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| 24 October 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “On November 13th, 2020, Metal Queen DORO proves once again that she literally gives her all when she cares about something. On this November 13th, DORO’s own label, Rare Diamonds Productions, will release her long-awaited best-of album Magic Diamonds – Best Of Rock, Ballads & Rare Treasures. And that’s what it’s all about: 56(!) songs on three CDs with a total of almost four(!) hours playing time! An all-around impressive showcase that spans four decades of DORO music, and with 20 rock songs, 18 ballads, and 18 rare treasures, offers everything a fan’s heart desires – and a lot more!” We were able to grab some phone time with Doro herself to discuss the new collection and more…

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photography

Toddstar: Thank you once again for taking time out for me. I appreciate it as always. I love talking to the highest princess of the rock and roll.

Doro: Oh. Todd thank you so much for these warm nice words. That makes me feel really good, especially in this crazy tough time.

Toddstar: They say that even in the darkest, you’ll see the light and even in this world of COVID and everything else we’ve got, Magic Diamonds headed our way, your great collection of Rock, Ballad and Treasures so-called Magic Diamonds.

Doro: Yes. We have 56 songs. We have three CDs. And if you’re a vinyl lover, there are two double vinyl and the red treasures as a CD in that package too. So it’s the fullest thing. I guess all our best songs are on, but I have so many more songs in my archive. But we just put the ones we love the most. I did it to get out the fans. I asked the fans, which songs they would love to hear again, or hear in a different arrangement or life. So it was a group effort. At first, I had like 20 songs for the best of, then 30, then 40 songs, then 50 and now it’s 56 songs and we maxed out the capacities of the CD or vinyl from the good old 80’s to the newest stuff.

Toddstar: It’s funny to hear “Best of,” because you and I have had this conversation year after year, where it seems almost every album of yours is a “Best of” because you deliver 100% every time out. How were you able to take such an immense legacy and catalog and pick just 56 songs? I can go through your last five albums and pick 50 songs.

Doro: Yeah, it’s hard. You’re right. And since we talked so many times before, you know I’m always in love with every single record. Every song means something to me. It was extremely hard. So let’s call it Volume One. There are many, many more songs waiting and it was really hard to decide. But when I read it as through all the archives and the life stuff, sometimes, when we had live recordings, there was some feedback. So I thought, “Oh man, the great was, but a lot of feedback ruins everything.” So there was sound was so beautiful, but there were maybe some technical issues. But I broke it down to 56 songs. But I have many more waiting and of course the last release, Forever Warriors / Forever United, since that’s the new one, there’s no songs from Forever Warriors / Forever United on it. We’re still on Nuclear Blast. The new album next year, will be out on Nuclear Blast. But this one, it’s on my own label, Rare Diamonds Productions, where I can just put something out, something besides new records, like some vinyl, some pictures. Something special for record collectors like myself. And I thought, “Working on the ‘Best of,” maybe that’s good to spend some time on that because we couldn’t get all in one studio, the whole band they’re all over the world. And then with COVID situation, it’s like how to record a new album. And I don’t want to do it with like sharing files or sending files. So I like the old school way, everybody in the studio doing it all at the same time, But the ‘Best Of’ I was working on this stuff a couple of months, so I gave me something to do and I enjoyed it so much. All these memories and stuff.

Toddstar: We actually talked about this last time we spoke how you were going to eventually do something like that on your own label, which kudos for doing cause so many bands in this day and age tried to do their own label and they just can’t do it. But you have done the quintessential in that you’ve done your own label, but you still maintain that relationship with Nuclear Blast, as you explained. As recently as June in the middle of hell breaking loose on earth, you release “Brick Wall.” How is it you’re able to juggle your own label and what you’ll do there versus what you’ll do with Nuclear Blast?

