Hard Rock and Heavy Metal news, reviews, and interviews.

Heavy Metal

An article I wrote for KASC The Blaze 1330 AM.

ARIZONA METAL

From: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Current Members: Fernanda Lira (vocals/bass), Prika Amaral (guitar), Amilcar Christofaro(Torture Squad, Sepultura – drums)

For fans of: Slayer, Exodus, Sepultura

Thrash metal. It’s sweaty, hairy, and usually the domain of men. But Brazilian thrash metal trio Nervosa proves that women can shred just as aggressively as their male counterparts.

Formed in 2010, Nervosa started out as an all-female thrash trio with Fernanda Lira on bass and vocals, Prika Amaral on guitar, and Fernanda Terra on drums.

Three years and two drummers later, they have opened for the legendary Destruction and Exodus. They were also featured in November’s issue of Metal Hammer.

Their 2012 EP “Time of Death” was a success, and rightly so.

The title track showcases Lira’s bloodcurdling vocals, fluctuating between the sound of a female Phil Anselmo and the growls of Angela Gossow.

“Masked Betrayer,” the highlight of the EP, is what…

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DORO, SISTER SIN and More Live in Tempe, Ariz.

Last month, TBOS had the honor of interviewing the Metal Queen, Doro Pesch. The interview was transcribed in four parts, and the audio was featured on Blabbermouth.net.

Doro Pesch onstage. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Doro Pesch onstage. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Saturday, we had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Doro do what she does best–making people headbang till their necks turn sore!

Tempe’s Rocky Point Cantina held an epic mini metal-fest Saturday night, with a total of six bands performing.

Local Phoenix bands Unconscious Minds, Hands of a Traitor, Epyon and NightSphere primed the audience for Sister Sin and DORO.

First up were classic/thrash metal outfit, Unconscious Minds. They made Pantera fans proud with their soaring vocals and melodic bass lines.

Vocalist Manny Lopez of Unconscious Minds. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Vocalist Manny Lopez of Unconscious Minds. Photo by Alec Damiano.

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Unconscious Minds were the first act of the night and played a thrashing set. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Next were metalcore group Hands of a Traitor. They were definitely the youngest out of all the local bands, and they had a dedicated fanbase moshing in the audience. If you’re into newer metal like Asking Alexandria, this band is for you.

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Hands of a Traitor tear it up as their fans moshed in the background. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Epyon played an impressive instrumental set that reminded concertgoers of classic Metallica (think “Orion”) and Death Angel. They also announced that they had found a singer, though the band performed as an instrumental quartet.

Members from Epyon played an instrumental classic metal set. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Members from Epyon played an instrumental classic metal set. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The last local band to perform was power metal act NightSphere. They made an impressive stage entrance with dimmed lights and fog floating through the air.

Power metal outfit NightSphere. Pictured are singer CJ McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Power metal outfit NightSphere. Pictured are singer CJ McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Next were Swedish glam metallers Sister Sin. They played a nine-song setlist, which included tracks from all their albums. Four of the songs were from their latest record, “Now and Forever”. Liv Jagrell interacted energetically with the crowd, actually stepping off the stage to greet fans at one point. The audience was left clamoring for more after they finished.

Liv Jagrell, the amazing frontwoman from Sister Sin.

Liv Jagrell, the energetic frontwoman from Sister Sin. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Finally, at 11:20 p.m., headliners DORO took the stage. They played 20 songs, about half of which were from Pesch’s previous band, Warlock. Highlights from the set were “Hero,” which was written as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio, a cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law”, and the Warlock anthem “All We Are,” where the members from Sister Sin returned to the stage to sing along and engage with the crowd.

Doro Pesch

Doro Pesch, DORO’s frontwoman and namesake, interacts energetically with the clamoring crowd. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Saturday night was an unforgettable night for Tempe metalheads. The headliners more than delivered and great local talent was also showcased.

Sister Sin joined DORO onstage for a memorable rendition of "All We Are". Photo by Alec Damiano.

Sister Sin joined DORO onstage for a memorable rendition of “All We Are”. Photo by Alec Damiano.


This Week In Metal: Slayer, Machine Head, Mayhem Fest and more

  • In what came as as a shock to metalheads everywhere, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo was allegedly fired for questioning contractual matters. You can read the full statement on his Facebook page.

Slayer released a statement shortly afterward, confirming that John Dette from Testament will be replacing Lombardo on the upcoming Australian tour. It is unclear when or if Lombardo will be readmitted into the band.

  • Another shocking lineup change. Machine Head bassist Adam Duce has left the band. Robb Flynn remains the sole original member. An official statement released on the band’s website describes the split as “amicable,” and they wish Duce the best in his future endeavors.
  • Loudwire premiered Anthrax’s new cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” Their covers album, “Anthems,” will be released March 19.

In other Anthrax news, former guitarist Rob Caggiano performed onstage with Volbeat for the first time.

(link from Blabbermouth.net)

  • Ghost B.C. (formerly known as Ghost) released the music video for their single “Secular Haze”. They also released the album artwork for “Infestissumam,” which goes onsale April 19.

