DORO PESCH was born in Düsseldorf, Germany. In the early 80's, a young Doro joins a young Düsseldorf based Heavy Metal Band called Warlock. The band spend much of the year playing live on German club circuit and build a strong fan base. After doing a demo in late 1983 the band are signed by the independent label MAUSOLEUM and begin writing songs for their debut album. In early 1984 Warlock release their debut album called "Burning The Witches" which is a very powerful debut that is well received by critics and fans alike. Warlock release a string of albums that are critically acclaimed worldwide and build a massive diehard fanbase that will prove to be loyal into the next decade.
In 1990 DORO released her second solo album titled "Doro". It was recorded at Fortress Recorders in Hollywood and produced by legendary fire breathing KISS bassist GENE SIMMONS. For this record DORO opted to record with many different studio musicians rather than work within the restraints of a bandsituation. DORO is very excited to work with her idol Simmons. She later says: "It was one of the best experiences I've ever had because I've been a huge KISS fan forever and to work with Gene Simmons was an honor. I learned so much from him." DORO films two video clips: "Unholy Love" filmed on Earth day just outside Yosemite Park and "Rare Diamond.
Having been out of the U.S. music spotlight for over a decade, German rock
icon Doro Pesch has returned to show America what's been missing in the
current state of hard rock! After captivating & enchanting the audience at
this year's March Metal Meltdown in New Jersey, Doro is preparing to
unleash a new album, titled Calling The Wild, on KOCH Records (set for
release on September 12th) that will re-position her name to true rock
Although she has kept musically active in Europe over the years, her new
album "Calling the Wild" is her first U.S. release since 1990. As a solo
artist, she has in excess of eight releases to her credit and has achieved
Not a woman to pull any punches, Doro enlisted the assistance of some very
noteworthy musicians to compose this magnum opus! She recently teamed up
with Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister in Los Angeles to re-record the
Motorhead track "Love Me Forever" in pure, emotive Doro fashion. The song
originally appeared on Motorhead's album 1916. This collaboration also
spawned a new track, another duet called "Alone Again." Both songs will
appear on Calling The Wild.
If your palate is not yet wet with anticipation, the release also features
contributions from Slash (Snakepit, ex-Guns 'N Roses) and Al Pitrelli
(Megadeth, ex-Savatage, ex-Asia, etc.) Eric Singer and Bob Kulick of the
KISS family also pitched in. If that wasn't enough to make a mammoth of an
album, the proverbial icing on the cake, however, is an amazing Doro-ized
cover version of the Billy Idol classic "White Wedding." But for this
writer it is the ballads that came "Calling.." It is her trademark, love
hungry ballads coupled with high octane rockers that keep the fans starving
It was in the cold Chicago December weather that my partner in crime, Bob
and I went to the House of Blues to interview Doro, who at the time was
fighting a cold. What was intended to be a 15 minute interview lasted
almost an hour. And we were subsequently invited back after her
performance. Doro didn't look like she had aged a day since I first became
aware of her in 1990 and she was as beautiful at heart as she was to
behold. To this day she remains one of the kindest and most gracious
performers I've yet to meet.
Between sips of hot tea this is the conversation that took place that cold
Alex Zander: Before I get into the dirt, I love the song "Constant Danger."
Doro Pesch: Oh, great, great.
AZ: I have other questions I want to ask you, but where did you find the
inspiration for that?
DP: This guy I (have been) writing with for a long time, his name is Gary
Scruggs. I met him in Nashville in 1991 and I loved "True at Heart" Have
you ever heard that, "True at Heart?"
AZ: No, I haven't.
DP: It was probably my favorite album, my most favorite album. It didn't
get released here in the states. I met Gary and ever since we are writing
songs together. I always go there before I start a record and I get all the
ballads out of my system. I can write the best ballads with him. I came
down there to him and usually I give him some ideas or chord changes and he
can do it ever so slightly, but much better with wording and stuff with me.
We're a good team, he's the man. He's been heartbroken a thousand times.
AZ: I can tell, that song is beautifully sad though, in a beautiful way.
DP: There's another song from him and me on the European version, it's
called "Black Rose", when you hear that…heartbreaking. Certain records
weren't released here in the states, on each record there are a couple of
songs of him and me where you can be sure you get goosebumps.
