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INTERVIEW: DORO – February 2016

| 20 February 2016 | Reply

Metal Legend and Goddess DORO has been recording and entertaining metal heads around the world for over 32 years.  As she prepares to embark on the Monsters of Rock cruise and a short east coast swing across the U.S., we were able to grab some time with her to discuss the cruise, tour, Lemmy, and Little Richard… don’t believe me?  Read on and see what DORO and her band have been up to and will be up to in the near future.


Toddstar: Well, thank you so much DORO for taking time out for us. We really appreciate it.

DORO: Yeah, thank you for having me. Todd, what a nice name. The last name, is it French, [properly enunciated] Jolicoeur?

Toddstar: Perfect. Excellent. Yes.

DORO: Which area are you in?

Toddstar: I’m in Detroit, actually.

DORO: Detroit, okay. I don’t know if we’re playing close to Detroit.

Toddstar: You’re not, and, actually, last tour through you fell ill and had to cancel your date in Detroit.

DORO: Oh, that’s right. Oh, God, yeah, I was so sick with the flu. That’s right, and so and before that we think we played Blondie’s or something? I heard that’s not anymore there. I’m not sure.

Toddstar: No, it’s not.

DORO: It’s not? Oh, man. Wow.

Toddstar: No. We miss you in Detroit.

DORO: Yeah, hey, Todd, we will definitely try to come back on the second leg of the tour. Detroit Rock City. I don’t know when we first played there, in the eighties, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, man, we are here. I was a big Kiss fan then, and it meant so much to me.

Toddstar: You’re getting ready to head out on the Monsters of Rock cruise, heading out of Miami next week. What can you tell us about that?

DORO: You know, I did a couple of times, the cruise. We started doing the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, I think, five, six years ago, and then I did Monsters of Rock cruise two years ago. In Europe, the rocking people there organized the Full Metal cruise. So actually we did so many cruises. It was always great. People have such a great time. Very relaxed, nobody’s stressed out, everybody can totally enjoy it. It’s like doing a vacation with your closest friends – and like family, and I love it. I’m very excited. The shows you see have a different vibe, very intimate, and very cool. I never thought I would go on a cruise when I first had my first band. I would have never thought. But it’s actually great – so many cool things. I think it means that metal is alive and well.

Toddstar: That is true. Well, you mentioned that you would have never thought of this back when you first started this out. Going back, you’ve been at this game a long time. What’s it like now when you’re getting new fans and they’re just experiencing things that those in the know have known for years – that you’re one hell of a metal singer and that you’ve had such a long history. What’s it like when you get fans that never heard some of those old songs?


DORO: Usually, I’m very happy when somebody says, “Hey, you know, that’s my first record I bought.” Let’s say the Raise Your Fist record, the last one, and when somebody loves it, and then usually they ask me, “Do you have more stuff out?” And I say, “Yeah, yeah, sixteen more records.” I’m so excited because I know sometimes, you know, they will find some really, really good stuff like the Triumph & Agony album, or even the first one, Burning The Witches. I think its great energy, and I’m happy when new faces come in, and young metal heads, and when they don’t know the whole history because I think every record had some really beautiful songs, some magical moments. I think there’s not one record where I would say, “Hey, don’t get that.” I think each record has something, but definitely some records probably stick out like the Triumph & Agony album, or Love Me In Black, or Burning the Witches. Yeah, and I’m very excited when the young metal heads, you know, come to our shows or when I see them at festivals, it’s awesome.

Toddstar: You mentioned Burning The Witches. That was your recording debut 32 years ago.

DORO: Yeah, that’s right. I had some bands before that. My first band was called Snakebite and then Beast, and then Attack, and then Warlock. I guess we were the right time in the right place. That was the time when metal got big on big on bigger. It was so exciting to be a witness to that, too. We toured with all the great upcoming bands. We did a couple of gigs in Europe. Like the first gigs, I believe, for Metallica. We opened up for Metallica in like, I guess 1984 or 1985 and some, yeah, smaller clubs. But you could tell metal was doing something. Hopping on tour with my favorite bands in the 80’s like Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio, and W.A.S.P. My first tour was in the states with Megadeth. Gosh, I would have never thought we would last that long. You know, I thought maybe it’s over in five years and now it’s like thirty-two years. It’s quite an experience. So grateful, so happy and when the fans want to see the shows, I feel very supported, very grateful for all these years, even though sometimes it was tough like the music business can be quite ugly, too. So I experienced tons of that stuff. If it wouldn’t be for the fans, I probably couldn’t have done it. The big fan base always gave me so much; you know, good positive energy, good vibes. You know, you can survive anything. It doesn’t matter.

