Interviewer: Meanwhile we’ve been waiting for four years for the successor of KINGS OF METAL. The question is: why?
Eric: “We really worked hard on the new record, taking our time to be sure it would turn out to be perfect. It’s our seventh Album and we have a reputation to stand up to! Besides that, we made our own studio near New York. We want to use it alone, it was made for our specific needs and for our typical sound. The construction took a lot of time and it also took plenty of time to write the new songs. And last, but not least, we had to rehearse with our new drummer Rhino."
Interviewer: Why did your long-standing Drummer Scott Columbus leave MANOWAR? The only thing we heard about that, was “some kind of familiy affairs”.
Eric: “Yeah, that’ right. His son is very sick. After the rehearsals, Scott made up his mind to better stay with his family so he could take intensive care of his son. That was really bad...He came over and told us about his problems and his decision. At the same moment he introduced us to a friend of his from Nashville, Rhino, who he thought could substitute him. And after the first rehearsals we couldn’t and wouldn’t have wanted to believe what we had heard: he was great! It’s fantastic that he’s a friend of our old drummer and that Scott recommended him to us. We arranged a sort of “handing over ceremony” at our studio. At midnight Scott gave Rhino his drumsticks. That way he symbolically was given the Title “Drummer of MANOWAR” and the right to operate the “Steel Drums Of Doom”. That was a very moving moment for all of us. Rhino then went outside and burned up his old drumkit. I asked him, “Why did you do that?”, and he answered “Because it was the only drumkit I ever played on and I am now finishing up with the past!”...
Interviewer: A pretty expensive hobby...
Eric: "Yeah, and do you know what he also said?” “If I ever play on another drumkit or get to play in another band, then I’m gonna burn yours!”, hahaha!"
Interviewer: In what bands did Rhino play before MANOWAR and does he actually have a last name?
Eric: "I do believe he has a last name but we all only know him by the name of “Rhino”. MANOWAR is his first band. He’s only been rehearsing like an animal at home. He is a man without a past, and without a family name, hahaha!"
Interviewer: So, after what you told me, Scott must still be a good friend of the band…
Eric: "Yeah, of course! He’s actually gonna visit me this weekend at my home. In the past he was my best friend on the road. He’s happy now because he can take intensive care of his son and we’re all happy, that he’s happy...you know what I mean? We’re all close friends and we share our problems with one another and it was really hard for us to just say “Goodbye” to him and “Hello!” to a new drummer, even though he introduced him to us. But now Rhino is our new drummer and we’re really happy with him and his excellent drumming. We really can’t wait to get on the road with him and let him play a couple of Solos!”
Interviewer: Okay, so let’s take a further look into the future: what can you tell us about the new album? Has it been named, how many songs are on it?
Eric: “Good question! I can’t tell you anything at the moment. The album and the songs still only have working titles – nothing is for sure. The only thing I can tell you concerns the sound: it will demonstrate the next logical step in our developemet since KINGS OF METAL. The album will have Scott’s input and Rhino’s drumming on it. Scott recorded all the songs, but Rhino’s drumming is like fresh blood for the band. We’re really satisfied with the new album, it sounds really heavy and doesn’t sound commercial at all! And you guys know that MANOWAR would never play anything commercial.
Interviewer: Did you guys put anything on the album that is untypical for heavy metal? Like church organs or childrens choirs
Eric: “First of all, it’s gonna be asskicking metal! Heavy guitars, acoustic guitars and a wild drum sound – our “Drooms of Doom” have got a special tone. Of course we’ve got a couple of surprises for the fans, but at the moment I don’t want to take anything away. You’ll get that as soon as the record has been released, hahaha! Alright? Okay, I gotta get back to the studio! Thanks alot for the interview, see you on tour! You will come to see one of our shows, won’t you?”
Interviewer: Yes of course, but, ah....I still have a couple of more questions...
Eric: "Oh! Yeah, sorry about that...”
Interviewer: Who produced your new album?
Eric: ”That’s simple: we did it, because in the meantime we definitely know what’s best for us, how it has to sound and what we have to do!”
Interviewer: I could imagine that there’s going to be a single out first...
Eric: “Yeah and there’s probably gonna be a video going with that. But which song etc...The only thing I can definitely tell you, is that we’re going on tour in October...”
