Doro – the regulations were strict and the fans couldn’t come out of their cars… it’s not the same as a normal gig or festival

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The first time that we had done an interview with Doro was back in 2003 when she appeared in Greece for the very first time (as a support act to the mighty Saxon). 17 years later, Doro not only she remembered details from that show but also she vividly remembered our interview as she was the one who pointed out that we asked for a song that was not on the set list and she went ahead by playing it…the song was “Love Me In Black”. In the wake of the release of a 3CD collection (“Magic Diamonds”) via her own label, we get in touch with the German Metal Queen and learn all about it (and more)…

Interview: Sakis Nikas

Rockpages.gr: Doro, I want to start this interview by asking you for a comment about the recent passing of the legendary Eddie Van Halen. I noticed that you made a touching statement on your social media accounts…

Doro: Yes, Eddie was a great guy. I had the chance of meeting him in 1998 during the “Love Me In Black Tour” because we toured together. It was absolutely amazing watching Eddie from the side of the stage…he was always cranking jokes, having a smile on his face…always happy. Eddie was a very down to earth person who always made you feel comfortable when you were with him. Everybody knows that he was a phenomenal guitar player but it was an unbelievable experience watching him every single night playing his electric guitar…he was so cool. I remember that my guitarists in the band at that time always tried to play like Eddie…he was such an inspiration to them and to all of us. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see him after that tour but it was an honor for me as an artist to meet Eddie.

Rockpages.gr: How are you dealing with this whole pandemic thing? You are one of the very few artists who attempted these socially distanced concerts. How was that whole experience?

Doro: Yeah…it’s not the same of course, as a normal gig or festival where the fans are close to the stage and sing together. You know that. But at least we were able to do something under these difficult circumstances and I really enjoyed it. I don’t remember who had that idea but the first show was like a drive-in concert! In the beginning it was strange but as the show went on, everybody was rocking with us and it was great watching the fans in their cars singing along to “All We Are”. But I must tell you that it felt like we were in a movie open cinema or something. Very strange. We weren’t getting the feedback from the fans as they were so far away and I decided to go down from the stage and sing right in front of them…at least for a couple of songs. We kept the 2m distance but at least it was better. There’s a video on YouTube of “All We Are” from that first open show. This video had something like 600.000 views in a couple of days and that was unbelievable. Then some other promoters approached for similar shows and of course we said “yes”. It was not the same but we had to do something although sometimes the regulations were strict and the fans couldn’t come out of their cars. It keeps you in shape and it’s a harder job as you had to work twice as hard as these are not regular shows…you have to work hard to get the fans singing along with you. It was a challenge for us.

Rockpages.gr: Let’s talk about the 3CD collection of yours “Magic Diamonds” that comes out from your own record label. Correct me if I’m wrong…is this the first release by your label (“Rare Diamond Productions”)?

Doro: It’s actually the second release although the first one was only available in Germany. It was called “Fur Immer” and it included 18 or 20 songs in German language. And now comes this second release which is available worldwide. The thing is that I got back the rights from all the years that I was in SPV and AFM and now I have the chance to re-release the stuff from my own label…albums and DVDs that are no longer available. There will be special editions with possible bonus stuff…picture discs, limited edition vinyls etc. I want to offer something to all the collectors because I am a vinyl collector myself…something for my die-hard fans.

Rockpages.gr: But you still have your contract with Nuclear Blast, right?

Doro: Yes, of course…al the new material will come out via Nuclear Blast. My label will release old stuff that are no longer available or collection of rare songs and stuff like that. As a matter of fact, we just talked to the Warner Bros people if we could re-release “Love Me In Black” in vinyl as it was not available in that format when it first came out in 1998. There’s no pressure…we are doing these things just for fun and of course for all our fans. And the timing was right as with the pandemic all the tours were cancelled so the idea of releasing a collection of rare songs is fitting. It’s something that we have been talking about it for quite some time now. We started with 15 songs and ended up with 56 songs and 3CDs (laughs)! I asked the fans to send me their favorite songs from all the records that I have done…from the 80s up to this point. Some songs were re-recorded or remixed…I was very surprised with some of the songs that the fans chose…like, “Fortuneteller”. I love that song.

Rockpages.gr: Is the vast majority of the songs cued from 2000 and onwards? I mean that you don’t have the original versions of the albums that you released in the 80s and 90s due to contractual reasons…

Doro: Yeah, right but we do have different versions, re-recorded or reworked stuff from that period. The fans will get to hear “All We Are” and “I Rule The Ruins” but in different versions. Universal has the rights to all the records from “Burning The Witches” up to “Machine II Machine” and then, as I said, Warner has the rights for “Love Me In Black”.

Rockpages.gr: Apart from the unreleased songs, there are also two different box set versions of this collection: the male and the female one that include perfumes! Was it your idea?

Doro: (laughs) Yeah! That was my idea really…I thought that the fans will really like it as it is very different from all those box sets. I am sure that all the collectors will enjoy the package as it is a very special box set. This is something again for the fans…

Rockpages.gr: I know you for so many years now and it’s always about the fans, Doro…

Doro: Exactly, Sakis. You know that. The fans are the most important thing for me and this is not something that I just say in the interviews. I really mean it.

Rockpages.gr: Speaking of fans, you know of course that they are always asking for new music. Any chance of a new album anytime soon?

Doro: Yes! As a matter of fact we have 5 songs ready and we will probably have the album out in 2021. I can’t tell you many things about it because we are still in the very beginning but we will most likely have a new record out in a few months. The problem with the schedules nowadays is that we can’t really plan ahead of the rehearsals and the actual recordings because the pandemic makes things difficult with the flights, bookings and all that stuff. But we are working on it. Let’s hope that by that time things will be normal again and we will get to tour for the promotion of the record. We will try to return to Greece…it’s been so many years!

Rockpages.gr: Looking forward to it…maybe you will get to play “Love Me In Black” again (laughs)!

Doro: (laughs) Of course, we will play it, Sakis! I know how much you love the song. Thank you for all the support through the years.