Toddstar: With this new tour that you’re going out on, can we expect to hear a lot of that older material or are you going to stick with the new stuff? How are you going to do that set list stuff for this short swing you’re doing?

DORO: I definitely want to play all the classic Warlock songs. We did a couple of festivals last year. It was actually one main festival, it was the Rock Hard festival. We were talking if we should do something different, maybe play just one record, or do some special songs. Then, I said, how about we just do like the Warlock stuff and, you know, and we did it, and people loved it. I thought there are so many fans out there who like the old school stuff, so we will definitely do tons of Warlock songs, all the best Warlock songs, and then all the best stuff where we did in the last couple of years and some surprises and, of course, stuff off the Raise Your Fist record, like” Raise Your Fist In The Air” and “Revenge.” Then we probably want to do some songs for Lemmy. I had the great, great honor to meet, and like way early in the eighties, and we became friends, and we did a couple of songs together, and the last duet was achieved, “It Still Hurts” on the Raise Your Fist record. We started doing something together on our Calling The Wild album and Lemmy did one song, it was called “Alone Again”, which is beautiful. Then we covered the old classic “Love Me Forever”. I will definitely play something like that on the tour, in memory of all great friends, and in the encore, people can call out the songs they want to hear if we haven’t played it in the set list. We’ll be prepared, and I’m always excited what they pick out. Everybody shouts out and then sometimes it’s very interesting. So there’s never a show alike and that’s actually a great adventure for the band, as well.

Toddstar: Doro, you have always been on the cutting edge with metal. You’re one of the first to do something with a symphony, and just being able to pull from such a huge catalog. What is it about your music that you think translates so well across the different genres of metal and across the decades of fans that you’ve accumulated? What is it about Doro music?


DORO: Well, I think it is, it’s powerful, and it is very soulful. You know, sometimes, I guess, you know, it hits you deep or it could hit you deep. It depends on, like, of course, everybody has different tastes. I think it can really touch your heart and soul, even though when it’s fast and loud and heavy, I think it has a certain human vibe to it, and I can tell every record, I really mean it. I would never put out anything where I’m not 100% behind it, and there’s always like a maybe a little message or some really intense things like behind the song. Especially some songs, they carry you with some magic. Which I know every band tries to get a magical song, but, sometimes, you get a song, where you think, man, this could be something where people really would love for a long time, and I think the music has some staying power. I tell you, I just do it and I’m just happy when people like it, love it, but it seems that we play the same songs, what we played in the 80’s from albums like Triumph & Agony, they have a certain depth, and I think people like it. It’s hard to answer this question. I don’t know. I just do it and always try to give it my all. I take stuff all serious, sometimes too serious. That’s the reason why I take sometimes years in the studio, but it has to be right. Yeah. But, I love it, I love it. I guess all the other bands love their records too. It’s so hard to tell, but…

Toddstar: Whatever you’re doing, it works, though.

DORO: I always have a deep connection with the fans, and sometimes I play them some stuff – sometimes I hear some things they say or they tell me how they get touched. That gives me a lot of information of what people really like and why. So I would say that’s all part of it. I just love doing music. I love making people happy.

Toddstar: Well, you mentioned the word soulful, and I once read somewhere that one of the first songs you remembered learning, singing, and falling in love with was “Lucille” by Little Richard. When can we expect a Doro recorded version of that?

DORO: Wow, you know what, I’ve never really or tried to sing – I sing along with it but when I was three years old, I was really a little kid, I fell in love with that song. I fell in love with the intensity, the artist and I think, wow, Little Richard was one of the most high energetic people I’ve ever seen, and boy, it got to me. Yeah, that’s actually a good idea. Hey Todd, I’ve never thought about it, and I don’t know if I’d ever reach that level. You know, certain songs, they are so dead on, and, you know, it’s hard to make it better or to even reach that level of greatness. Sometimes, I love doing a song or a cover of a song, but then it has to be really maybe a little bit different. Like we did “Breaking the Law” by Judith Priest, and then it started out a little bit slower and then, you know, it was far from, more and more dramatic, so I guess you have to do something to make it really worthwhile so people say yeah, I want to listen to that song again and make it, yeah, better in a way or different, but that’s a good idea. I never tried that.

Toddstar: It’s been four years, give or take, since Raise Your Fist. Is there new music coming? What can we expect from Doro in 2016?


