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..: Interview March 2002 by Alex :..

There are such moments in life of a small online magazine editor when his legs turn to jelly, his palms sweat in a fever of excitement and a kind of stage-fright takes control of him. Especially when the persons he has at the other end of the line are musicians in some respects possessing a cult status - in this case it was Mr. Scott Columbus, the drummer of the Kings Of Metal. The reason for the insightful interview is, of course, the upcoming release of Manowar's latest record, "Warriors Of The World".

Alex : Hi Scott, how are you?
Scott : Hi Alex! Thanks, very good and that even though I am sitting here for quite a while already giving one interview after another. But I do not want to complain, it is mostly still a lot of fun.

Alex : Isn't it getting boring to answer the same questions over and over again?
Scott : Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on how and what questions are being asked. Half an hour ago I had one here who I could have kicked across the whole planet. That dude was so stupid it piped through the phone. It's sometimes fascinating what they want to know.

Alex : Well then. I will try to outsell! I am beginning with my questions then.
Scott : (laughing) But watch out what you're asking.

Alex : I'll begin fairly harmless. How would you rate the new album "Warriors Of The World"? Scott : It definitely turned out to be a fantastic album. The numerous elements "Warriors Of The World" unites is something never seen in Metal yet. We play the whole scope through: classical MANOWAR songs, with doublebass and heavy guitars, but also tracks affected by classical music; fast, hard songs, fantastic solos; Eric (Adams) is in top form. I think we succeeded in a pretty good mixture of songs. Take "Valhalla" for example. I think this piece is unbelievably charged with emotions and heavy metal nevertheless. It's just 100% MANOWAR and we are very proud of our album.

Alex : There are many classical elements represented. Is this the "new" Way for MANOWAR to go? Metal meets classic?
Scott : I would not call it like this. We have been always a band avowing ourselves to the classical music. Joey (DeMaio) might be the biggest Richard Wagner fan of all times! But not only of Wagner, but also Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, Vivaldi and so on. Classical music and Metal belong undisputable together. To answer your question, MANOWAR are not going a specific way. The band was doing what it wanted already 20 years ago and it will continue with it further on. We never let any labels or managers instruct us what songs we should write or record. If you are asking for a way though, then we are going the way of Heavy Metal and in Metal there are no rules or regulations.

Alex : What you said just now sounded as if Joey were sitting next to you? (laughing)
Scott : Hey, do you have an x-ray gaze? Wait a moment...
Joey : Hi brother! We are MANOWAR, we are the Kings Of Metal, brother. And nobody says us what to do or not to do - except our fans! That's the bottom line, brother! See you on tour!
Scott : (laughs) You see, all of us here are listening to you, so watch out what questions you ask.

Alex : Wow, so am I interviewing the whole band right now?
Scott : Not quite. Eric and Karl (Logan) are giving an interview right now, too. Joey just finished his own, but I just turned on the voice coil. I love your slang. (laughs)

Alex : So I'm doing the clown for you right now?
Scott : No, no, we are just having a lot of fun right now. From which part of germany do you come from?

Alex : Munich, Bavaria!
Scott : Hey, cool. Munich is a fantastic town. You Bavarians have a certain style just like the scots!

Alex : You mean the Highlander?
Scott : Ja. (laughs) There can be only one!
Joey : Hey, Alex, bring me some fuckin "Ouguschteiner" Bier! (He means the Augustiner Bier. Munich's best brewery product. - the editor)

Alex : I'll bring you some bottles when you're gonna play in Munich. (There follow things like: Scott, we are flying to Munich immediately - call in the entry they should let Alex into the Munich's Hall only when he has beer, etc.)
Scott : As you hear we have really a lot of fun here. Joey has to go to his own interview again, so we can go ahead undisturbed.

Alex : Yeah, ok. Once again deal most of the lyrics on "Warriors Of The World" with dragons, swords and the fight of Good against Evil. Are you knowingly using these metal-cliches?
Scott : Oh, you'd have to ask Joey about this, for he is writing the lyrics. Whereby, when you take "Nessum Dorma", the text is in Italian, so definitely not from Joey (laughs). I do not care much for our lyrics since I am the drummer. You also needn't to ask me about tabulatures and riffs. I am 100% a drummer and I do my job for 100%, that's what counts. However since you addressed cliches, heavy metal does contain for the most part of cliches. We've been one of the first bands that picked up and stamped the fantasy theme in metal like this. Meanwhile there are numerous bands thereof. And why not, this subject fits heavy metal perfectly. And what's more beautiful than expressive music in conjunction with expressive lyrics?

