DON DOKKEN On His Diminished Vocal Capability: 'I Have Good Days And I Have Bad Days'
August 17, 2020
In a new interview with Antihero Magazine, Don Dokken spoke about the difficulties he has had preserving his voice as he gets older and the issues he has encountered trying to reproduce DOKKEN's classic material in a live setting. He said: "Yes, it's been a problem. We get older, and our voices are not like they were when I was 27 or 30 or 35 or 40. When you get older, your voice is not as high as it used to be, so you lose your high notes. And I know every singer in this business, there's only a few singers that I know that when I see them live, I say, holy shit, they sound just as good as they did when they were 30, and now they're 70. Klaus Meine [SCORPIONS] still sings amazing. He's got an amazing voice. He still sounds the same. So I guess it's a God thing. Maybe God just gives people a gift."
He continued: "You see Glenn Hughes go out and do DEEP PURPLE songs. And Glenn Hughes, he's almost 70. He sings amazing. Ronnie James Dio, to almost the end of his life, when he had cancer, he did a concert at Radio City Music Hall [with HEAVEN & HELL] and he was fighting cancer, and he still sounded amazing, just like he did forever. So I guess some people are blessed and some people are not.
"In my world, I have good days and I have bad days, and I don't want to put the blame on anybody," Don added. "But when you're flying on an airplane for five hours in a pressurized cabin, and then you go to a hotel and the air conditioning's on, and it's 100 degrees outside, and then you go in your room and it's 60 degrees, then you get back on a plane, your voice goes out."
After DOKKEN's last studio album, 2012's "Broken Bones", failed to meet his expectations commercially, Don publicly questioned whether the band should or would make another record. He was also ruthlessly criticized by fans after radiation treatments from a bout with stomach cancer and eventual vocal-cord surgery hurt his performances.
He told the Bradenton Herald that he took a year or so off after "Broken Bones" to regroup and reassess the band's place in the rock marketplace.
"I was getting so bad I had to say, 'Guys, I'm just destroying our brand. I suck,'" Dokken said. "I put on 40 pounds. I couldn't sing. I just didn't look good; I didn't feel good. I just had to get the radiation over with and rehab and come back."
Don underwent neck and spine surgery last November, leaving him unable to play guitar.
DOKKEN is currently working on the follow-up to "Broken Bones", tentatively due in 2021.