Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview metal queen Doro Pesch before everyone had to begin to get creative with their time. Since then, a brand new Magic Diamonds box set was born, which Doro admits wouldn't have come to fruition if she was able to tour more in 2020. From her new box set, all of her other music projects, and her opening up about a new song on an album expected to be released in 2021, we got to chat about it all!
R: It’s great to get to chat with you again! How are you doing?
D: Okay! Hanging in there. I’m just trying to stay positive, but, I’m, at the moment in Germany. I can’t go anywhere and there’s a total lockdown since Monday.
R: Oh my God!
D: Yeah…yeah second lockdown all over Europe, it’s pretty bad right now. Yeah. So I’m dying to go back to the states, but at the moment it’s impossible.
R: I didn’t even realize there was another lockdown happening!
D: Yes, yes since Monday and some other countries I think they are, yeah, in the next couple of days…yeah. Crazy times!
R: I hope you’re keeping busy!! Are you doing anything else other than music? Like any other hobbies?
D: No, not really, but music is always keeping me busy like 24 hours and yeah we’re working on a new album as well. And I’m excited the “Best Of” is coming out next week. The Magic Diamonds album, yeah I was reading through my archives and at first I wanted to start to do a best of maybe with 15 songs and I’d pick my favorite 15 songs, and then it was 20 and 30 and 40 and now it’s 56 songs and I was so happy to check out everything like all the doubles and records and duets and brought back so many great memories, and it wouldn’t have been done that if we were still constantly on tour, which we’re always on tour usually for the last 38 years we were never in a place longer than 5 days, or 3 days, so at first it was a little bit weird but then I totally got into it. It took about 5-6 months to work on it because every song had to be taken care of like remixed on their own re-master, but then some songs like the live songs, there was always something; either guitar was out of tune or there was a cable not working right, feedback. Anything, we mixed many songs, and we re-recorded many songs. Many deep cuts, and unreleased versions on there and it was a pure joy to do something we had 20 records about, and DVD’s. And it was the first time I listened to every record, every song; some songs I haven’t listened to in 20 years, so it was so cool to check out things. Especially the songs I did with other people like Lemmy, and Pete Steele, those brought out the best memories and so that felt so good!
R: That’s great! And I saw that you did a new perfume “True at Heart” that you said you’ve wanted to do for so long! Is it floral? Is it fruity? Tell us more about it!
D: Yeah! It’s actually in the limited edition of the CD box the vinyl box, the double vinyl, the color and poster and the cd box has the perfume, one is for men one is for ladies, of course it can be unisex or up to everybody’s taste, but I think it smells heavenly! Yeah, I was playing around with perfumes since 1993 about, I drove everybody crazy because I was always mixing my own perfume oils and usually it would take all night, all night, and some people they were always crashing out at my apartment and they got woken up by me at 5 o'clock in the morning when I was like “I got the perfect smell! It’s awesome!” and they just said “Are you insane?” and I’d go “give me 5 more minutes I can make it even better!” And then 5 more minutes, that always did the trick where I ruined everything so many many years I was playing around with it, and now I found someone who is helping me with that, and I said “Awww I would love to do something special for the box set” and then when people would like it maybe we can put it in our merch store or in some stores like the gothic clothes or metal, rock clothes stores, if they would love to sell it. But it’s first and foremost for the fans and for the limited edition, for special edition so it’s what it was meant for, and it smells really nice. And if people are not into fragrances or perfumes, the bottles are really nice, you can put it in your collection and it looks cute!
R: I’m not actually too big into fragrances, but I did happen to win K.K. Downing’s perfume and I like that one so I definitely am interested in yours!
D: Oh I didn’t smell that yet!! He has a perfume as well?! Ooo! I didn’t know! I gotta check that out! Is it nice?
R: It’s originally men’s one called Metal for Men, but they made a women’s version and that’s the one I ended up getting!
D: Oh good, good!
R: I’m so excited about the box set though because it sounds like it’s such a huge treat for especially the people that have to stay in more than others. Or just something added to their collection to be able to focus on…
D: Yeah yes! With the box sets we always try to come up with something so it would mean something to people! And since we have done so many box sets and I thought, yeah, now we get to do the perfume. And it was quite difficult to do, because it’s hard to ship it all over the world. There’s different regulations and stuff, so it’s not so easy but yeah, we did it! and the die-hard fans will know how to get it, you can definitely get it on Amazon. But it is difficult; it was more difficult than I thought!
R: Did you have a certain kind of scent in mind you were really going for in particular?
