Can the greatest thing to happen to a metalhead happen twice? It sure did in my case. Just over a year after interviewing The Metal Queen for the first time, DORO graciously agreed to sit down with yours truly for another one last week. You’ll be glad to know I managed to keep from fainting this time. She was very excited and anxious for this 30 Years Strong and Proud Tour to start here in the U.S. and also very pumped up for the 30th Anniversary Edition of Raise Your Fist that will be out October 14. And of course she made it a point to ask how Mini-Amps is doing which is even more of a testament to how important her fans are to her. So here it is, my conversation with DORO:
Amps: First of all, I will do my best not to faint this time. Second of all I can’t believe you’re coming to Dallas in March of 2015!
DORO: (Laughing) yes, yes! I haven’t played there in a long time so I’m all psyched. Texas in general was always awesome for me. Awesome fans, awesome atmosphere!
Amps: Plus, you’re at Trees, my favorite club in the world.
DORO: Oh really? Wow, you’ve already got the March date, I’m so happy. And we will play all the highlights, all the old-school songs, all the great WARLOCK tunes so the setlist will be only the best of the best for the fans! And of course, the fans can request what songs they want to hear in the setlist. We have a poll and they can go to our website or our Facebook and request songs. Which is very interesting sometimes; they’ll come up with songs we’ve never played live before or ones we haven’t done in a long time. So whatever the fans want to hear is our command.
DORO: Yeah, I love both of them. You got it! I remember you were from New York and you’re in Dallas now. I remember your son Corey too, how old is he now?
Amps: He’s 12!
DORO: Oh my, that’s the best metal age to really get into it! I got into it when I was 10 and had my first band at 15. And I do what I love every day, even though sometimes it’s hard. But it’s so very rewarding when the fans love it and when we have good shows there’s nothing like it. It’s Heaven to me.
Amps: As a 16-year old girl in the hospital almost a year did you ever imagine that one day you’d be at Wacken commanding audiences in the hundred thousands?
DORO: No way, no way. I was pretty sure I might die. And I thought if there’s a chance I could live I want to do something great, I want to make people happy, give them something. And then when I had my first band I realized it gives me strength, the people give me strength, and then I thought maybe I can do a little bit more. And I tell you the music, the fans, the metal made me stronger and stronger, and I feel it every day. People sometimes say, “You still look like you were in WARLOCK, like in the 80’s” and I feel it, too. I feel more and more energized, it’s magic and I never thought I would have a long life, you know? It’s so good! Life holds many surprises and that’s why I can identify with someone who has a tough life or is suffering or ill. I can say, “Never give up hope” because you might get even better than what you wish for. That was definitely the case for me. I never ever thought I would tour America and now I love it so much.
DORO: The house is still a mess from Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. So much damage that it’s still not back to normal. They’re still working on it. I’m always on tour and the house needed to be built up from scratch, it’s a mess. I’m mattress-hopping (laughs) and staying in hotels for now. That last storm couldn’t damage it any more. It’s a struggle too, dealing with the bank and insurance companies. It’s very, very difficult. I know many people from the area who had the same problem.
Amps: And you’re still studying Wing Chun Kung Fu, correct?
DORO: Yes, I’m still doing it and I still love it! I got to watch my Grandmaster receive his highest honor, and I want to keep at it. I want to learn stick fighting, too. I have so much better stamina and I don’t have as much pain as I used to. It’s so good for the soul, the mind, and body.
Amps: I watch the YouTube footage every time you do a festival. The crowds are always so insane. Do you ever get tired of that (he asked knowingly…)?
DORO: (you can HEAR her beaming at this point): No, every day is a new challenge and I want to do the best I can and not copy the last one. I try to give it my all and the people will say to me, “That was a show I’ll never forget!” and every show is a challenge whether a big festival or a club show, it doesn’t matter, that is always what we strive for, to bring people smiles and positive energy. An escape from the everyday stress. Times are so hard these last couple of years so I think it’s important to have something in life you can definitely count on and that’s what I want to accomplish. When we play Dallas, you’ll see! I think we are better than ever from playing so much with this line-up. We click even more after all these years, it’s all very intuitive. We’re a great family.
Amps: You’re taking THE MIGHTY SWINE out for this first American run. They’re friends of mine, great band! What made you pick them?
DORO: I saw their live performance and I said, “I like ’em, let’s tour with them!” It was easy. Some things are meant to be. They were all up for it, and it’s a good package. They will please the fans with a good show and great energy. It’s very important to have a good support act because they set the tone and the vibe in the club. And right away I felt great about them, so I’m glad they’re onboard.
Amps: “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” sounds AMAZING!! You also picked some other great songs to cover for the 30th Anniversary edition of Raise Your Fist.
DORO: Oh, that’s so nice to hear. I thought because it’s the limited edition that I’d sing and record some songs that meant so much to me and inspired me. It was one of the first rock songs I heard when I was a little girl so I thought, “Let’s do it!” And “Nutbush City Limits” is on it. Tina Turner was the first woman that blew my mind, seeing her on TV. Back then there was no heavy metal, so I saw her on TV and I was like, “Wow! I want to sing that song one day!” I was seven years old and I knew I wanted to have a band. The album will come out in the States when we start the first leg of the tour. I hope the U.S. version has all the same packaging and booklet because it came out so nice.
Amps: You’re so busy. Tell me about filming Anuk II.
DORO: (Laughing)it was brutal and I was glad I did it. The moviemaker is actually doing the support slot for our European tour in November and December. His name’s Luke Gasser and he’s an independent moviemaker and it was as hardcore as the first part. It will come out next year and I play the same part, Meha, the warrior and I think it was great. But it was more physical and I had to go to boot camp again. Luke loves blood, so there will be a lot of it! I think this second one will be even more exciting.
Amps: You’ve been making the fans so happy for so many years. What do you say to young kids starting a metal band today?
DORO: I would say just go for it. Do what you love and always follow your heart. Don’t let anybody talk you into something you don’t want. Give it your all, give it 150%, believe in yourself and find good people who believe in you. You can do it. Have fun. To play music is a great privilege and great honor. To have that connection to people is very, very sacred. Do whatever you feel your music and your band needs. Follow your heart; you can’t go wrong by doing that. Keep at it every day and don’t lose momentum.
Amps: Say something to all your fans worldwide.
DORO: I can’t wait to play and rock with you! I’m gonna give it my all and the guys in the band are so excited. We’ll play all the highlights so please request what you wanna hear online. I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support and loyalty and their love for metal. I wish everybody a great time and I will see you very soon. Keep metal alive!!
Amps: DORO, once again thank you so much for speaking with me.
Every time I speak with DORO I come away with even MORE love, admiration, and respect for her. She is such a true and genuine person who, like me, lives and dies for metal and her fans-scratch that…family. Because we are all family, brothers and sisters in metal, and no one embodies that more than The Metal Queen, DORO. ALL HAIL!! The tour kicks off on October 10, so get your tickets if you haven’t already!!