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Interview: Doro on new album, Lemmy, quitting day job to tour with Judas Priest, and more

Posted by on August 10, 2018

 

Next Friday (17th), Doro’s new album Forever Warriors, Forever United will arrive via Nuclear Blast. ​It is her first full-length record since 2012’s Raise Your Fist and fans have considered it as her best since 1987’s Triumph and Agony. The metal world has lost a lot of icons within the last six years alone, which of course has affected the Queen of Metal. With that being said, Doro has essentially put her entire life in this new album that includes losing Lemmy Kilmister, and more. Luckily, we had the pleasure to speak to the metal Queen to discuss the new album, one of her favorite memories of Lemmy, and looking back on the time when she quit her day job to tour with Judas Priest. Read the discussion below: 

What convinced you to make a double album (Forever Warriors, Forever United)?

I’m not used to making a double album but, there were ideas after ideas. So many songs, And I loved them. And then I called the record company to drop the album because I couldn’t take all these songs. And then we had to think about how we can join them, and then a couple of months ago, I said, “Yeah, go for it.” And that’s how it came about. This time I had really crazy ideas and they were just shooting out. It was really a good idea to use all of the songs on to a double album.

I have to say, it’s an incredible, powerful album, and I knew that it was an example for the true artist that you are, and it’s obvious that you put so much into it, including dedicating the song “Living Life to the Fullest” to Lemmy. It seems that your whole entire life was in these two albums. From life on the road to your love for metal, it’s an incredible album.

Awe, I’m so glad you saw, that you could pick that up  that you feel that. It’s absolutely true. I was always, I use the story of my life to middle, to long time ago and I’m more and more grateful. Everyday is actually a gift. Every show and every song I can work on. I appreciate it much more now than in the beginning when we were just having fun doing this.

I was looking at pictures of Lemmy when he passed away and then I said, aw, man, I was so shocked and heartbroken, It cut me so deep. And I was thinking about him and then I got this idea and I thought, “Yeah, I want to be part to get his things and honor him.” And then we started recording, and then somehow the feelings, and you never know if the words still standing in one view and how it’s almost like a wake up call. And then I thought, “Yeah, I’ll do a new record and really start writing as many songs as I can.” And now we’re on 25 songs. ​The ones I like the most, there’s some of my songs which we didn’t even finish. Adding a duet chorus and because I’ve been for such a long, I thought maybe make even more songs for a double record. Yeah, a double album.

There’s a lot of heartache in it too, from “Heartbroken”, “Love’s Gone to Hell” and “It Cuts so Deep.” There’s a lot of strong emotion in those songs. And how were you able to the push through writing those tracks?

​I feel, sometimes you just do it with tears in your eyes. Sometimes when you sing these songs they are emotional. Sometimes you’re singing while you’re shedding tears. Especially one song, it was the Motorhead song (“Lost in the Ozone”), we talk about love being overboard. Every time I sang that towards the end, I think about Lemmy, he was just a great fantastic lyricist and every time I sing these lines, especially in the very end of the song when he says “I turned my face to God, but His face was turned away,” nothing left, every time I sang it I was like, wow. It moved me to tears and sometimes you just do it and do it after other people. It feels the same. And maybe you stay positive when its a sad song that’s when other people hear it. You can tell whenever many people feel like that. Even many at times felt all lonely and sad and I think that’s part of this piece. I love it. Its emotional, it’s so truthful, its right to run off he answers, the happy songs, lots of energy and the whole spectrum.

How was it working with so many guest musicians on this?

An honor, that’s always a big honor. You try on songs and there are works before we’re exactly on the song Heartbroken. And I always love to play and then we tried that song and I’ve tried many times we played many festivals together.  And one time we played with Sabaton and then I ask them if they will play something with us.

I asked people I’ve toured with Johan (Hegg) from Amon Amarth is singing on it and the late Warrel Dane was there as well. It was last year. Dane and me were just great friends, we toured together in 1988 with Megadeth and Sanctuary and it was a long tour and we always stayed friends and have seen each other.

​And then, “If I Can’t Have You No One Will”  It was rewarding working with Johan because I was a guest on their show in London and we did a recording on the Jomsviking album and we all became great friends. I loved the guys and I love Johan. And my old guitar player Tommy Bolan is there. We played together. We would talk. And then it was five o’clock in the morning and then we say, “Hey, shall we go to sleep or shall we do a little jam session?” Well, we did the little jam session and the song was “If I Can’t Have You, No One Will” Tommy rocked and was very grateful to us.

​And then I called Johan and I said I had this idea, check it out. And then Johan back there. The video just came, I don’t know if you’ve seen it. Its pretty nice.

Of course I saw the video.

It’s something different like, maybe people wouldn’t expect it. We had many guests and had lots of fun.

Can you tell me how you quit your job to tour with Judas Priest?

I thought for a while and then somehow, I guess it was the right time and the right place and that’s when it just became bigger and bigger. And then we had our third record out, actually it was coming out, it was called Tour of Tears, and it played the legendary festival in the Netherlands and in Germany and in England. At that time it was so important to break into the English market because that was the big way to go to America. And in England everybody decided if you would get a world wide record deal or if you would go on tour or so on. And we started playing a lot in England and then when we played a month before, I mean, back then it was 80,000 people. And the fans, they were so great. They were singing along, and they knew everybody’s songs. And you know, it was a good show.

