In a new interview with Dr. Music, Jeff Pilson reflected on the last time DOKKEN's classic lineup — Pilson, singer Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown — reunited for a short Japanese tour in the fall of 2016. The trek marked the first time in 21 years the four musicians had hit the road together.
Asked what the vibe was like during the reunion, Pilson said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was actually surprisingly congenial. And I think we all walked into it with a little bit of trepidation, like, 'Ugh, what's this gonna be like?' 'Cause, honestly, there was some nasty arguments leading up to the reunion — in just getting it in place; there was some nasty crap that went on. But by the time we got together and started rehearsing and everything, it was actually very friendly and it was fun — a lot of laughs. Yeah, it was a much calmer and nicer atmosphere than I expected, and it was really nice."
The bassist went on to say that one of his "favorite" things about the Japanese tour was that "George and Don actually had some very positive interactions, and that was kind of nice to see. They kind of let it loose a little bit, and it was great," he said.
A DOKKEN concert DVD focusing on the band's reunion tour, "Return To The East Live (2016)", was made available in 2018. In addition to the Japanese performance, the set included footage from the classic lineup's only U.S. show in September 2016 at Badlands in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as newly recorded acoustic reworkings of "Heaven Sent" and "Will The Sun Rise". Also featured on "Return To The East Live (2016)" was "It's Just Another Day", the first DOKKEN track featuring the group's classic lineup since 1997's "Shadowlife".
Since completing the Japanese reunion dates, DOKKEN has continued to perform with the group's current lineup — including bassist Chris McCarvill, guitarist Jon Levin and drummer BJ Zampa (HOUSE OF LORDS).
Last month, Lynch told Jeff Gaudiosi of MisplacedStraws.com that there has been talk of more shows featuring the classic lineup of DOKKEN. "I've actually been talking to Don a little bit, and we're both in agreement that that should probably happen — meaning some kind of a meaningful reunion done in the right way, carefully and with proper preparation and time and rehearsals and not just throwing it out there like we did last time," he said. George added that "the obvious choice" to replace the recently retired Mick Brown would be Mick's brother Steve, who can be heard playing alongside Lynch and Pilson on the upcoming THE END MACHINE album, "Phase2".