Interviews / Presse
|Titel: ||Joey and RockHard 1997|
|Interview with Joey DeMaio|
Published by: ROCK HARD MAGAZINE GERMANY
Interviewer: Götz Kühnemund
Published on: 1997
It took Manowar about 17 years to release their first live album. Very unusual in a time, when bands give us live albums after three studio records at the latest. But MANOWAR was never like other bands.
Joey DeMaio is sitting directly opposite to me in a hotel in Los Angeles, nearby the studio, where he is giving the finishing touch to their live album “Hell On Wheels”. We listened to 18 remixed songs just two hours ago, although the rest should have been finished too. As always the production process took more time than expected, without any additional recordings or overdubs.
“It took alot more work than I expected to produce a live album”, explains Joey, “especially when you record 60 concerts, which you then have to analyze one by one. 60 Versions of Manowar, 60 Versions of Kings Of Metal, 60 Versions of Kings Of Metal, 60 Versions of Kill With Power...there’s alot to do. Especially because we want to consider as many countries as possible, so that the fans can compare the reactions. We thought that we would be much more attractive than just recording one single concert (Author’s note: you’ll find the complete tracklist with recording date and venue at the end of the interview). Our main job was to listen to every track and decide where it sounded best. I did that with my assistant and bass technician, Paul Bona. We had the energy in particular in mind, not the performance. The decisive factor was to get the magic between the band and the audience - I hope we were able to capture the best moments.”
There is a special feature on the track “Warriors Of The World”: it’s a collage of fans singing in different countries, to capture the different reactions. So we have the chance to present everything joined together to gain more time which is used between the songs for more music.”
Joey watches every single concert on the tourbus on video, so I think you can get the idea how precisely he works.
“After the show I’ll take a couple of drinks and just watch everything in quiet. This is the easiet way for me to hear mistakes concerning the sound and seeing what’s wrong with the light show. The other musicians and roadies hate me for it”, Joey laughs, “but I don’t care. I want to give the fans our best and in that case a little overtime is substanial.”
Everybody knows that Joey likes to be in charge. How much say did Eric, Scott and Karl have in the setlist and the remixing of the live album?
“Of course all three of them were here in the studio in L.A. to listen to the recordings – and we didn’t have any problems at all. We didn’t need much time for the actual mix, because we wanted the songs to sound pure. There are no overdubs or additional recordings – and it is no question, that all instruments and the vocals must clearly be heard. We’ve never had a problem with that – we don’t want to change the typical MANOWAR sound we always have had.”
Joey, who was a roadie during Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell Tour”, was getting at the rumour, that Ronnie James Dio sneaked into the studio during the remix of “Live Evil” to put up his voice and turn down Tony Iommi’s guitar – a story which Dio naturally denies...
Back to “Hell On Wheels”: Joey always points the fact out, that this is a real live album without additional recordings or overdubs, so that it is representative for a MANOWAR concert. “We didn’t need any overdubs because we had enough material to start with”, Joey assures – and says laughing, “If that wouldn’t have been the case after 60 shows, then we should maybe think about breaking up the band!”
As mentioned before, MANOWAR have waited 17 years to release their first live album (starting from their first demo) – 10 years longer than most other bands.
“A live album is something special in the career of a band and it’ll only work if the audience is with you”, Joey says deadly serious. “The fans have to be a solid part of the songs, before it makes sense. You’re just not together long enough, after the release of two studio albums, to do a live album. Our fans know all our lyrics and they provide a huge amount of the atmosphere during a MANOWAR concert. It’s a question of timing: the good wait until the time is right...”
The consequences of waiting such a long time are that you won’t be able to play all the songs that the fans want, because you just have too much material. Especially two songs are most missed by older MANOWAR fans.
"One of them is “Bridge of Death", Joey guesses.
Exactly. And the second one? "Defender?"
"Guyana (Cult of The Damned)?"
Right! Are we ever gonna hear those two classics once more?