DORO: Actually, a new record is in the making. We have a couple of really great songs. I’m writing with like one of my favorite people, the guy who did like so many things for the Triumph & Agony album, Joey Balin. We did a couple of really nice songs. I think that could be great. I went to Lemmy’s funeral a couple of weeks ago, and then I had a melody in my head, and I thought, oh man, I want to write something for Lemmy and songs called “Living Life To The Fullest.” We didn’t record it yet, just the demo, but it sounded really nice. Well, the new record will probably be done – we’ll put it out in 2017. One song, which we just did a great video to and it’s called “Love’s Gone to Hell”, and that will come out in April. I couldn’t’ wait for the whole record being done. I wanted to put it out because man, I think, sometimes magic can’t wait, and who knows what next year will be. I thought this one definitely needs to be out. So that’s coming out in April. It’s an E.P. “Love’s Gone to Hell” is on it in a couple of different versions. The “It Still Hurts” is on it for people who maybe have never checked out the Raise Your Fist record to, you know, yeah, for Lemmy, of course. There are two songs for the new DVD, “Save My Soul” and “Rock to Death”, it’s a duet with Blind Guardian singer Hansi Kürsch, and I think something else. That’s coming out in April, and “Love Gone to Hell”, I think, it carries some magic. I’m hoping that the fans feel the same. The video looks killer. I saw like the first rough cut, I think it’s great. I presented it to the record company and they said, “Wow, we love it. It’s great, but you have to do like one version, like a censored version,” you know, for kids, and, you know, you can see it on T.V. I don’t think it’s very violent, but there’s some violence and some blood and, you know, all that good stuff, all that fun stuff, so we are just in the middle of making a, you know, nice version where it’s not as scary, but I think it looks good, so that’s coming out soon. Yeah, and the DVD for the 30th anniversary is called Strong and Proud, is coming out in June, and it shows all the anniversary gigs and a documentary, one and half hours. It’s like one year all around the planet, celebrating my 30th anniversary with many great guests. Probably people you and I know, and people we played with and grew up with. Some good stuff.

Toddstar: I think that’s also going to come with some bonuses on there, but one of the cool things that is happening this year that you didn’t mention is that you’re being honored this year with the Metal Goddess award.

DORO: Yeah, that’s too much. It’s in Las Vegas. It’s a magazine called Vegas Rocks and I’m so excited. It’s on the fifteenth of May and, man, that’s nice. It’s always nice when people have positive things to say, and it doesn’t have to be that much, but it’s great. I’m looking forward to go. Twisted Sisters playing, I think, or they will be there. I just saw Dee Snider in Rock in Rio. Actually, I went to play with a Brazilian band called Angra at Rock in Rio and Dee Snider coming up on stage, too, and then we were singing all together “We’re Not Going to Take It.” It was so great, so I will see them in Las Vegas as well. It’s nice.

Toddstar: Very cool. Look, I know you’re a busy person, so I want to end with this Doro. If there’s one or two songs from your whole career that you think best represent your life, what would they be? When I hear “All We Are”, it still gives me the shivers.

DORO: I tell you, I think that was definitely the peak of metal. It came out in 1987. It was my first American tour, touring behind the Triumph & Agony album. It was our first big video and I think they put it on heavy rotation on MTV – you could not deny the power of a song, which, you know, everybody likes to sing along, makes people happy. Yeah, I would say, “All We Are”, even though it’s simple, but it has a good message. Yeah, I would say “All We Are” and “Für Immer” and because there was a soulful ballad in many different languages, in three languages, in English, Spanish a little German. Für Immer means forever. Yeah, I would say these two songs; they are definitely the favorites of the fans. They are the favorites of us in the band. I mean, when we see them on the set list, it’s always like, all man, great, you know. It’s, for us, it was a little hit, even though it wasn’t meant to be. That was so cool. We never thought we never want to do a commercial song or like and it just like, yeah, it came naturally and then. Yeah, so, I would say “All We Are” and “Für Immer” are pretty good, and then the first record, Burning The Witches, title track “Burning The Witches”, that won us. That was the first time people, yeah, you know, paid some attention, and then I could go to England, and then I could go to America, and to me, that was the most important thing. I always wanted to go to America. Yeah, after doing a couple of records, I had a chance to stay, and I still love it so much. I’m a proud green card holder, I tell you.


Toddstar: Well listen Doro, we wish you well on the cruise, we wish you well with the short tour dates. Hopefully, before the year is out, we’ll see you back here in Detroit.

DORO: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I will try my hardest to come back. I love the fans there. I will never forget my first show in Detroit. It was in the 80’s and, wow, I was in awe. I thought man, we are here, finally we are here, Detroit, Rock City. I would rock with Kiss, and it was a big deal to me, and the show was awesome. If anybody ready was there, then I hope they will come back to see another great show, but, yeah, I wish everybody the best and thank you for talking to me and hope to see you soon. Keep metal alive. Rock on. All the best.

Toddstar: Rock on Doro. Thanks a lot and we’ll talk to you soon.

DORO: Thanks a lot Todd. All the best to you, too. Bye, bye.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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