Ghost Artwork

  • A new TV commercial was unveiled to promote the 2013 Revolver Golden God Awards, which will take place May 2. The video features Chris Jericho, Zakk Wylde, Sebastian Bach and others. Metallica is headlining the show. You can vote for the award recipients here.
  • Skid Row debuted a preview of their new single, “Kings of Demolition” and announced that they have signed a deal with Megaforce Records. Their new EP, “United World Rebellion – Chapter One,” will be released in North America April 16.
  • Other bands that have released studio updates this week: Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Steel Panther, Deep Purple.
  • The official Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival lineup for 2013 will be released on March 18. A rumored lineup includes Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth.

Thus concludes this week in metal.


American Gangsters: Interview with Broadway Mob

Last week, TBOS conducted an interview with Broadway Mob, a death metal band from Minot, N.D. They discuss their upcoming album and the importance of supporting local music.

Here are some snippets from the talk.

The Blog of Shredding: So why did you choose the name Broadway Mob? It’s such an atypical name for a death metal band.

Tony Waswick (vocals): (laughs) I guess that’s more Tom’s story than anything.

Tom Shepherd (drums): We live in a town that had a lot to do with Prohibition in North Dakota, and Broadway Mob is a Prohibition gang from that era. And Broadway is the main street in our town, so it just seemed kind of fitting.

TBOS: Your first song is called “Blessed By Thor,” and you described it as a “jaw-dropping experience” because you hadn’t heard anything like it. Could you describe it? Like why would you say that?

Shepherd: I personally had never played anything like that.

Waswick: Yeah, I’m kind of in the same boat. There was nothing I’d been involved with before. It was kind of eye-opening to see how fast it came together with the three of us playing together for the first time. I think it was that first night (when) we really got it written, so it’s kinda eye-opening that way. And jaw-dropping, as far as the song goes, it’s different to us… It’s just awesome.

Shepherd: And Colin? Colin wrote it, so he’s gotta say something.

Colin Swanson (guitar): Actually, it changed quite a bit from how I originally had it. But it sounds a lot better than the way I envisioned it going at first.

TBOS: And you’re working on a possible debut album, am I right?

Waswick: Yeah. It’s been kind of half-a—- in the works for over a year, but now it’s just kind of down to the core of the band again. We’re kind of really buckling down on it, say, “Let’s just f—— do it.” You know, get some good songs written, get whatever we’ve got, make it as good as it possibly can be.

You can hear more of the interview below.

Thanks to the guys from the Mob for recording the videos!


The Existence of the METAL CHURCH – and not the band!

Metal Church. Mention these two words to a metalhead, and they will think of the  band, their song and the album of the same name.

Headbangers are not normally seen as religious people.

The PMRC created a list of 15 morally detrimental songs called “The Flithy Fifteen”. Bands on the list included Mercyful Fate, W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue.

Norweigan black metal singer Varg Vikernes was accused of burning churches down.

But BBC News Magazine recently did a report on different churches created and run by our metal bretheren.

Here are a few of them:

  • The Order of the Black Sheep: a Church of England ministry based in Chesterfield, UK. Minister Mark Broomhead is a member of Seventh Angel, a Christian thrash metal band. SA shared a label with Metallica and Slayer at one time. Sermons only last a few minutes.
  • Glorious Undead is a London Christian church, originally founded to appeal to members of the alternative music scene. They are an official church and part of the Elim Pentecostal network.
  • Pastor Bob Beeman runs Sanctuary International, a church aimed at metalheads based in Nashville, Tenn.

Do you know of any more metal churches? Feel free to post them in the comments section.


Why the Grammys Are Clueless About Metal

Unless you’ve been away from the headbanging world, you are aware that Halestorm won the 2013 Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance”. This win is historic in the sense that singer Lzzy Hale is the first female singer to ever be nominated for that category and win.

By all means, congrats to Halestorm. They are a hard working band and “Love Bites (So Do I)” is a great song.

But once again, this decision reflects the cluelessness of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the head of the Grammys, when it comes to metal.

The hard rock/metal category has undergone several changes.

The first and only “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental” Grammy was awarded in 1989. It was expected that Metallica would win. Their album “…And Justice For All” had spawned the hit “One” and was their best-selling album to date.

But non-metal band Jethro Tull won.

Jethro Tull released an ad in Billboard Magazine showing a picture of a flute and the line, “The flute is a real, heavy metal instrument!” Subsequent editions of Metallica’s “…And Justice For All” contained a sticker reading “Grammy Award LOSERS.”

Metallica: Grammy award LOSERS. Photo courtesy frenk tatranky on Flickr.

Metallica: 1989 Grammy award LOSERS. Photo courtesy frenk tatranky on Flickr.

Entertainment Weekly called it one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history.

Due to criticism of the academy, separate hard rock and metal categories were created (though the two genres were recombined into one category for the 2012 awards.)

Here are some more examples of the board’s knowledge:

  • Metallica won the 1991 metal Grammy for their cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy,” though Queen itself was never nominated.
  • Motörhead won the 2005 metal Grammy for a cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”.
  • The 2009 metal Grammy was awarded to Judas Priest for a live version of “Dissident Aggressor,” a song originally released in 1977.