Doro: They know that I’m working on a new album, so it doesn’t take away from anything. And I think that they can trust me that I’ll always try to do the best and then to keep it going. I guess everybody’s happy that we are trying, and we did a couple of live shows, which was really doing, this drive-in shows and we recorded some live stuff there. So we did a lot of things and just like, I think it’s good to do something. And it actually works pretty good. But having your own label, oh God, there’s a lot of work, sometimes I thought, “Oh my God, it’s so much responsibilities, so much work.” you definitely have to take care of things. And usually it was always the record company took care of everything besides making a record and now you have to do it yourself. And it was a totally new experience, but it’s nice to get to know more things. What to do and how to do it and how it works. So I enjoy it and anything, for the fans and anything connected with music that makes me so happy. It doesn’t seem like work. It’s just like… It’s so… I’m so grateful that I can do that in 24 hours. It goes like nothing like when you’re having fun. And even being in a studio or weeding through archives, that was so nice. And I couldn’t put like all the stuff on the new album. Maybe special, whatever limited edition or something. But that was so nice. And it was cool. There was no pressure, it was no pressure delivering a new album and just checking out things and re-mixing and re-recording. And every song was like, it was like, we kept doing the magic and it was really nice.

Toddstar: It’s fun talking to you because when you talk to fans of Doro and even those of us who go all the way back to Warlock, the first thing some people think of is, “All We Are,” that was a huge hit for you or “Für Immer,” but to me, it’s always, “You’re My Family.” That’s something you lived by your whole career. Your fans and the band members you have in your band at the time. Or band members you’ve shared the stage with in the past. And those you’ll share in the future. And even guests on your records or friends in the industry, you’ve always said they truly are your family. Is that something that you still to this day proclaim that the world of music and the world of rock really is your family?

Doro: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And I tell you, now in this day and age where everything is a little bit more difficult and crazy. It shows even more that everybody is sticking together and I really feel like I have a family worldwide and it’s great. I can appreciate it now more than ever before. And it makes me so happy and I’m so glad and grateful it. It means so much. And the fans and the band I wrote for you. What you mentioned all the great guests, musicians. It’s like yeah, to me friends who were always most meaningful things. And I was never married, so I can’t compare that actually. But to me, that is it. Having really great friends who are helping you and supporting you and that’s the best, that’s the best.

Toddstar: What do you do the set list of this collection? And it’s just an amazing set list. Truly in the greatest of the greatest of the greatest hits. Because again, just so many of them, which you showcase a tune with UDO, a tune with Slash, and you have another beautiful song on there that I know means so much to you, your duet with Lemmy. Take us back to that song because I know what that song means. You again, we’ve talked, but when you still hear that song, does, it still hits you as hard now as it did that first time you recorded it.

Doro: I tell you. Yeah. When I listened to it, I feel so connected to Lemmy still. And I feel he’s still my best friend. And that duet, “Love Me Forever,” it was my first duet I’ve ever done before. We didn’t do any duets. So I met Lemmy in the early 80’s and we became friends right away, actually. And then we duet together and played some festivals together. The legendary Monsters of Rock in ’86. And then I was weaving through my record collection and I saw this one album and it’s No Sleep At All. And I picked it up. I wanted to listen to it. And then I saw a picture of Lemmy and me inside the inner sleeve. It was a cute black and white picture. And he gave me a kiss on my head and he said, “Doro, do a great show and knock ’em dead and kill them.” And I said, “Oh, that’s so cool.” So I cut it out because back then, no cell phones, no computer. And then I sent Lemmy a letter and I said, “Hey, Lemmy. It’s me Doro. I hope you remember me.” And I said, “We are now label mates.” We were both on SPV at that time. “I just got a new record deal with SPV. And if you feel like maybe doing something together, I would be so happy, maybe doing a song and stuff.” And then I wrote this letter and I send it to the management and I never expected to hear back from anybody because I know how it is to get so much letters and stuff. And then a couple of weeks later, the phone rang and it was Lemmy. And then he said, “Hey, Doro I got your letter, let’s do something.” And I was not in such good state of mind because my dad just died one day before. And I was really devastated. And I said, “Lemmy, I don’t even know if I can do anything anymore. I’m so sad.” He said, “You know what? You come to L.A., We do something together.” Couple of weeks later, I flew to L.A. And then we did two songs together. One song’s was called “Alone Again.” It is an acoustic song that Lemmy wrote and to play it on an acoustic guitar to me. My tears were like rolling down my cheeks. It was so touching. So moving. And then I said, “Oh, Lemmy let’s record this one.” He said, “Well, if you want to record another song, you tell me.” And I said, “Lemmy, I have one song, which I love so much. It’s “Love Me Forever,” the Motörhead classic.” He said, “Let’s do it.” So we did it. And we did it in L.A., in Bob Kulicks’s studio, who is not anymore with us. Great guy, great guitar player. And he played all the guitar. On drums it was Eric Singer from KISS on it and recorded it. And it was the best time I was there for three weeks. And we were like, I think three weeks, no sleep at all. And Lemmy, he never needed to sleep at all. He said, “Oh, just drive round.” And I drove Lemmy around anywhere and everywhere. And then early in the morning, we went back into the studio and worked some more and it was awesome. And we had great talks and we listened to all kinds of music. Lemmy hook me up with all kinds of music he loved or he grew up with and it was awesome. And then we did one more duet on my Raise Your Fist album called “It Still Hurts.” We did it in L.A. again. And it was the last time we recorded something together. I met him many, many more times, but we had so many more plans. But it didn’t get to that anymore. And I met him a couple of weeks before he took his last breath. And then I went to his funeral in L.A. And I was like, “Oh my God,” everybody felt so sad and everybody was crying and everybody was there. We said, we lost our best friend. And I think of Lemmy every day, every day. And this duet, Love Me Forever, I wanted to put on the album because we played with live a couple of times, but I thought the studio version, it had so much magic. So that’s the studio version you’ll hear on the best of the Magic Diamonds.