Alex : From this point of view I agree with you. Are you going to play those classical songs live? Scott : If you mean "Nessum Dorma", yes. Supposedly, just like in the past, we are going to have a keyboard on stage, that will be correspondingly programmed. Surely we cannot put a choir or a whole orchestra on the stage. In most of the halls there wouldn't be enough room anyway. Completely different than in studio. You can be sure for 100% that we recorded everything originally. We placed an orchestra and a huge choir in the studio and recorded the songs. "Nessum Dorma" has been recorded live by Eric, together with the choir.

Alex : Do you think Eric can really sing this song live?
Scott : If he can make it in studio then he's gonna make it "on stage" as well! But that was again a question for him not for me! (laughs)

Alex : Okay, okay. Back to your new record. I miss the German flag on the cover. Why?
Scott : (pause) Do you mean the single or the album?

Alex : The album. Nuclear Blast sent me a cover via e-mail, on which there was no german flag. Scott : Well, that's very strange. I am pretty sure it is on. It just has to be there! Maybe on the back side?

Alex : Well, not on the picture here, I have only the front. Maybe it is only a draft of the final cover?
Scott : By all means possible, I don't know. But I cannot imagine the German flag could be missing? Germany is something like our second home after all!

Alex : It is known that MANOWAR like Germany and the German fans very much.
Scott : Yeah! German is marvelous. The country, the people, the food (from the background - and the beer!) (laughs) and above all the fans. I believe in the whole world there are no fans who are more loyal than the Germans. We have always a lot of fun when we come to the good, old Germany.

Alex : Just like then, 1987 in Landshut at the Christmas Festival.
Scott : What do you mean exactly?

Alex : The thing with SAXON and LIZZY BORDEN! I still remember exactly how you were playing the encore nude behind the drums! (laughs)
Scott : Hell yeah! That was a fun. Now I remember. It was in a coliseum. The complete back plane of the hall was covered by our boxes. Man, it was a fun! (laughs)

Alex: How did it come you were playing completely without anything on?
Scott: Well, it was our last gig in Europe. Mostly the boys come up with something special. In that case someone has stolen my drum sticks and replaced them by two dildos. When I came back on stage there were the two things lying on my snare, but nowhere my sticks. At that moment I didn't really know what it was supposed to be and wanted to go off stage. But there were Joey, Eric and Ross coming back. Already while they were going on stage the intro to "Battle Hymns" began to play. There was nothing left for me but to play using those dildos. Man, it was awful, but the show must go on. Eric could hardly sing due to laughing and we played the intro twice. The dildos waggled each time I hit the cymbals. The drum sound was simply bad as you can imagine, but nonetheless I played the set as if I had the drumsticks in my hands.

Alex: I believe it was halfways in the "Battle Hymns" when you dropped your pants?
Scott : Right. The quiet part, where you hear only Eric and Joey. I stood up and pulled off my shorts. Actually I only wanted to show the band my buttocks for fun. Until today I don't know why I pulled off my pants completely. Anyway my roadie snapped them up and brought them behind the stage. Then I had to sit down again, for the song moved on. When it was over Joey fetched me on stage. Of course I could not just step forward the audience, so I screwed off a cymbal and held it in front of my... well, you know. It was a great fun. Great that you reminded me of that. I have almost forgot it.

Alex : Not only for you, for the women in the audience as well. They could not stretch their heads high enough!
Scott : (laughs) I noticed it, too. Suddenly there have been a lot of women standing in the front row. Like I said, the cymbal in front of my "stick" was my last resort (laugh).

Alex : Let's go back to the new album. I received "Warriors Of The World" only as a tape, thus no promo cd as usual. Why?
Scott : Oh, I know absolutely nothing about it. The management takes care of these kind of things.

Alex : Could it be that it should prevent pirated copies and MP3s? I mean, before the album comes on the market at all?
Scott : It could be.