​And then, I guess the genre moved on. The agent, the record companies, everybody. That joined the band, there’s something here. And then we did the tour with Judas Priest. And I tell you, Judas Priest was my favorite band, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that we would be the opening band for Judas Priest. And then I’m going to my boss, I was a graphic designer and then, I want to go on tour, I want to quit my job, it was a dream. We are going on tour with Judas Priest and this is what he said, Judas Priest. That’s the biggest band! It hadn’t ever- and they had no clue what to expect then. Many people didn’t have any clue. And I said, “Well, there are only two big bands” and said, “You know Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.”

​And I gave him a little information. And then he said, “You know, you can call me crazy, but you can’t survive, that it would be so difficult.” And he said I should stay here and keep my job. I said, you know what, I’m gonna try, I quit. And you know his eyes were open wide and he said, I’m crazy, but you know I can’t keep you here, I wish you all the best and good luck. And he said, “Make us proud.”

And, okay, I tried my best. And then we went on tour with Judas Priest and the show close to the place where I was working, actually everybody came, all my colleagues and where I was working.  It didn’t look like metal, they’d probably had a big smile on their faces. My boss, he just came to me and I saw it in his eyes and everybody was proud. Go on like that, and I said, I wanna come back here, okay? Promise? And he said, “Yes, of course.” ​Yeah, I quit my job and go hoping I could make it.

I think it’s safe to say you made the right choice.

Yeah, I always wanted to, since I was three years old, and I was a little girl, it was my dream to do music, and then when I was 15 I had my first band. And then a couple of years later, it was pretty good and I became a big success. And, then we toured in Europe with Lemmy, which was awesome. And then we played with Megadeth and Sanctuary. And we just celebrated the third year anniversary of the Triumph and Agony album, and Tommy Bolan, lead guitar player from the Triumph and Agony was joining us and he would come over to play in shows and many festivals. Yeah, we had a couple of big days and it felt so great. Playing that album in its entirety that was the first time for us we were so worried. So maybe next year we’re thinking about doing the Triumph and Agony live album. But definitely felt really good.

I know you’ve been touring a lot but do you have any future touring plans, possibly returning to the United States?

Yes, the album is coming out 17th of August and I don’t know if we will do something this year. It’s in the making and if it doesn’t happen this year, definitely the beginning of next year. Of course, we wanna do a big American tour. We’ll be doing a special show with all the highlights, and then all the favorite songs of the new records. I’m very curious what the fans like the most because I can’t make up my mind, 25 choices, I love them all. I’m very excited and curious what people like the most.

It’s definitely a wonderful album. I was thinking, you have two anthems now, you have “All for Metal” and “All We Are.” That must be driving you crazy to decide on which song to perform first.

Yes, we played them for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Actually, it was my first time. We’d played them in Paris but never in that way and that was so awesome. And I didn’t know if people would know the song at all, and I tell you everybody knew the song, everybody was singing along. I thought, “Wow.” They know them already, I thought wow, that’s really cool. Actually this way I can always play both. In fact, we want to do one eclectic show, I wanna play “A Thousand Years.” Definitely need to work on our own tour. I always feel I should play only one or two ballads, or both, or the heavier stuff or the older. But our own show, and of course all the classics.

Can you just share one of your favorite memories that you have of Lemmy?

There were so many.

I’m sure.

Sometimes I talk too much about Lemmy, I don’t want to give everything away. But one thing  I will say, we were in the studio together and we were doing two songs and actually it was my first duet ever and it was in the year 2000 and we were in a studio in LA, and Bob Kulick, he had called us up in his studio. And we were talking, having a great time. And then, I was singing and I was a little bit nauseous and Lemmy could feel that and he said, “Don’t be nervous, don’t be nervous.” And then he gave me a big hug and put a little kiss on my forehead. And I thought, wow, I felt like that’s the kiss of God. And I feel like it was so nice. And then I walked into the little room, singing, and then the whole time since he left, the kiss on my forehead, you know it was a little red, and I could still feel it, it was the sweetest kiss that I have ever gotten in my whole life.

​And then I could sing like a little bird. I think it was because of his big heart and kiss, and it was so much fun.

That is a very sweet story.

​With joy, so many joys. We all loved Lemmy so much. And the tour, we’ve got the double album, it’s dedicated to Lemmy too, that’s written in the booklet. There’s a song for Lemmy.

Yeah, as I said earlier, the album is truly powerful and it has everything from heavy to sad, it has all of the emotions in there and you can see what a true artist you are. It’s a beautiful album, double album.

Oh, thank you so much, that’s so nice. Thank you for this time, for us, it’s a great album. So much heart and soul went into the record and I’m always happy when somebody likes it and like the songs. It’s like, then you know it’s all worth it, the two and a half years of day and night and day and night. Sweating bullets and everything, even though its tons of fun, the end takes the finishing touches.

It is a great album. I have to get going, but it was a pleasure talking to you. Just keep staying awesome.

Where are you located, sweet heart?

​I’m located in New York and I will see you next time you come into town.

Oh, excellent.

​I saw you in September, last year.

You did, that is so enjoyable!

 

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