Now it’s 2013, and though the board appears to have made progress, there are still changes to be made.

Up against Halestorm were Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson and Lamb Of God.

Iron Maiden has one Grammy to their legendary name. They are often credited as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and are regarded as one of the most successful metal bands of all time.

Anthrax and Megadeth are two of the Big Four of Thrash Metal, which were credited with popularizing the genre. Neither have won a Grammy. Megadeth holds the record for the most Grammy nominations (eleven) in the metal category without a win.

The hard rock/metal category is the still the only one dedicated to this art form and the award is not televised. Eddie Trunk and other metal journalists have complained about the outright disrespect for these musical genres by the board.

Though the talent of all this year’s nominees is unmistakable, Halestorm’s win is reminiscent of actions by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Winners and inductees are not chosen according to a band’s record sales or influence, but according to politics.

While KISS, Deep Purple (“Smoke on the Water”), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and countless other influential rock and metal bands have yet to be inducted, newer bands like Guns N’ Roses and non-rock acts like Madonna are in there.

With all due respect to Halestorm, the proponents of “Music’s Biggest Night” have a lot of explaining to do.


Mayhem in Muncie

TBOS sat down with Zach Clifton, drummer for Indiana death metal band Nezera. He revealed their plans for their upcoming album, “Demons to Some, Angels to Others,” their single “It’s Not The Bath Salts,” and their appearance at an upcoming metal festival.

You can hear the full interview below.


Ex-Anthrax Guitarist Rob Caggiano Joins Volbeat

Today, Danish groove metal band Volbeat announced that former Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano has joined their band.

Caggiano onstage with Anthrax. Photo courtesy clintjcl on Flickr.

Caggiano onstage with Anthrax. Photo courtesy clintjcl on Flickr.

The guitarist announced his departure from Anthrax exactly one month ago. Caggiano wished to focus on a career in music production and was in Denmark to producing Volbeat’s latest album, “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies,” when vocalist Michael Paulsen asked him to join the band.

Caggiano was a member of Anthrax from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2007 to 2013.

 

 


Testament, Overkill and 4ARM Live in Tempe, Ariz.

  1. Mere hours before the show began, Testament guitarist Eric Peterson held a meet-and-greet at the Tempe Guitar Center.
  2. Here at the Tempe @guitarcenter waiting for Eric Peterson of @testamentband! http://twitpic.com/c051tr
  3. Peterson signed memorabilia and took pictures with his fans.
  4. Me with Eric Peterson! Time to haul butt to the Marquee now. http://twitpic.com/c05bxd
  5. Metalheads congregated at the Marquee Theater.
  6. Opening band 4ARM played a six-song set that left headbangers’ necks sore.
  7. 4ARM just finished up their set. My neck already hurts. http://twitpic.com/c05w87
  8. Sound check for Overkill. The drums resonate in your chest! THIS is how a thrash band is meant to sound. http://twitpic.com/c05zak
  9. As the crowd waited for Overkill to take the stage, “Walk” and other songs by Pantera were blared over the P.A. system to get the fans pumped.
  10. Overkill played an impressive set to a destructive crowd. The charismatic frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth strutting across the stage.
  11. Overkill just finished their set. INSANE crowd. Just got crushed by 2 crowd surfers.
  12. Bobby Blitz is one hell of a frontman. One of the best I’ve seen.
  13. Headliners Testament thrashed to a 15-song setlist, heavily composed of tracks from their latest album, “Dark Roots of Earth” (2012).
  14. Overall, the event was great but fans were left wanting to hear more classic material from the headliners.
  15. Testament put on a hell of a show, even though I was expecting “Electric Crown”. http://twitpic.com/c079qt

Witches of Farmland

Conceived on National Metal Day, Witches Mass seeks to combine 80s glam, thrash and modern death metal into a theatrical tour-de-force.

Despite hailing from the tiny town of Farmland, Ind., (population 1,333 in 2010) singer and main songwriter Chase B. Carothers is set on ruling the world with his songs based on death and rebirth.

The name “Witches Mass” was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, which may have a closer connection with the metal community than one would assume.

“Anybody who has studied the witch trials knows it was basically bogus,” Carothers says, soft-spoken.

“Metal has always been the one genre where people stand up to things, stand up against something, regardless of what it is. Typically, you see metalheads–a lot of metalheads do not go with the crowd. Metalheads are outcasts,” he says. “So that’s pretty much what the Salem witches were, it’s they were pretty much outcasted [sic] from that society and falsely accused of some things that they didn’t do. Well in general, that happens to metal and metalheads a lot.”

Like the accusations against the West Memphis Three?

“Exactly. Exactly. That’s the modern-day witch hunt, what happened with the West Memphis Three.”

Witches Mass is in the process of writing and recording their debut EP, “Demise and Redemption”.

You can hear the full interview below.


Link

Doro Interview Featured on Blabbermouth!

Doro Interview Featured on Blabbermouth!

It fills TBOS with great delight that the interview with Doro Pesch for KASC The Blaze 1330 AM (and transcribed here) was featured on Blabbermouth.net!