Alex : Okay, almost 6 years have passed by until MANOWAR released a new studio album. Why did the MANOWAR fans had to wait so long?
Scott : There are several reasons for this. First, we have changed the label as you know. It brings some problems, especially when you are in the middle of digitalising the new records and putting them on the market. There have been some tough and numerous negotiations which naturally interfered with the song-writing process. Then the band was busy with the live albums. They devoured a lot of time, since MANOWAR design everything perfectly. Then we toured a lot. We've been twice on a world-tour with "Louder Than Hell", it was when the video and the DVD came into being. And MANOWAR is not a band writing songs "on the road". MANOWAR is for 100% - either on tour or in studio. Anything else does not exist. If you want to write songs like on the "Warriors Of The World" then you can't be on tour, it would all come to nothing. Joey is a perfectionist and he gives always 100%. Then there have been some personal problems within the band. Well, not among each other but we have a private life as well. This all was casting for "Warriors Of The World" taking so long to finish.

Alex : Two live albums ("Hell On Wheels" and "Hell On Stage") in a row and the video thereto. Some accuse you for pulling money out of your fans' pockets. How do you think about it?
Scott : Yes, I know this accusation, but I can assure you that it's not our intention to cheat on our fans in any way. MANOWAR had no live album on the market by that time yet, for it a lot of poor bootlegs. We thought it is about time to release a decent live album, one that would be fun for the fans as well. That it turned out to be two albums surprised ourselves, but there existed just too many fantastic songs. Besides there haven't been a metal band worldwide yet that released two live records one after another, thus we are unique once again (laugh); whereby there are lying two years between both releases. The video is actually rather a documentation about us; in fact there are some songs on it; but on the whole it's more about how we are on tour.

Alex : I know the video. But why so much MANOWAR at once?
Scott : Why? Quite simply. It's the best proof that we don't allow a label to rule us. MANOWAR do what fans want and they wanted to hear and see MANOWAR live! Besides nobody forces you to buy the albums or the video, right?

Alex : That's right. Another question: when is the tour to support the new album gonna start? Scott : Probably in autumn. Momentary we're in the making of the video to "Warriors Of The World Unite". After that there are going to be some warm-ups in the USA, that followed by a lot, lot work with the press. In april we'll start a small promotion tour.

Alex : Will we see Manowar "pure" again ... without supporting act?
Scott : What stuff YOU want to know ... (laughter) Right now i don't know anything reffering to the tour. I cannot even tell you, if our management is dealing with other bands. I think, you should just wait for the surprise.

Alex : Referring surprises: Have you planned any surpises for the fans? Either on the tour or on the festivals or anything else?
Scott : Well ... Manowar has always got some surprises for the fans in "the box", but i won't tell you anything about it. Then it would be no more surprise, right? But i can tell you, that we're really hot for playing in Europe at the festivals. "Gods of metal" in italy will be a really great show!

Alex : Will you ride your Harleys? I think it was a really cool thing, just riding through the audience the last time.
Scott : This is possible of course, 'though you should talk to Joey about that. He can tell you more about it.

Alex : How will the setlist look like? Manowar has got so many different songs, so you could play an other setlist on every show.
Scott : (laughter) This is right, but i think that we will keep it like always and the setlist will refer to the songs the crowd want's to hear.We always play different songs in the different countries. The germans for example love to hear "Spirit Horse Of The Cherokee". There the whole crowd always sings with us. The same with "Herz aus Stahl", which was especially written for you in germany. I can't tell you how the setlist will look exactly. That is shorty decided before the tour!

Alex : Rumors say, that you don't play on the german festivals, because you demand too much money for that. Is that right?
Scott : I'm sorry, but i can't tell you anything about that. I simply don't care about the cost of our show . I don't think, that our shows are more expensive than the setup of any other "famous" band. We are right now doing some shows in the U.S. in smaller clubs, wich are quite expensive for us. If that would be important to us what much money we earn, we wouldn't play those gigs we couldn't do that because our own cost is so high that we mostly don't earn anything. We do that, 'cause we love our fans. Alex I cannot even tell you, if we've recieved ANY offers or invitations to german festivals at all. As i said: I just care about my drums and anything else is the job of other people who are more into "the business" than i am.