“We’ll simply play them on the next tour! We actually have something special in mind to put a setlist together: Songs that our fanclub members can choose. There’s always alot of questions concerning songs we actually never played live – and we’ll dig out some of these now.”
Will you again play without an opening act and therefore longer?
“Doing two sets per evening during the last tour worked out fine. And if we want to play a couple of longer songs like “Bridge Of Death”, we’ll have to do a set of a minimum of 2 ½ hours. Besides, I like the idea of doing two sets. You can get yourself a beer, take a piss, fuck or do whatever you want, during the intermision and you still won’t miss anything. It’s like in the opera or in a musical – there are always two acts...”
Whether the intermission at the opera is used to fuck or not – we’ll have to leave that open, but otherwise Joey’s right: MANOWAR fans surely want to see their favorite band play doubletime, as to see some opening act.
Besides that, everybody knows that MANOWAR does not like to do compromises on tour. They need hours to put up the stage and make their soundchecks. It could happen that the support act won’t get time to do their own sound check and afterwards complain about the headliner...
“They’re all a bunch of pussies!”, says Joey. “That’s the way it is at the festivals anyway – everybody concentrates on the headliner and all the other bands just have to make the best out of their situation. Nobody gives a shit, if you get a soundcheck or not. You just get up on stage and play, because the fans pay for it. It’s just as simple as that!”
Did you guys get a soundcheck at the “Onkelz-Open Airs”?
“No, of course not – and we didn’t demand one. Those were the Onkelz’s shows, it was their stage and their set – so we accepted the situation, got on stage and played!”
What also pisses Joey off, is when people think the band and their fans are stupid or apt to sexism:
“It makes no difference if its the magazines, musicians, radioheads or promoters – most of them are just jealous of our loyal audience! If you go to a MANOWAR concert you want to have fun – and that’s what we’ll give you. We’re all here to rock, drink and fuck!"
Sometime in the next half year, MANOWAR want to release an official home video. The footage will mostly be from the upcoming tour: “So for all of you, who didn’t have a chance to see us on the “Hell On Wheels” tour, you’ll get a second one right now. We’re gonna record all the concerts and make a real nice video out of that.”
The German dates will be launched in January – and Joey has come up with something special for the tour:
“One fan will have the opportunity to be with us on the road for one week – in his own tourbus, which will have 14 beds in it. So he can take anybody he likes with him. And we guarantee for the fun!”
I guess you can imagine, how this “fun” is gonna look like. The fact that the busdriver will end up in a sanitarium is most obviously clear...
HELL ON WHEELS -LIVE:
Manowar – recorded 04/05/97 Prague
Kings of Metal – recorded 03/23/97 Düsseldorf
Kill With Power – recorded 04/15/97 Madrid
Sign of the Hammer - recorded 04/29/97 Brussels
My Spirit lives on – recorded 04/03/97 Budapest
Piano Interlude – recorded 04/18/97 Barcelona
Courage – recorded 04/20/97 Valencia
Spirit Horse of the Cherokee – recorded 03/27/97 Böblingen
Blood of my Enemies – recorded 11/15/96 Sao Paulo
Hail and Kill – recorded 04/22/97 Cascais
Wheels of Fire - recorded 11/23/97 Buenos Aires
Metal Warriors recorded 04/22/97 Cascais
Army of the Immortals - recorded 04/02/97 Vienna
Black Arrows, Parts 1 - 3 - recorded 03/29/97 Hanau,
04/15/97 Madrid, 04/29/97 Brussels
Fighting the World - recorded 04/25/97 Zurich
Thor the Powerhead recorded 04/25/97 Zurich
King - recorded 09/07/97 Essen
The Gods Made Heavy Metal - recorded 04/04/97 Passau
Black Wind Fire and Steel - recorded 04/20/97 Valencia
Return of the Warlord - recorded 03/21/97 Halle
Carry On - recorded 04/18/97 Barcelona
Battle Hymn´ - recorded 06/07/97 Milan
Warriors of the World – recorded every night at every place in town...