I am a fan, first and foremost. I don’t consider myself to be a journalist; I’m just some 40-year old idiot who is lucky enough to be able to do this. And in some cases, I am a TOTAL fanboy!! Like this one. I can’t believe it. It finally happened. When I started on this journey for Amps and Green Screens I had NO IDEA that in just a few short months, I’d be sitting down with some of my heroes, either by phone, or in person. But there was ONE person, one special lady that I wanted to interview more than anyone in this world. And you know what? This week I got that chance. Our Metal Queen DORO sat down and called in from Germany to speak with us about how everything is going. Now, OBVIOUSLY I fainted about 16 times, which many of you who know me should expect. She was the sweetest, and most wonderful person I have ever talked with, and she also remembered dedicating a song, “Earthshaker Rock”, to Mini-Amps onstage at the Crazy Donkey in Long Island on October 3, 2010. I now present to you, my conversation with DORO:
DORO: Hi Damian, it’s DORO!
Damian: (Thud…coming to): Hi! How are you??
DORO: Very good, very good. I’m in Germany, but I’m headed to New York on Friday. We played all the summer festivals. Wacken just two weeks ago, and it was awesome! We started to celebrate 30 year anniversary, so everything’s going really well.
Damian: I know, I saw footage on YouTube. Looks like the crowds are goin’ nuts!
DORO: Yeah, yeah, it was awesome! We had friends singing onstage with us for “We Are the Metalheads” and great guests, and it was really wonderful. One of the greatest days of my life, it was super.
Damian: Well, this is one of the greatest days of mine! I cannot believe I’m actually talking to you. If you hear a thud, that’ll be me fainting, but I’ll try and get up.
DORO: You’re so sweet. Damian, where are you, in Texas, right?
Damian: In Dallas. I used to live in New York, and I saw you four years in a row, from ’08-’11, and when I saw you at a meet and greet in 2010, I told you about my son Corey (Mini-Amps) who has autism, and you dedicated-
DORO: Yes, yes, “Earthshaker Rock”!! And how is he doing, Damian?
Damian: Thank you for asking, he is wonderful. He is still a Little Headbanger, he still rocks out to your music, and metal in general, and he’s just awesome!
DORO: Oh, excellent!
Damian: Now, I know that the festivals are over, and you’re doing the German run through December. You said you wanted to come back to the States in 2014. Do you plan on hitting the Southern states (ahem…TEXAS!) for the second go-round?
DORO: Yes, yes! I know we just got announced for the Monsters of Rock Cruise, so we’ll do that, and then our BIG 30th Celebration in the States, probably in New York with great guests, and we’re planning that. Nothing’s been announced yet, but I know we’ll definitely do more shows in the U.S.
Damian: Ok. Because my boys Joey and Mike, we used to make our yearly pilgrimage to see you in the city, then I moved away and the first leg didn’t come here.
DORO: Which place do you think would be the best to celebrate 30th Anniversary? I thought maybe The Gramercy Theater, I love that place so much!
Damian: Gramercy, no question! The last two times I saw you were there. Best shows you’ve ever put on!
DORO: I think that’s what I would love. People suggested some other places, but Gramercy was so nice, and so loving, and I just love that. So, hopefully. Plus you can see from all angles! Yeah, I will try to get that place, sometimes you have to talk to all the promoters and booking agents, and we’ll have guests. You know, it may not be as big as Wacken, but it’s just as beautiful, and exciting!
Damian: I’m always in the front row, and sometimes next to Joe and Lisa, who are friends of yours.
DORO: Lisa, with the long blonde hair, yeah! We are all close friends. I know them for many years. I’ll see them in a couple of days.
Damian: On the last record (Fear No Evil) you did a duet with Tarja Turunen (Walking With the Angels). I’m actually interviewing her later. Anything you’d like me to pass on to her?
DORO: Oh yes, Damian. Please tell her, I wanna send her big kiss and big hug, and I wanna say congratulations on the baby! I’m so happy and so excited for her. And give her all my love and tell her I love her, wish her and all the family all the best! She’s such a classy woman, and such a grandiose singer, and she’s phenomenal, so please tell her!
Damian: I will, for sure. So, what do you think of the current group of female-fronted bands out now that, let’s face it, are inspired by you? Halestorm, In This Moment, Huntress, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS. This is really a women’s time in metal right now!
