Don Dokken has told fans who think his voice isn’t as good as it used to be to just avoid coming to the band’s live performances
Speaking with Laughingmonkeymusic, DOKKEN frontman Don Dokken discussed the difficulties he has had preserving his voice as he gets older, particularly when it comes to singing the band’s classic songs live. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’ve had a lot of complaints. I see fans, when I go, ‘The kiss of…’ [in the song ‘Kiss Of Death’] and I hit this B flat above A, this super soprano note, and I wouldn’t hit it, and you see people go, ‘Well, hey, you didn’t hit the note.’ I’m, like, ‘Dude, I’ve done, like, three thousand concerts. It’s like a motor car. It’s getting worn out.'”
He continued: “When you’re in your twenties, I don’t know if we’re gonna have another record or another hit or anything — I don’t know. So here I am just singing up [in the high register]. I was trying to copy [Rob] Halford [JUDAS PRIEST], or all those bands and Klaus [Meine, SCORPIONS by singing] so high, but you go on the road for a year and a half and do four hundred shows and five albums and then you start — like me, I’m husky today just from talking to everybody. And that’s just the way it is.
“And you get older. I’m 70, man. And some of these fans go… I’ve had people say, ‘Don needs to give it up. He can’t hit the high notes.’ I’m, like, ‘Let’s see you hit those high notes 24-year-old. Go ahead. Go for it.'”
Don added that he believes that some people will always be critical, even if he sang “perfect like [he] did in ’83”, saying: “My daughter used to go on our web site and we used to have an open forum. So anybody could say anything they wanted. And a guy called Acorn, who didn’t even use his real name, and he made a comment when he goes, ‘I went to five DOKKEN shows this summer and Don sucked.’ And I went, ‘Then why’d you come to five shows?’ And my daughter would fire back. And we finally blocked him.
“And I said, ‘Sweetie, you’ve gotta remember, this guy works at Subway and he makes tuna sandwiches all day, and he has this new thing called the Internet and he can go on and post whatever he wants,’ ’cause I wasn’t censoring, ‘and that’s their way of getting attention.’ Then you get the people to say, ‘Screw you’ and ‘I agree with you.'”
Don said that he plans to “keep going until it’s not fun anymore”, and he had a special message to those DOKKEN fans who are disappointed that he can’t reproduce his vocal performance from four decades ago.
“If I can’t sing the way they remember me, then just don’t come to the show,” he said. “I’ve got no problem with that.”
DOKKEN are set to release their 13th studio album, “Heaven Comes Down”, on October 27 via Silver Lining Music.
The follow-up to 2012’s “Broken Bones” was produced by Bill Palmer and Don Dokken and was mixed by Kevin Shirley (AEROSMITH, IRON MAIDEN).
Don says about the album: “The long anticipated new DOKKEN album, ‘Heaven Comes Down’, is finally done and the first single is titled ‘Fugitive’. The inspiration for the lyrics came from what seems to me to be an uncertain world these days. It’s an up-tempo Rokker as are many on the album. I don’t know what the future holds for our world, so I decided to take a step back and watch it all unfold… Yes, I guess I’ve become like many these days a fugitive from life. Hence the title!”
He continues: “The song rocks and the lyrics are self-explanatory. Like many songs I’ve written, it came to me late at night. Inspiration and pure stream of consciousness have always been the best formula for me when composing. It has that classic DOKKEN sound… A great song to blast when driving down the highway.”
According to Don, 15 songs were recorded for “Heaven Comes Down”, with the original plan to include all of them on the LP.