Metal Priestess Doro is back for another attack with her strongest and most cohesive effort since her Warlock days of Hellbound, True As Steel and Triumph And Agony. Last years Call Of The Wild blazed a whole new trail for the Duesseldorf native bringing her back to our American shores after a nearly ten year European encampment.
Fight is Doros 13 release and solidifies her stable lineup of Joe Taylor (guitar), Oliver Palotai (guitar/keyboards), Nick Douglas (bass) and Johnny Dee (drums). The title itself encompasses what Doro has done her whole career, Fight. A constant professional, Doro Pesch is true to herself, her fans and most of all her music. Her lyrics spill over in personal tales of life, be it loves lost, inner strength or a fist-raised metal anthem.
Every track on Fight is a monster. It kicks off with a classic trademark of punching guitars and thundering beat and a voice that is immaculate. Surrounding herself with top-grade talent, Doro collaborates with Jean Beauvoir (Plasmatics, Crown Of Thorns) for Sister Darkness, and legendary singer/songwriter Russ Ballard for Wild Heart. She also covers the Gene Simmons (Kiss) penned classic Legends Never Die. Guitarist Chris Caffery of Savatage, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra stops by to lend his talents, but the haunting duet with Pete Steele of Type O Negative is a show stopper!
TCE: Welcome Doro. Its so good to talk with you again. This summer you have been keeping yourself and the band in great shape with all your festival dates.
DORO: Yes, thank you. We started the summer with the Swedish Rock Fest, which was great, and we just did the Wacken Open Air Festival where we closed Friday night. I was a little scary though. It had been raining all day so the stage was wet. There was lightning and thunder but it came off really well.
TCE: Nature gave you its own special effects.
DORO: Yeah, Yeah. We also just did the Rock And Blues Festival in England. We headlined that festival. It was really cool. We didnt know that we were going to be the headlining act until we got there. That was a great surprise.
TCE: The new record Fight is phenomenal. Im very excited about it. It sounds really well thought out and covers all facets of your writing style from hard and heavy to your trademark emotional ballads.
DORO: Yeah, thank you. We did pre-production in Germany where I have a studio with Die Krebs. The demos were very exciting. Then we came over to the US to record at Soundmine Recording in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
TCE: All of your band members are American. Johnny Dee (also the drummer for Britny Fox) is in Philly and Nick (Douglas) is from Jersey. So it only makes since that you would use an American studio. Why the one in Pennsylvania?
DORO: It felt right. I talked our production guy from Germany into coming over for the recording. And we started just recording everything live. It sounded so good. We did the guitars, bass, drums everything live then I came in and sang my vocals. Sometimes I even sang with the band all at once. We wanted to have this raw, live sound and, I think, it worked really well. Even after we tried mixing in other takes we liked the live takes best.
TCE: How did your duet on Descent with Pete Steele of Type O Negative come about?
DORO: Oh, that was great. I had been working on the song in Germany writing it with Joe (Taylor). Because the track was so haunting we thought it would be so cool to have a guys voice and I thought of Pete. We actually tried it with Nick our bass player but when I was in America last fall a girl I knew put me in touch with Pete. He wanted to do it so he recorded his vocals in Brooklyn and we matched it up in the studio. I love the way it came out.
TCE: Your vocals are pushed into the back ground a bit they kind of float around Petes voice like an angels hovering overhead.
DORO: Yeah, yeah we didnt want the vocals to compete with each other. We wanted it more subtle dark and eerie but also beautiful in a mystical way.
TCE: Speaking of mystical the album art is magnificent. Im so glad you returned to work with Gillespie (the artist on Warlocks Triumph And Agony and Doros Angels Never Die). How did the concept of the gargoyles come into play?
DORO: In Europe we are able to tour with these large, elaborate stage shows. I wanted this to be a big show complete with pyrotechnics and cool imagery. Something that totally rocked! I approached him with the idea and had him work out several sketches. He came up with the gargoyles and the outfit that Im wearing in the painting. I loved it. The idea for the stage show is that the gargoyle will house the pyro and shoot fire and smoke from their mouth.
TCE: Wow, that will be some show.
DORO: Yes, Ive already had the outfit in the painting made for the show. Ive worn it a couple times and its a bit uncomfortable. Between the rubber and the leather, to move around in it is painful. That might need some adjusting.