Interviewer: I don’t believe that you guys are gonna move even an inch away from your motto: “Death To False Metal”. If you guys take a look at all the fusions of different music styles, what in your opinion is “False Metal” nowadays?
Eric: “To me, if somebody gets on stage without being able to play, that’s false metal! If someone gets on stage and does one gimmick after another instead of rock n’ roll power, that’s false metal, because metal is pure power! And if someone takes all the money he earns from selling records, merchandise and from his shows to only buy houses, swimming pools or sportscars, without investing even a cent of it in his next production or record, so that the fans get paid back. That´s what I call “False Metal”!"
Interviewer: But there is still one phenomenon in the States: Most bands there record ballads to get into the charts. And the kids that go to their concerts are often irritated over what these bands actually play, for e.g. Mr. Big! How’s your feelings towards ballads? Don’t you guys have any fears that the wrong people my come to your concerts because of a ballad which landed in the charts?
Eric: ”We’ve always had a slower song on each of our albums – I like singing stuff like that for a change. I don’t know if we’re gonna record a ballad this time – we have one on the short list, but we still have to decide on that. But the kids know us and our reputation by now. And even if we write a slow song, that doesn’t mean that we have to use the words “I love you- what are we gonna do?” or stuff like that, hahaha! Because we know: The kids come to us to see the loudest and proudest band of the world!"
Interviewer: As far as I know, MANOWAR has never done a cover version, why not? Wouldn’t it appeal to you to make a remake?
Eric: “That’s too cheap for us. We’ve never had problems writing our own material and recording it on vinyl. We don’t need to copy someone – we have our own style, we have our own show and beyond that, I don’t think anybody will be able to copy MANOWAR!
Interviewer: For alot of your old fans INTO GLORY RIDE is one of your best releases. But right now you can only get expensive bootslegs. Why wasn’t INTO GLORY RIDE officially been re-released?
Eric: “That’s got something to do with our record company back then. But I think that it’ll only be a matter of time, because BATTLE HYMNS has now been re-released on CD..."
Interviewer: Let’s get back to your maxi version of the Kings Of Metal. Alot of people have the opinion that the lyrics of “Pleasure Slave” definitely represent male chauvinism...
Eric: “The only reason we wrote these lyrics was to show the world that women are PLEASURE slaves - not to be mistaken with slaves! Well, how should I explain this to you? Every girl that ever got backstage with us will be able to certify that we treated her like a lady. We absolutely don’t have anything against women! And of course, we don’t have anything against a little sex, ah, safe sex, hahaha. And you what I think: Women give us amusement.
Interviewer: And the Pleasure Slave backstage passes with the tied up naked women on them, don’t really mean anything do they...
Eric: “Definitely! That was only a little joke! Maybe we’ll put on a couple of balls on the next backstage passes, hahaha! Hey, you’ll have to excuse me now, because the guys are waving for me to come back to the studio...”
Interviewer: Okay, to come to an end. Just three more questions...If you take a look at the sales figures of Guns ‘n’ Roses and Metallica, wouldn’t you say that they are “The Real Kings of Rock´n´Roll” or “...Heavy Metal”...
Eric: “Metallica has released a really good album and the fans know how to honour this. But after our record comes out, they’ll know who the true “Kings of Metal” are!”
Interviewer: Until now MANOWAR has never made a home video....
Eric: “That’s right, but just as we’re talking, there’s one in production. Our record company will release it at an appropriate time."
Interviewer: What actually happened to Ross The Boss, who left MANOWAR at the end of the production of KINGS OF METAL, to go back to his blues roots?
Eric: “He actually played in a bluesband here in New York. The band split up and as far as I know Ross the Boss quit playing guitar."
Interviewer: Okay and now definitely the last question: MANOWAR is famous for their great wall of speakers on stage. Still, there are people who don’t believe that all of them are plugged in – that many of them are just only dummies...
Eric: “Bullshit! If you don’t believe it, then come backstage before the show starts and see for yourself! Listen to the volume and make your own judgement! All speakers are plugged in! And everyone who doesn’t believe that is a little, dirty, fuckin’ liar. There’s nothing fake around this band – no one of us would tolerate that!
Interviewer: So, after four years of silence, MANOWAR is still the loudest band in the world?
Eric: “Yeah of course! You will definitely see and hear it...!”