Women in Rock

SALVAJE: An Interview with Metal Goddess DORO

Sexy metal warrior, Doro is back and stronger than ever with “Fight” her latest on SPV Records and she’s gonna kick your ass.. The German metal babe is coming at us full force with her latest solo effort and she’s not pulling any punches.

Doro is a veteran to the heavy metal scene whose claim to fame was back in 1982 where she fronted the band Warlock. With more than 20 years as a metal front woman and 19 plus albums under her belt, Doro paid her dues and wrote the book on women rockers. The Duesseldorf native has single handedly paved the way for women metalers and although she is often overlooked in the states true metal heads know better and acknowledge her as an ICON who represents female power and strength proving that women can get down and dirty just like us dudes. Through the years Doro gained even more momentum and more energy and still gives 110% of herself in her music. She recently brought the house down at Germany’s “Bang Your Head Festival” and showed that she is still on top of her game.

Her latest record, “Fight” features 12 solid tracks which consists of both heavy numbers and ballads as well. Songs like title-track “Fight,” “Salvaje” and “Chained” are heavy hitting head banging tunes with hard riffs, fist wailing beats and chant-along hooks that draw the listener into the entire vibe of the tune. Her ballads such as “Fight By Your Side,” “Legends Never Die” and “Hoffnung” are tenderly delivered with a soothing passionate voice that really demonstrates Doro’s beautiful vocal ability.

So, whether you dig the heavy stuff or the light stuff, one things for sure, Doro is still just as hot, sexy, beautiful and talented as ever before and “Fight” offers something to everyone. When I spoke to Doro recently I couldn’t help but flirt with her a bit, I mean I have always had a ‘thing’ for her. Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of unpure thoughts manufactured with her in mind.. Aside from my shameless flirting we did manage to talk about her career, her latest record and an angel in the image of Lemmy.

First, I have to tell you Doro, you look great.. Sexy as ever, you look like a million bucks, I gotta say..

DORO: Oh wow, that’s very sweet.. (laughs) I guess the music keeps me young and alive

Definitely, rock and roll is the fountain of youth..

DORO: Totally, totally.. I think in some pictures I look younger now than I did 20 years ago.

You do, Doro, you’re still hot and sexy..

DORO: (laughs) Oh man.. Yeah, 20 years ago I had a little puffy face and everything.. Thanks for saying that..

I mean it..

DORO: (laughs) You’re a sweet man..

Now, Doro, you’ve been in the metal spotlight for years, first with Warlock and you’ve been solo for a while now, has the metal industry gotten any easier for women through the years?

DORO: you know, I really don’t know if there’s a difference between men and women, I think that for every musician it’s super hard to survive. Everybody knows that the music business is a tough business and I think that it’s just as hard for all of my colleagues as it is for me, it really doesn’t matter what sex you are. It’s the music that matters and that you just work your hardest.

You’ve been in this business for over 20 years now, what is the secret to your longevity?

DORO: I just love music so much and I love the fans so much and I though it was always worth it to do whatever it takes. When I didn’t do so well, like in the 90’s I still did music for a very small audience, I never stopped and hoped that it would turn around eventually and people who love heavy metal again like they used to. I just always kept at it cus’ I love it so much and the fans were always the biggest inspiration and my biggest power source and I knew that I just couldn’t give up and I had to keep doing it cus’ I knew that eventually some people would like it and it would be important to them.

Your passion for metal certainly comes through in your music.

DORO: Well, I have nothing else.. I have no family or husband or kids and music is 20 hours a day. It’s hard work too..

So, Metal is pretty much your entire life?

DORO: Yeah, when I was 3 or 4 years old I fell in love with music. On one of my birthdays somebody got me a record and it was Little Richard, it was the song “Lucille” and I listened to it over and over and that’s when I made up my mind that I wanted to become a singer.

At 3 years old? (Laughs)

DORO: Yeah, I think I could hardly walk but, I knew I wanted to sing.

So, you knew real early in life what you wanted.

DORO: Yeah, and I always loved the heavier music as well. I mean, Little Richard isn’t so heavy, but he was so intense and to me Heavy Metal always meant total freedom, total emotions and lots and lots of energy and power and sensitivity as well. I still feel that metal bands write the best ballads.

You’re brand of straight metal rocks, what do you think about nu-metal or rap metal? Would you ever steer in that direction?

DORO: I always try and do every record a little bit different from the last one. I think a good record should serve as a mirror of the times and with this record I wanted to get back to roots and make a straight-forward and raw Metal record. But, a couple of years ago I experimented with other sounds and got a little bit of an industrial influence. But after a couple of years doing that I went back to my natural way, I like natural performances. I must say that I fiddled around with so many computer stuff and it was good at the time and many other bands went through that phase like Danzig and WASP and I liked it for the time, but now I’m into straight-forward music.

