20th, 1999... a day I will never forget. On this day, my good friend
Anthony and I were able to achieve a longtime dream (admittely,
he's been dreaming of this a lot longer than myself). We got to
see MANOWAR live and in person. Not only that, but we were also
set up to interview vocalist Eric Adams before the show. Before
the interview, we hung out watching the soundcheck, gaping in awe
at bassist Joey DeMaio telling the soundboard guy how to tweak things.
Then they broke into "Blood of My Enemies" to test everything out.
Let's just say that we couldn't help but headbang and air guitar
to that great and epic song. At last, it was time for the interview.
Eric came over and shook hands with us and offered us drinks which
we humbly accepted. Anthony even went so far as to show him the
tattoo of the Kings of Metal album cover he has on his arm. Thusly
settled in, I pressed the record button on my tape recorder, and
off we went.
MN: I've got to ask... how does it feel to
be "The Kings of Metal"?
Eric: Well, the fans gave us that name. And whatever the fans say,
that goes. But it's good to be king. We kick fuckin' ass all night
long, every night. One night leads into another, and then another,
and then another.
Anthony: Well you guys really are The Kings
of Metal. You came before METALLICA and all these other bands, and
you're here after all of them too. You're here now.
Eric: I think I read someplace where METALLICA claimed they're not
metal themselves anymore. They're not proud to carry the flag now.
But we, on the other hand, are very proud to carry the flag of metal.
Anthony: Yeah, I mean, what the hell? I mean,
you've got "metal" in your fucking name. What do you mean you're
Eric: I don't know, those are their words and not mine. But we're
proud to be metal, and to play metal. And we'll keep making some
great albums and kick some butt on the way.
MN: At what point in your career did you guys become as big as you
are now? I mean, over in Europe you're just enormous. Over here,
it's not quite as great, but at what point did it all come together?
Second album? Third album?
Eric: Well, with the very first album, we played in Dallas in front
of 20,000 people. The first show we did at the Hammersmith Odeon
was a sold out show. So right from day one, it's been pretty big.
It's been a cool ride. MN: I do remember hearing how you opened
for Ted Nugent and then got kicked off that tour. Hell, where is
he now? He went and told us right to our face, "Hey listen boys,
I'm going to be around ten years from now." But we went and did
our thing and it worked out.
MN: Why do you think you never caught on the same way in the States
that you did over in Europe?
Eric: Over here, people are brought up on MTV or on radio, and that's
all they know. Whatever's hip, that's what they're into. In Europe,
they know all about the bands, they know all about us. It's like
a religion to them. They know all about each individual in the band.
They know every song, all the words, every riff. But here, you've
got MTV that plays nothing but rap all day long and game shows.
What the fuck is that? What's that all about? Radio today has no
balls to play metal. They've got no fuckin' nuts. So they play this
dance stuff or hip-hop bullshit. In America, it will switch back
to metal. Metal's not going away. I predict that by next year metal
will be big again in America. I saw in this one mag that there's
like six or seven metalfests, not including the Milwaukee Metalfest.
There's a trend going on here, and it's real obvious.
MN: Yeah, the guy that does the Metalfest [Jack Koshick] is going
to have one in each corner of the US now. Hopefully that will work
Eric: Well there's one in Jersey, and there's one in Texas that
I know of.
MN: Yeah, there'll be one in LA sometime in
Eric: Yeah, I read that too. But I think it's a cool thing. I think
it's kind of funny. It's been said for years that metal's dead.
And we've been saying for years, "Fuck you. Metal's not dead. Fuck
you." As long as MANOWAR's here, metal's not done. And fuck, we've
kept this thing going, and now finally in America it's coming around.
Anthony: I know you don't want to slag anybody, but but what do
you think of these so-called "metal" bands like KORN or DEFTONES
or LIMP BIZKIT and shit?
MN: Actually, those guys are all in town tomorrow down in Anaheim.
Eric: They've been following us.
MN: So you have the real metal show one night,
and then you've got the false metal!
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, but I don't want to slag anybody. It's not
professional to do that. I've been doing this a long time, you know?
