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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Alex : OK, here are some personal questions
Scott : Okay, go ahead.
Alex : How's your family, especially your
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: powermetal.de
English translation : Marcus Holtgrawe - Luca Matarazzo