TCE: You have a packed schedule this fall with tours in Russia, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany. With all this effort for a killer stage show, are you going to play your hometown?
DORO: No, no. We are playing Cologne, which is close to Duesseldorf. I get so nervous having old friend from the past come and watch me. The people I grew up with it would make me so nervous.
TCE: Well, they must be very proud of all youve done.
DORO: Oh, I think they are.
*Editor note: Fight the song will actually be used for boxing World Champion Regina Halmich next matchup. It will not only be used locally in Germany but will be syndicated internationally through ESPN. In her Bio Doro says, Regina and I have been close friends for a long time, she always comes to my gigs and I go to her fights. Thats what gave me the idea for the song. Particularly since Reginas previous signature tune was All We Are, on of my old recordings. Last year Burn It Up off Doros Call Of The Wild CD was also used by Sports TV for German football.
TCE: Getting back to the record, how did you end up working with mega-hit writer Russ Ballard?
DORO: We changed touring agencies in Europe and the new one also handles Russ. When we had our first meeting with them they asked how the record was coming along. The suggestion was made that Russ and I try writing. I was a BIG fan of Russ Ballard for many years so I was very nervous. But, I went to his home in England and we wrote Wild Heart. It was such a great experience. We recorded the demo at his home with Russ playing guitar and though my own band recorded the song for the record. I kept his demo with his guitar playing. Its beautiful.
TCE: You also wrote with Jean Beauvoir of Crown Of Thorns and Plasmatics fame. Is he a fan?
DORO: Yes, actually that is how we hooked up. He came to one of my shows in Berlin and joined us onstage for All We Are. Afterwords we went out to dinner and talked about working together. We ended up writing Sister Darkness for my album and I sing on his new Crown Of Thorns album called Karma. The song is called Shed No Tears and it can out so great. Its very emotional.
TCE: Jean started out as a bass player in the Plasmatics so its no wonder this song is so bass driven.
DORO: Yeah, yeah, and Nick, our bass player does such a good job with it.
TCE: Legends Never Die, written by Gene Simmons is a Wendy O Williams (ex-Plasmatiscs singer) song off her W.O.W. album. Whats the connection for its inclusion on Fight?
DORO: Ive always loved the song and especially the way she sang it. I worked with Gene in 1990 when he produced my album Doro in Nashville. Weve stayed in touch over the years and I asked him if I could use the song someday. I felt the time was right to put it on this record, and maybe, in some way, pay tribute to Wendy.
TCE: The song works very well on Fight, and joins the energy of the record as a whole. I could see it working great in your live set. Its a killer anthem.
DORO: Yes, maybe well do it.
TCE: You have one song, Salvaje, that pays tribute to your Spanish speaking audience as well as to one of your greatest mentors, Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead.
DORO: Yes, it is a special thank you to my Spanish fans. Every time I play South America, Spain or Portugal I am met with such an overwhelming response. They are such open people so full of love. Some of my Spanish speaking fans travel thousands of miles to see me. It is very touching.
Lemmy is one of my dearest friends. He is such an inspiration to me. He never gives up and works so hard. I wrote this song with him in mind, the first verse especially. The second verse is about life on the road. There are a number of references that apply to him rebellion and freedom.
TCE: Your ballads are always so personal, so emotional. On this record you have a one called Fight By Your Side a song whose lyrics are very relevant in todays tumultuous world.
DORO: This is a song about a girl who has to say goodbye to her true love because he is leaving to fight a war. The lyrics are very moving for me because she doesnt understand why he has to risk his life and possibly die but she still vows to fight by his side until peace lasts forever. I wrote this anti-war song during the Sarajevo/Yugoslavian conflict. It seemed right for this album after all weve been through this year.
TCE: A tradition youve had for many years is closing each album with a song sung in German. As always, I need to ask you about the meaning of Hoffnung.
DORO: Hoffnung means hope and it ends the CD. Fight starts the record and Hope ends it. We have all had a very difficult year. Some more than others. For me this record has been a journey. We all have to fight, but we also need to hope for a better tomorrow.
TCE: It has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you. Thank you for taking the time. We look forward to seeing you out on the road.
Websites: SPV Records, www.doropesch.com.