Don Dokken spoke to Canada’s The Metal Voice about the progress of the songwriting sessions for DOKKEN‘s new album — the group’s first since 2012’s “Broken Bones”. He said (hear audio below): “Lucky for us, before I lost the use of my hand to play guitar [in a late 2019 neck and spine surgery], we wrote, like, 17 songs for ‘Broken Bones’. So many of those songs didn’t make it on to the record, so I dug out all my hard drives, and Jon [Levin, guitar] did. Jon‘s a great guitar player. He had a ton of ideas; I’ve had a ton of ideas. And so Jon‘s just doing the guitar work, and I’m doing the lyrics. Actually, I found three songs I play guitar on that we’re going to keep for the record. We’re working over the Internet, like a lot of people. You get on Zoom or Skype. Jon has a studio in L.A., and I have a studio up here [in New Mexico], and we just exchange ideas. We’re about half done with the record. We’ve got about seven songs so far.”
Asked about the musical direction of the new DOKKEN material, Don said: “We’re kind of going retro. I mean, look, you write what you write as a musician — your life changes, the world changes, you write what you write. You’re influenced by new bands and other music. But I know where my bread is buttered as far as the classic DOKKEN sound, and Jon‘s really good at doing that. And so I said, ‘I think we should write a record between the lines of ‘Tooth And Nail’  and ‘Under Lock And Key’ .’ And that’s kind of the direction I’m writing in right now.”
On the subject of a possible release date for the new DOKKEN album, Don said: “In a perfect world, we were gonna have an album out this summer, and then corona hit, and that changed the world for everybody. So it was good timing to put out ‘The Lost Songs: 1978-1981’ as a buffer for our hardcore DOKKEN fans to have some new product from us, ’cause it’d been so many years. And then we were thinking about re-releasing ‘Broken Bones’, ’cause I never thought that that album got a fair shot. It was a really good record, I was really proud of that record, but the record company we were on at the time didn’t do anything — they didn’t promote it, they didn’t advertise it; it just kind of came and went. So Silver Lining might be re-releasing ‘Broken Bones’. And I had an idea — I’m thinking about releasing a ‘best of DOKKEN ballads’ for the holidays, like Christmas time. It’s never been done. A lot of bands do their ballad album, and I said, ‘Shit, man. I have written so many ballads in my career’ — on every album, one or two — and then Jon was saying, ‘Yeah, why don’t you just get all your favorite ballads you’ve ever done in DOKKEN and some live versions and acoustic versions, and let’s just put out a whole album of ballads for Christmas.’ And I think that would be real cool, so I’m working on that too right now.”
DOKKEN‘s new album will be released via Silver Lining Music, the label owned by Thomas Jensen, one of the founders of Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival.
DOKKEN will release an album called “The Lost Songs: 1978-1981” on August 28 via Silver Lining Music. Featuring sleeve art by renowned U.S. artist Tokyo Hiro (MOTÖRHEAD, MOTLEY CRÜE), the effort contains material written and recorded by a hungry young Don Dokken as he embarked upon a journey which started in Southern California and Northern Germany.