Here’s to many more successful interviews to come!

-A.D.

 


This Week in Metal: NAMM, Ozzfest Japan, Whitesnake and More

This week in metal was a hard one to cover due to the excitement surrounding NAMM. So here are the highlights of this week:

  • Ozzfest Japan 2013 will take place in May and feature Black Sabbath. Other bands include: SlipknotSlash featuring Myles Kennedy and the ConspiratorsDeftonesToolThe TreatmentDir En Grey and Steel Panther.
  • Dave Mustaine revealed that Megadeth will embark on a short tour with Iron Maiden in Spain, Italy, and France. He said that Megadeth is nearly finished recording their fourteenth album, but did not reveal what record label they have signed with. Mustaine also gave some hints as to what bands will be on Gigantour 2013. He said they are “notorious bad boys”. Perhaps they will tour with Mötley Crüe once again?
  • Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) was the subject of an all-star roast featuring Lita FordZakk Wylde and Jim Norton.
  • Ray Burton, father of deceased Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, signed autographs at the ARIA Guitars booth at NAMM.
David Ellefson of Megadeth (2nd from left) and Ray Burton (2nd from right) at the ARIA Guitars booth at NAMM 2013. Photo credit: Metallica official Facebook.

David Ellefson of Megadeth (2nd from left) and Ray Burton (2nd from right) at the ARIA Guitars booth at NAMM 2013. Photo credit: Metallica official Facebook.

  • Drummer Tommy Aldridge rejoined Whitesnake.
  • preview of the new 3D Guns N’ Roses concert film is now available.
  • L.A. Guns posted the first photo of their new lineup featuring guitarist Michael Grant (Endeverafter).
New lineup of L.A. Guns. Photo credit: L.A. Guns official Facebook page.

New lineup of L.A. Guns. Photo credit: L.A. Guns official Facebook page.

  • A preview of the new Motörhead book “Roadkill” went online. 
  • Geoff Tate’s Queensryche revealed a new lineup.
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan and Trapped Under Ice were added to New England Metal and Hardcore Fest.
  • A Sepultura  biography is due for release later this year.
  • Roadrunner Records signed Kvelertak.
  • Poison drummer Rikki Rockett will star in a new reality series called “American Drums”.
  • Flotsam and Jetsam bassist Jason Ward will not be joining the band on their upcoming tour with Testament and Overkill due to family commitments.
  • Drummer Lyle Cooper quits The Faceless.
  • A rumored lineup of Mayhem Fest includes Rob Zombie, Amon Amarth, Deftones, and Children of Bodom. The official lineup will be released Mar.18.

Thus concludes TBOS’s “This Week In Metal”.


Doro Pesch Interview Transcript – Part 4

In the final part of this interview, Doro Pesch discusses her future plans and reveals her thoughts on the current metal scene. Her new movie “Anuk: The Path of the Warrior 2” will be released next year. She plans to do a new fashion line and create a champagne to commemorate her career’s 30th anniversary.

The previous parts of the interview are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Doro Pesch, 2008. Photo courtesy valvemagazine on Flickr.

Doro Pesch, 2008. Photo courtesy valvemagazine on Flickr.

The Blog of Shredding: You design all your own stage clothes, right?

Doro Pesch: Yeah, but somebody else is sewing it and usually it’s not real leather. Because one day, I thought, “Man, I don’t want to hurt anybody and I don’t want to have, you know, any animals getting killed for my stage clothes.” So our stage clothes, they look like leather, but they are actually not real leather or other fabrics. I have a lady who’s sewing it, but we’re always working together and making how I want it and then her ideas, we get together. But she’s sewing it. Yeah, she’s a professional. I used to do that by myself in the 80s, but yeah, it’s better when you have a professional. (laughs)

The Blog of Shredding: Have you ever considered making a fashion line?

Doro Pesch: Yeah, actually I got my own fashion line. It’s called “Love Me in Black,” and it’s all, of course, black clothes and it has all kinds of jean material and like fake leather, which looks really good. And I would love to do a second one in time, maybe for the 30th anniversary. We were thinking about working out with some people together, they are like doing this gothic clothes, gothic metal clothes. Yeah, so it’s maybe something that’s in the making. But so far, I’m always on tour or just finished mixing the record or the promotion tour, so I don’t know if it will come out this year. But something nice.

I want to do something nice for the 30th anniversary, having a big celebration. And I think we will have our own champagne, the 30th anniversary champagne! There’s a perfume line in the making for ladies, so some little goodies. Something for the merchandise, not like big¸ big, big, just something nice to collect and stuff.

The Blog of Shredding: What are some of your other future plans?

Doro Pesch: Just a couple of days ago, I came back from Switzerland and I finished the movie “Anuk: The Path of the Warrior 2.” I did it one time in 2007, and now the second part we just filmed it before the European tour. And we didn’t finish it. And I just finished it last week. I wanna do maybe a couple of songs for the movie because that’s how we got together in the first place. The guy who’s doing it—the director and producer—his name is Luke Gasser, and he asked me if I wanted to write the title track for the movie that was back in 2006, 2007. And I said, “I would love to. I would love to.” So he gave me the script, and I thought, “Wow! This is great.” It’s like an adventure movie, and I said, “Oh, I would love that!” And he said, “Do you want to play a part in it too?” And I said,” Wow! I never did it. I just did (music) videos.” He said,” Oh, let’s do it.” So I did, and my part was actually a warrior named Meha. Now I play the part of Meha again. And we filmed it in the mountains in Switzerland and in Ireland. It was very exciting. So this will come out this year as well, maybe end of 2013, beginning of 2014.

