A Highwire Daze Web Exclusive

Updated: 02/05/03

Doro is the queen of my heart and the hearts of many metal fanatics throughout the world. And with her new album Fight, she continues to win hearts the world over. It was my pleasure to speak with Ms. Pesch about her new album, the tour with Dio, her illustrious career, and her personal fight to have her music heard. And now, the Highwire Daze interview with the high prietress of heavy metal -- ladies and gentlemen -- Ms. Doro Pesch!

How does Fight compare to the previous releases that you’ve done?

Actually, I think in Fight, the recording process was different. We recorded it all live and altogether with the whole band in one room. I did my vocals while the band was recording, which I never did before – except for the one live record we did in 93. We never did it like that and it’s very straightforward and a little bit back to the roots – it’s very raw and has no technical or computer nonsense on it, which I experimented with in 95-96. This time I felt like I was wanted to do a very down-to-earth record again. Because we did it all live, it was a lot of fun as well.

Every song on this album is awesome!

Oh did you like? Oh good!

Every song I could see like being in your live set for years and years…

We just played a couple of new songs at the summer festivals. Metal is so alive is Europe – it’s unbelievable. It really reminds me of the 80’s. We played Always Live To Win and Fight and Chains and Undying – and they went over really well.

Why do you think it’s harder for metal to break through here in the States?

Man, I guess the industry doesn’t support it as much as they support nu-metal. Nu-metal is quite big too here, but the traditional metal is really big. We have so many great festivals like Wacken Open Air and the Gods Of Metal. In the States, we tried to play some festival but it was impossible. Expect Ozzfest, there were not so many metal festivals going on. In the US, heavy metal doesn’t get any support other than the heavy metal magazines – no MTV and no radio – I hope that traditional metal will become huge in America. I must say, I was on the Dio tour two years ago in the States, and everything was sold out and totally packed! I couldn’t believe it – it was between 3 and 5 thousand people every night. And nobody expected that because we thought that traditional metal wasn’t doing so well. But it was the greatest tour I did in the last ten years! It was Dio and Yngwie and us.

How did the show go here in Los Angeles?

Great! Great! Gene Simmons came down to see the show. The whole band is – we’re all huge Kiss and Gene Simmons fans and that meant the world to us and it was so great! But I think it went really well. I don’t know if it was sold out, but it was really packed.

Tell me about the title song and what made you decide to call your entire album Fight?

About the title, it was long overdue. Everything and all these years it was such a fight everyday for the record and to music – to go on tour to keep it going for metal. That was one of the reasons. And there are two songs on the record – one is called I Will Fight By Your Side – it’s an anti-war song, which is that first one that made the record. And then we another song called Fight which is the title track – and it’s dedicated to a German champion boxer – it’s a lady named Regina Halmich. And when I had these two songs, I thought shit man, either I take one off, but then I thought about it. Every song we picked had a little scene going on with Fight in different ways – like fight to survive and fight for many things. And I thought the record should be called Fight. I really like it, but I only mean it in a positive way – like to fight the good fight and fight for what you believe in.

On your song Descent, what gave you the idea to work with Peter from Type O Negative?

My guitar player Joe Taylor and me wrote the song, and I thought the song had a nice dark atmosphere. And I thought maybe a male voice would be so great on it. And our bass player started singing it and I thought man, it sounds pretty good. And I asked Nick (Douglas, our bass player) how about Pete Steele and he looked at me and said, “I think that would be a very good idea!” And we had this idea, but I didn’t do anything about it. Then we went to a concert in New York and I met a girl from Germany who works the merchandizing for Roadrunner Records. We talked and she asked if there was another duet on the record. And I said, no, not yet. But I told her we had this song Descent, and I know it probably sounds strange, but Pete Steele would be awesome on it. And she said, “Pete Steel! I know him. I actually know him pretty well!” And I couldn’t believe it. And she said, “Shall I call him?” And I said, “No, no don’t!” but she did anyway. And then I got a message from Pete who said he would be very interested. So I called him back and went to his apartment. I played him all my demos and he played me his demos and we actually got along really well. And I played him Descent and then he said, “Man that’s a cool song. Let’s try it.” And we did it. He was very nice – a super nice guy. And he’s the tallest person I’ve ever seen in this world! I really nice guy.

There was another duet you did recently with U.D.O. I was wondering who came up with that.

It was Udo actually. It was just in the middle of the recording of Fight – we did the pre-production in Germany and the whole recording in Pennsylvania. I went back to the hotel and I’d have everyday like 20 messages. And one of the messages sounded like a German name – it sounded like Udo Dirkschneider, but she spelled it all wrong. It can’t be him! She I asked, “Who’s that? Who called?” And she said, “The person has the same accent that you have.” And I said “No way!” And I called this number and it was really Udo. He said they had this song and we were thinking about it for a long time that we should do something together – even in Accept times they were thinking it, but then it didn’t work out. I guess the management or the producer or somebody screwed up. And he said, "Now we have this song that could really fit. It’s Dancing With An Angel and it’s a ballad.” And then I said I would be in Germany in Christmas time. So I went to his studio in Cologne and listened to the song and listened to it again – and then we did it right then and there. We became really great friends too. We always knew each other a little bit but we never worked together. I was super exciting too after all these years to work together!

Will your older records be re-released here in the States?

