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..: Interview May 2002 by unknown :..

So Eric, I think that the new Manowar album is probably the most anticipated album after a long, long, long time…
Eric: Yes it is, I know that.

It's been more than five years since the last studio album…
Eric: Actually six years.

Six years, alright. So tell me what do you have for your fans this time around?
Eric: Well I think that you're gonna be surprised. It's the most versatile album we've ever come out with. It's a typical Manowar album. The first song is called "Call To arms", which is a kind of get ready, because here we come, song. Get ready we're gonna kick ass and here we go. It's like a grab your weapons and come follow as, because here we are song. Then as the album progresses it slows down, much like a Manowar set would. And as the album progresses even further it speeds up and at the very end of the album is fucking roaring. But we also have a few surprises for the fans as well. So far to everyone I've spoke over the world, they seem to like the surprises because it sets Manowar apart from the other metal bands. We've done an opera piece in the album. It was an Italian tribute actually, in 1999 we did a live version of it and it went so well that we thought we had to do it in the next studio album. And so we did it and I am proud of it, I am really fucking proud of it because there are songs in the album where I am screaming, screaming my balls of, and then I sing "Nessun Dorma" which is so different. We are not like most metal bands who can't sing a melody. We can do that we the personnel that we have now, we are Manowar, and we have no boundaries. We can explore metal and stretch it to the limit and still have not found our own boundaries yet. I mean we were the first band to come out with symphonic music and add metal to it and now everybody does it. We were the first band to come out with melody to metal and now everybody follows. We were the first band to record digital sound and now everybody is trying to follow. We are the first band this year to come out with super audio CD. Are you familiar with it?

To be honest I am not.
Eric: It's 5.1 sound, 5.1 super audio CD. It puts you where we want to put you. It puts you on stage if we want to. We can have the drums behind you, the singer in front of you, the guitars and bass on the sides and you are right at the center of the stage. Or we can put you in the front row or we can put you backstage, it's surround sound in audio and that is the future music. It's extremely cool and "Warriors Of The World" is offered in super audio CD and regular CD. It's more expensive but it's so different that it's like listening to stereo for the first time, after listening only mono. It's that dramatic. It costs more to record the CD that way, but at the end of the day it's the fans that matter. We wanted to make the sound better for the fans and that's what all is about. That's what it's always been about with us. It was never for cashing in and making money, because if I wanted to make money real soon and music for the wallet I would be something else. I play from the heart and I play what I feel.

I think that there's a song in the album that's titled "An American Trilogy". Does this have anything to do with September 11th?
Eric: No, although it works for that too, it was not intended. We don't jump on a bandwagon by doing it. The album was already written before the events of September 11th. All Manowar songs so far have been about believe in yourself and when you are down get up and move on, be your own person. You know after September 11th, two fans took the song "Courage" and build a web site and… well that song was written years ago.

I think that it made you really proud, right?
Eric: Absolutely because it touches someone's heart in a certain way and that's what your songs should do. You know as a musician, as an artist, to touch someone's heart with something you create… it doesn't get any better, you know. "American Trilogy" was written for the civil war times and there's some Dixieland tunes in it.

I think that this is going to be a very surprising album for your fans.
Eric: It's going to be very surprising. At the end of the trilogy there's a song about the dead of the war and not just the dead of the civil war but through out the world.

I think that it doesn't make any sense if you are doing the same tings over and over right?
Eric: Exactly, it doesn't make any sense. This is why I told you that we haven't found our boundaries yet.

You know there should be no boundaries.
Eric: Exactly there should be no boundaries, but for other metal bands there are. There are boundaries because they don't have the talent to pull it of. This is the bottom line, yeah, it sounds like I got a big head, but this is the bottom line, they don't have the fucking talent to pull it of. So they are stuck in one groove because that's all they can play. They can go here and here and that's all they can do. But with Manowar we can really go where we want to go, we're unlimited and that's really cool.

I think that another important thing on that is that you have a very stable line up and it's not like people come and go every year or something.
Eric: I can tell you this: Manowar is a band of brothers. And when I say that I don't say it lightly. I leave my family to go on the road and join my family on the tour bus. It's a band of brothers. If someone has a problem you can look at the other guys there, who sincerely help you through your problem. And this is not only through your daily life, but through music as well. When we are in the studio and I lay my vocals down, I might say "hey I want to put a scream here", maybe it sounds cool and I want to do it. Now the other guys might say that it sounds great but also they might say "hey brother… don't, not here man". And I respect their opinion.

Well you just said another very important word. Respect.
Eric: Respect, right. You know we all have respect for each other. We know each other so well, we know everything, if someone had a shit day, and we know it. It's like your wife. If your wife ain't gonna give you any ass this night, you know it, as long as you open the door you cut right through the shit and you know it. It's the same thing. You go out of the tour bus and into the stage to do the sound check and if someone is having a shitty day you know it right away. Everyone is helping out each other and we deal with it. We live together on the road and it's family.

Have there ever been arguments and fights in the band? I mean you are together for more than 20 years.
Eric: Oh yeah, fuck yeah, big time arguments. But you know, within any relationship there's always arguments, but you work them out. It's the people who work out those arguments and stay with each other, if they are meant to stay with each other. I always look at it like a marriage because it is one. I am leaving with these persons on the road, I am every day every time, except when you are having sex, with these persons. (laughs) There's a lot of shit going on and we have to deal with these together. Flights, airports, busses, everything. It's just the way it is. If you are not close to each other as we are then the band won't last.

Now to go back a bit to the new album. I think that you said that you have a surprise for your Greek fans. Can you tell me what it is?
Eric: Well in the new album in some of the songs we're back to epic style songs and I think that this is exactly what the Greek fans wanted. There are a couple of the songs in the album that are definitely epic.

You know there's always been a special bond between you and your Greek fans…
Eric: Oh yes, because you're absolutely crazy, out of the entire world you are the craziest…

But also because you have done lyrics about the Greek mythology and history. So tell me what is it that fascinates you so much in Greek history?
Eric: Well if you think about it, everything started here. I've been up at the Acropolis, I've been there five or six time I don't know and every time I am there I am fascinated by thinking that I am walking at the same ground that people who started the whole civilization thing were walking. I mean everything started here. Civilization, history, music, writing, the arts, even wars have been everywhere in the world, but it all started here. It's like classical music. People might say that they have come up with a new style, but it ain't new. I mean there are only 8 notes in the scale and they just move them around a bit. Everything is based around the classical music, the masters, OK. It's the same thing. Everything leads down to one spot and this is the spot we're standing right now.

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