Then nonstop touring the world, and I just wanna concentrate to do a great American tour and to give the fans the best we’ve ever played. And we will play all the songs from the old school metal songs of the 80s, some great Warlock songs which fans never heard (live), some surprises, the title tracks of all the records. Now there’s like 17 records. All the best stuff. All the best songs of the new album. Yeah, that’s actually what I’m most excited about now.

We will celebrate the 30th anniversary, we’ll have some big shows with great guests. The first one, we will do Open Air in Wacken this year in August. Then I want to do two in Dusseldorf, Germany, my hometown. Two shows, two nights in a row, maybe with orchestra and great guests. And the other one, maybe—something spectacular. Something really great. And I want to do one time in London, one time in Paris, and one time in New York, since I live there now since ’87. So we want to do like these extra-special shows… Yeah, I think that’s more than the whole year can be, then there’s time, so yeah.

The Blog of Shredding: What do you think of the state of metal nowadays?

Doro Pesch: Oh, I think it’s in great shape and I think the festivals worldwide—usually they’re like the biggest and best festivals. For example, Wacken, it’s already sold out. It was eight months sold out before the show would take place. And the last time, I think it was sold out six months before it took place. So I think it’s a great sign.

Worldwide, I think we can tour the world much more. In the 80s, it was impossible to tour Russia or China or Romania, Bulgaria, and now, we can tour all over the world and I think that’s awesome. Thailand we did too. It’s fantastic, so I think the world became much more open and I think there’s still a lot of work to do and some other countries where it’s impossible to listen to metal or to even go there to tour.

But other than that, metal is in great shape. I think it almost reminds me of the 80s, and I think that’s very good.

I miss all like the great magazines. I was a big fan of these great magazines, and I miss them. And I miss the big record stores where you could, you know, go in and like, you know, weed through for ten hours. So that’s what I miss a little bit. But on the other hand, now everything’s available on the Internet.

So I guess in one way it’s good, in another way—I still love vinyl. And the few ways to send the record, the record company, I told them I would like to have a vinyl edition. And they said, “Yes, we know your fans would like that.” So there’s actually vinyl editions, that’s awesome. Yeah, and I think metal is in really good shape, very strong.

The Blog of Shredding: What are some new metal bands you’re listening to?

Doro Pesch: I like Children of Bodom, I like In Flames, Arch Enemy, Sabaton, Saltatio Mortis. There’s a very unique metal band that do—I don’t know how you call them. Maybe “Middle Age”. It’s like, they have like these different instruments like the old, old instruments. I don’t know how you call that genre in English.

Me: Folk metal?

Doro: It’s not folk metal. It’s called “mittlelalter”. “Mittlelalter” means “middle age” or “dark age”. And it’s very interesting, so if people are interested, it’s a great band. Saltatio Mortis is their name. I sing on one of their records. We did a duet. The song’s called “Salome”. Yeah, and they’re young guys, really great.

And I’m a big Rammstein fan. Of course, they’re not so new anymore. It’s not like they just came out, but it’s already, you know, so many more years…

All the bands I loved in the 80s, I still love them, I must say (laughs).

I like Steel Panther. They’re so much fun! (laughs)

And so concludes our interview with the ever-humble Metal Queen.

Tomorrow on TBOS: This Week in Metal. NAMM, Ozzfest Japan, Tommy Aldridge rejoins Whitesnake and more.


Doro Pesch Interview Transcript – Part 3

In Part 2 of our interview with Doro Pesch, she discussed her experiences performing at the Monsters of Rock and Wacken Open Air Festivals, her first tour with Judas Priest, and receiving health advice from Blackie Lawless. Here, she talks about meeting Lemmy Kilmister for the first time,  discusses being a female pioneer in metal and gives advice to aspiring musicians. Click here to read the interview from the beginning. 

The Blog of Shredding: Do you still keep in touch with (the musicians you’ve toured with)?

Doro Pesch: Yes, yes. Sometimes when I see somebody’s on tour, then I always go there. And actually the closest I’m with Lemmy and Motörhead. I love Lemmy so much, and I love all the other, you know, bands… I don’t know. I love him so much and he’s one of the first (famous) people I’ve ever met. It was actually—we played the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington together. And I met him before too. And I couldn’t speak one word of English! (laughs) It was like the very early 80s. And he was so nice. He said, “Oh yeah, have a cigarette. Have a whisky cola.” And you know, we hung out and had a great time… He actually sang a duet with me on the new record. It’s called “It Still Hurts” and I love it so much. It means so much to me.

But all the other people too. When I see Judas Priest is playing where I am, I always try, you know, to go. Or the Scorpions. And Udo Dirkschneider from Accept and many many other bands. Yeah.