Toddstar: I love that version.

Doro: Yeah true, cool.

Toddstar: The cool thing about Magic Diamonds is people aren’t just going to get a bunch of great Doro music. And I use the word great. And it’s actually magnificent because they can’t listen to, to read the list of the 56 songs. If you know, Doro of music at all, these are just amazing tracks, but they’re also going to get a perfume or cologne. There’s a for him box. There’s a perfume in there. What drove you to want to do that at this point Doro?

Doro: We always do like special things and there’s the new vinyl box sets and the poster and two double vinyl in color and CD like red treasures, that’s a CD. So, and then the box set for the CD. I thought, what is something really special? And we did so many things already. And then in 1993, I wanted to do my first perfume. That’s when it all started, it was 1993. And I was fiddling around with smells and perfume oils and perfume. And everybody who was living in my apartment, sometimes a boyfriend. And I drove them crazy because I was always fiddling around with these perfumes. And then usually five o’clock in the morning. I was sure I got the perfect perfume. And I woke the guy up and say, “Hey, you’ve got to smell it. You got to smell it.” And he said, “What? Are you crazy?” And I said, “Well, you got to smell it. It’s perfume. Just give me two more minutes.” I’ll do it even better. And then I put some more drops of perfume and I ruin the whole smell. It was every time the same. So since 1993, I’m working on it. And now that’s the first official perfume and I think it smells great. It brings in a good mood. It’s very uplifting. And one for ladies. I think it has a little hint of vanilla and the one for guys, I think it’s very mild but very nice. Very nice. And of course it’s unisex. It always depends on your taste. And if people don’t like any perfumes, the bottles are so cute, one is coming in a little style that looks really good, would look good on your collection and the other ones, they are bigger bottles, but they did look cool too. So you can put it somewhere if you don’t want to put it on your face, but I think it smells good.

Toddstar: I look through everything and it’s always such a pleasure. I always count down the minutes until the phone rings when I know you’re calling, but I have to complain about something Doro. And we’ve talked about this year after year. And when I read those 56 songs, I kept looking for “Lucille.”

Doro: Oh my God, I haven’t done that yet. I think the original of Little Richard was so perfect. And like I told you, that was my first time that I’ve fell in love with music. And I think I couldn’t do it better, but I would definitely want to try it eventually, but I don’t know if it would ever get released on record. But that was my first song, which that did it for me. And that was, I think three years old, I told you this story that was this key experience. And there was no metal back then, but a lot of energy and that man, little bit shots, he was one of the guys. So many people admired, Lemmy as well. Lemmy always refer to Little Richard and stuff. But one of these days we’ll try.

Toddstar: Well, I truly appreciate that. It’s always just been kind of an inside joke between you and I, that I’m still waiting for “Lucille.”

Doro: Yeah. One of these days, Todd you will be the first one who I might send it to you and you tell me if it’s something the whole world can hear or whatever between you and me.

Toddstar: Well, you’ve mentioned that you did some drive in shows and here in the US, we’re dying for live music. What’s it like for you to not be able to go out and do what you do best on what you love more than anything. And that’s playing in front of a live audience. How have you been occupying your time?

