Don Dokken has once again ruled out the possibility of a full tour from the classic lineup of DOKKEN, explaining that he doesn't want to "open old wounds."
The singer, guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown launched a short Japanese tour last October 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 concert.
A new DOKKEN concert DVD focusing on the band's reunion tour is tentatively due before the end of the year. 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.
In a brand new interview with "The Classic Metal Show", Don spoke about the new studio recordings that will be included on the upcoming DVD. He said (hear audio below): "There's one [new song]. It's called 'It's Just Another Day'. And I was just at Jeff's last night working on that. We're still working on it. We're almost ninety percent done with fixing some problems we had from.. 'Cause the problem was we were gonna do the DVD from the South Dakota show. We filmed it, we recorded it, there were technical problems, I wasn't crazy about some of the stuff we had on it. So then we went to Japan. We recorded that too and filmed it. So now I've decided to take the Japan recordings and the footage from the big Loud Park festival and mix it in with the DVD, with footage of Dakota and Japan, which is gonna be a lot more work. So now I have to mix two records. We have to do all the songs from Japan and all the songs from Dakota, so it turned into a double-duty project. But we're almost done. Jeff's done a great job. He's a great engineer. And I just go to his house, and I'm just doing some vocal repairs. The other night I was working on the new song, 'It's Just Another Day'. There's just a couple of lyrical things that I didn't like. I thought they were a little negative. Not negative, but just a little too much 'woe is me,' so I just kind of flipped a few words to a more positive vibe on the lyrical end of it. And that song came out killer. And it'll be coming out with the DVD. And as far as the other two new songs [are concerned], they're not new, they're just acoustic versions. We did a new acoustic version of 'Heaven Sent', we did an acoustic version of 'Will The Sun Rise?' So those are the three quote-unquote bonus tracks — two old DOKKEN songs acoustically and one brand new song called 'It's Just Another Day'."
Asked about the chances of a proper tour from the classic lineup of DOKKEN, Don said: "I keep telling everybody: it's a hard call, 'cause Jeff… If you look at the FOREIGNER tour dates, those guys are on the road all the time. So how would we do a tour when Jeff would have to take a break from FOREIGNER, which affects that franchise. George has his KXM project and LYNCH MOB. We just have to find that right window, but I just really don't see the point of doing it; I just don't. I like the band I have. I understand the fans would like to see the original lineup, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: I like the band I have now, and I think we're better."
He continued: "I don't think I could do it. Five days in Japan was fine, three days of rehearsal. But I just can't see us doing a tour. I think there's so much personalities. We're all chilled out now, we're all mellow, I guess, but I just don't see what the point is. Why would I wanna do it? If it's just for money, no, I'm not gonna do it. I'm not in this business for money — I'm just not. We made our money. How much money do you need? And I like playing with Jon [Levin, guitar], and I like playing with Chris [McCarvil, bass], and I like playing with Mick, so I would probably be missing them. It's a different situation with the original lineup. We're all very different people. George is different and Jeff and Mick. With the band I have now, that I've had for thirteen years, it's more of a family kind of thing, to be honest with you. We never were close in DOKKEN — everybody knows that. The infamous infighting and all that, and we just weren't close. There was too much drugs and alcohol and personality differences. But Jon and I, we're like best friends, and Chris comes out. We just have a lot of fun. We go to dinner, we hang out together. It's just very easy breezy, and I wouldn't want… I have reservations of doing a tour with the original lineup and opening old wounds, let's put it that way. I don't need it."
Pilson told "Trunk Nation" that the Japanese tour was "very, very drama-free; I was kind of surprised — very pleasantly so. It was a great time," he said. "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."
Lynch echoed those comments, saying that DOKKEN's brief 2016 reunion was "went well" but admitted that "it wasn't without its challenges." He told AntiHero Magazine "It was a lot of work. We were kind of just thrown into the maelstrom. We didn't really prepare like we should've. It was kind of put together a little strange. I think we would all agree to that. We were all starting to talk about that recently about how we were just kind of… [we] kind of did it backwards. But despite all that, when we were up there playing, for the most part, it was the same band that we were thirty years ago, same personalities. I mean, you saw us all looking at each other, and we're in a room, a dressing room, we're hanging out whatever at the hotel and it's funny how nothing had changed. We're all just the same distinct, funny personalities. And, both on and off stage, it was great. Ideally, it would be nice to rehearse it a little more if we do it again, get a little tighter, and try to figure it out, but it was cool for what it was."