I had the honor and privilege to meet Eric Adams, the God of all vocalists. Iím still in shock from meeting and talking to a Man who has been one of my heroes for almost 3-4 years, as well as being a reason why Iím still alive today. Eric Adams is a God among Men, and his words speak of the love between Manowar and their fans and the Magic of Manowar as they come straight from the bottom of his heart.
I taped the interview, from right after I introduced myself and the groups that I write for, up until Eric had to leave for a sound check. Here is the transcript of that interview:
Ed Graham:Itís an odd webzine, itís like for music with soul. We cover folk bands, classical groups, Manowars been in there frequentlyÖ
Eric:Yeah, Manowarís really big in Germany
Ed Graham:Well you guys pretty much epitomize Music with Soul.
Eric:Thatís great man. Letís do this.
Ed Graham:Cool. Okay, so new albumÖ
Eric:Hey, wait a minute. First, you gonna be at the show tonight?
Ed Graham:Oh yeah.
Ed Graham:Hels yeah.
Ed Graham:Yup, weíre rolling. I bought 12 tickets a couple weeks ago. My entire, like, extended families here
Ed Graham:Well friends mostly
Eric:Great, thatís great. Itís a hell of a show, itís a kick ass show, right from the beginning, I mean, itís just like a continuous medley of our songs, we donít stop, it goes right into another and another and another. Itís really cool.
Eric:It flies by, itís unbelievable.
Ed Graham:Awesome. You guys doing Warriors of the World United?
Ed Graham:Yeah, I love that song.
Eric:Yeah, we do that . We also do, ah, youíll hear it. Itís a whole shitload, we do 15, 14 songs.
Eric: I think the show is, it goes so fast, I mean the shows an hour and ten minutes, hour and fifteen, thatís about it.
Eric:But its, theres no bullshit in the show, itís like another and another and another.
Ed Graham:No kidding
Eric:But itís smoking, itís a good set.
Ed Graham:This new song, itís a little different for Manowar
Eric: Warriors of the World?
Eric:Man, you know, not really, because itís like Kings of Metal almost. Itís got that driving beat, you know what I mean? We had to think moreÖ stadium, instead of club, itís got that stadium, arena feel. So you get that bomp kaw bomp kaw, yeah, you had to have that cause when youíre in a stadium, bomp kaw bomp kaw, itís huge. If you do every song, boom click boom click, after all, itís muddy in the stadium, in a big huge 30,000 seater, itís muddy out there. You know what I mean? You need songs like that, just to show people, yeah I can do songs like that. But really, the ass kickers in the stadium where you get 30,000 people fist in the fuckiní air, dam daka dam daka dam, ainít nothiní better than that. Nothiní better than that. Theyíll do it tonight. Cool.
Ed Graham:Yeah, one thing, I tried learning how to play it, I play bass, and is it down tuned? Or even 5 stringed?
Eric:Yeah we tuned down, I think one step. I think itís one step, I donít know for sure. But it is tuned down.
Ed Graham:Itís in d minor. I figured you tuned the low E down to D.
Eric:Yeah, youíll have to check it out and see. Um, the video we do, Manowar:Warriors of the World United, you can see what weíre playing there. I donít know if, I mean, Iím a guitar player too, but I never even paid attention to what weíre doing. If you see Joey later you can ask him.
Ed Graham:Cool. Thereís also no guitar solo. Is that a different feel, experimenting?
Eric:Well, we thought, we talked it over in the studio, we thought, the middle section where it slows down, is all the change it needed. The song kinda dictates itself where it was gonna go, and I think if you put a guitar solo in there after that, it would have taken away from the chorus, by throwing the chorus in right after the slow part, itís like someone went poom right in your face, and you feel like, ohh, there it is. Yíknow? Youíll see tonight when we do that song, weíll do the slow part, and when I say ďDie,Ē the whole band kicks in, ďby SteelĒ and then everyone goes crazy. Itís a new song, nobody knows it yet, yíknow, so imagine, when itís really out there, I think the album gets released June 4thÖ
Ed Graham:June 4th?
Ed Graham:Oh, they pushed it back then?
Eric:Yeah, it was May 27th in Europe, and Japan, in America itís June 4th. Donít know why. I just found that out today from the record label.
Ed Graham:Hmm. I got the single a couple weeks ago. I got home from school, Iím a student at USC, I got home, hadnít eaten since breakfast, had a lousy day at school, see this box on my doorstep, upstairs, an hour straight just playing that song. I get on my computer to write a review, and hey, I havenít eaten in like, 8 hours.
Eric:(laughs) Thatís cool, thatís great man. Thatís good. People like you all over the world man, that keep this band going, keep us rolling, cause most radio stations arenít doing it. You know, radio stations arenít doing it. In Germany they are, butÖ
Ed Graham:Youíre number 7 in the charts?