Doro: Oh man. Yeah. Actually my last time we played live was actually in March. It was a big show with Saxon. It was the 40th Anniversary show and Tygers of Pan Tang played on it; Diamond Head played. We played on it and one week later the tour should have started. And then everything got postponed and then canceled. Then all the summer festivals got canceled and we have so many live shows. It could have been the best year ever. But I tell you I went straight back into the studio, working on new songs going through my archives, like putting together the best of. I was actually spending the last six months doing that. And then I did a couple of drive in shows, which was actually a total adventure. It’s not the same like a normal show, so it was definitely different. It actually felt like we were in the “All We Are” video. You remember the “All We Are” video when we were performing on the tour bus. Everybody was in their car. It was like the coolest thing. And the first time I hopped on stage, when we did this drive in show, it looked exactly like the video scene of “All We Are.” It was so surreal. It felt like deja vu. And even though you don’t have to be like really way in the distance or, sit in the car, we still had fun. We had a great show and sometimes say “Hey bang your head.” And if I couldn’t see like headbanging, then I could shake your car and they were shaking them cars. It was unbelievable. So we had a lot of fun, but of course it’s not the same. I’m dying to get back to normal, but it might take while. And I’m really I’m hanging in there. I try to stay positive. I’m always working out so as soon as another tour is up and that we can play, I’m ready. So I’m always keeping at it and hanging in there and waiting for when everything is back to normal. But you need to be safe, that’s most important. The drive in shows were really safe; that was the main concern.

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photography

Toddstar: Sure. Well, yeah, I know you’re busy and, I always love talking to you. I could talk to you for hours, but I know you’re busy.

Doro: I love talking to you too.

Toddstar: I want to ask Doro, looking through your career and through your legacy and through your whole catalog, if you were able to go out right now in front of a packed arena, maybe a Wacken or one of the other festivals, if they said, “Listen, due to COVID you get to play one song.” What’s the one song you want to play for your fans so bad. You can’t wait to do it again.

Doro: “All We Are.” It’s “All We Are” because it makes people so happy. And when we recorded at “All We Are” in New York City. It was the Power Station studio. Then we got some friends and some people off the streets. We asked if they could sing the choir. And I was in a room where the engineer was sitting and we were looking at the people and everybody was so happy. Eyes wide open, about wide open singing and so much great energy. Everybody was smiling and it felt like, wow. It’s like, Oh. It was like, it was so, so uplifting. And so I would say, “All We Are.” That’s the song which everybody, where you feel free. It’s matter. It’s like high energy and to feel everybody’s in it together, it really unites. It’s like being together with your best friends and we would fight through, so it gives you power and energy and good fighting spirit.

Toddstar: I’d agree with that. And again, there’s a couple of songs of yours that will always live in my heart. And again, I always screw up the pronunciation, but “Für Immer.” I love that – it is special to me because the last time we were able to meet up here in Detroit at The Token Lounge, you actually signed my CD under my copy of Under My Skin for me and you wrote that on that for me. So that’s always pulled at my heartstrings a little bit. So that will always be an important song to me as well.

Doro: That’s right. It’s true. Yeah. I think these two songs, “All We Are” and “Für Immer” that was the most important two songs in my whole life. “Für Immer” means forever, as you know. “Für Immer” – forever – and I really mean it. To me it is “Für Immer”. I want to rock hard, and give out good feelings, good positive energy, and good songs. And I think “Für Immer” – it’s a diamond.

Toddstar: Well, we hope everybody who knows what  real rock and roll is, goes out on November 13th and picks up a copy of Magic Diamonds – Best of Rock, Ballads & Rare Treasures from Doro on her own Rare Diamonds Productions label. And we wish you so well with this release. And Doro, I personally cannot wait until you can come back to Detroit and do what you do – and that’s be with your family and rock out.

Doro: Yes. Detroit Rock City. I miss you so much. I’m dying to come back and I wish everybody the best. Stay healthy. And thank you for having me, Todd. And it was nice to talk again. Hopefully we talk next time on a new album and the next tour.

Toddstar: Absolutely Doro. You be safe. You be well, and I cannot wait to hear more new music.

Doro: Thank you so much. Thank you for being so kind to me and supporting metal. It’s so great. And people like you will. That’s why I do it and I always feel happy and motivated by it. It’s really true.

Toddstar: Well, thank you so much for your time Doro and we’ll talk very soon.

Doro: Yes. Talk soon. Stay well. 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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