The Blog of Shredding: Why did you choose metal at the time when it was such a male-dominated music genre?

Doro Pesch: I love metal so much and think everybody knew that—that no matter what—I never thought it made a difference, being a man or a woman. If you love music and people, they feel you can touch their hearts, I think it doesn’t matter. I never thought, I never felt degraded or second-best being a woman. I felt really good, really respected. All the bands that we just talked about— and many more bands—they were always treating me really great. I never thought it was such a big deal. I always had a great time and always felt very supported. So, yeah, to me, I feel I’m just a human being and I want to try to do my best and make people happy, give them positive power, positive energy. I never felt bad being a woman. I just-I think it doesn’t matter in the end. And I think music is about that.

The Blog of Shredding: How do you feel about (female-fronted band) Halestorm being nominated for the hard rock/metal Grammy? Lzzy Hale’s the first woman to be nominated for that.

Doro Pesch: That’s super! I was so happy when I heard that. I just found out a couple of weeks ago, and I was like, “Wow! Super!” More power to them and more power to her, and of course, I keep my fingers crossed that she will win. And that’s great! I think that’s awesome! That’s awesome.

And I must say, when I started, we were just maybe a handful of women. And now there’s so many more, so that’s great, you know. It doesn’t feel so lonely anymore!

But all the women that were doing this, I always had great connections. Most of the girls I know, and most of the girls I’m great friends with, like for example, the girl of Girlschool. We started together in the early 80s. Yeah, I think that’s great. Halestorm were nominated. Super!

The Blog of Shredding: What do you want your legacy to be?

Doro Pesch: Just when the fans think of me, that they know that I always try to give my best and try to make the fans happy and give them something that they will never forget, that it’s like the real thing. And something they could always count on. I promise you that I will never ever give up and I want to do it till the day I die.

I will never ever do a goodbye tour, I promise that. And I will always try to give 150 percent in songs or shows or records. And they know that I love the fans more than anything else in this world and the fans, they are my family and they’re the most important thing to me, my only inspiration and motivation.

I love the fans—to death! (laughs)

The Blog of Shredding: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Doro Pesch: I just would say, always give your whole energy, your whole heart, do 150 percent, and never let them change you. Always do what you feel is right. Follow your heart, follow your instincts. And never ever ever give up and do what you feel is right. Do what is you, you know, don’t follow a trend and just, you know, express yourself. Be the best you can be. And always try to find good people who will help you, support you, and even if you can’t find them, just believe in yourself and do whatever you can. I would say, you know, it’s a hard road but everything is worth it. If you try, if you believe in it, if you don’t give up, in the end, you definitely get to go to places. You definitely get successful. Whatever is in you, just follow that… And maybe find a good management. If you find somebody or if you want to sign a deal then, I would say, you know, it’s good to consider a lawyer because I [laughs] must say I can talk from experience. I signed my life away many times [laughs] because I thought, “Oh, everybody just wants the best for the band, just what’s best for you.” So I would get legal advice. Yeah, seek legal support like a lawyer before you sign a contract. Yeah, I would say that’s pretty good because, you know, I didn’t do it. And back in the day, actually, we made many handshake deals, which I believed when people told me something, that that was for real. I was very naive—I still am. I just want to believe the best in people, but sometimes it’s good to have a second opinion, somebody who knows. Yeah, a good lawyer who, you know, who loves music but takes care of you. That you don’t wind up in too much, you know, problems (laughs). I guess, you know, these experiences in the end, you know, it was alright to go through some hard stuff. And always know, always know it will always go up and down, up and down. But always try to keep a good attitude and if somebody knocks you out, get up as fast as you can, and you know, fight more and fight for what you want to do.

To be continued. Part 4 of 4 will be published soon. 


Doro Pesch Interview Transcript- Part 2

Part two of TBOS’s interview with Doro Pesch. Here, she tells about her experiences at Wacken Open Air Festival, her first tour with Judas Priest, and receiving health advice from Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. Part 1 is here

Doro Pesch Performing in 2008. Photo credit: liveratum on Flickr.

Doro Pesch Performing in 2008. Photo credit: liveratum on Flickr.

The Blog of Shredding: So you were the first woman to ever play at Donington (Monsters of Rock) and Wacken (festivals). Can you tell us about that?

Doro Pesch: I didn’t realize it at the time, and for me it was just like so amazing and so overwhelming. At the Donington Monsters of Rock Festival, it was actually—it was the biggest (metal festival). Back then, it was like unbelievable, and when we heard that we would play on this festival. And I tell you, I guess I was the happiest girl on earth, and that was actually when I quit my job.

Actually, I heard that we would go on Judas Priest’s tour right after the festival and then we would play this big festival in England. Then actually I quit my job as a graphic artist, and I thought, “I wanna try it”.

Then we played there, and it was 120,000 people. And the stage was very high. They had a lot of stairs to go up, a lot of steps. I tell you, my knees, they were like pudding. I walked up the steps and I went (surprised noise) and all the guys in the band felt the same. It was so amazing and the fans were in so (sic) good spirits and so into it, singing along, everybody headbanging. It looked like 120,000 people would headbang at the same time. Back then, there weren’t any iPhones, but in my memory, it was one of the greatest memories.

