The reunited classic lineup of DOKKEN — singer Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown — played its only U.S. show on September 30 at Badlands Pawn Guns Gold And Rock 'N' Roll in Sioux Falls, South Dakota before embarking on a six-show Japanese run dubbed "Unleashed In The East".
Asked how the Japanese tour went, Pilson told "Trunk Nation", Eddie Trunk's new show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106): "You know what? It was very, very drama-free; I was kind of surprised — very pleasantly so. It was a great time. We actually had a lot of fun. We connected on a friendship level that I wasn't really expecting, to be honest with you, and it was great. I mean, it was really, really fun — much more so than I was expecting."
Pilson also talked about the fans' reaction to seeing the classic lineup of DOKKEN perform again. "It was pretty spectacular," he said. "You could feel it. We would meet-and-greets for a lot of people that were… It was a wonderfully warm feeling, and you could feel it all the way through the crowd. And I've gotta say, it was really great."
Although DOKKEN had originally intended to perform a brand new song at the Badlands Pawn Guns Gold And Rock 'N' Roll concert and at the Japanese shows, those plans were eventually abandoned. "Honestly, the two of us [guitarist George Lynch and I] never really anticipated us playing it live," Pilson explained. "And then we talked it over with everybody, and that didn't really make sense. The song is partially recorded, it's mostly written, so the plan is to release it as a piece of bonus material for the DVD that we put sometime next year. So, yeah, it's actually come along quite nicely; it's going great."
While offers from tours to festivals have been pouring in since the reunion shows were announced, Pilson says that there are currently no plans for the classic lineup of DOKKEN to play together again.
"I don't know for sure whether that's it," he said. "We kind of talked about it a bit and it seems like it's still pretty much at, 'No, let's leave it where it was.' That's the current plan anyways. If it changes, it changes, and that would be great. I mean, I'm up for more, if it works out, although scheduling-wise, for me, it's real tough. But no, I think for the time being, that's it, and if that's the case, that's great. I'd rather end it on a positive note anyway. We'll see. Again, it was a positive experience. Yes, we got along, but that doesn't mean we're gonna open the floodgates and do a whole big tour. That's probably not gonna happen."
Dokken, Pilson, Lynch and Brown launched the Japanese tour on October 5 in Osaka, before heading to Fukuoka, Tokyo for an appearance at the Loud Park festival and continuing on to Hiroshima, Aichi and finally, back to Tokyo for the final show on October 12.
Don recently told Billboard that the main reason he doesn't want to continue with the classic DOKKEN lineup is that "loves" the band he has now — which features Brown, alongside longtime guitarist Jon Levin and bassist Chris McCarvil. "We've been together for 13 years, and I don't want to hurt that franchise," he explained. "Plus if we were to continue with [the classic] lineup, old wounds might be opened, and I don't want to revisit that. I don't think any of us wants to. It's all great when a marriage fails and you say, 'I'm gonna get back with my ex' — for a week, maybe. Six months into it, the wounds come back. I don't want to experience that. It's just not part of my life anymore, and I think the other guys feel the same way."