DOKKEN frontman Don Dokken recently spoke to BraveWords.com correspondent Deb Rao with an exclusive in-depth look at the making of the band's upcoming release Broken Bones.
BraveWords.com: How is everything going along in the studio with the making of the upcoming Dokken release?
Dokken: "Things are great. We’re working every day. The new CD is very up-tempo. We cut the drums at Tommy Lee's studio and got a killer sound, his studio is really amazing, great vibes. I might do my vocals there too."
BraveWords.com: Is there an estimated release date set yet?
Dokken: "Hopefully June. We were planning on delivering in March but after two mishaps, we had to take a few months off. We had written 18 songs so it turned out as a blessing, kind of' giving us time to decide on the best songs to put on the CD."
BraveWords.com: You mentioned the name of the new Dokken CD is Broken Bones. How did you come up with the title of the CD?
Dokken: "Last year I broke four ribs falling off a wall at home, and just when I got better which took a long time, I had a motor cycle accident. When things like this happen it reminds us that were mortal. One minute you’re enjoying a sunny day sitting on your Harley and the next thing your waking up in a hospital. It's a reality check. The CD title is a metaphor that we all have broken bones, be it from an accident, failed relationship, or a broken heart. Everybody gets wounded as we go thru life but as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
BraveWords.com: Would you say the album resembles Tooth And Nail and reflects the classic metal sound that has been the band's staple for many years?
Dokken: "I don't know, its not done yet, I write what comes from the heart, I don't believe in writing music trying to repeat what you've already done. I understand what the fans want but as an artist I see no point in painting the same picture over and over. Our label hates me to say that and I'm sure the fans too. So we're walking a tight rope trying to keep everybody happy without selling out. I would hope that our fans have grown with us. When I sing it sounds like Dokken but as time passes I see the world differently so obviously it affects my lyrics. I have been asked to write songs like we did in the '80’s but if the Beatles just kept writing ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand' would they have lasted? That is the million-dollar question. So we are trying to strike a balance. What can I say Broken Bones is very up-tempo. I haven't written the ballad yet. It will be the last song I write for this CD. It will probably be a power ballad. I've had some crazy stuff and people pass thru my life lately. So I've got plenty of thoughts to put to pen!"
BraveWords.com: You and Jon Levin have a great chemistry of writing together. Lightning Strikes Again is one of Dokken's best albums. In my opinion, Dokken is the strongest is has ever been. The songwriting speaks for itself.
Dokken: "I agree Jon has brought a lot to the table, when I get into writing outside the box, he pulls me back in. He grew up listening to Dokken so he see's the music thru the eyes of a fan, which helps me. The truth be known, George (Lynch) and I never sat down and wrote a song together. Jeff (Pilson) would always mediate the writing process. He would make a great politician. Looking back it’s a miracle we wrote as many great songs as we did. Jeff would work with George and Mick (Brown) then come to my house and work with me. It was a bizarre process. Like I’ve said many times before, George and myself could never agree on the music direction Dokken should go. Maybe that's why it worked, it was definitely why we imploded at the top of our game."
BraveWords.com: It was just announced that Dokken would be playing M3 Festival this summer. What are Dokken's future touring plans? I know you resume the touring schedule in May.
Dokken: "We played the first M3 and it was a blast, its a bummer SABBATH had to cancel, I hope Tony gets well soon and beats the dreaded C. My prayers go out to him. This year's M3 should be fun being that most of the acts playing know each other, it will probably turn into a big party back stage. We're starting to book shows for the summer now. We will be making a video as well for the new CD. Our first since 2000, so that’s it for now. We'll see you all this summer if I don't break any more bones."