Then Wacken (Open Air Festival)—I’ve played there eight to nine times. I was there the first time in 1993, and it was a little tiny village. And it was actually when metal wasn’t doing well. It was in ’93, when grunge was so big. And there’s two fans doing a metal festival. I’m like, “Really? That’s so cool!” And I said, “I want to be part of it.” And we get there, and we couldn’t find it because it was such a tiny village, so we asked some farmers, and they actually brought us there on their tractors. It was so funny.

These two fans, it was like metal came out of their hearts. It was great. There was maybe 2,000 people there. But the huge stage, the huge P.A., so probably, I mean 50,000 people could have been easily there to listen. But yeah, the first time, we played with 2,000 maybe.

And then four years later, in ’98 we came back, and I thought, “Another little metal festival with the die-hard fans,” and now there were already 35,000. We thought, “wow!” And then every two, three, four years I played there again, and every time, it was the 20, 30, more thousand people, and now I think it’s like 80,000 people. Yeah, that’s what the police allows.

But I think even more than 50,000 people could be more on the field. But it’s always a big honor to play there and metalheads from all over the world, they’re always, you know, going to Wacken. Many people from the States, Australia, Brazil, like from all over the world. It’s so unbelievable and all the bands, all the musicians feel like “wow,” you know? It’s definitely a great honor to play there.

And you can always show the best show, because Wacken—the guys there—are so supportive. When you want to do something outrageous or something super-special, they always support you in that.

You can always expect the fans to see like a totally unique show, and with the best pyrotechnics and fireworks and light show and state-of-the-art ideas. So that’s what makes Wacken so extra-special.

The Blog of Shredding: You’ve opened for Megadeth and other legends such as the Scorpions. Could you tell us more about that?

Doro Pesch: Oh, yes, yes. I’d love to. My very first big tour was actually in ’86 with my favorite band, Judas Priest. And like I told you before, that’s actually when I quit my job.

It was unbelievable. I got the phone call from my manager at the place I worked. It was actually totally forbidden to take phone calls there, and then my boss, he said, “Hey, little girl. It better be important!” And I’m like (stutters) “Yeah, I hope so!”

So I got on the phone and my manager said, “Hey, are you ready to quit your job?” I said, “Why?” “You’re going on tour with your favorite band.” I said, “What you mean?” “Yes. Judas Priest.”

And back then, it was—I mean, for metal, it was Maiden, Priest, Metallica. It was like-it was like bigger than life. So it was my first tour. It was packed, sold out.Back in the ‘80s, it was definitely the biggest places. Metal was so strong. It was so great to be on tour with them.

My second tour was in ’87 with Ronnie James Dio. And Ronnie James Dio is my favorite singer, and it was so fantastic, and I learned so much.

Then we wanted to go on tour in America. We did a couple of club tours and stuff, which we really did great. And then I got a phone call from the record company and from the manager that said, “Hey, you’ll never guess who you could tour with.” And I said, “Who?” They said, “Dave Mustaine and Megadeth.” And I thought, ‘OH!  WOW!”

So actually, you know, we immediately canceled all the European dates because we had another tour in Europe already booked. And then we canceled all the dates. I said, “No, I wanna do it.” And then we did our first big tour in Spain.

It was great. You know, I love Megadeth. “In My Darkest Hour,” that was my favorite song. It was so great. I watched their show every night, and it was so-it was so special. So great.

Then we did many other tours, all with my favorite artists like Motörhead and the ScorpionsW.A.S.P.

It was my first big England tour, and Blackie Lawless, he was so super-nice to me. He was so cool to me because I was on tour with Judas Priest, and at the end of the tour in Scandinavia, it was this big ice hockey venue. And then everybody said, “Hey, girl, don’t walk on the ice!” And I said, “Oh, I can take it.” You know, I’m metal (laughs) and Judas Priest and it’s ok cause I was watching every day (sic) the sound check of Judas Priest. So I was walking on the ice and said, “Nah, it’s kinda cold. But it’s ok.”

So a couple of days later, we were on tour with W.A.S.P. in England, and I had pneumonia. I was so sick! And that was when I first met Blackie Lawless.

I was sitting on a staircase because there was only one dressing room. And Blackie said, “Hey, is that Doro? The singer of our support Warlock?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “Wow! You look like you’re really sick.” And I said, “Blackie, I’m so sick, man. I don’t even know if I can do the tour. I’m so sick.”

He said, “You know what? You wait.” And then he told the band members to please give me the dressing room and said, “You know what? Lay down here on the couch. I will wake you when it’s time for you to get dressed. I will get you some great medicine.” And he got me like all this medicine and magic potions for the voice. He got me some fresh fruit juice and fresh fruit, which back in the day, was very, very difficult to get. It was, you know, in England, actually very difficult.

He got me all this medicine, magic potions, and then, he woke me up and he said, “Doro, it’s time for you to get dressed and have a great show.” And I tell you, I felt like a million bucks. I was immediately feeling so much better.

