seems that Manowar have decided to give their fans what they've
been wanting for a long time and that is a great epic metal album.
"Warriors Of The World" is the best thing the band has recorded
since "Kings Of Metal" and this can only bring joy to all of us.
All four of them were here in Athens to promote their new work and
we managed to have a great talk with Karl Logan (guitar). I hope
we have covered many of your questions as well.
Q. Congratulations for your new album, it's absolutely fantastic.
A. "Thank you, thank you very much.."
Q. Let's begin by telling us everything about
the recordings and the production in general...
A. "Well the recording was done when we came off the road in 1999.
In December 1999 we put together a new digital studio and it took
a while to get the whole thing to work together because of all the
digital interfaces and connections and all that shit, but it's a
state of the art digital recording. So the album was recorded there
and it was mixed at Galaxy studios in Belgium by Donald Patt (Rammstein
etc.) and he has definitely contributed a lot to the production,
which is tremendous. Basically it took about a year and a half to
write and record the album."
Q. When did you start composing new songs?
A. "Ah, February to March 2000."
Q. It has been about six years since your
last album. Why did it take you that much time to release your new
A. "Because every time you release an album you have to tour and
when you are touring you don't have time to write any new songs
and even when you have an idea, you can't recorded immediately,
so you forget it afterwards. And we did a massive tour after our
previous album. In the meantime we also released two double live
albums and three DVDs and all these recordings were taken care of
every single night. All this footage had to be edited, looked at,
put together, you know... We also re-mastered three of the earlier
CDs and we put together special packages with more album material,
you know special booklets with old photos etc. So all these had
to be looked at and the amount of work was just tremendous. On the
other hand the fans asked for all these. They asked for the live
albums, the DVDs, the live footage, so we did what the fans wanted
to. So when you combine the tour and the work we did in these releases,
you see that we didn't actually just sit around, doing nothing all
Q. So you think that these continuous live
releases and DVDs were more important for the fans than a new studio
album after all these years?
A. "Well at the time yes, because, you know, the band already had
seven - eight studio albums and the fans were asking after all these
albums, when would we make a live recording? All they had till then
were these terrible sounding bootlegs, so we said o.k. it's time
to do this now. So we planed a huge tour with many dates and we
did it. If we had just put out another studio album then we would
just have to tour again, like we will do now, so when were we going
to do it? "
Q. I'm not going to ask you if this your best
album so far, cause it's a silly question (both laugh), but I do
want to ask you if it's, in your opinion, of equal quality with
your early releases.
A. "I think this album... How do I say it? I'm far more satisfied
with the guitar work in this album than I was with "Louder Than
Hell", which was my first album with Manowar, where the guitar could
sound better, my playing could be better, I just wasn't really part
of the band yet. Now I really am a part of the band and I am more
satisfied with my contribution to it. As for the album, as a whole,
the fans asked us to do another epic album and we did it. We wanted
to do something that is very broad, very deep with a lot of dynamics
Q. So did you work collectively on the songs?
A. "Yeah, mainly Joey and I wrote most of the songs and then we
brought them to the others who contributed their ideas."
Q. Do you think that the new album will be
a good answer to all those saying that Manowar have lost their touch
and they can't produce quality music any more?
A. "Who is saying that?"
Q. Well there are some people here in Greece
that say it...
A. "Fuck them! I really don't care about that at all... I really
Q. There are people here saying that the first
four albums were great, but the rest were not so good.
A. "Well, let me tell you what happens. It's like falling in love...
The first time you fall in love is great. You know why? It's new,
it's something you never had before. But every time you fall in
love after that is like planting the same crop in the field. It's
not the crop that's not good, but the ground gets worse each time.
And so when you release a new album, when someone hears it for the
first time he says wow, that's a great album, and they are usually
young. But as you get older, you become more cynical and you listen
to the records differently because you have many years of hearing
shit music to compare it to. It's not the music any more but the
person's viewpoint that changes. So these people really mean nothing
to me. You don't like the record, fuck you, go buy Metallica or
something... I don't care. I believe that this album speaks for
itself and I am proud of it because we've done a great job on it."