DORO: I think it’s fantastic! There are so many great women out there right now. In the 80’s it was rather lonely (laughs), maybe a handful of great women, and I think now it’s much more balanced, and I think when people can see that the heart is in the right place for metal, it doesn’t actually matter if you’re a man or a woman, or wherever you come from, the fans don’t care. When you dedicate your life to metal, that’s all it takes. I think the last 10 or 15 years, there are great women out there and usually we’re all connected. And there’s a festival, “Female Metal Voices” in Belgium, and you can hear great songs, and make great friendships. I’m friends with all of them, and last time for Fear No Evil album we did “Celebrate” with all the females, and I think it sounds great! I wanna do some more things like that, and I wrote a new song called “Strong And Proud”, I wrote it with Nick Douglas our bass player, and it’s actually for that festival. I think there’s tremendous talent, and great singers, and more power to everybody!! And I love it when young bands say, “We heard ‘All We Are’” and formed a band when we were 12 years old”, it’s so great. Or, “We heard the Raise Your Fist record and we started a band”, and it’s so cool. It touches my heart.
Damian: You really are so good to your fans. There’s no one out there who takes the time to shake everyone’s hand, listen to all their stories, and the biggest smile that is always on your face while you’re rockin’ out; there really is nothing like a DORO show.
DORO: Oh Damian, thank you for saying these nice, kind things. I must say I live for the fans. I trust them with my life, and I know I can trust them, and it goes vice versa. It’s a very deep connection that will never ever fade. I am totally dedicated to the fans, I always was, and it gets stronger every year. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to do, but later on I realized there is nothing better than giving people power, energy, and being able to enjoy the show. And also the energy to overcome situations. Life is tough, and I think everybody needs some reinforcement in music. It’s a magical thing. I love to do it, and when I see that it means something to people, or even a song, it’s so rewarding and it gives me renewed energy, too. To continue, to go on, and always try my best, and give 150%.
DORO: I must say, every song, I’m attached to every song. But what you said about Ronnie, and “Hero”, that’s the most important to me, and the first one I wrote for this record, and I wanted to give thanks and honor and love to somebody we all love and respect and miss, and he was my biggest inspiration, most important to me. “Raise Your Fist In the Air” because it’s a great anthem and people love singing it. Actually the meaning behind it is that you shouldn’t take it, get up, raise your fist, and fight the good fight. And there’s another song, it’s maybe not an obvious song, it’s called “Sealed In Blood (Human Rights)” and I dedicated it to a human rights organization called Terre des Femmes and it’s very important to me, too. And I think music has so much power, and who knows if a song can change people’s minds or what. I think it’s very important. But I love so many other songs… “Victory”-
DORO: “Revenge” is one of my favorites-
DORO: It’s very old school, as is “Rock Till Death”, which in concert goes over really well. And the song with Lemmy, “It Still Hurts”, I LOVE IT, I love it! Singing with Lemmy is to me like, Wow! To die for, and Lemmy singing on a ballad is so soulful, and I always get chills when I hear that song.
Damian: Ok, I have a couple more questions for you. I’m nervous, I’m starstruck. I’m a fan first and foremost, and I’m shaking, so I hope I can get through them.
DORO: (Laughing) oh please, don’t be, it’s fine. It’s nice, it’s very nice talking to you, Damian.
Me: (Did you hear that?? Who in their right mind thinks it’s nice to talk to me?!?)
Damian: I know that you’re kind of a big-time New Yorker when you’re not on tour. How much time do you spend in NY?
DORO: Actually, we’re either on tour all over Europe, or all over the States, and we go to South America soon, and actually, my home in Long Island got flooded two times, and when I come back on Friday I will see what the status quo is, but that was the reason I had to find some other places to live! But usually the tour bus is home. But I love America, and for me touring America is the best. The beginning of the year we did a tour, and I’ve never seen so much snow in my life, and it was cold and I was sick as a dog, and it was still a great tour! I fell in love with the States when I first came to New York in ’86-’87 and ever since it’s still the same. I love it so much, it’s where I belong. New York, I love it!
Damian: I can’t believe that you lived on Long Island. I’m from there, born and raised.
