Weekend

In his words | Don Dokken talks all things Dokken

Dokken founder and frontman Don Dokken spoke to the Herald by phone in advance of Friday's tour stop at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Following are some excerpts from that interview:

On his disappointment with the reception of the band's latest release "Broken Bones":

"I worked so hard on that record, months and months and months. I was disappointed. I thought it was a very strong record. The European label didn't really do anything. They just kinda threw it out there, and that was it. I went, 'Wow, what a waste of work.' It's not a money thing for me. I don't need the money. It's just, I love to make music. I like to write, and I like to put my thoughts and ideas to music. If I can't get those thoughts out to our fans, it's disappointing."

On new bassist Mark Boals, a former vocalist for Yngwie Malmsteen, replacing Sean McNabb in the band:

"Good addition. Great singer and nice guy, ya know? Sean was great, too, but he had other things he was doing. I just thought Mark, such a great lead singer in Yngwie and those other bands, was a good addition to retain those Dokken harmonies. My voice isn't as high as it used to be, in my 20s. About the only singer I know who can sing like he did, in his 60s, is Glenn Hughes. He's got a gift from God. Mark's got a high voice, so we double up and he takes some of the higher notes Jeff used to sing."

On the recording of new Dokken songs:

"We're trying to piggyback on the big shows, get some product out there, do a video, put the video out there on YouTube. There's no more MTV. The world's changing. No more CDs. All the new cars, 2015, there's no CD players. It's an option. Everything's gone Apple. You're forced to deal with Apple. You have no choice. We don't really know what to do with the new record. We'll just put it straight to the Internet, probably. Maybe just put a couple thousand out there on CD. The Europeans still buy CDs, but the Americans don't."

On his approach to touring these days:

"I went through a down period when I just felt we were going to smaller and smaller venues. I didn't care if it was 1,000 or 50,000 people, but of course when you have to travel and the bus and expenses and salaries and crew and everything, your overhead is just off the hook. So it's frustrating to go out there. You don't want to lose money. But all of a sudden, everything's come roaring back. Every festival, all over the world, is calling me."

On all the recording projects his former guitarist, George Lynch, is involved in:

"I don't talk to George, but I was always confused why he does a lot of projects, but they come out and they're gone in five days."

On the 1988 Monsters of Rock tour:

"Best times, worst times. We played for a million people in four weeks, playing with Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, but yet the band was absolutely out of their minds on cocaine and alcohol."

On the breakup of the band at the end of that tour:

"I warned them. We had been on the road for 18 months. It was the biggest tour we ever did. We were gone 18 months, nonstop. It was a nightmare. We were really tired. By the time we hit Monsters to wrap it up, we were just exhausted. I kept begging and pleading for someone -- Jeff (Pilson), Mick (Brown), the management, the label -- to talk to George and tell him to stop it. ... Just like Monsters of Rock, he had this thing where he'd go behind the amps and play his solos and hide because the roadie's holding a straw while he snorts coke while he's playing. When you're doing that in front of 100,000 people and cameras are on the stage ... it's very unprofessional. I thought it hurt the band."

On his memories of playing in Florida:

"We had great moments of being in a hotel on the beach in the summer at night. We'd wade out about 100 yards, and you'd have sandbars out there. You'd float out on styrofoam coolers and sit out on the sandbars on eight inches of water and have cocktails and watch dolphins and watch the sun go down. Good memories."

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