Q. This epic feeling that your songs produce,
does it come after hard work on them or just naturally from inside
A. "It's part of being a musician. You learn the value of dynamics,
you know? There are a lot of bands out there that their music is
nothing but an endless noise from start to finish. And when it's
finished you are almost happy it did, because you can't take any
more. For every light there is dark, for every man there is a woman.
There must be a balance, you know? So in this record there are crushing
metal songs, but there are also beautiful, sensitive sides. It's
very balanced. So as a musician, I think that it's a matter of dynamics,
darkness - light, color - gray, etc. and this is exactly what we
tried to do here. Because if the songs are always this high, sharp
and intense, then they become flat. But if they go down as well,
becoming more sensitive, then... You know, you only know how high
you are when you stand at the bottom looking up. So that is what
the album does. When the album goes down in some parts then there
are harder parts in it to go up again. But if the album was just
heavy, heavy, heavy, it would be just like standing at the top of
a hill never looking down."
Q. The song "Nessun Dorma" is sang in Italian.
Why did you decide to do that and what is it about? A. "Well,
it is an opera piece. I believe it is a love song. I don't speak
Italian so I am not sure." Q. Does Eric speak Italian? A. "He speaks
a little bit, you know, we all speak a little bit of different languages
because we travel so much."
Q. Any Greek?
A. "No, actually no."
Q. Not even the most popular word?
A. "What's that?"
A. "Malakas (he said it in funny accent)? I don't know that, what
is that? (laughs) "
Q. Well, it's a swearword so don't tell it
to any Greek person!
A. "Oh, O.K. (laughs). So Eric studied with some piano players and
opera singers so he knows some of that stuff. Basically this song
is a tribute to our Italian fans because we haven't played in Italy
for a long time. Last time we played it was like crazy, you know,
people were crying, holding up their cell phones to their mothers
to listen the music. We also wanted to do something different. It
was a challenge for us. Because today there are a lot of bands out
there that try to copy Manowar and we want to show them that you
can try, but... Who has a singer like Eric, you know?"
Q. Another song in the album, "The March",
has a very soundtrack-like approach to it. Was there a movie that
inspired you to write a song like that?
A. "No, again it's just something different. It has a lot of passion
as well. We call it cinematic metal, because it makes you think
of a movie and again it is part of our vision to take Heavy Metal
one step further. A lot of Heavy Metal music is based on classical
music. This is the earliest Heavy Metal. We wanted to play something
that is powerful and strong but without any guitars. It is still
a metal song, it is just in a different form."
Q. I imagine the lyrics of the rest of the
songs follow the usual Manowar mentality. Can you tell us some things
A. "Well, Joey writes all the lyrics. I can't get into his head
and see what he is thinking when he writes them. We always have
a song or two that pay tribute to our fans. Our message is pretty
much positive. We say that you are your own God, what you make of
your life is your own choice. That is really what we believe in.
At the same time of course there are the usual Heavy Metal themes
like kill, destroy... (laughs). They are not meant to be taken literally
Q. Why did you choose "Warriors Of The World
United" for the CD-single. Do you think it is the best song of the
A. "I think it sums up our thoughts. I mean the album cover is the
Man-o-warrior coming out of Hell and all the fans behind him carry
the flags of all the countries we have played. We pay tribute to
the fans. During our last tour we played in countries we had never
played before. So that song is the perfect anthem and it makes sense
Q. Will the track listing of the CD be the
same as the promo cassette we have?
A. "Yes, it will be the same"
Q. I am asking you that because I noticed
that the songs in the first side were calmer whereas in the second
side they were faster and more intense. Is there a certain mood
you are trying to set here?
A. "Well, yes. It's like a movie. It starts out calm and it gets
really strong in the end. We didn't want to make the same album
that we did in the past where the track list was maybe a little
predictable. We wanted to do something totally different. And it
is funny because every single journalist remarks on this (laughs).
Why we did it this way. Because it is different."
Q. What kind of music did you listened to
when you were writing the new songs?
A. "I never do that. I never listen to other people's music when
I am writing something, because I don't want to come out sounding
like someone else. When I am writing a metal record the last thing
I am going to do is listen to metal. I don't want to drag that into
my writing. I listen to soundtracks, classical music, cotemporary
music, music with a lot of melody, because I like melody. I like
to draw my inspiration from different styles of music and then make
Q. But are there any bands you enjoy listening
to at all? Metal bands I mean.