Damian: It blows my mind that I could have bumped into you somewhere and promptly had a heart attack!
DORO: Hahaha, that’s so funny. I love Long Island, and I actually moved there because I lived across from the World Trade Center, and when the attacks happened I thought I would be safer there, and now I’ve got a house that flooded two times. It’s all destroyed, I can’t tell you why, but I still love it out there. Meanwhile, I have to check and see what is salvageable. I lost some fans artwork, but as long as I have the fans I’m a happy baby. Stuff can be replaced, but you can’t replace the memories of things, like Ronnie James Dio wrote me a couple of nice notes that got destroyed, so you know. TV’s and things, who cares about that, the fan stuff is important.
Damian: What is your tour regimen? Any vocal do’s/dont’s?
DORO: I think when you have the gig it’s good not to talk all day and all night before the show. To keep your voice in shape is the most important thing. I used to try to do all my interviews before and not after, and I was like, “Oh shit!” because It’s important to keep quiet for the most part and then give it all you got on stage! And I think keeping the whole body healthy through sport is important. You have to really feel good to sing good, and I think whatever it takes. You can’t be depressed and sing good. If there’s a sadness in your voice, people will see it. And that’s ok for a ballad. But for the most part, I think that you have to make sure that you’re 100% stepping up to the plate with everything, and then the voice is naturally good. But sometimes, when I’m sick, oh God, I was so sick on the last tour and I actually had to cancel one gig which we NEVER had to do, and I went to the hospital, and the doctor said, “You must cancel this gig, take one or two days off, otherwise you have to cancel the whole tour.” So okay, I’d rather miss one than lose them all. I had such a high fever I couldn’t even speak. It’s hard when you’re sick. I actually have a magic potion for the voice (We at Amps and Green Screens will NOT divulge what it is). It makes the vocal chords nice and lubricates the throat. But you know what, even when I’m sick as a dog, when I see the fans, I give it my all, and my voice is in good shape like a miracle!
DORO: Well, from touring so much you’re always in good shape, and physically active. I study Kung Fu, a form called Wing Chun, and it’s hardcore, and you can defend yourself just in case somebody wants to mess with you! It’s something I love, just like jogging, or working out. But on the road, not so much. I try to concentrate on the gigs. I always feel when we’re out with the guys, Nick Douglas on the bass, Johnny Dee on the drums, and Bas Maas, and Luca Princiotta on guitar, and we have a new guy, Harrison Young on keyboards, and when we’re all together after two, three weeks on the road, everything is like a well-oiled machine. Everybody’s in good shape, and the more you do it, the better you can perform. The first gigs are always hard, but when you get into that rhythm, everything is cool. I like that feeling, when you’re in good shape, and that feeling is there all the time. That’s why I never took breaks. I notice people take a couple of years off it’s very hard to get back into the groove, and I never took a break, it was always nonstop, either with records or a tour.
Damian: I know you have to go in a minute, but I have to ask, when we eventually do podcasting would you come on and be a guest?
DORO: Yes, Damian!! Of course!! I would be happy to!
Damian: Can you do me one favor? Can you say something to Corey (Mini-Amps)? So I can play it for him later?
DORO: Hey Corey, it’s DORO. I wish you a great day, and I heard from your Dad that you always love to listen to metal music, and I’m hoping that you have a great day, and have fun! Keep rockin’ and rollin’ and I wish you all the best and I hope to see you one day soon. Big hug and big kiss!!
Damian: DORO, thank you for doing this.
DORO: Oh, Damian you’re such a great guy, thank you for having me on. I wish you all the best and I hope I see you soon, either in New York or Texas, and keep up the good work, and all the best with the website. Give Corey a nice hug and talk to you soon!! XOXO!
I am the luckiest guy in all the world. I interviewed The Metal Queen…DORO. More importantly, she remembered Mini-Amps! I don’t usually put it all out there in my articles, but then this was no ordinary interview. There is no one in this world like DORO. There is nothing in this world like a DORO show. She makes everyone in the room feel like they are the most important person that night. She makes us all feel like this is where we belong, whether it is studio or at a show. I am so grateful for her music. It got me through so many tough times, and I know it did the same for some of you. NO ONE is as loyal as she is, and NO ONE is as grateful as she is. ALL HAIL THE METAL QUEEN, DORO.