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Don Dokken (Dokken)

Interview with Don Dokken from Dokken
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 07 May 2008, 6:11 AM

Lightning Strikes Again woke up some really good memories from DOKKEN's early years in the older METAL TEMPLE editors. The band's frontman honored our online magazine and discussed with us some things about this release and more. So, go ahead and read what he has to say.

Hello from the Metal Temple mag and congrats on the new album! I will be honest with you; this album is way better than Hell To Pay. What are the differences between these two albums from your point of view?

We have returned to our roots which is what the fans have been asking for.

Everybody says that with this album DOKKEN returned to their ’classic’ sound. Do you agree with this? Was it your intention to make an album that would have an almost vintage sound or it just happened during the composing process?

We were conscious of making a cd that sounded like Tooth And Nail meets Back For The Attack this is what our fans were missing and I understand but it was very difficult for me to write. I do not see music or the world through the same eyes as I did when I was in my 20’s but Jon guided me through the process,  I am happy with the results and hope our fans are too.

Speaking of which, what was your composing process and how long did it take to make this album?

It took almost 3 years to record… Jon Levin would write a guitar riff and that would inspire my lyrics

How did you choose the album’s title? Did the record company have any involvement in this?

No, I always pick the titles, its just the name from an old DOKKEN song and fitted the feeling we had about the new CD.


Will or have shot a video for the new album? Maybe for Standing On The Outside?

We are filming our US tour and hoping to make a video from the footage.

The album has been out for more than two weeks now; what is the feedback from the Media and the fans?

Itunes just gave us 5 stars, all the reviews have been great. We are all very happy and proud of this body of work.

Do you read the reviews for your albums? Do you ever get pissed for a negative one? Which is the thin line - in your opinion - between paying attention to the fans’ wishes and your own scope?

You cannot please everybody, it is impossible! An artist must be happy with his music no matter what the cost but at the same time I think we owe our fans the sound they have come to love, yes it is a thin line, this has been the longest and most difficult recording of my career.

Why do you think there is a growing interest of the retro Hard Rock/AOR sound? OK, modern Rock/Metal sounds are a good seller these days but - on the other hand - classic bands do not quit writing or touring at all!

It is about memories our songs remind people of a time in there lives, maybe a more innocent time, high school, collage, there first love and so on, our hits have memories attached to them, the new songs today do not, they are a hit on Monday and forgotten on Saturday.

You have a big back catalogue; how difficult is to pick the songs for the concerts? Will you prepare more songs in order to make changes between shows?

We will be playing 3 different shows this summer so our fans that come to several shows will get a surprise at each concert.

Is there a song that you would like to play live but for some reason you haven’t?

Burning like a Flame. It was a hit but very hard for me to sing even when I was younger! the vocal is to high for me to sing every night, but this summer I will try.

Looking back to DOKKEN history can you say that you are satisfied? Are there any regrets?

I regret that we could not get along enough to keep going, I regret the drugs, alcohol, and temptations that come with fame.

What was the best moment with DOKKEN? Not in terms of recognition or sales, necessarily, but also in relation to ’freedom’.

The best moment was when I realized I could make a living at doing what I loved to do the most music!

You have booked several US tour dates as well as the festival in Illinois with POISON and Sebastian Bach; what are the rest of your tour plans? Will you consider again Greece as a stop?

We will be on tour in the US until October. If we can come to Europe after that will be great, if not I will come back to Greece anyway for holidays because I love the country and people.

Thanks a lot for your spare time to answer these questions. Really wish all the best for DOKKEN’s future!

I hope to see all you crazy Rockers soon.


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