With your new album “Fight” you really seem to put a lot of yourself into it..

DORO: It has a lot of variety, lots of power and it’s really raw. There’s no polish or effects on it and it’s really what you hear is what you get. We recorded it all together in the studio and it’s a very alive, down to earth record that gets back to the roots. There’s a lot of variety with heavy songs and ballads. I really like “Fight By Your Side” which is an anti-war song and in this time and age it was important to me to add that and make people talk about it and think about it.

Yeah, the message of “Fight By Your Side” definitely connects with the current world events taking place, but didn’t you write that long ago during the Yugoslavian Crisis?

DORO: Yeah, I started writing that back then when the Yugoslavian war was going on, but the A&R guy of the record company said no to the song. He didn’t want it on the record because it was too heavy, too political and I couldn’t win, he wouldn’t budge. Then years later when September 11th happened I thought, ‘Oh man, I got to record this song.’ So, I tweaked the lyrics a little bit and that was the very first song that made the new record.

It’s a real powerful ballad and you did an excellent job singing it.

DORO: Hmm.. Thanks, that’s very nice..

On the title track “Fight” you get real heavy. “Fight” was written for the female boxing champion of the world, Regina Hallmich. You two became pretty close friends?

DORO: Yeah, yeah.. I got to know her about five years ago when I started doing Ty-boxing and my trainer told me that if I wanted to really learn something I should just go to all the fights and watch kick boxing and ty-boxing live or on TV whenever you can. SO, I went to all the fights and this one time there was this lady and she was my size, I mean, really slim and tiny, but she had so much power. Then she got into the ring with one of my songs (All We Are) and I thought, “wow, man that can’t be..” So, after that we talked and then we became great friends and she would come to all of my concerts and I would go to all of her fights.

That’s cool.. So when did you decide to write “Fight?”

DORO: Well, (Hallmich) called me up one New Years Eve to wish me a happy new year and then she said, “hey, lets do something together.” She needed another anthem because “All We Are” is so old and I already had demos for “Always Need To Win” and “Fight” and I told her I’d send her those. Then two weeks later she called back and wanted to use “Fight” because it was harder then “Always Need To Win” and then we finished it.

That song is definitely a good tune to come out fighting too.. (laughs)

DORO: (laughs) Yeah, everyone else comes out to disco songs and “Fight” is loud and intimidating.

Speaking of loud and intimidating, you dedicated a song to Lemmy of Motorhead called “Salvaje.”

DORO: I dedicated that song to Lemmy because on the last record we worked together and sang a duet called “Call Of The Wild” and Lemmy was such a great guy. It meant so much to me because my father died and I was totally devastated and a day later Lemmy called me on my cell phone, he was responding to a letter that I had wrote him weeks and weeks before, I forgot all about that letter. But, he called one day later after my father died and I was total dispair and he said that we should do something together and I thought, ‘Man, I don’t know if I can do anything anymore.” He said, “lets do something to take all this heavy stuff off your mind.” So, we went out and worked together on a couple of songs and he was so nice to me and really helped me get through the hardest times of my life. So, on this record I wanted to dedicate a song to Lemmy because it meant so much to me what he did.

That’s really cool that Lemmy was there to comfort you through that painful time in your life.

DORO: Yeah, he was like an angel. When the phone rang I didn’t even want to pick it up and then I looked and I saw his number, it was weird. Lemmy just found the right words, the right way and we had a super great conversation. He helped me gain my energy and power back and he really helped me see that life can go on, it was amazing. If it wasn’t for Lemmy I don’t know what I would have done. When my father died it was so shocking I just thought I would give up everything and Lemmy helped me thorough that.

Whoever would have guessed that an angel in the image of Lemmy would have helped you thorough such a rough period.

DORO: Man, he was so intelligent and sensitive and stuff.

Why did you write the chorus for “Salvaje” in Spanish..

DORO: Yeah, the song was first called “Untouchable” it was an English version and I always wanted to write a song in Spanish and for some reason I thought that this song could sound good in Spanish. So, I met somebody who helped me out with the Spanish version and we liked that version even better than the English one.

I also loved the German track, “Hoffnung” and I don’t even understand German. In the beginning of that song you are whispering something, It sounds very seductive and I gotta say it kinda aroused me a bit.

DORO: (Laughs) That’s good, that’s good.. “Hoffnung” means hope and I thought that it good for the times and for today and stuff.. It would take me like two hours to translate it, but it’s kinda deep, kinda dark.. What I did was I made up a little poem, actually. Those words are put together in a way that you normally don’t talk like that in German. It’s almost like Old English or something. My bass player, Nick Douglas pushed me to put that song on the record and he didn’t understand the lyrics either.. (laughs) He was such a big fan of that song and so we recorded it.

I love that song, I think it’s your sexy voice.. You seduced me..

DORO: Oh.. Thanks.. (laughs)

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