I don’t know. There were many records that were not released at all in the States. There’s one record I would really like released – and I highly recommend it to the diehard fans – it’s the live record recorded in 1993 and it’s my favorite record. It has all the great songs on it and I think it’s the best one. And I always try to fight for that record that they would release it. There are no plans, but maybe in the future. But we are doing a new DVD which will come out in 2003. And I want to put on everything – old bootlegs and stuff that fans might find really interesting. I was in many bands before Warlock and we even have some footage of that. And the bootleg stuff is very interesting. We definitely want to do something for the diehard fans – nothing like too commercial but really something that the fans would love.

When you look back on the music you did with Warlock, what do you think about it now?

Oh man, I still love every song the same way as when we did it. My favorite record is probably the Triumphant and Agony record. To me, it’s not that much different. The only difference was that we couldn’t use the name anymore because our former manager practically stole the name. We went to court and we lost and I couldn’t fucking believe it! That was the reason why we had to call it Doro. It was never my intention to really go solo – it looked like that but it really never was. And now the band we are have been together for ten years. I like a steady line-up. But it was a necessary thing to do to keep the record deal. And when the record company heard that we couldn’t use the name Warlock anymore, then they said it was impossible to use another name because they were afraid nobody would buy it. So they said we have to call it Doro. So I said if it has to be the deal, then okay, but it was never really my intention to make the solo thing.

When you listen to your first album Burning The Witches, what are your reactions now to it?

I tell you, we still play so many songs from it in the concerts. And a song like Burning The Witches always has the same magic and people love singing with us. We have this sing-a-long part which is really cool, and there are some pyrotechnics and it always works. And I feel like there’s not much difference between 1983 and now. When songs have magic, they always keep the magic. I must say I love Burning The Witches – it was our first one and nobody had any idea that it would sell. I thought maybe if it would sell 100 records it would be great – like all my friends and the family members. And then in between one month, it sold like 25000 records – and I could not imagine who would buy it and why and how. It was really very surprising.

Do you enjoy singing the newer or older material more?

Both the same. When I love a song, I still love it. And when I love a new song, then I love singing it. It depends. There’s some key songs I really love, but I couldn’t say the old or the new ones. Just both the same really. I still love Burning Witches and I love to play Fight live – just whatever has the magic.

Tell me about the recording of Rock Before You Bleed…

Oh yeah! Rock Before You Bleed was the last song we did. I thought, Man, I gotta get the fans into the studio! I made one phone call and called one fan and said ‘Hey, is it possible that you come tomorrow night and bring a couple of people?’ He said “yeah sure” and then the next day there were 50 people in our little studio drunk having tons of beer and stuff. And I said, ‘Oh man, this is great, but let’s work first, okay?’ The live atmosphere was on the record because we recorded the whole session and we mixed it and they were singing backgrounds on it. It was a lot of fun.

Do you have any advice for a woman who wants to break into the music business?

Just do what you love. Never make compromises – really do what’s in your heart and what you feel like. Even when people don’t support you, stick it out and keep at it and try to get good people around you who you love working with and who you trust. And just do what you love and always work on it. Give it 150 percent and it will happen. I wold say, I’m the best example. Coming from Germany, I couldn’t speak one word of English when I started and we could still do. It’s definitely possible for anybody, no mater where you come from or who you are. And just be yourself and do it. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a man or a woman – just go for what you believe it and what you love.

Who are some of the current female vocalists that you like?

I think the girl from Arch Enemy is so cool! And I like Sandra from Guano Apes – another German lady. And Tarja from Nightwish and Sabina from Holy Moses. I like many other singers. There are great women out there and everybody has their own unique style. And that’s very attractive and powerful I think.

If Madonna was doing a tribute album and invited you to appear on it, what song of hers would you do and why?

If we could do like an industrial or heavy metal version – I would definitely metal it up! I think that song Nothing Really Matters – and Justify My Love I really love so much. I thought the video was awesome. But probably Nothing Really Matters – it has a really nice melody. But it would definitely have to be the metal version – that would be a deal! No pop stuff.

What do you think of the young singers like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera?

I tell you man, I have utmost respect, because I know how hard it is to even get something going in your life. I think it’s so easy to not do anything and to sit there and watch TV. I think especially these two women, they went out and did something. I think when you’re so much on top, it’s so much work and I respect that. I think they make people happy and I support it. I know they have so many fans and I think that’s respectable. I’m all for it. Everybody has different tastes, and I’m not so much a pop music fan in general, but I can really respect them and I know how much work it is. If anybody can do it, then I respect that. But in music, we come from a different field. I prefer rock and heavy metal more. But since I know how much work it is and that you can survive that, then that’s pretty good. We know others singers that went crazy or wind up in hospitals – I can see that too and I know why. It’s hard to survive and the music business in general is really hard. Somehow I can imagine that it’s even harder for pop artists, because your always depending on this one hit and if you don’t have a hit anymore, then your gone and the fans are gone. In heavy metal, we have the fans who are totally loyal – and they love not only one song but they love the whole thing. And I think that’s unique in the metal world.

Someone should probably do a tribute album to you.

(Laughs) In the next ten years, maybe somebody will do it. That’s sweet, that’s funny.

Do you have any messages for Doro fans here in the States?

Yeah, that I want to thank them so much for all of their support over the years. I only could go on because I knew they were behind me and I always felt their love and support. Even when times were tough, I could always have enough energy and inspiration from the fans to go on. And I’m so much looking forward to seeing them on tour, and we definitely promise a kick ass show. I hope they will come when we go on tour. I’m looking forward to seeing them and I’m very excited about it.

Fight by Doro is available here in the States from SPV Records! So march to the local record store right now and DEMAND YOUR DORO...

DORO LINKS (If you have one and want to exchange links, email me at

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