Alex : Okay, allright. How do you, especially as a drummer, prepare for a new tour?
Scott : Well, i practice a lot, some hours every day. I start 'bout 2 months before the begin of a tour. Then i raise the amount of "work" every day, so at the end i have a work-level of 4 hours nonstop-drumming a day Then i look for my physical fitness. I'm running a lot, care about my nutrition and i do a special "Power-training" for my arms and legs. You have to know, that on stage you nearly permanently play the double-bass and that needs a lot of energy. For exaple: I do not "trigger" because i don't like this technique. That means, that Songs like "Black Wind, Fire & Steel" or "The Power" demand a huge amount of power and condition. When i'm in the studio, it only "works" when i'm 100% fit. As you know, i record the drum-parts live. That means, everything else is already done ... Gitar, Bass, Vocals and all the other stuff. After this is done, it's the "drums-part". That means for me, that i have to be in a perfect physical condition and know the songs by heart. Before that, Joey doesn't allow me to enter the Studio (laughter).

Alex : How does it work with the band? How much do you practice before a tour?
Scott : Oh ... really a lot. Especially shortly before a tour. Then we play the whole set every day ... just for making no mistakes. Eric has to do "build up" his voice carefully before the tour starts, just to be prepared for the "stress" of a worldwide tour. Manowar thinks, that you only become a professional by training, training, training. And when you are a pro, you have to practice even more to keep the standard. Manowar ARE professional in every single aspect and we want to show the people the best show that exists.

Alex : Why doesn't Eric Adams write the lyrics?
Scott : You should ask that question to Eric. I don't know why and, to be honest, I don't care. I'm responsible for my Drumkit. When Joey comes to me because of his songs, then it's because of the drums and not the lyrics ... understand?

Alex : That was clear to me, i just thought that you would know why Joey makes all by himself. Scott : He doesn't do that. As i said, he comes with the songs to me and asks what kind of drums i would play with that. It works this way: Joey gives a tape to me with a rough mix of guitar and Bass, wich he has recorded with Karl in advance. Then he tells me, to create the drums. So i sit down and write the drum part. Then i play and record them. I give it to Joey. If it fits, Joey mixes the drums with the riffs and we listen to it together. The same with Eric, Joey gives the Lyrics and "our stuff" to Eric and waits in wich way Eric sings that. In the end, everyone of us puts his part to the songs, only Joey has the final word to decide what is good or not good. Joey is the boss of the band and it's his to decide what happens. He picks up every little detail and creates a song out of it. And when we go into the studio, the songs are perfect already, that saves us studio-time. Of course we have to be prepared very good, but as i said: We're all professionals and behave like that.

Alex : Would you be "hot" 'bout writing a song by yourself?
Scott : (loud laughter) Hey! You've just hit a sensible point!

Alex : Why that?
Scott : I'm just doing a solo-project.

Alex : Ah! Would you tell us something about it?
Scott : No no my friend. We are not THAT far. (laughter) I can only tell you, that it will become very very heavy and if everything works out, the release is at the end of this year. But more info i cannot and don't want to give to you.

Alex : Pity ... but i accept this. Something different: Why is Manowar more succsessfull in europe, than at home?
Scott : Difficult question. I think it's simply the fact, that the europeans are more open than the americans. At home, the people are very easy to manipulate by the Radio- and TV Stations. In America it works this way: They play a song in the radio and the DJ says: "This one is great" And the kids buy this record like crazy. In europe it's very different. Here the people listen to the music very carefully before the buy the record. Plus: Heavy Metal has got a very small influence and it's still a kind of "underground". But if you're wearing a LIMP BISKIT shirt you are the king! (laughter) But the whole "New Metal"-shit has got nothing in common with the stuff we do. A fact is, that the europeans are much more open to heave metal than the americans. That'll be the reason for being more successfull in europe. To me this is OK. So i can deal more with the european history than the american.

Alex : Then you are no patriot?
Scott : Yes,I am.But for me it is not about patriotism but simply that the American History is much too new (young) in Europe were the egyptians,the greeks,romans the Germans and so on.They are all people with tradition,whose history is very fascinating for me.For example the whole nordic saga with all its gods ,who were all mentionet in our Songs is fantastic.Such things we have not in America there you could write Songs about Western Heroes.That`s it! (laughter).