I think those bands are good musicians in what they do. But I don't
think they should call the vocalist a singer. They can scream, but
they can't sing.
Anthony: That's coming from the God of Singers.
MN: So what are you doing touring with SIX FEET UNDER? I mean, on
the European tour you're going to have DIO and MOTORHEAD, and here,
I was like "fuck."
Eric: SIX FEET UNDER... they're actually a great bunch of guys.
They're a good band. They're good musicians. Have you ever heard
them? They're really good musicians. They've got their own thing
going, their own group following them. And it's been a great tour
with these guys. We're asking them to come back with us when we
come back in January too. They're on the same label as us, and it
makes sense to just go out and do it. They're the best opening act
since I can remember. A really great bunch of guys.
MN: Even better than... VIRGIN STEELE?
Eric: Yeah.... VIRGIN STEELE was cool, but they weren't too cool
about opening after a while. Sometimes bands start taking advantage
of their spot. They want more lights, more equipment, more money.
That's just the bullshit that goes on in the industry. And it's
just not necessary. Especially with MANOWAR. Just take whatever
you want. The bottom line is, you're up on that stage performing
for all those people out there, and you've got to prove to them
that you've got the balls, and you've got the nuts, and you've got
the power and the willpower. And if you haven't got it, then get
the fuck off the stage. That's our attitude. Do what you want on
that stage. Get up there and play. It's what you've got to do. We
don't have any bombs going off, any smoke or fire. Fuck all of that
shit. I don't think we need it.
Anthony: You guys have always had the originality factor in your
music. But you've also progressed. That sounds like a "big magazine"
Eric: You also need to take a look at our stage set. A lot of bands,
they spend their money on cars. But we'd always put our money back
into the backline. All the money that comes in, goes right back
into the band and the equipment.
MN: Yeah, that's the same thing VENOM does.
Everything that comes in, goes back into the show. Eric:
Exactly! It's for the fans. At the end of the day, it's for them.
And there ain't nobody, including VENOM, that cares more about the
fans than us. Nobody. I mean, we're the ones who started bringing
fans up on the stage. We're the ones who call the fans. When I'm
home, I'll look through the fanmail, and I'll call people. I'll
call people all over the world and say, "Hey, what's up? We're about
to go in the studio and work on our next album. What did you like
about the last one?" And people really appreciate that shit. I don't
see any VENOM tattoos on this guy [pointing to Anthony].
Anthony: [laughs] No way man....
Eric: There's tattoos of us from all over the world. Even on chicks.
We've got a video coming out in January. It's over two fucking hours
long. And it's all the backstage shit. And shit from on the road.
Live performances, fuckin' shit's a blast, man. And it shows tons
of people with tattoos of us. Really fucking cool.
Anthony: I don't want to incriminate myself, but I have a bootleg
of you guys in Germany at this big-ass fucking show.
Eric: Well you had to! I'm not pissed about that, you're not the
Lone Ranger. There's a lot of people out there with bootlegs. There's
never been a live fuckin' album. You wanted to see us live and couldn't
get to Europe, it was all you could do. You had to get a bootleg
of us. They're all shit quality, and we're pissed off about that,
but the only thing we could do is come out with our own live album.
And when you have eight albums of songs to pick from, you can't
fit them all on two CDs. We had to do four CDs. And that's another
first. We're the first fuckin' metal band... actually first band
period... in history to come out with two back to back double CD
MN: And I'm hoping for a third, to get the rest of the songs out
there. Call it like Hell on Earth or something.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, really. Who knows? Maybe. Who knows?
MN: Yeah, it's like, "Oh, I'd like to hear
that one. Or that one."
Eric: Well, you can't please everybody, you know. The first show
on the last tour we did, we played four hours worth of songs. We
got done, and the first interview I did, I was asked, "Why didn't
you play this or that?" [laughs]
MN: You can only do so much in four hours.
Eric: [laughs] No shit.
MN: Is there any word on if Battle Hymns will
ever see a US release?
Eric: You're the second person that's asked me that on this round
of interviews. I don't want to say too much, but I did just hear
that there is a deal to get it released.
Anthony: He doesn't want to lie to us.