AZ: Why isn't the song on the liner notes there's no lyrics for that song?
DP: The record company forgot. I got the album and then they said, "Doro,
we fucked up," and I said in which way, and "Constant Danger" isn't in the
lyrics. It was a fuck up, but it wasn't meant to be.
AZ: That's a great song, I really like that. So, it's been a long time
since you've been in the United States, what's been happening?
DP: Actually, I was always living here and I was always doing records here.
AZ: So you recorded those albums here?
DP: All the time.In New York. Usually I did...plus an album which didn't
come out .which was the "True At Heart" album. Then we did one album in New
Jersey and in New York, "Angels Never Die." Then we did a live album which
was really great. The guys in the band, they played on it. They are with me
for seven years. The bass player is with me for ten years. I think the live
album…it's the shit. But anyhow, it didn't get out here. Then we did one
called "Machine To Machine." We did it in New Jersey. "Love Me In Black"
was the last one. We did it half in New York and half in Germany with the
band Die Krupps.
AZ: I love Die Krupps.
DP: Yeah, Die Krupps worked on five songs off the new album with me. I went
to New York for this new album and to Los Angeles and to Hamburg and to
I mean it was all over the world. With today's technology I could work all
AZ: I found it interesting that you worked with some members of Die Krupps.
DP: Yea, we are now partners in the studio.
AZ: I wish that they would do more. Everything's imported and on
compilations. How did you get the new contract, the state-side contract?
DP: I'd love to tell you that story because we always had a strong fan base
even when we didn't get a release here. The climate for heavy metal wasn't
so good in the early 90's and when I delivered my records we always had the
worldwide deal but that didn't mean shit. Like after eight months or after
ten months they could say well we don't want to put it out and then it was
usually to late to shop it or people say well it's not MTV enough or we
couldn't get a release here. So on the last tour there was this guy Tony
who was doing our webpage and he's a die-hard fan. He's like twenty-five or
something and he's doing the Internet page, it's called Dororocks.com.
AZ: Been there.
DP: Yeah…and he's (been) doing it for a long time. I think he was the first
one with the Internet stuff and he was with us on tour, on the last tour in
Europe, the "Love Me In Black" tour. He visited like for three concerts and
he was so excited. He said it's such a shame American fans can't hear it
anymore. He said, "Can I do something?" and I said "Well, whatever you
wanna do." Then he said "Can I get permission to contact labels and stuff?"
I said, "Yeah, I don't even want to tell my manager." Then he did and in
between two weeks we had four record deals. Then, the first guy who called,
from Koch. He was so nice and I thought, "I feel a really good vibe there."
Then I said, "I'm coming over to the office," and I went over and played
him "I Wanna Live" and "White Wedding." He said, "Let's do it." That was
because of the fan club.
We always had the lawyers shopping the tapes and it was a lot of money for
the lawyer which never got us anywhere. So I loved to tell you that story
because (it shows) the power of the fans.
AZ: I've been waiting for this day for a long time.
DP: Me too, me too. Especially when I was living here and I was recording
here, it was heartbreaking when the records didn't come out year after
AZ: Everybody's getting fucked here now, though. You work with a lot of
well-known names on the new album and you're probably sick of answering
this question, but how was it working with Lemmy?
DP: It was the best! I wouldn't have mentioned if you wouldn't have brought
it up, I met him in '82 in England and I couldn't even speak English that
well, or not at all! But we always had a good vibe going. Then I met him a
couple of times at some festivals and the last couple of years we kind of
lost touch. Then after a session I wanted to listen to some good Motorhead
stuff and I put on that record, "No Sleep At All" You know that one.I got
it from a fan, somebody sent it to me and I never knew why. I thought, "Oh,
that's interesting, maybe they know that I'm a big Motorhead fan." But I
never listened to it because the record player wasn't hooked up. So,
anyway, this time I plugged it in and I went to listen to it and there was
this cute little picture which is now on our CD as well of Lemmy and me. I
think it's '86.
AZ: Oh, the old picture, I like that.
DP: They say '88, but I think it's '86 Monsters of Rock festival,
backstage. When I saw that picture I thought, "maybe I should give him a
call." It was really hard to get the telephone number. I had the telephone
number in my book. It was the same one, but the area code changed and I
didn't know that. So I called it up and nobody was there or the number
wasn't good anymore. Then, somebody said, "Why don't you write a letter to
the management?" That's what I did. I put a photo inside and I said "Hey
Lemmy, it's me, Doro, remember this one, about the photo and how about we
do something together?"
