Former DOKKEN and current FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the possibility of a reunion of DOKKEN’s classic lineup, featuring Pilson, vocalist Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown:
Pilson: “We’re actually working really hard to try and pull something together right now. It has to fall in spaces where there is time off [from my gig with FOREIGNER], so I don’t know for sure whether it’s gonna happen. So let’s just say we’re all friendly now, we’re all past all the decades-old crap, and we all talk and everything’s great. Now it really is just down to scheduling and trying to figure it out. Because, you know, you’ve gotta do it right, if you’re gonna do it. We all feel that way.
“I think we’ve all come to a place where we’re very appreciative of the legacy that DOKKEN has, and we would never wanna just do something for the money and take advantage… ‘Cause we get offered a lot of things quite often, and if we wanted to do it that way, we could. But the fact that we don’t, I think, is a great sign. I think when we do finally do something, we’re gonna try and do it right. Although I don’t know if we’re gonna ever get to do the big sweeping tour that we’ve talked about — mostly because of the FOREIGNER commitment — but we’re gonna try and do something. So hopefully I’ll have something to report sometime soon.”
On what would be the “right way” for a DOKKEN reunion to happen:
Pilson: “I think, really, to do it right means that when we go out there, we sound good — no matter how many or few shows we do, no matter… new music or old music. I would love to record some new music with DOKKEN; I would love that. I just don’t know if we can or will. I have a sense that sometime we will, somehow, but we’ll see. Again, it’s just down to quality. Doing it right means doing it with quality. ‘Cause we were always very quality conscious back in the day, and I don’t think any of us wanna let that go now.”
On the current relationship between the members of the DOKKEN classic lineup:
Pilson: “No matter how argumentative a band is, no matter how much… I mean, think of all the time we spent together, think of what we accomplished together… I don’t care what anybody says; we all love each other — we really do. There is a love in there that’s… I mean, sometimes it’s two siblings that love and hate at the same time, but there is a lot of love there. So I’m very glad that when I get an e-mail from Don, I’m not [going], ‘Oh, God.’ I’m excited to read it. George and I have been close for a long time, so that hasn’t been an issue for a while. But, yeah, it feels really good.
“We shared something very special together. I think we’re all at the point in life where we kind of appreciate it now. And if we ever get a chance to do some more with it, I think… It would be very interesting, because we’ve never been in a situation where there wasn’t animosity, so I don’t know. [Laughs] Maybe it won’t work. I don’t know. [Laughs]”
On some people’s theory that the tension between the DOKKEN members is what made it so great:
Pilson: “That’s such a theory, but in our case, that’s so not true, because had we been more together, we could have been so much more productive with what we had. ‘Cause there’s a lot of talent there. I mean, there’s one of the greatest rock guitar players ever. There’s a rhythm section that was very, very groove-oriented and heavy. And there was singing that could be… there was a huge range of singing there. One of my favorite lyricists in rock is Don Dokken. I mean, there was serious, serious talent in there. So I always think that our tension actually spoiled what could have been really, really great and turned it into just great.”
Lynch last year told Glide Magazine about the possibility of a DOKKEN reunion: “Of course, that comes and goes every couple of years [laughs], so who knows. But we’re talking again about that.”
Don and Lynch appeared on VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” together back in May of 2010 in hopes that a reunion of DOKKEN’s classic linep would follow. Despite their efforts, the reunion never happened and Don went forward with DOKKEN’s current lineup.
In a recent interview with The Washington Times, Don was asked what he and George fight about, Don said: “I finally realized what it was all about when we played a reunion tour of Japan in 1995. It all started again: him playing with his back to the audience. Every time I talked to the audience, he would make these little noises with [his] guitar like a child. I said, ‘What is the problem? What can I do to make this work?’ He pointed at the 20-foot backdrop hanging behind that read ‘Dokken‘ and said, ‘That’s the problem. The name.” He continued: “It’s my name, but it’s also the band’s name. Nothing you can do about it.”
All the members of DOKKEN’s classic 1980s lineup reunited on stage for the first time in more than a decade on November 29, 2009 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. Don Dokken appeared on stage and said he had some friends he wanted to introduce. Pilson and Lynch joined Mick Brown for a two-song encore of “When Heaven Comes Down” and “In My Dreams”.