Alex :Away from history to present time. What does Manowar think about the Internet and especially MP3 downloads?
Scott : The Internet for itself is a fantastic thing .At no other place you get news and Informations in a faster way. Even concerning communication it is outstanding Manowar has got a lot of E-Mail contact to the Fans. But referring MP3? Briefly said: stolen is stolen! I think its to puke what happens in the Internet. I am not talking about Manowar, but about all the other small Bands, which are droping down because of this Shit. Today`s productions costs a Shitload of money and a lot has to be financed in advance. But if there is no cash return than the Bands an the Labels get broke. That ruins Music production in general. There is no more to say about it!

Alex : Allright,Scott. What do you think about Online Metal-Magazines?
Scott : Oh, i think its a great thing and a real challenge to the print mags. Right now i`m looking at your site-here you have all infos present-what a pitty that i do not understand a single word of that stuff, i don/t speak German! But what i see on fist look is, that you have a real huge amount of Reviews online. There are many great Bands too. Here on this page is written that you have the complete Manowar Discograhy online. I/d like to read them all, in English of course, but your interviews seem to be allright, as far as i can say.

Alex : If i/ve got the time i translate it for you and send it,if you like.
Scott : That would be really great. But take your time. Right now i/ve got really a lot to do.

Alex : Or i print them, and give 'em to you when you come to Munich!
Scott : That would be great too.I just write it down. Hold on. What was your surname?

Alex : Kragl!
Scott : What? Better spell it.

Alex : K R A G L
Scott : What the hell is that(laughter)? But i took the note when we are in Munich, just contact our Tourmanager, ok?

Alex : I'll do that.Now on with the questions. Soon Iron Maiden will transmit a gig live in the internet. Would that be possible with Manowar too?
Scott : Hmmm...i don't know, if that would be ok. Right now i cannot imagine how something like that should work out. Don't know.

Alex : OK, here are some personal questions to you:
Scott : Okay, go ahead.

Alex : How's your family, especially your son?
Scott : Thanks for the question, they are quite OK. My son has recovered very good and in the meantime he became the greatest metal-fan that i know. There's no day i don't have to walk up to his room and ask him to turn down the music a bit (laughter) Everything has worked out really good and i'm very happy about that.

Alex: What kind of music do you prefer personally?
Scott: Everything, from normal rock-musik to hard-rock, metal to classical music. Even some pop-songs are OK. What i don't like is Hip-Hop or Rap. I think that has nothing in common with music, it's more "talking". I love the "bombastic" feeling in classical music. Such an orchestra creates incredible emotions. i like operas too.

Alex: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Scott: If i would know that today ... (laughter) I hope, that i'm still sitting behind my Drumkit with Manowar and have fun with the music. Besides that i hope, that i will have released my third solo-album and am finally a millionaire (laughter) No ... serious. I really do not think very much about the future. Everything comes like it has to come.

Alex: What do you like best in germany?
Scott: As i said in the beginning: The people here. I've met very few people who share my kind of humor like the germans do. i love the people and the country. But the size of the country isn't like my taste. There, america has abundant. I love to travel long ways through the country without meetin anybody. In germany this is impossible. What else do i like in germany? (From the background: Bring me the fuckin "Ouguschteiner"-beer - right now!! - (laughter) Right, food and drinks here are pretty good, that's OK, too (laughter) And as i said: The people here. Doesn't matter if young or older, i just likke the german mentality. i really like to be in germany.

Alex: So i'm finished with my questions. Are there some final words for our readers?
Scott: Allright! Thanks to the german fans for their endurance! You had to wait several years for a new Manowar-album but you will be really compensated with "Warriors of the world". We are really looking forward to see you all on the tour.

Alex: Scott, thank you very much for that interview. All the best for the future.
Scott: No, i have to say "Thank you". That was a really funny interview, and i hope to meet you on tour - i have your name. And don't forget the beer, brother. Bye Alex and good luck for your Powermetal-Mag!

Published by:
English translation : Marcus Holtgrawe - Luca Matarazzo


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