I gave him my telephone number and said call any time. A couple of days
went by and I never even thought he would call back because I didn't know
where he was, if he was on tour or where he was living. A couple of days
later the phone rang and it was Lemmy. I was so shocked. At first I thought
it was one guy from my band making a joke. Then he said, "I think it's a
great idea. We haven't seen each other for so long. Where do you want to do
it? In England or in Europe or in America?" I said, "Anywhere, it doesn't
matter." He said he had a very good experience with this guy Bob Kulick who
produced songs for his last record. He said "There's a great studio, you
might like it and if you like it I'm sure I'll love it." Then I flew over
the next day and he came to my hotel room and we talked and talked and it
was so great. It was the first time that we could really have good
conversation. It was fucking great. We were kicking around some ideas and
he said that he has this one song called "Alone Again" and he wrote it two
years ago and if I wanted to hear it. I said I'd love to. He played it and
after ten seconds I said, "That's the song. I want to do it. Definitely
want to do that." I was totally excited about it. He said, "Maybe it will
be a single at one point, what should we do for the B-side? Should we write
another song?" I said Yea and I brought up the idea that we could redo
"Love Me Forever" again because it was always my favorite or one of my
favorite songs of his. He said yeah, that would be great. We did it in two
weeks and it was just a dream. He was the sweetest person. He has so much
heart and soul and is an amazing musician, I must say. Really amazing. I've
been doing it now for a long time and I saw many musicians, but Lemmy was
always on. He was always on. You'd put the record button on and when he
played he was always on and I've never seen that in anybody. That was
really super special, and he played that solo for "Alone Again."
AZ: That's beautiful.
DP: In one take. It was the highlight of the record, or one of the
highlights of the record. You just can't hold a drinking (contest) with
AZ: Well that's what we're gonna talk about because for so many years that
I've known Lemmy, that guy just drinks so much. But you were also with
another extreme personality, Slash, is he the same way?
DP: Yeah, similar way. Actually it was more of a surprise to me, I wasn't
there when he recorded. I came back to New York one day later and it was my
band and my engineers who were working with me in New Jersey, they ran into
Slash in New York after a concert, backstage. The band was hanging out with
Slash and he said he was mixing his album in New York. They said they would
put down the basic tracks for this one song, "Now Or Never." Then the
engineer asked Slash, "Hey how about you play a solo? I think Doro would
freak," and he said yeah, that would be a great idea. He said, "I first
want to listen to the song if I can vibe to it," and they made him a little
demo. He listened to it and then he came in the next day with a big bottle
of Stoli and ten packs of cigarettes.
AZ: I had to ride in his van when an AC/DC show was here.So, you have
Slash, Bob Kulick, and another KISS connection, Eric Singer. Why'd you pick
DP: It came actually through Bob, and he said who should be the musicians?
I said, well there's Lemmy on bass and my guitar player, Joe Taylor, he's
living in L.A.. So it was between Bob and Joe. He said drum wise? Because
we wanted to record the next day and my guy was living in Philadelphia. Bob
said, "How about we choose somebody here?" So it was either Randy Castillo
or Eric Singer. Then we decided each of the guys should play one song. Eric
was there first in the studio and he played two songs in one day. It was so
fast and so good, you know, he was really good. I'm a big KISS fan.
AZ: That's where this is leading, working with Gene Simmons, my favorite.
DP: Yeah, same here. I love bass players in general. I think I found out
I'm really a bass player lover. It's like he came to see me in LA just to
say hi and to watch the show like a week ago. That meant a lot to me.
AZ: That's cool
DP: That was so cool.
AZ: He's a busy man.
DP: Exactly, exactly, I called him up like 4 o'clock and then he came to
the show and I thought, "that was the highlight for all of us on this whole
tour." The whole tour was going really well, but that was fantastic.
