Interviewer: How come we didn’t hear anything from you since your last tour through Germany for over a year?
Joey: We finished our “Sign Of The Hammer” Tour in 1984 in England and were called to a meeting with our record label Ten Records. We stepped inside their office and were told, that we were too loud and too hard and that we could sell a lot more records if we just turned down. And then they wanted us to play commercial music. That was too much for me. I said “Fuck you!” and left the office. You know the rest of the story. They cancelled our contract. After that I called Dante Bonutoo at Kerrang! and told him what happened. I also said that it would become quiet around Manowar for the time being and that I didn’t want any press concerning the band, as long as we didn’t have a deal. After everything calmed down a bit, we looked at the possibilities to cope with this in the future: we had to decide whether we would sign a contract with an American, English, German, major or independent Label. And that’s our position at the moment. We’re working on a new album and after being locked away for so long now, we decided to play the festivals, so that the fans and the press would see that we’re back again.
Interviewer: So, you didn’t do anything over the last period of time?
Eric: Not much. Mainly, we worked on new material and did a couple of shows in New York in-between.
Interviewer: It’ pretty unusual for an American band that has no deal and hasn’t released a record for over two years, to do a large tour through Germany. How did you get to do that?
Joey: We can do this, because we have a lot of loyal fans here, as everywhere. Look at it straight in the face: No other band has fans that are more loyal. If other bands tell you the opposite, don’t believe them, because it’s not true. Manowar fans are the strongest audience in the world, and that’s what they showed us tonight, just like on every other show during this tour. And that’s what they’ll do tomorrow and every time. We can play whenever where ever we want to, and always rely on our fans, because they will never let us down. And what the fans always should know is the fact that they can always count on us.
Interviewer: Despite the fact that you go on stage as the third act out of five it really looks like Manowar is the secret headliner of these festivals!
Joey: We actually wanted to play third up, so that there would be two good bands behind and two in front of us. That way the audience would have the best possibility to see the difference between us and the others bands.
Interviewer: And what about a new contract? Are you negotiating with anyone at the moment?
Joey: No, we don’t have one. But we’re negotiating with different labels at the moment. We want the best deal and that means a contract, which allows us to do the next record the way we want to, the way we think our fans want it to be. If they fulfill this condition then we’ll sign, either with a major or an independent label. To tell you the truth, we don’t care about record companies, not at all, the only thing we care about, is our fans. Actually, the record companies need us, but we don’t need them. A musician can play good music without a record company, but a record company can’t release a record without a musician. Take us for example. We’re playing here and where are the record companies? We don’t need them, we have our fans. And with our fans success comes. We’re gonna sign a contract with a record company with our fans in mind.
Interviewer: Can you tell us anything about your new album? Have you got enough material, can you give us a couple of song titles?
Eric: We already have so much material together, that we could actually put out 2 records at the same time. I don’t want to say anything about the titles or stuff like that, because we want our next record to be a surprise.
Interviewer: Is that one of the reasons that you haven’t played any new material during this tour?
Eric: That’s not really the reason. But we won’t play anything new as long as the record hasn’t been released – only older stuff – because if we did, you’d find these songs on a bootleg two weeks later, without them having the chance to see the light of day in a perfect studio sound. It would be much more interesting for a bootlegger to press new unreleased songs. There are two or three Manowar bootlegs out already and we don’t want to push that.
Interviewer: All Manowar records up to date sound different; have different styles so that the songs are very unlike to each other. Will this be changed on the next record?
Joey: That’s a concept of ours and we’re gonna stick with it. As a band Manowar likes variety. And that’s our opinion on why we have the fans we have. I’ll tell you something fundamental: we deal intensely with our fans and talk to them whenever we get the chance to, so we get to know what they like most about Manowar. There are those that like our hard rock ‘n’ roll songs – that’s how I call them, anyway – like “Metal Daze”, “Warlord” and “Fast Taker”. Others prefer our hymns, epic songs such as “Mountains”, “Gates Of Valhalla” and “March Of Revenge”. And still a third group wants our thrash songs and for them we play songs like “The Oath” or “Kill With Power”. So you can tell by now that the tastes of our fans differ. And if you want to satisfy all of your fans, you’ll have to make a record with rock ‘n’ roll songs, thrash songs and Manowar Hymns equally on it. We are able to play a wide musical spectrum without losing our own identity and that’s why the fans support us. They also know that we won’t disappoint them with the new album.
Interviewer: The “Easter Metal Blast” Festivals are you’re first shows in over four years, which you don’t headline. Is that right?
Eric: Absolutely right. Actually we only supported one band in all our history and that was Ted Nugent four years ago during our tour in the States. We were allowed to do six shows with him and then he kicked us out of the package, because the audience liked us more than the top act Ted Nugent. Since then, we’ve asked all kinds of bands if we could support them, but they all said no, because apparently they’re scared shit. We’d surely kick their asses. So it’s no wonder that they don’t want us. So the only thing that we could do was to do our own tours, which we headlined. Until we met Lemmy and Motörhead. They’re the first – since Ted - who have the guts to let us open for them. Motörhead and Manowar are the two bands who get the best response from the audience, as you can see from the reactions right here. We get along really good with the band and the crew treats us fairly concerning the sound, PA, lights, etc.
Interviewer: I don’t think that Lemmy would take advantage of his support act, either!
Joey: He’s a professional. Lemmy has been in this business for years and doesn’t care about shit like that.
Interviewer: Last question: When do you guys think you’ll be back to honour Germany with a visit?
Joey: It depends on how long the release of the album will be delayed. But we will definitely be back in Germany this year. I hope we’ll be able to play for the German fans in September/October.