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..: Interview May, 2002 by Unknown :..

MANOWAR has finally returned. Their new album is about to be released on the public, and I can't fucking wait. They've already done a US tour, with IMMORTAL, CATASTROPHIC, and HAVOC HATE opening. They recently hit Los Angeles, the first time since the tour they did with SIX FEET UNDER. And of course I made the trek up north. Can't miss this one! I again made the call to Metal Blade, and after being put in contact with tour manager John Pettigrass, I again found myself sitting across from vocalist Eric Adams. Unfortunately, some of the interview has been lost. While Eric and I were talking, Joey DeMaio was downstairs tuning his bass. Remember that's the bass that's on record as being the loudest in the world. But here's what I was able to salvage, so enjoy!

Do you think MANOWAR would have become bigger in the US if you hadn't been kicked off that Ted Nugent tour so long ago?
It's like this... the only reason we were booted off was because the audience was chanting, "Manowar!" during Ted's set. We were all brought into his dressing room after the show, and he told us that he was still planning on being around ten years from then. We told him we were planning the same. And we told him that we'd see him again. Since then, we've done a couple of shows together.

So who opened?
[laughs] We opened! In America. But he has to open for us in Europe.

I've noticed that there's becoming more of a focus for touring here in America than in the past...
Well, we're on Metal Blade Records now, and they're showing an interest in the band. I was telling Kelli [Metal Blade publicist] earlier that it's great to tour America, go to the hotel, turn on the TV and listen to English! It's also nice to be able to go out and walk around. In Europe, we can't even leave our hotel rooms. But it's nice to play here, and it's about time we played here. We've got nine studio albums out there, I can't tell you how many bootlegs, but it's great that we're being given the chance to play here.

Now Joey has his new label, Magic Circle Music. Have you considered putting MANOWAR on that label and become totally self-sufficient?
Well, if we've ever got a problem with a label, that's an option. But the label was made solely for bands out there that don't want to compromise, just like we didn't want to compromise. If we signed a band and they wanted to come out with "Mary Had a Little Lamb," metal style, we'd still put it out. That was the whole idea of this thing. It's for people who want to do their first album and shake the tree. Record companies always try and change the bands they sign. We should know, we've been on a lot of labels. So we came out with this label for bands to come out and do what they want to do. They might fall flat on their faces, but at least they had that chance.

Going back to the early days, how did you guys form MANOWAR? I've never really heard the story.
I played with Joey in other bands, we grew up together. But I got a phone call from him in England, on tour with BLACK SABBATH. He used to work for them. And Ross the Boss was playing guitar in the band that was opening for them. Joey used to be backstage, and they were the only Americans on tour. They got to talking, and Joey told him that he knew a singer, me, back home. So he called me up and asked if I wanted in. And that's how it started. The song that we start out every show with, "Manowar," tells that story.

When you started, did it take people a while to "get" your style and image?
It took them a while, because they couldn't believe that a band would actually have the balls to say, "Fuck the world, here we are! And if you don't like it, fuck you too!" [laughs] We're playing our style of music, and that's it. We've never had the benefit of opening for any other bands, either in Europe or America... except for that tour with Ted Nugent, and that lasted only three shows! We've never had the luxury of going out on some major tour like the OzzFest, or being the opening act for somebody, and let 20,000 people see the band. But we pounded the road again and again all throughout Europe and America. We started out with 500 people one night, a thousand the next, two thousand the next time. Now over in Europe, we're playing for 30,000 people at a show. We can do the same thing in America if we keep playing here. But you know something? Bands never really wanted us opening for them. Ronnie Dio's a good friend of ours. He's a really close friend. Great guy. We grew up 30 miles from each other when we were kids. We asked him if we could open for him, after he'd made it with RAINBOW and then BLACK SABBATH. He said he'd help us with anything, he'd give us the names of people in the business, but don't ask to open the show. So he wouldn't touch us, and he's one of our best friends! The irony of it all is that we did a tour in Europe, and the bill was Ronnie, MOTORHEAD, and MANOWAR closed the show. But here it is, Ronnie opened the show, first on the bill! [laughs] It could have been the other way around! It could have changed our career if he'd let us open.

One last thing I want to ask, how long do you guys plan to keep on touring?
[laughs] I can honestly tell you that we'll have another album out in a year and a half. We're set up now, right at Joey's house. We've got the best of gear. Everything is set up all the time. So when we pull off the road, it's easy to record now. We can record one verse, one chorus, one bridge. Put it all on the computer, and then listen to it and mix it up. We can see how well it all sounds.

Yeah, but are you going to keep on going until you're like THE ROLLING STONES?
[laughs] I've got no plans on stopping at all. This is what I love. Travel kind of sucks, but performing is really fun. The first really big show we ever played was at the Hammersmith Odeon in England. And from that day, I knew that this was where I belong. I can't see myself doing anything else. I plan on playing and keep on kicking ass all over the world.

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