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

Interviews

HANK SHERMANN: DAVE MUSTAINE Did Not Allow Performance With KING DIAMOND, Talks Potential MERCYFUL FATE Reunion, Songwriting

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I was fortunate enough to interview the legendary axeman Hank Shermann (Denner/Shermann, Mercyful Fate) for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talked about the upcoming Denner/Shermann album, ‘Masters of Evil,’ a potential Mercyful Fate reunion, and playing guitar with Volbeat in 2012.

Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen had asked Shermann to play guitar during the band’s run on Gigantour in 2012. King Diamond was supposed to perform “Come to the Sabbath” with the band, but Dave Mustaine did not allow it.

King Diamond also went to Dallas when we did the Gigantour, because he was supposed to play–we did play a Mercyful Fate song–‘Come To The Sabbath’. King Diamond was coming to the show in order to sing it. But apparently, Dave Mustaine didn’t want King to be onstage and do whatever Satanic lyrics, or whatever that was all about… So, King came to the concert and he was given the–he was told that, ‘Hey King, you’re not allowed’ from Mustaine for some reason.”

The band played the intro from “Come to the Sabbath” anyway, as King sang the lyrics from the audience.

Shermann continues, “That was pretty funny. What that was all about, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if suddenly Mustaine had gotten into God, or you know, for whatever reason [laughs]. That was pretty bizarre you know, because back in the days, they were very good friends… Megadeth were touring with Diamond in the 80s. But there’s a lot of changes in that band. But you know, they’re good guys… and I like them and they have made some really cool records over time.”

He also revealed that he has been in talks with King Diamond over a possible Mercyful Fate reunion, though nothing has been set in stone. There is still an album left on contract with Metal Blade Records.

Nothing has been talked about, specifics. But I mean, it would be a fascinating thought, and let’s all hope that it would happen, at least for the fans, because we owe everything to the fans, that we are still here to this day.”

Denner/Shermann will also be touring Europe and North America later this year.

For the entire interview, click here.

Masters of Evil‘ is due for release on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.

UPDATE (6/9/16 8:27 a.m. PST): YouTube link has been included because the Vita In Musica site is down: https://youtu.be/t5mfMqL7d5I


Interview with REVOCATION’s David Davidson

Revocation-GreatIsOurSin

I recently interviewed Revocation‘s Dave Davidson for our partner site, Vita in Musica. He talks about the band’s latest album, Great is Our Sin, playing the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour, recording with Aborted, and more.

We also talked about songwriting, his musical background, influences, and his advice for aspiring musicians. He urges new bands to “try to find [their] own voice.”

“If you want to start a band or start creating music, try to get into it for–hopefully–the right reasons. Have something to say. Have this creative spark that you want to share with the world… The competition to be seen and heard is really, really, stiff… In regards to business, try to be smart with your money. Invest in the things that are smart to invest in, like good solid recording… Make sure you think carefully about your aesthetic choices, even like with your artwork. If you’re trying to be a traditional heavy metal band, try to get a logo that reflects that look. If you’re a death metal band, try to have a logo that reflects your sound. Have accompanying artwork that can also add to the music. Try to have a full aesthetic package.

For the whole interview, click here.

Great is Our Sin‘ is due for release on July 22nd via Metal Blade Records.

 


Gorgatron Chats with TBOS

by Paul Sokol
Phoenix loves death metal! That’s why we get so many awesome touring bands.
Gorgatron's debut album, Torturetorium
One band that is coming to town in June is Gorgatron and I got a chance to interview Paul from the band. He here is what he had to say:

Gorgatron is from North Dakota but who are you guys?
Who are we?! I’ll tell you BROTHER!

We’re the cheeseburger eatin’
Blast beatin’
Riff thrashin’, hipster bashin’
Wild men without a care
Women listen to our records and strip themselves bare!

WOOOOOOOOO!

What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
Death metal, thrash, grindcore, sludge,
It’s basically the audio equivalent of getting choke slammed off a building into a dumpster full of scorpions.

Some things that influence us are: Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, four loco, cheap tacos, Legion of doom matches, Morbid Angel before they wrote that toe tappin’ techno album.

Where was your favorite show on tour, so far?
Im gonna go with the time we were supposed to play NYC. The show got all fucked over and we had to deal with a coked up fella we dubbed “70’s Porno Dracula” and his evil henchmen. Even a shitty gig (or lack there of) can be a learning experience, and that’s what life is about kids, learning………. and death metal.

Why did you decide to tour?
Because we’re coming to your front fuckin’ door to shove heavy metal down your throat and tear you away from YouTube for a couple hours. I’M TALKING TO YOU AMERICA!

Honestly I don’t think you’re a legitimate band until you put some miles on your old shitty van, and play for some tough crowds not comprised of your girlfriends and drinking buddies. People that don’t know or care about you will let you know fairly quickly if you suck or not.
I’M TALKING CAGE MATCH BROTHER! US AGAINST THE AUDIENCE! THE TAJ MAHAL! IT’S A WAR ON THE SHORE!!!!

When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
JUNE 10TH @ CLUB RED, BROTHER!

We’ve been preparing, day in and day out. Our ability to out-party anyone is something we boast about.