D: The guy I did it with I told him what I like, what I want. And then I was sent many many fragrances to tell me what kind I like. Now I have thousands of little bottles here and eventually there were only two smells. At first I started with the ones for ladies, and I went to the office of the record company and I said “Yeah I got the perfect smell! Oh, I think it smells good!” and they said “What’s in it” So I said “Yeah there’s a hint of vanilla in there and it really brings you in a good mood, I think it’s very uplifting...” and they said “Okay, and the one for men?” I go “Oh, I thought it was maybe just for females!” And the manager said “No! We want one too!!” and I said “Really?” and then we started working on the male version and I thought “Okay, I didn’t really think that the guys would be so interested” but there were many that were and we found a nice one for men! It’s very gentle too, it’s not too heavy; I think it’s very nice. I wear both! Sometimes I like the men’s fragrance, it depends on the mood!
R: That’s great! That’s definitely unisex if you definitely wear both!
D: Yeah yeah! And it’s always up to the taste. My friend here, he loves the ladies one. I said Okay!! He said, “I have no idea on perfumes, but I like the ladies one!” Okay! You get the ladies one! Yeah!
R: That’s great! So you were doing drive in concerts, was it one concert or multiple? And I saw you were doing other shows too!
D: Yeah! We many actually! The first one was a total challenge and so different. It felt like…Did you see ever the “All We Are” video? when we performed on top of the tour bus and then there was only cars in front of us, the story was everybody in their cars were frozen and through the magic of metal and through the magic of the Warlock they all came to life and we were all rocking out together. It was kind of the story, and the first live show I did looked exactly like that video from 1987! The All We Are video if you ever see it, it was so funny. Actually it’s nice, it was different, it’s not the same as a normal concert or a normal festival. It’s hard to compare but I think we all had fun, and then I went to the audience when we were singing All We Are, and I could see in their faces and I could hear them singing long, which you can’t when you’re on stage you don’t hear much audience, when they’re stuck in their cars, it’s impossible to hear so much, so so much further into the set we put it on the internet, IG, FB, and then we got so many more phone calls and people said “Yeah I’m a promoter, I have a drive in, sing! and a big screen, you guys wanna do it?” and some of them said we never promoted a show, just showed movies, but we can , let’s try it, so we said “yes let’s do it” so we did many drive in shows and one drive in show that came in very handy because Wacken, that great metal festival, when that got cancelled this year, and they wanted to do something digitally and stuff, they said, “Can you guys do a show?” and we said “Yeah! We have another drive in show coming up! Let’s do this because cameras and screens, it looks really good! You just can’t hear any audience” but I said that doesn’t matter, so one show was for Wacken World Wide, and then we did many shows, every show was different, sometimes the regulations weren’t so strict, sometimes people could get out of their cars, and sing along and headbanging to it! And sometimes they had to be stuck in their cars, windows rolled up, that was really hard core. But then I’d play some little games like “Okay, let me hear you honk your horns!” and it was louder than our PA system by far!! That was funny things, when we played headbangers, everybody was shaking their car and we saw some cars flying and that was really cool! It was nice and cools unset “Okay let me see your blinkers or your lights!” Some of that was really nice, so every show was different. But everything was better than doing nothing for the band, the crew, for the fans to keep the machinery going and to stay connected with the fans. So it was great. I would definitely want to do it again if we don’t’ get back to normal like doing a normal show festival or tour, which we’ve postponed everything for next year, we are hoping everything goes back to normal, but it doesn’t look so good right now. So anything different is cool! Yeah! It’s a challenge and different angle, but we got some nice recordings on the tour, one of my favorite songs we recorded in this drive in show, and the song is called “Love Me in Black” and even though you don’t hear any audience, you can feel these magical vibes and I love it!. Live songs from last tour you of course hear the crowd it’s loud and proud and awesome! But some of the songs from the drive in shows are just as nice! Different, different quality, but it’s just as nice. Nice, nice! So I like different settings, and the last show we’ve done, it was actually a beach chair show, that was pretty cool, it was in a hockey arena, and, the promoter, he bought thousands of beach chairs, and two people could always sit in there, drink some beer, have a good time, sing along, dance around, getting up, so it was awesome the was the last show and I was like “Yeah!!” that actually a nice treat because then you could hear the audience again even though they were far away everything was safe and stuff which I think is the most important thing that everybody is safe, and stay keeping healthy, but that was actually really nice and yeah, I wish we would have recorded that but we didn’t think it’d be so cool, but it was definitely a highlight this year!
R: I know when I sing on stage, myself, I thrive off the crowd, so how do you pull that energy without having the same kind of dynamic?
