Don Dokken has confirmed that DOKKEN is planning to begin writing a new studio album this fall for a tentative 2018 release. The disc will mark the band's first collection of all-new material since 2012's "Broken Bones" effort.
Speaking to "The Classic Metal Show", Don stated about DOKKEN's next disc (hear audio below): "Well, it looks like I'm gonna have to pony up some money and do it myself, because I don't have any faith in record companies to do it.
"We're taking a break after this tour. We're booked until December. I told the boys, 'Let's take a break after December, after the holidays, and take a month and a half off.'
"I've got, like, God, twenty ideas, [DOKKEN guitarist] Jon's [Levin] got twenty ideas — we've got so much material we can put on tape. So we're gonna make a new record and put it out for 2018."
Asked if making full-length albums still makes sense for a band like DOKKEN in an age of declining CD sales, Don said: "No, it makes no sense. Zero. I mean, why anybody would make a record nowadays makes no sense. In the '80s, you made a record, and if you had a hit and you sold records, you made money. And the tour was just to support the record. Now it's the opposite — you make a record and make no money and it's just a promotional tool to support the tour. The days of platinum albums, multiplatinum albums is over — it's done, it's finished. Because, as I know from my experience, my last few records came out on a Monday and on Thursday, they were free on download. So you can't sell any records anymore. I mean, if you sell a hundred thousand, it's a hit. But selling two million, three million, like we did in the '80s, it's over, it's finished."
According to Don, making albums for him is "definitely a labor of love. I don't think I have a choice," he said. "I'm not gonna compare myself with great people like Monet or Chagall or any of the famous painters. I don't think Van Gogh, who died poor, made a lot of paintings and became rich post mortem. He didn't paint to make money, he didn't paint because he wanted to get rich — he painted because that's what he did, that's what he had to do. He felt a spiritual compulsion to do it. I have to make songs, I have to write songs, I wanna say what I have to say in my music. It's not about money."
He continued: "I always thought that was a big mistake on some of the bands who will remain nameless. A lot of bands wanted to be famous and rock stars and get all the chicks and get laid ten times a night and that was their motivation to be a musician and a rock star. But I can say, hand to God — if there is one — that I never made records because I wanted to be rich and famous. I never wrote songs to be rich and famous; I wrote them because that's what I do. And if people like what I do, God bless 'em. But it wasn't about money, it wasn't about, 'Oh, I could but a Ferrari if I write this song and it's a big hit.' That never came into my mind. I write songs because that's what I'm compelled to do. And I'm back to where I started — we keep writing songs and putting records out. All those records we've done the last eight or nine years [were made] because that's what we do."
Don also revealed that DOKKEN's next studio album will feature a sound and style that is very reminiscent of the band's classic releases.
"I was very resistant in the last two years to make a new record because the two labels that were chasing us said, 'We want you to make a record, but we want [it to] sound like 'Tooth And Nail'  meets 'Back For The Attack' ,'" he explained. "And I said, 'Well, no, I can't make a record with those parameters…' They actually put it into the contracts that the songs had to sound like this album or that album. And I said, 'Well, that's like telling Paul McCartney, 'We'll give you a record deal, Paul, but you have to write another 'The Long And Winding Road' or 'Yesterday'.'' It's nonsense. I wasn't gonna do it, and I was resistant and I was insulted by that request. But I was hanging out about a month and a half ago with Kip Winger, and WINGER was playing a show with us, and he was on the same label. And he said, 'Don, that's what the fans want — they wanna hear the classic DOKKEN sound. When I make a record, they wanna hear the WINGER sound.' And he goes, 'Just do what the label wants and do what the fans like — your classic style of writing songs — and as far as you stepping out of the box and experimenting and doing other influences, save that for a solo endeavor. You can do both — you can do the DOKKEN-sounding albums and you can do your stuff where you step out of the box with no rules as a solo endeavor.' And he said that to me, and when Kip said that, I said, 'You know what? You might have a good point there.' Maybe I should stop being so resistant to, 'No one's gonna tell me what to write, nobody's gonna tell me what to do when it comes to my writing.' Maybe I should write a record in the homage of the classic DOKKEN sound. And I have to give Kip Winger credit when he said that. I talked to Jon and I said: 'You know what, Jon? Let's write a straight-up DOKKEN album with heavy guitar riffs, big harmonies, melodies' — you know, the classic way I've written most of my career. I think Kip had a good point. Maybe we should. I told Jon: 'Okay, let's write a straight-ahead, in-your-face, heavy-rock, big-harmonies, melodic-lyrics DOKKEN record.' I think he kind of woke me up, and that's what we're gonna do. So I thank Kip for kind of shaking me on that one. And if I wanna step out of the box and be influenced by TOOL or SOUNDGARDEN or STP or prog music or ACCEPT or whatever, if I wanna get those influences and put them into music, I'll do it in a solo endeavor."
"Broken Bones" sold around 2,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 173 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown completed a short Japanese tour last October, marking the first time in twenty-one years the band's classic lineup had hit the road.
A new DOKKEN concert DVD focusing on the band's reunion tour is tentatively due before the end of the year or in early 2018. The set will feature footage from two of the Japanese shows — including Tokyo — as well as the band's very first comeback gig, which was held on September 30, 2016 at Badlands Pawn Guns Gold And Rock 'N' Roll in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Don told "The Classic Metal Show" 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 Levin and bassist Chris McCarvil.