Our guitars and drums are tuned with precision,
Which is why you should make the decision,
To walk down that isle,
Style and profile,

Jesus, just come to CLUB RED JUNE 10TH and let us and a bunch of other killer bands WHOOP THAT MONKEY ASS (musically).

We can’t wait to get sweaty in the desert with all of you!

CHEERS,
Paul Harvey Johnson

Paul nailed it because all the other killer bands are local Arizona acts including Unholy Monarch and Avarice. This one-night-only slaughter features three other bands too! Get cheap tickets at the official Facebook event and invite your friends here!

PILE OF PRIESTS Talks to TBOS

Phoenix, Ariz. is home to a bustling metal scene which attracts touring acts from around the globe, great and small.
One band that is currently touring their way to our neck of the woods is Pile of Priests. TBOS got a chance to interview one of their members, bassist Patrick Leyn, and here is what he had to say:
Pile of Priests is from Colorado but who are you guys?
We are just regular jack offs with a similar state of mind and the same approach to enjoying our passion that is metal. We know there isn’t a lot of money to be made in our genre but that is not why we do it.
What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
We are a death metal band first and foremost, whether it’s death/thrash or progressive death, that’s for you to decide! Some of our influences include Death, Edge of Sanity, Sadus, Voivod, Nevermore, etc.

Where was your favorite show on the tour, so far?
So far Cheyenne was our best evening. Tons of locals came out to support, the crowd was insane, we were partying with everyone in the van afterwards shootin the shit, cops even showed up. But that’s why we love DIY venues, you never know what will go down.

Why did you decide to tour?
We always said we would have a solid tour whenever we released our first full length album, the timing could not have been better for all of us.

When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
We will be playing in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 19th at Club Red with some other amazing bands, check that shit out!

Indeed Patrick is correct as some of the other amazing bands include The Devils of Loudun from Seattle and Before Giants from Las Vegas. This one-night-only shredshow features three other bands too! RSVP to the official Facebook event and invite your friends here!

“We’ve Come To Make Your Ears Bleed”

Ye’iitsoh is a blackened thrash metal band from Phoenix. They are in the process of recording their first demo.

You can watch the following feature below.

The music video for their first single, “For the Empire,” will be released exclusively here on The Blog of Shredding later this year.

They’ll be opening for Death Angel tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 9.

 


Interview with Holy Grail for KASC The Blaze 1330 AM

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Alec Damiano (me) with James Paul Luna, singer of Holy Grail.

Last night, I interviewed up-and-coming metal band Holy Grail before their show in Mesa, Ariz.

It’s pretty funny. They open up about Metal Alliance Tour and their drunken adventures with Exodus, their musical guilty pleasures, and how they might tour Europe in the fall.

You can check it out here.


A Day with NightSphere

NightSphere is a Phoenix-based power metal band who have opened for big-name acts like DORO, Firewind and Sabaton.

Their influences range from Stravinsky to Manowar, and their keyboard-infused symphonic metal sets them apart from many other bands in the local scene.

NigthSphere performing in February 2013. Photo courtesy NightSphere's official Facebook.

NigthSphere performing in February 2013. Photo courtesy NightSphere’s official Facebook.

The band formed in 2010 when the members found each other on Craigslist. The current lineup is Christopher “C.J.” McConnell on vocals, Elsthon Gomez on lead guitar, Josh Marines on bass, Marc Williams on keyboards and Mike Rodriguez on drums.

The Blog of Shredding got the chance to sit down with them and discuss a variety of topics. Here are some highlights.

On the origin of the band’s name:

“We thought it was pretty accessible,” says singer C.J. McConnell. “You could remember it. If you had some crazy name like–we were thinking of Elementasia or something. Well, it sounds great, but… how can you chant that? You know, that’s the thing for us too. We want our audience to interact with us as much as possible.”

On why they are unique:

“We each bring something different to the table,” says drummer Mike Rodriguez. “You have a drummer that is influenced by Motley Crue and Metallica, a guitarist who’s (influenced by) Opeth and Katatonia, C.J. with everything that he is. (laughs) And then John Williams (referring to the composer) over here… (laughs) Just like the blending of everything together, it’s just like the stars aligned. It’s something different.”

“I think that we can appeal to people outside the metal community as well,” adds keyboardist Marc Williams.

NightSphere singer CJ McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez, opening for Doro Pesch. Photo by Alec Damiano.

NightSphere singer C.J. McConnell and guitarist Elsthon Gomez, opening for Doro Pesch. Photo by Alec Damiano.

On what made them want to pursue music in the first place:

“When I was a boy, I heard this story about a show in Sao Paolo with Sepultura,” says Marines. “Like, they had such an awesome presence onstage, the fans killed some dude. And I was like, ‘Wow. That is serious.’ People are into this style. I want to be in this. I knew that’s my calling in life.”

“When I first joined NightSphere, (playing guitar) was kind of more like a hobby,” says Gomez. “But now with NightSphere, I could see myself making it as more of a career.

“Guitar DVDs with Elsthon Gomez,” adds McConnell. “Just wait for it.”