Eric: Right. I've heard there's a deal, but I can't confirm anything
about it. It's just what I've heard.
Yeah, I've actually got a copy.... I had a friend pick up one for
me while he was home in Germany. I'd really like to see it released
here though. You see copies every once in a while, but it just doesn't
seem right for an American band not to have their albums available
Eric: Yeah, that's really a messed up and fucked thing.
Anthony: I paid twenty bucks for Battle Hymns and thirty seven for
Hell on Wheels before it came out here.
Eric: There you go.
Anthony: When I saw Metal Blade put it out,
I was like, "Aw, man...."
Anthony: But it was worth it. Totally worth the money.
MN: What's it also like being the loudest band in the world?
Eric: What's it like? It's funny, because people tell us they read
that we're not the loudest, that some other band is. And that's
just fuckin' bullshit. We broke the record three times. And the
last time we broke it, the logistics of it were just ridiculous.
Nobody could possibly break the record again, because it would be
a question of how much gear you would have to have on stage in order
to do it. Nobody could possibly have that much gear. We had a wall
of Marshalls flown in on top of our other gear. It was just piled
sixty feet high and forty feet wide. A huge wall of speakers. So
come on... there's no way somebody can break that record. [As it
turns out, Eric was wrong.... At the Gothenburg, Sweden gig on November
16th, 1999, during the "Monsters of the Millenium" tour with Dio
and MOTORHEAD, Joey DeMaio hit 131.7 db during a soundcheck. The
old record was at 129.5 db. While no one from Guiness was there
to officiate (nor will they, as they no longer support this kind
of record), the monitor level was witnessed by Dio's monitor man
as well as the MANOWAR roadcrew.]
MN: Is that record different than having the loudest concert ever?
I know that when THE WHO held the record, it was during the concert,
and yours was done before the show.
Eric: You know, I don't know. We didn't give a shit about that,
we just wanted the world's record for the loudest fuckin' band in
the world. And we got it, and that's all there is to it. You come
to our show, and it's a fuckin' powerful show. Is this your first
time seeing us?
MN: I was supposed to see you back at the
Milwaukee Fest, but shit happened at that one.
Eric: Well, that guy [Jack Koshick] tried to fuck us, so we said,
"No, fuck you." And we didn't show up. But that wasn't our fault.
MN: We were actually downstairs here during the whole soundcheck.
We were singing along even then.
Eric: Well hold on to your balls, because they're going to be blown
right off. It'll be a good show.
MN: How's Scott [Columbus, drums of doom] doing? I heard about his
accident on the motorcycle. I was like, "oh shit!"
Eric: Yeah, and right after he ate it, Karl [Logan, guitars] busted
himself up motocross racing. He did the tour on crutches.
MN: How long has it been since you guys did
a full US tour?
Eric: This is the first. The very first supported United States
tour. We played one show in Dallas, with Ted Nugent and got kicked
off the tour. That was the very first show. And we went out ourselves
and played a few dates in the States. And it cost us a fortune.
This is the very first time an American label has had enough nuts
to send us our on a tour and play. They know what it's all about.
Our company is really into the band, and they know what's going
MN: Yeah, I mean, I was at school and I pulled up your website just
to see if there was any news. And then I saw the tour schedule and
saw the LA date. Is this the first time you've been out here?
Eric: I've been around. This is like my sixth or seventh time in
LA. But it's the first time playing.
MN: See, I would have figured you'd have come out years ago. I mean,
we've got the big tall blonde bitches with the big titties.
Eric: [laughs] Well, we play Sweden and there's a lot of tall blonde
bitches out there. So we're going back there soon!
MN: Hell, if you want flesh, play in Hawaii.
Eric: There you go, but nobody ever plays there.
MN: Actually, last time I was at this club [The Whisky] for a show,
there was this band from Sweden here. DARK FUNERAL... I don't know
if you've ever heard of them. Anyway, I was up here hanging with
them, and this chick with huge fake tits shows up. So the guys were
checking her out. I mean, her breasts were as big as her head! And
the next thing I know, she's in that bathroom over there giving
everyone knobbers! I was like, "Fuuuuuck!!"
