DORO PESCH 'Could Tell' METALLICA Was Going To Be Big When She First Saw Them In 1984

November 2, 2023

In a new interview with DJ Ramo (a.k.a. Omar Rodriguez) of The Metal Mixtape, German metal queen Doro Pesch reflected on the first time she met the members of METALLICA, in particular the band's then-bassist Cliff Burton. The singer, who was fronting the band WARLOCK at the time of her METALLICA encounter, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[Cliff] was so relaxed. He was so relaxed, like really like cool and he played fantastic bass. And he was always smiling, always in a good mood. He was really, yeah, very cool. And he had more like a — can I say? — more like a hippie attitude, like totally relaxed and cool.

"The first time I met them, that was actually in '84, I think," she continued. "We got a phone call and it was a promoter in the Netherlands. And he said, 'Hey, you guys wanna play a show? I have a little club here.' And we said, 'That's cool.' And there was one band pulling out and, I just found out who it was; it was actually TWISTED SISTER. They were supposed to play, but they didn't play. I don't know. And they said, 'You guys wanna play?' And we said, 'Yes.' And the guy said, 'Wait, but there's another band from America. They're coming from far away, from San Francisco. You guys have to play before that band.' And we said, 'Yeah, no problem. Super.' So we went to the Netherlands. And we were playing a show. It was maybe 400 people there, all going crazy, headbanging, sweating. It was fantastic. And then we said, 'Hey, let's check out this band, the other band.' And it was METALLICA. And they walked onstage, and I thought, 'Wow.'

"Back in the day, it was very hard to even get information — no Internet, no cellphones," she explained. "You just had like these little fanzines, and usually it was like handwritten notes and then photocopies, maybe a black-and-white photo, but a photocopy, so we didn't know them so well before. And then they did a fantastic show. And you could tell they would be big; you could tell. And then I fell in love with their music and 'Kill 'Em All' and 'Ride The Lightning'. And then we did another big festival. Actually, VENOM was the headliner. It was the Metal Hammer festival in Germany. It was based on the Rhine River. It was really nice. It's called Loreley. And VENOM was headliner, and METALLICA and WARLOCK and all the other bands, we were kind of the support bands. And then it was a big deal. And then, soon after, METALLICA, they blew up and they were, like, 'Wow.'

"I always loved them. And I was a big fan. That's the reason why I wanted to [cover METALLICA's] 'The Four Horsemen' [for my new album, 'Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud'] because I love that song so much. And I love the early METALLICA. I love it all, but the early stuff, it was, yeah, it was so influential. And they were all so nice. They were so nice to us — James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich and Cliff Burton.

"And then we were actually supposed to play a big festival in Scandinavia. We were on tour with JUDAS PRIEST in 1986. It was my first big tour. I couldn't believe it. And we were supposed to play a big festival in Scandinavia — METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST and WARLOCK. And we were in our tour bus, and I could feel there was something not right — really dark skies. It wasn't cold but it was bad weather. We were sitting in the tour bus and we had a strange feeling. And suddenly I had a really, really strange vibe. And I thought, 'Man, I hope everything is okay.' And then we went to the — it was a big festival setting. Then we came there, and nobody showed up. And we thought, 'Hmm, that's really strange.' And then later on, a couple of hours later, we found out that METALLICA had this bad accident and that Cliff lost his life. That was the first time that we felt, 'Oh, one of us is gone.' It was so unbelievable. And the show didn't take place then, and the whole tour was… Yeah, we were all, like, really, really shocked and sad. And at first, we couldn't believe it. We were just watching some rumors and stuff, but we thought, 'Everything is okay.' You know when you're a teenager, you think, 'Oh, fuck it, it will be okay.' But no, it wasn't.

"I saw [METALLICA] last time [in 2015]," Doro added. 'We played together. I was in Rock In Rio, in Brazil, and I played there with ANGRA, a Brazilian band, and Dee Snider was there, and METALLICA played there, and that's when I last saw them.

"Yeah, [METALLICA] was always one of my favorite bands."

"Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud" was released on October 27 via Nuclear Blast.

The 20-song "Conqueress – Forever Strong And Proud" LP is described in a press release as "the result of intensive hard work that took the incomparable singer and songwriter back to studios in Miami, New York and Hamburg, amongst others. The album presents Doro at the height of her creative powers."

This past June, Doro released "Time For Justice", the first single from "Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud", along with a "Mad Max"-style video. The clip was filmed with director Mirko Witzki.

"Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud" arrived one day before Doro's 40th-anniversary concert at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Photo credit: Jochen Rolfes

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