A. "There is a lot of music I like out there. Many different styles.
Probably it would surprise people, you know? But a good song is
a good song. A good song lives for ever. When there is a song that
you can't get it out of your head for a long time, and you lay down
at night and you can't sleep because it is in your head, well that's
a good song. Unfortunately there are too many bands out there that
don't know how to write a good song. Sometimes I can't stand a band
but I give the credit when they write a good song. I give credit
to anyone that has a good sense of melody, who is skillful on their
instruments and writes a song that you will remember."
Q. In other words it is not about bands it's
about songs, right?
A. "Yeah, it's about songs basically."
Q. How come you chose Nuclear Blast to be
your new label? There must have been other labels interested in
you as well.
A. "That's a matter of business. If you go to a large label you
could get lost, there are so many things happening, you know? A
smaller label has less people to deal with and you can work better
Q. Didn't you ever think of experimenting with something different
A. "I really don't have the time for it. Manowar is a full time
job and I don't have much free time to do it."
Q. Eric's voice is still sounding top notch
after despite all these years. What's his secret anyway? A.
"That's because he knows how to sing. He knows the mechanics of
singing. Technology has helped the music a lot but it has also harmed
it. It's so easy now to go and record an album than in the past.
In the earlier days in order to go in the studio you had to be good
enough for someone to invest money on you, because studios cost
200$-300$ an hour. Nowadays you can buy your own studio for that
money and make your own CD and burn it on your computer so it is
very easy to record an album. An album that sounds like shit. I
mean where are the bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Motorhead,
where are these bands that you will remember for years and years?
People don't take the time to learn how to sing or how to play the
guitar. Eric was instructed and trained and he doesn't abuse his
Q. Yeah, but it's still difficult to do something
that hasn't been done or heard before, isn't it? No matter how good
a player you are, someone will still say you sound like somebody
A. "Well the idea is that it's not necessary to do something that
hasn't been done before or never heard before. The idea is to be
the best you can be so what you do, you do it well. Like in the
new record there is the song "The American Trilogy" that was originally
done by Elvis but we took the whole thing and did it our way and
turned out a magnificent recording. That was recorded before but
we did our own version of it and that is the idea, not to be completely
different. Songwriting is something you learn, you are not born
with it, it's not a gift from above, you know? It's something you
learn like cooking... When you go into a restaurant there is always
soup, hamburger or salad, right? And these dishes you can find in
every restaurant. And there is a reason for that. It's because people
like them. So when you write songs you don't have to find ideas
that are so "out there", you know, people won't recognize it. People
still want to hear "soup" and they want to hear "hamburger" or "salad".
They want to hear things that they are familiar with that they've
heard before, but they want to hear your interpretation of them.
Everyone can make a cheeseburger but you will make it differently
that I will. However people will still say 'oh, that's cheeseburger,
I'll try that'. But if I go and put completely different ingredients
in it, they will say 'what's that, that's not a hamburger, I won't
eat it". So it's not about trying to be different, it's about learning
and understanding music. That is what the members of this band are
doing, learning and studying what they have to do."
Q. I imagine there will be a massive tour following the release
of the album, uh?
A. "Yeah, we are going straight on the tour in September, October."
Q. Will it go through the whole world?
A. "Pretty much, yeah. There is talk for us right now about playing
in a festival here in Greece in September, October or something
like that. It's not definite yet. But we will be playing in a couple
of festivals during the summer Gods Of Metal in Milan and in Spain
as well but basically the tour will start in September - October."
Q. And what about the next album, will we
have to wait for another five - six years to see it?
A. "No, because now we have our own studio, so we will try to get
the next album out within two years from now."
Q. O.K. we don't have anything else to ask
you, so is there anything else you would like to add?
A. "Well I just want to say that I hope the fans will like the record.
It's an epic Heavy Metal album that they have been asking for and
we hope that we will be in Greece soon sometime this fall because
you people are fucking crazy, you really are and this time I will
be standing in two feet, because last time I was injured in my foot
and I had to be sitting down to play."
Q. Alright, thank you very much. Best of luck
with the album.
A. "Thanks, I hope I'll see you soon. Bye!"
Published by : heavy-metal-mania.vze.com