And I thought, “Wow. I will never forget.” You know, he was so nice and so kind. Then I thought, “If I ever have a support (band), I’m gonna treat them as good.”

I learned from all the great bands and artists. And I can definitely say I had a great chance to learn from the best and we played with so many bands. It was unbelievable.

I was always in Heaven. And I never thought, being a little metalhead from Germany, you know, that you could ever tour the world and tour with your favorite bands, with your favorite artists. It was such a dream come true, and it still is. I still deeply appreciate it and feel grateful for it.

To be continued…

 


Doro Pesch Interview Transcript – Part 1

The Blog of Shredding: So could you tell us about the new album?

Doro Pesch: It’s called “Raise Your Fist,” and it took about 2 1/2, three years to make it. And it has many anthems, which I love. For example, songs like “Raise Your Fist in the Air,”—which was actually the first single and the first video—“Rock Till Death,” and there’s another one, another neck-breaker, real heavy metal and speed metal tunes on this, like “Little Headbanger” or “Revenge,” and it has some beautiful ballads on it as well.

And we have two killer guests. One is a guitar player. He plays the solo on the song “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)”: Gus G. from Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne. And then I sing a duet with Lemmy Kilmister (of Motörhead), and the song is called “It Still Hurts,” and yeah, that’s one of my favorite songs and it’s a very deep, dark ballad.

The first song I wrote for this record is called “Hero”. It’s actually a song dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and gives him thanks and honor and respect. We just played all over Europe and I played the song every night. The fans, they really, really, really love that. There will always be Dio chants before or after the song, you know. “Dio! Dio!” Yeah, I’m just so touched and happy to sing about Ronnie, so “Hero” is just one of my most important songs on this record.

There’s some other cool tunes on this record, “Coldhearted Lover,” “Free My Heart,” “Victory”. There’s one in German. It’s called “Engel”—that means “angel”. That’s a ballad and there’s another one that’s titled in German-English. It’s called “Freiheit (Human Rights)”. “Freiheit” means “freedom, liberty”. It’s actually a human rights song, and I dedicated that song to a human rights organization. It’s called Terre Des Femmes. They’re a big organization. Whenever young girls, young women need help in all kinds of areas, they’re supportive there. I wanted to dedicate a song to the ladies all over the world.

The Blog Of Shredding: Could you tell us about the opening band Sister Sin?

Doro Pesch: Yes, it’s actually a Scandinavian band. It has a female singer. Her name’s Liv (Jagrell). She’s a really cool girl. Actually, we toured together before and like each other a lot. And we just did a song together for their record. It’s a cover version of the Motörhead classic “Rock N’ Roll”. Great band, great attitude. It’s a great, exciting package for the fans.

To be continued…


Metal Queen Doro Pesch Talks To The Blog of Shredding

German singer Doro Pesch (Warlock, DORO) is called “The Metal Queen” for a reason.

Her first major tour was with Judas Priest. She sang duets with Ronnie James Dio and was the first woman to perform at the Monsters of Rock and Wacken Open Air festivals.

“I never thought, being a little metalhead from Germany, you know, that you could ever tour the world and tour with your favorite bands,” Pesch says over the telephone. “It was such a dream come true and it still is.”

During an extensive 40-minute interview, Pesch opened up about everything from her new album to receiving health advice from W.A.S.P. singer Blackie Lawless.

She just wrapped up filming “Anuk: The Path of the Warrior 2” and plans to celebrate her 30th anniversary with big shows in Europe—and perhaps even a new champagne.

Due to the length of this interview, the full transcript will be published over the next several days. For now, here are some highlights.

On quitting her job in graphic design:

I got the phone call from my manager at the place I worked. It was actually totally forbidden to take phone calls there, and then my boss, he said, “Hey, little girl. It better be important!” And I’m like, (stutters) “Yeah, I hope so!” So I got on the phone and my manager said, “Hey, are you ready to quit your job?” I said, “Why?” “You’re going on tour with your favorite band!” I said, “What you mean?” “Yes. Judas Priest.”

On meeting Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead singer and bassist) for the first time:

I love him so much and he’s one of the first (famous) people I’ve ever met. I couldn’t speak one word of English! (laughs) It was like the very early 80s, and he was so nice. He said, “Oh yeah, have a cigarette. Have a whisky cola.”

On the current state of metal:

I think it almost reminds me of the 80s, and I think that’s very good. I miss all the great magazines. I miss the big record stores where you could, you know, go in and weed through for ten hours. So that’s what I miss a little bit. But on the other hand, now everything’s available on the Internet.

Pesch embarks on her North American tour next month. It stops in Tempe, Ariz. Feb. 23.

Her latest album, “Raise Your Fist,” is now available, and features Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) and Lemmy Kilmister.

Stay tuned for the rest of the interview.

-A.D.


Coming Soon

Welcome to “The Blog of Shredding,” where I will bring you hard rock and heavy metal news, interviews and reviews.

My first interview will take place next week (the week of Jan. 21), and the first true blog entry will be published shortly afterwards.

(Hint: The person I’m interviewing is a metal queen and will be touring North America in the near future.)

Stay tuned,

A.D.