feel for the Americans.
Many nations were affected due to the fact that they had offices at WTC and also the passengers at the airliners.
Right, the Americans were positively shocked that the whole world showed sympathy and were mourning with them.
But isn't it great that in a time were everything become more and more cool. Where coldness kinda rules the industrial world.
Yes, New York had changed since. When I was in NYC the last time, I could feel love. There is love all around. The little things changed like someone keeps the door open for you which nobody did before. Everything changed, you can feel that it's a community now.
Everything changed, everywhere... These days I live for the moment and life became more precious to me.
I think the terroristic attacks changed everything, everybody, everywhere. Doesn't matter if you were affected personally or just saw it on TV. The feeling of being part of a community Doro described we all know more or less from the metal scene. That is something Doro experienced in the past several times and that's what keep us dedicated to this music even if we get older. This won't be my last talk with Doro, even if this one was got stopped abruptly, coz it was time for dinner. For sure we will have another chit-chat when the next album will get in the stores or during the festival season... At least if there are any news to tell from Doro and band, I'll let you know. I promise!