D: Yes! That is actually a little tricky. I’m the same way I can only sing and do good when the audience is on fire and singing together when I hear them so it was very tricky at first and was like “Oh my God” and I was jumping around like ten times more than normal, and the next day I woke up I couldn’t even feel my body anymore, you know that feeling when you work out for the first time in a long time and then every muscle aches and it was quite the same…”Okay, if we do more shows like that…I have to get..I always thought I was in good shape, but I said, no..I got to really get ready and I went jogging every twice to survive that drive in show. But it is tricky, it is tricky, and you don’t see the audience much, you don’t hear anybody, but then in the end, I thought yeah, there are other senses which suddenly get stronger, you feel more, and you sense more, that was actually pretty good. That was almost like, I was never blind, but I can imagine it’s like a blind person they’re more sensitive to sound and smell and feel, and it was a little bit like that where you go by instinct more and feel it out more. It was actually nice though it was a challenge. But it’s not like a normal concert of course but it’s different and yeah, like I said, doing anything is better than nothing. But it’s hard when you don’t see or hear the crowd. Usually I like to see them right in my face, swinging their hair right in my face, and they bang their heads but at the moment it’s not possible.
R: So who is the first band you’d love to tour with be if things go back to normal?
D: Oh yeahh!! God so many great bands!! You know my very first tour was back in 1986 was actually with Judas Priest and Judas Priest was my favorite band!! So I would definitely love to go on tour again with Judas Priest! Metallica would be awesome! Yeah, KISS, Rammstein, I like them a lot! Yeah and many bands I would love! Whitesnake! I love David Coverdale it was my very first concert I’ve ever seen! Oh it was so mind blowing!!
R: Was the Whitesnake tour you saw their self-titled tour?
D: No it was the tour in 1980!! I don’t know which tour and it was my first band!! My friends were fans so we went to go see their first concert and oh it was so good! And David Coverdale was so great and such an amazing singer and frontman! And my second concert I seen was Judas Priest and Accept! And then they became my favorite band, and then I was so lucky I could to go on tour with everybody. Priest, then Ronnie James Dio! We played many festivals with Metallica in the very early 80’s I would love to do that again oh god! Yeah! There are so many great bands out there but yeah anybody who’s into putting on a good show and caring for the fans it doesn’t have to be a big name, it doesn’t matter. The last tour we did actually in America was with Metal Church I was a big fan of Metal Church, so that was great! We played all the clubs so it was packed, that was awesome!
R: So are you working more new music going past this huge collection now?
D: Yeah! New songs are on the way! I’m working on a new album for next year! Now I’m doing all these promotion stuff. Not in person, usually just in local stores and stuff. I’ll be doing more phone stuff for the rest of the next week and we’re doing one live stream with all the guys in the band. It’s a radio station I do a radio show once a month it’s called Rock Antenne and they support us and we do a live stream and that will be for free for the fans to watch to keep it going and everybody’s doing it from their homes or their rehearsals, I’ll be doing it from my studio. So we’re doing that in the next few days. There’s a new movie coming out called Anuk: The Path of the Warrior 2 that’s probably coming out soon, I did music for it I played a nice part, a warrior, like a fearless woman. So there are many good things in the works! I did a couple of charity things, actually for the rainforest somebody was putting together a nice project and I thought “Oh that’s great” in this day and age everybody only talks about certain things like the virus and Covid, and I thought all these other problems are still there so I was glad to be a part of that. And I did 2 songs for Dave Ellefson's record, “No Cover”, I did the song the Motorhead classic "Love Me Like A Reptile" and Queen’s "Sheer Heart Attack" and I think that just came out or is just coming out, so I’ve been keeping busy with other friend and musicians and keeping active is the most important thing, that you don’t get a chance to get depressed too much.
R: I can imagine how crazy it’s been trying to do different things when you don’t have the tour to preoccupy you it’s totally changing your schedule around, but it’s great you’re still doing what you can revolving around music and just everything you love doing.
D: Yes, yes whatever, if something has to do with music, then I’m happy. And something with the fans, yeah, I’m okay! But hopefully next year will be better and life starts and touring but if not then I’ll do more music!
R: Is there one thing in particular other than touring that you’ve been dying to do since lockdowns, like what is the first thing you’d like to do if it gets back to normal?
D: Yeah!! Play live like a really nice festival!! Oh yes a real cool festival, it doesn’t matter where it’s at in the world! But yeah that will be nice with other great bands, you know, hanging out, backstage talking, making plans for new duets or collaborations. What I’ve got together now is a lady with horses, she takes care of horses, they’re ex-race horses and I was there. I support that because I love animals so much and I miss having my own pets but since that’s not possible being on tour so much so I’m always helping out at animal shelters, at dog shelters, and this lady yeah she has these wonderful horses, she takes care of them, and I was there and then I got so inspired I was writing a song for these beautiful creatures and the song is called “Heavenly Creatures” and that’s a song for the animals and it will probably be on the new album next year. So yeah that’s what I love to do other than music!
We wrapped up due to Doro’s tight schedule that is promoting her awesome new box set Magic Diamonds - Best Of Rock, Ballads & Rare Treasures! Get your hands on it tomorrow, November 13th!
Stay healthy and stay metal! From Doro.