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Interview conducted June 8 2017
Interview published June 16 2017

"We got the title Make Time For Love from a Ouija board."

The undisputed queen of heavy metal, the remarkable Doro Pesch, has resurrected Warlock once again, yet with an almost completely new lineup this time, consisting of guitar player Tommy Bolan and members of her solo band. Recently they made a stop at Sweden Rock Festival to play the 1987 album Triumph And Agony in its entirety and Metal Covenant were fortunate enough to get some time with this truly enthusiastic and impassioned woman again.

Tobbe: You're playing just a few gigs during this summer with Warlock and why don't you extend this into a full-blown tour?

Doro: Today was actually the first show we have ever done with this lineup and we wanted to celebrate the Triumph And Agony album, because it's now 30 years ago since we did it and I think it was definitely one of our best records. You know, it was the perfect timing. Great songs, great album cover, great sound and then Tommy Bolan was my guitar player back then and he played all the solos.

And last year somebody said "Hey! You know, Triumph And Agony is now almost 30 years ago." and I thought "Wow! Let's put on some shows." and then I called Tommy and I said "Would you be up for doing some gigs together?". He said "Yes, of course.".

So we thought "OK, let's just do one or two shows.". So maybe if people like it we could definitely extend it. We have a little America tour lined up for September. But today was the first show, so we didn't know if people would like it, but I think it went very well.

We played for the first time ever the album in its entirety and we'd never played some of the songs, like Make Time For Love and Kiss Of Death. We'd never ever played them live, so it was a big challenge and when we went rehearsing we thought "Oh, man. They sound really nice.", so it's definitely an idea to think about, to do some more shows.

Tobbe: When you played the last time with Warlock you had the old Warlock lineup, but this time it was like a Doro lineup with just one guy from the later days of Warlock. So was it kind of different this time playing with your solo band instead?

Doro: Actually yeah. The guys in my band, we have played together now for: yeah, the bass player, Nick Douglas, he is 26 years in our band and Johnny Dee [drums] about 23 years and we always play Warlock songs, so I definitely wanted to have them involved.

And our two guitar players, Luca [Princiotta], he's 10 years with us and Bas [Maas] 8 years, so I definitely don't want to take the risk of, like, destroying that. I think we have a really good thing going. And I thought with Tommy: You know, with Triumph And Agony it pretty much was Tommy and I and also Joey Balin, who produced the album. We did it actually with 3 people and some guest musicians. Yeah, it was like the key team.

Cozy Powell [drums], for example, played on some songs. And I got the rights to the name back. For the longest time it was impossible to use the name Warlock, so a couple of years ago I got it back and I thought, you know "Now, on the 30 year anniversary of Triumph And Agony, let's use it.".

Tobbe: As you know, the 80's were a long time ago, and 30 years, so do you remember, like, the details from that recording or has it kind of vanished over the years?

Doro: Oh, no, no. I remember so many things and when Tommy came into our rehearsal room we were talking and talking, every day, every night, and he could remember stuff and I could remember. You know, you talk about certain things and I remember by Touch Of Evil there was a lightning bolt coming into the studio and we got so scared because it was, like, 4 o'clock in the morning and it was such a scary vibe. And then the lightning went back out through a little window. I was like "Okay. That's it for tonight.".

You know, cool things and sometimes, you know, weird things. We got the title Make Time For Love from a Ouija board. It was the first time that I played the Quija board, which I would actually never do again. I think that stuff is, you know, pretty dangerous.

So I played it with my producer, Joey, and then he was asking this, whatever, this spirit "Do you have a message for Doro?" and then it was "Make time for love." and then we wrote the song, like, right that night. So many cool things. And we had great touring experiences. It was my first big tour in America and it was with Megadeth and Sanctuary. So yeah, we remember a lot of stuff, you know.

Tobbe: It's almost been 5 years since you released a Doro studio album. So what's taking so long?

Doro: Actually we did a 3-disc DVD. It was called Strong And Proud [2016] and actually it hit number 3 in Sweden and number 2 in Germany and number 1 in Finland and number 3 in England, so that was going really good. But it took, like, 2 years to make and it was, like, the stuff from our 30 year anniversary, touring all over the world, and I wanted to really make sure that it sounds great and that it looks great.

And yeah, we are in the making of a new album and it will come out early next year. We have 80 per cent of the songs already. I asked Tommy, I said "Hey! Shall we do something together for the new record?" and he said "Oh yeah. Absolutely.". We haven't done it yet, but it's in the making. So, next year, and lots of nice anthems, fast songs, some beautiful ballads and of course some guests, but I don't know who it will be, but it will be probably some cool stuff and some cool people.

Tobbe: And this record will follow the Doro vein and be like the last couple of records?

Doro: Yeah, I would say between Raise Your Fist and Triumph And Agony. Kind of that vibe, you know.

Tobbe: On your front covers you're almost always portrayed as a 20-year-old, but you look good the way you are. I mean, why can't you be just like you are and be portrayed anyway?

Doro: Sometimes I feel it becomes more a metal record and I like a painting. It's always the same person who does all paintings. His name Geoffrey Gillespie and I met him actually on the Triumph And Agony album. And I love the fantasy world and sometimes he's, yeah, he's, you know… He's very supportive, let's say that. [Laughs] I realize sometimes he paints, like, nice stuff.

But sometimes I think photos on an album cover is cool too. It depends on the song and on the vibe of the record. Me, being a traditional metalhead, I like just the traditional fantasy paintings. Or sometimes it's just for the limited edition or, you know, a photo for the vinyl or for the normal CD and we did that on the Raise Your Fist record. But as long as you have CDs or vinyl you can put stuff on them, but I heard in a couple of years there won't be any, you know, physical things anymore, so.

Tobbe: Even if you will have a new record out next year, do you think that you will come to a point where you, like, will stop making new records and simply rely on the old stuff?

Doro: Oh, no, no. It's always so nice to have new songs and even the songwriting process is awesome. Sometimes I get so excited and it's like "Oh, man. I can't wait 'til the fans will hear the new stuff.". It's definitely always so much fun to have new stuff. Sometimes, you know, maybe putting out a single with just, like, 1 or 2 or 3 songs.

We did Love's Gone To Hell a couple of months ago. We made a video for it. It was one song I loved so much and I thought "No. I don't wanna wait for a new record. It will probably take another year.". So we said "Let's just put it out.". So it doesn't have to be always the traditional way about having new songs.

I guess, if you don't have any ideas anymore, then maybe, you know, but so far I always feel highly inspired. There are so many things, or fans, or people, or touring world-wide and there's always enough ideas.

Tobbe: So how do you try to stay fit and healthy during tours …if I'm looking at that? [I'm pointing to a plate with all but healthy food.]

Doro: Aaah. I won't eat it. I won't even look at it and then I'll have the coffee. Actually I do a lot of sports. I love martial arts. I'm doing Eskrima, which is martial arts and it's actually with black sticks and weapons and, you know, that keeps me in good shape. Mentally and physically, you know, you learn to focus and concentrate right and when it hurts you almost don't feel it. You can just go on and that's good and it makes you, you know, strong as steel.

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