DORO PESCH Explains How She Lost Rights To WARLOCK Band Name For More Than 20 Years

January 15, 2024

During an appearance on recent episode of the "That Metal Interview" podcast, German metal queen Doro Pesch explained how she got the rights back to the name of her early band WARLOCK more than a decade ago after previously losing a legal battle with the band's former manager. The singer, who has released more than a dozen albums under her own name over the past three and a half decades, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "WARLOCK and Doro, for me, it's one and the same," she said. "It's just we had a problem with the name for many, many years, but after 20 years, I got the rights to the name WARLOCK back."

"Our former manager, he died. He's not anymore alive," she continued. "And he was our merchandiser as well. And I think back in the day, back in the '80s, we sold so many t shirts and merchandising. And then one time he said, 'Hey, you guys know, we have to protect our name just in case that nobody else will call a band WARLOCK or whatever.' And then he said, 'Well, I go somewhere with all your passports.' We gave him our passports and then he was supposed to put it under our name, like the guys and me and the band. And then I was in America and doing [WARLOCK's] 'Triumph And Agony' album, which became really, really successful. And we did a long tour in Europe with Ronnie James Dio. And then suddenly my American manager, he said, 'Doro, I have to talk to you. There's something really serious.' And I thought, 'Oh no.' I hate when people say that. I said, 'Well, what can it be? The album is going well. Everything is so successful. We are on tour with my favorite singer, Ronnie James Dio.' He said, 'Well, your German manager, he left.' And I said, 'He left?' And yeah, he just split. And there was probably something going on, but when you're on tour and being a musician, you can't like cancel the tour. And I thought, 'Yeah, we will sort it out after the tour is over.' So we did the tour with Ronnie James Dio in Europe and then with MEGADETH in America. And then I was doing another album that was the follow-up of 'Triumph And Agony'. And we were in the studio, everything was really going well. We thought, 'Oh, man. This will be a big album again.' And great vibes, great songs. And suddenly we got a letter from a lawyer and said, 'Well, we cannot use the name WARLOCK anymore.' And we thought, 'Hey, it's our name. Of course we'll use the name. It's my name, it's our name.' And then we tried to do it, and we were hanging posters and doing the album, but that didn't happen. We got in so much trouble and then the people said, 'If we see one more time the poster with the name WARLOCK on, there's a lawsuit and you guys, you have to pay whatever, 50,000 dollars, something like that.' So, I thought, 'Okay, what can we do?' And I always wanted to do music for the rest of my life. And then the record company said, 'Well, how about we call it Doro?' Because they weren't interested in having another band name. They said, 'Well, another band name. We just built you guys up and maybe it's starting from scratch. So call it Doro. And then when it gets solved, next album, then WARLOCK again.' But that took 20 years. And my manager, the German guy, he went to Turkey and back in the day, there was no Internet, no cell phones. You could not get a hold of him. We could solve it. And the last thing I knew was, there was a journalist calling me from Aardschok magazine; it was in the Netherlands, very famous magazine. And he said, 'Doro, I have news for you. Your manager got killed.' And I thought, 'Wow, really?' He said, 'Yes, he got poisoned.' And I thought, 'Wow.' So it never really got solved with that guy. But I got the rights to the name back 20 years later."

Doro said that she was disappointed to see her former manager take advantage of her and her bandmates at a time when they were just starting to make their name in the music industry.

"When there was a little bit success, I saw it many times, a little, little tiny bit of success, then people go crazy," she said. "And then they see only the money or whatever. And he was a close friend. I was so sad. The money, I didn't care, but the name, I did care. And then we were friends before.

"So there was the story of that. I never wanted to do a solo career, never planned on it. But it took a long time [to get the WARLOCK name back], yeah. But I wanted to do music, of course."

Last month, Doro announced the digital release of "True Metal Maniacs", an exceptional song that tells about the deep connection with her fans. It comes along with a very special video with live footage from Wacken Open Air, the Monsters Of Rock festival in Brazil and her anniversary show in Düsseldorf.

"True Metal Maniacs" is one of the five bonus tracks from the recently released album "Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud", so far only been released on the physical products, and is included in the digital EP "Conqueress - Extended", which will be released on March 1, 2024.

"Conqueress - Forever Strong And Proud" came out on October 27, 2023 via Nuclear Blast. The 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."

In June 2023, 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.

Photo credit: Jochen Rolfes

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