Eric: Nothing wrong with that, I wouldn't have a problem with that.
MN: [laughs] Yeah, well, me, I didn't really want to be the tenth
guy in line or anything. "Can you spit a few times, please?" [we
all laugh] Have you ever run into any bands that sound kind of like
MANOWAR? I can't really think of any.
Eric: There's a lot of European bands. It's a form of flattery when
somebody tries to copy you. It's funny, we came out with the ideas
about the album covers, like with the swords, and then these bands
came out with the same thing. You know the warrior we have on our
album covers now? A lot of people have the same kind of thing now
too. But it's cool. A lot of people are copying our songs now too.
MN: OVERKILL actually just put out an album
of cover songs, and they do "Death Tone" on it.
Eric: I'd like to hear it. I'd like to hear how they did it.
Anthony: Do you run into a lot of bands or people in bands in New
York? Like [Bobby] Blitz [vocalist] from OVERKILL?
Eric: We've played with OVERKILL. Played with them a few times.
But yeah, you'll see bands. You go out, you'll run into some guys
from bands. Some are assholes, some are great guys. Everyone's an
individual. If they're a bowhunter, they can't be all that bad.
Eric: [laughs] Well.... [more laughs all around]
MN: Now you just mentioned the warrior on
your album covers. Have you ever had a name for him? Eric:
No, and there's no face for him either.
MN: I've always thought of him as representing
us, the fans.
Eric: That's right, that's exactly right. He's the hero.
MN: He's the whole faceless mass of us out
Eric: You got it. He could be anybody, and that's the whole idea.
That's what's cool about the whole thing.
MN: Yeah, and if you look at all the album covers, even back to
Battle Hymns, there's bits and pieces of things, like the same sword.
Eric: Yeah, you'll see things from all the album covers that are
somehow incorporated together.
Anthony: I get asked a lot of questions about
my tattoo, from people who don't know anything
about MANOWAR. They'll ask, "Who the fuck is that? Is that you?"
And I'll say, "No, not really."
MN: Well, actually, it is. That tattoo is representing us there
on your arm. That's all of us there. At this point, we were told
to wind things down, so I had to pick a couple of final questions
from my long list of questions.....
MN: Did you guys teach yourselves to sing or play your instruments?
It's almost like each of you are gods at what you do.
Eric: Well, we're individual musicians that have worked hard,
and I think this is the best fucking lineup there has ever been
for MANOWAR. When you see us live, you're going to see us play songs
exactly how we play them on our albums. There's no bullshit. If
there's a place on the first album where I scream, I'm screaming
in that spot. What Karl plays on the album, he's playing here. It's
just a bunch of good fuckin' musicians who have been to the school
of hard knocks and worked together, and rehearsed hard and long
because this is what they believe in.
MN: Uhm... what can you tell us about the
Eric: [with a secret, amused smile on his face] The upcoming album,
all I can say is going to kick fucking ass. And I'll tell you why.
Because it is a MANOWAR album. Because it's our ninth album. And
because all of our other albums have done exactly that. And I can
tell you that it'll be done when it's fucking done. And if it's
not out yet, that means we're still working on it. We're not sittin'
on our fuckin' asses, we're working on that fuckin' album, because
that's what it's all about. Because then we can go out on tour again
and meet you people. And that's what we want to do.
And so the interview ended. The show was one of the most kick ass
spectacles I have ever witnessed, with the four gods of true metal
demontrating why they ARE the Gods of metal. A fan was brought on
stage to help play "The Gods Made Heavy Metal," and you could tell
he was totally blown away by the experience. Joey DeMaio made several
speeches about the power and glory of metal, and how all of it stems
from us, the fans. I even caught one of the cans of beer he drank
from and then threw out to the audience. And I can't forget to metion
the porn star. Let's just say she let it all hang out for us, giving
us even more power and strength to give back to MANOWAR. At the
end of the show, Joey promised that the band would return, and that
they would play an even bigger show. All fans of "new metal," had
best beware, for the true guardians of all that is metal will soon
purge the scene. DEATH TO FALSE METAL!!!!!!!
Published by : geocities.com/metalnightmarezine