“Oh yeah, it’s gonna happen! Move aside, (Dream Theater guitarist) John Petrucci!”

On what would define success for them:

“Playing big stadiums. Honestly for me, if we played Wacken (Open Air Festival)–even like the small stage, the first band playing like at noon–I would be like ecstatic,” says Gomez.

“I’m gonna know when I make it when I’m sitting down to eat dinner at a steakhouse. I’ll be like cutting into my filet mignon, with a nice glass of wine. Expensive. And I just feel like a little tap on my shoulder, and then like I get up and I look into his face and it’s like (Manowar bassist and songwriter) Joey DeMaio, you know,” says Marines. “I mean, having respect from other top-notch guys that have been around. That’s when you know you make it. Your sales can be good and stuff, but if you have no respect from people who have already been there, then it doesn’t mean anything.”

“For me, it would be when I wake up in the morning, if I know that the only thing I have to do that day is sit at my computer or whatever and write music,” says Williams. “And I’m getting paid for it. That’s what I would like to do. When I do not have to worry about a day job, I’m done.”

NightSphere will perform at Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Ariz. on May 16 and at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix on May 18.

You can hear their song “As We Are Told” below.


Interview with Warhead

Warhead is a Phoenix-based classic thrash metal band who pull influence from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden. Over the past few weeks, TBOS has been collaborating with them on a set of videos, chronicling the history of the band up to the release of their debut album, “Death Row”.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

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Sam Bollard, bass guitarist. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Blog of Shredding: What inspired you to pursue music in the speed metal genre?

Sam Bollard (bass guitar): It’s what we write. It’s just what we write. We don’t write anything else.

Nolan Castles (lead vocals & guitar): Like yeah, it’s totally natural. It’s not like we’re going like for speed metal, or thrash, death, whatever. You know what I mean? It was just like, we got together, wrote some songs, and that’s what it came out to be.

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Cody Bailey, lead guitarist. Photo by Alec Damiano.

TBOS: What moment made you realize, “I wanna pursue music for the rest of my life?”

Cody Bailey (lead guitar): Definitely watching a lot of live videos of just bands that I liked.

Dane White (drums): Metallica.

Cody Bailey: Yeah, I definitely just wanted to be in their position and get them the hell off the stage and put me there.

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Drummer Dane White. Photo by Alec Damiano

TBOS: What differentiates you from the rest of the Phoenix metal scene?

Dane White: Our stage show is probably one of the (things). I mean, music is one thing for us, but we have electricity when we play that I don’t really see in a lot of other bands when I look at other local bands. No offense to any of them, but I feel there’s definitely a stronger performance chemistry we have when we play together, and I think the audience notices that too. So I think that’s one of the things that sets us off from the others.

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Nolan Castles, lead vocalist and guitarist. Photo by Alec Damiano.

TBOS: How do you get your hair to be so fabulous?

Nolan Castles: To be honest, my hair is all-natural.

Sam Bollard: Head and Shoulders.

Nolan Castles: I wash my hair with dirt, shampoo. Hopefully someone leaves some regurgitation in the sink here.

Dane White: Oh God! (laughs)

Sam Bollard: We wash our hair with brew, take showers with dirt. (others laugh) And that’s about it. We’re thrash. We eat pizza. We drink. We f——- party and we get 45 seconds of sleep and we do it all over again!

Dane White: We literally do none of those things! (laughs)

Nolan Castles: Yes, we party hard. And then when we’re all done, we all go home for dinner.

Sam Bollard: We have a curfew.

Nolan Castles: “Two minutes to midnight” (in reference to the Iron Maiden song of the same name).

Sam Bollard: The f—— thrash curfew!… (laughs) Then we have to “hit the lights” (in reference to the Metallica song).

Warhead will perform at the Nile Theater in Mesa, Ariz. on April 18. Their debut album, “Death Row,” will be released May 16. They will also be interviewed on RockDefRadio Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

You can hear their cover of Megadeth’s “Take No Prisoners” below.


Welcome to Warhead

Warhead is a speed/thrash metal band based out of Phoenix, Ariz. Their songs are written in the vein of the Big Four of Thrash Metal (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer). They look like they got time-warped into 2013 straight from the 80s, and they sound like it too.

TBOS got the opportunity to interview Warhead and film them as they were rehearsing for their upcoming show. You can also hear their song, “Death Row,” in the video below.

Tomorrow March 15, they will perform at the Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Ariz. Other bands on the bill include: Hemoptysis, Scattered GutsExistence AD, and Fail to Reason. The show is all ages and tickets are $5. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Warhead will be touring in May in support of their debut album, “Death Row”. The full-length interview and more concert footage will be posted on TBOS closer to the album’s release date.

Warhead "Death Row" Album Cover

Warhead “Death Row” West Coast Tour 2013:

May 16 –  Phoenix
May 17 –  San Diego
May 18 – Los Angeles
May 19 –  San Francisco
May 21 –  Sacramento
May 22 – Eugene
May 23 –  Portland
May 25 – Seattle
May 26 – Boise
May 27 – Salt Lake City
May 28 – Las Vegas

For more updates, visit their Facebook page.


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!


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.


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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.

 


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.