Eric:The single now, unless itís changed, I heard it was 15. The single. The video, is number one, on Viva, most requested video on heavy rotation. Thatís cool.
Ed Graham:Thatís awesome
Eric:Thatís really really cool. And it works out perfect because weíre heading out there in 3 weeks. So, thatís really cool.
Ed Graham:How do you like touring different between touring America and touring Europe? Is there much difference?
Eric:Umm, yíknow, Manowar fans are Manowar fans all over the world. It doesnít make any difference to me where I play. When the bus stops, I get out, and I tour, I play. Some shows this tour weíve played for a hundred people. You know, which is ridiculous. When I can sit and say to you, in three weeks weíre going to play for 30,000 people in Milan.
Ed Graham:Godís of Metal?
Eric:Yeah, or 50,000, that was the last time in Milan, at the Gods of Metal. Thatís a lot of people! So to turn around in America and play for 100 people seems a little ridiculous, but you know what, they get the same fuckiní show. You see what Iím saying? It doesnít matter to me where I play. Manowar fans come to see Manowar. 100 fans sound like 1000 fans. Yíknow? Particularly in America where we never play. Theyíre starviní for the band to come and play here. I canít tell you how many times we sign autographs at the end of the night. We bring people right up on the bus to sign autographs. A lot of guys come up and say Iíve been waiting 10 years to see you guys, I been waiting 15 years to see you guys, Iíve got all your fuckiní albums, yíknow. Thatís the way it is. Thatís the way itís always been, at the beginning of this tour. I expect tonight will be no different.
Ed Graham:Well, Iíve got 12 people out there, weíve been waiting for like 3 hours.
Eric:Good. There you go. There you go. Theyíre the ones thatíll be there right in the front row. So, I hope they can hear the vocals, cause the things set up above, going down.
Ed Graham:Well, weíll be singing along.
Eric:Yeah, the magicíll be there.
Ed Graham:How did you form that magic? Did you think about that when you were first starting off Manowar?
Ed Graham:Cause thereís something about Manowar, thereís bands like Hammerfall, they use similar lyrics, similar chord structure, but they just donít have that magic.
Eric:Yeah, I donít know. I donít know what that is. I think that a lot of the magic comes from the creativity that you get from your fans. I know thatís hard to understand, but, when Iím playing a show, if the fans are dead and theyíre not into it, then Iím just playing the show, and Iím getting by. If the fans are into it, like they are at our shows, then thereís a sponge. Theyíre sucking up my energy and Iím sucking off their energy too. You know what I mean? The magic is when you try out something new on stage only because you felt it, and the rest of the band didnít know you were going to do that, and because you felt it, it works! Thatís the magic. And the magics in the studio, itís when you rehearse a song, and you rehearse it and rehearse it, a thousand times, and itís down the way you want to record it. Then I record my vocals, and I usually record, like, 8 tracks of vocals. I record 4 tracks the way I rehearsed it, and the next four tracks, Iíll try different things that Iím feeling. Sometimes itís it, sometimes itís shit. But when itís magic, itís magic! Yíknow? I donít know, I mean, weíre pretty open minded, and weíre very creative, and everybody in the band is open minded, we all criticize each otherís playing, yíknow, we really are critiquing each other, during the performance, and during the rehearsal, during the recording. Yíknow, weíre critiquing each other, always striving for the best quality we can possibly make. Cause at the end of the day, the fanís arenít stupid, theyíre smart kids out there, and those kids are the ones buying the records, not your record company, not people like you who get it for free. No offense.
Ed Graham:No. Well, actually, I havenít gotten any for free.
Eric:Well, Iím just saying, Iím just saying, most journalists, hereís a copy of the album, I want you to write a story on it. You know what Iím saying? I write, I do, I play my heart and soul for the people out in the audience tonight, you know, and Iíll do anything I can for the people out in the audience tonight, Iíll sign every fuckiní autograph I can, if I donít have to travel. Yíknow? If we have to go some place, and we only have so much time to get there, then I canít, and they understand that. I think weíve got the strongest fans in the world, I really do, and thatís part of the magic. Thatís part of the magic! Thatís why we always have an anthem song on every album we do, because we want the fans to sing the songs. Tonightíll be no different. When we do Hail and Kill tonight, theyíll sing it. Hail, Hail, Hail, and Ö theyíll sing it. Theyíll sing the new song, Warriors of the World United, theyíll sing it. Even though they havenít heard it, theyíll sing it, because Iíll teach it tonight, how to do it, and, oh God, you name the song, theyíre going to sing it with me. Yíknow, if thereís a part where the crowd sings on the record, theyíre the crowd. See what I mean? Itís not like, Manowar, theyíre coming to a Manowar show, no, itís not like that! Theyíre coming to a Manowar show, with the crowd, with the Manowar fans. Because itís, we try to be, like, when we say theyíre out family, we mean that. Theyíre our family, theyíre our brothers and sisters of metal, and we want to get together with them, yíknow? We may ask people to come up on stage, weíve always done that, to play guitar. Yíknow? I donít think weíre going to do that tonight, cause we didnít rehearse anything like that, but normally, yíknow, when we do a tour, we just pick someone, you play guitar? Címon up on stage.