AZ: I saw on the (self titled) Doro album that he wrote four songs. I know
that Tommy Thayer was Producer, and that Gene is listed as Exectutive
Producer but how much did Gene do as far as production or was that just his
DP: Everything, he did everything from recording, songwriting and he mixed
this one song which didn't come out so good at first. Then it came out so
good. I loved that so much and then I wasn't so happy with the first mix
and Gene said, "Don't stress out over it, just go to your hotel and the
next morning you'll see." The next morning my message light was on and I
called down and they said there's a tape here at the front desk. Then I got
the tape and Gene said well check it out if you like it. He was mixing all
night until 9 o'clock in the morning.
AZ: I love that album. That's why I was myself, a long time KISS fan knew
of you because of that album by Gene Simmons. I love it and I play it till
this day. I still have it on cassette.
DP: Oh really?
AZ: But I often wondered though, if his name was on there just because you
put it on there or if he had that much to do with it?
DP: Totally, totally. He really dedicated all of his time to it. He was
totally involved into it and I could feel the input was always (there), his
energy is endless. Nobody has that. He has a way of working with musicians.
AZ: He gets so little credit though.
DP: That's right.
AZ: They only look at the makeup and shit. They don't see that the guy's
extremely talented and a great businessman.
DP: Totally, totally.
AZ: He has a beautiful voice and he's a great writer.
DP: I think so too. I had the big honor of listening to the demos when Gene
sang it alone, I still have the demos in my home. He sings really
beautifully and you're right, not a lot of people know that. I was witness
to some greatness that was really mind-blowing.
AZ: What do you prefer, your hard rock anthems or your ballads?
DP: I love both the same way. I couldn't say I like the hardcore stuff more
than the ballads. I think every song is unique and hard to compare. It's
hard to compare "Constant Danger" to "Burn It Up." I love playing "Burn It
Up". I love them both. For this new record I thought every song should be
totally unique and should not sound like another song. I know ballads have
a bad rap sometimes. But when I write ballads I fucking mean it and it's
not like to have the ballad for radio or shit like that.
AZ: We started off the interview this way, but what inspires you to write
the love songs the way that you do? Some of the painful things, the
wanting, the yearning, where does that come from? What's your inspiration,
DP: Everything, memories or when you've met people or experiences,
everything. Songs for me are always holy, there's always like an idea.
Every song is made different too. When I'm on tour I'm in a different
mindframe than when I'm doing an album. When I write songs then I'm really,
really open about it. Sometimes I get ideas in my dreams. When I go to
sleep certain things come, usually that's the shit, that's magic. They just
come out .
AZ: Are you the type of person who sleeps with a notebook next to her bed?
Do you wake up from your dreams and write them down or do you do it from
memory in the morning?
DP: The notebook, that would be a good idea but I'm such a messy person
that I don't find stuff. It's always very valuable, but usually I have a
little walkman where I can record the melody because the melody I can't
remember anymore when I wake up. The lyrics maybe, but the melody its
sometimes hard. But the ideas they really come deep down from the soul or
from the spirit or from the gut or from the heart. You can feel it when
something comes from really deep down. But, the other way, sometimes a rock
song started off with a great riff and then we put some notes over it. I
prefer when the notes come first and then the idea.
AZ: I feel the same way. Why did you decide to do "White Wedding?"
DP: It was an accident that we did in a jam session in the studio with
Jurgen Engler from Die Krupps. I was singing it and I thought, "Wow, that
sounds pretty good." Then we recorded it and it almost made my top twenty
list. I always write as many songs as I can. Some songs they are not as
good and I choose the ones I like the most. "White Wedding" was up there
and we did just a video for it. We did it in England and in Boston.
AZ: Good, and finally probably a cheesy question that you're sick of, but
the music scene in the United States basically just sucks for the last ten
DP: It's gotten better!
AZ: It's hard to work in the music business and concentrate on the kind of
music that I do. But there's a bit of a resurgence, how do you personally
feel about the future of hard rock in the States.
DP: I think the last two years I've really felt that it's picking up again
beautifully. Even for me, this tour, almost everywhere sold out or very
crowded and I think it's a good sign that rock is coming back in a big
way, I really think so. That I even got a new record out, that was like,
god, even the industry and everybody is watching rock again, which for many
years they gave a shit, you know? Now it's hard to sign bands again and I
think it's getting better, I really do. Our heads were hanging low for
many, many years. But, I think it's really getting much better.
Doro's touring band this time out is: Johnny Dee (drums), Joe Taylor
(guitar), Doro (vocals), Nick Douglas (bass)