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Doro: The Triumph and Agony 30th Anniversary Tour at The Whisky

Doro: The Triumph and Agony 30th Anniversary Tour at The Whisky

The legendary Doro Pesch and her outstanding band made their way onto the wilds of the Sunset Strip to play a special show at the iconic Whisky A Go Go.  On the final date of The Triumph and Agony 30th Anniversary North American Tour, Doro and band performed the fourth Warlock album in its entirety, and then took requests from fans throughout the rest of the night.  It was a two hour-plus rock and roll extravaganza – all this and Doro and her band signed autographs and took pictures with each and every fan who stayed late.  As the night was winding down, Highwire Daze Online caught up with the Queen of Metal backstage at The Whisky to discuss the current tour, the background behind the Triumph and Agony manifesto, the notorious music industry, news of a new Doro album, and a whole lot more.  Read on…

How has this tour been going and what have been some of the highlights for you?
Oh man, I’ll tell you all these gigs in the states. Playing The Whisky and seeing fans were reacting so great, singing along. It was such a treat and I was so happy and so excited. I mean, you seen the show today? It was packed! People were having such a great time. It was awesome. I guess every night was a highlight, I couldn’t pick one show. It was all – and we played all these different songs every night, so some people came to all five shows but they never seen the same set except the Triumph and Agony album, we did it in its entirety.  And then the people who called out the songs they want to hear. It was sometimes very interesting. I think every day was a highlight of my life.

What made you do Triumph and Agony in its entirety on tour, and how many of these songs did you have to relearn?
Ah, actually yeah it’s now thirty years ago and it came out in September 1987. I think it was my favorite record, it was so great making the record. We felt magic all along and I got hooked up with some great people. Tommy Bolan, the guitar player he’s here today. And of course Tommy played on our record. Great people involved! I think the cover came out so nice. It was painted by Geoffrey Gillespie. It was the first album cover where I really thought, man! This is a piece of art! I think everything fell into place of course it was the best time for metal, like 87/88 it was really the peak.

Then MTV played the All We Are video on heavy rotation. The video was filmed in the LA river basin by a great guy Mark Rezyka. It felt really like a big movie set and suddenly everything was rolling and it was a dream. So I called up Tommy Bolan last year and said, Tommy – next year it will be 30 years of Triumph and Agony. You know that? He said, yes! I said, shall we do a couple of special shows?

Maybe one or two, he said yes! I’m on board! I thought, OK let’s do a couple of shows and now I heard many fans were asking if we’d come back and do Texas or Cleveland, and all these cities. So I guess we definitely want to do a couple of more shows. But you never know, so we started with just 5 shows and I wasn’t sure if people would still remember or would be interested. But all the places were pretty much packed, it was awesome.

How many of the songs did you have to relearn?
Two songs we have never played. They were Kiss of Death and Make Time For Live.  They never made the set list. Then sometimes there’s not much space in the set list for too many ballads, so Make Time For Love we never played. But then when we rehearsed, we thought, oh! this is really nice.

And Kiss of Death was another song we never played live. But you could tell, while rehearsing that would work as well. Three Minute Warning and Cold, Cold World, I think we haven’t played since the Megadeth tour in 1988. So we had to relearn it, but it was cool. It was cool to play these songs again. We all loved and enjoyed it so much. I think we probably want to continue to have these tunes in our set list.

Why do you think Triumph and Agony became the final Warlock album?
Actually yeah, you know that’s why they call it the music business. We were kids starting a heavy metal band. I had a couple of bands before Warlock and we were just like, totally into the music. And the business aspect – we had no idea. Then, when the Warlock album Triumph and Agony got a little bit of success worldwide, then so many people went crazy. Then all the sharks came in. It all got so intense and we had trouble with the name. Our former manager, he claimed that it was his name which it was not true at all. But he was the merchandiser, so he was very much interested in having that name. Then we went to court, it was my first time ever in court.

Then I started screaming and yelling because I couldn’t believe that it was so unfair and yeah, then we couldn’t use the name anymore. It was heartbreaking. Then I always wanted to keep on doing music, so the record company said – ok, let’s do another name. Doro  maybe the fans will know who it is? We said we’re not interested in forming another band and having another name.

We’re building up Warlock for a long time. So it got really difficult, and then I thought let’s do it for one record. Then the next record will be Warlock again, but I had to wait 20 years. So now I have the rights back to the name and I call it Doro Pesch – The Voice Of Warlock to not get into any more difficulties but yeah, sometimes the music business, when people smell a little bit of money everybody gets turned into a monster.

I guess many bands, musicians know that game. That was the first time and I really felt the highlight of my life was Triumph and Agony. Then shortly after that, it got very difficult so you just have to hang in there, believe in the best and then keep on doing what you love no matter what. But sometimes it’s tough. It always goes up and down, up and down. Now I’ve been in for so long, so I know how it works. When there’s a lot of light, sometimes there’s a lot of shade. That’s the way it goes.

When can we expect a new Doro album?
Actually we are working on it! I think it’s sounding great already, we have some killer songs in the making, some killer anthems. It will be out next year, first week in August because we are playing Wacken. We celebrate our 35th anniversary and then we want to put the new record out that day and it will be a real good record, I think the songs are kicking ass…

Triumph and Agony 30th Anniversary Tour Lineup:
Doro Pesch – vocals
Tommy Bolan – guitar
Nick Douglas: bass
Johnny Dee: drums
Luca Princiotta: guitar, keyboards

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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