Ed Graham:Any chance you might do that with a bassist?
Eric:Weíve done it with bass before! Weíve done it with bass, yeah. Weíve done it with vocals before. The only thing we havenít done it before with is a drummer, we havenít done it with a drummer, but everybody else has given up their instrument for the fans, and let them go ahead and do it. Itís too cool, Iím telling you, itís too cool. So, I donít know any other bands that believe in their fans as strongly as we do for that. And at the end of the day, without your fans, who the hell are ya? Without the fans that are buying the record, who the fuck do you think you are? Where the fuck do you think youíre going? Itís the fans out there that, that, that put you where you belong. Or where they think you belong. Yíknow, it goes from there. So, we really believe that, strongly. With our heart and soul, yíknow? We donít play from the wallet. We play from the wallet, yíknow, weíd write some hip song thatíd be on the radio like that, weíd be millionaires like that, big fucking deal! Itís a song, itís like going to work in a factory someplace, you get through the part, and thatís it, and donít give a fuck. But a painter, who creates something, and heís meticulous in every little design he does, he doesnít want to sell his painting just to anybody, heís wants to sell his painting to someone whoís going to appreciate his painting, because itís his heart and soul in that, itís the same way we feel, with our music, and our creativity. We play from the heart. Yíknow? And everything we sing about, we feel about. You can hear it in the albums, all the emotion in our songs, in the new album, itís a real emotional album. With 911 that just happened, címon, Fight For Freedom is a song on the album that was dedicated, not written for, the song was written already, dedicated to, yíknow, the 911 families. Yíknow, itís a shitty thing that happened. Itís a shitty world we live in right now, so, just got to deal with it.
Ed Graham:Was 911 a big influence on the new album? Doing songs like the American TrilogyÖ
Eric:No, the album was already done, at least, it was all written, ready to go, then that happened. But you know, itís funny, cause when 911 happened, and fans up in Portland, Oregon, somebody involved with the NBA team up thereÖ
Ed Graham:The Trailblazers?
Eric:Yeah, the Trailblazers, sent us a letter, asking if itíd be okay if they did a song, if they took Courage and made a video out of it, and we said sure. They sent it to us, and you hear us singing Courage in the background, but you see the 911 firemen.
Ed Graham:Yeah, I saw that one
Eric:The families, oh, you saw it, thatís good.
Ed Graham:Iím a fan before Iím a journalist.
Eric:But what Iím saying is, thatís from a previous album, and any album weíve done, yíknow. Mountains. The song Mountains. The song, um, uh, ah Christ, Iím trying to think of the one we did acoustically liveÖ
Ed Graham:Heart of Steel?
Eric:No, but Heart of Steelís another one. Thereís another one. I mean, thereís a ton of songs out there that could correlate to this 911 thing, so I mean, our album was already recorded and done, not recorded but it was done before this 911 thing. So, we just picked Fight For Freedom because it made sense. The American Trilogy makes sense for this album because of the type of album it is, itís more symphonic, itís versatile. It goes from power ballads to the quick ass ripper song to the anthem songs that we always do. And itís also got Nessun Dorma, which is an opera piece. So yíknow, kinda sets us apart from any other band.
Ed Graham:So youíre also doing a song, The March, a tribute to Wagner?
Eric:Yeah, matter of fact, it was first called Wagnerís March. When I first heard itÖ
John Pettigrass: Excuse me, Eric, weíre ready for your sound check.
Eric:Okay! Kay, I gotta go down, do the sound check.
Ed Graham:Cool, thank you.
Ed Graham:Iíll be right in the front row, and Iíll see you after the show.
Eric:Okay, cool. Hey, maybe you could set it up, so we could finish the interview, maybe over the phone or something for the radio. Cool?
Eric:See ya later bro!
As I left, after talking briefly to John Pettigrass about finishing the interview, I walked by the stage and saw Manowar sound checking through Kings of Metal. Eric gave me a big thumbs up, which I returned. What a guy! If there is a single divine entity known as God, then his name is Eric Adams. Hail Eric Adams!
"Brothers everywhere, raise your hands into the air, we're Warriors, Warriors of the World! Like thunder from the sky, sworn to fight and die, we're Warriors, Warriors of the World!"