Interviewer: You have played some shows this year already. How did they go?
Eric: We did 6 weeks here in America then we went overseas and did some television shows in Germany, we went to Czech Republic were played 2 shows then 1 in Hungary and the Gods of Metal in Italy, all this shows were festivals. They were fantastic brother! It’s just good to be out again. It’s been 6 years since our last release so it’s was great to be out again and play! It was a wild, wild, wild crowd… wherever we go it’s just wild.
Interviewer: You have a new album out, “Warriors Of The World”. Are you happy with the final result?
Eric: Yes I’m very happy otherwise we would still be in the studio! (Laughs) You know what I mean Jorge? (Laughs) If we are not happy with the product then we’ll still be working on it! It just not get out until is absolutely the best that can possibly be, that’s just anything that Manowar does. The top of the line is the very best quality it can be or we’ll still be working on it! And the whole world seems to like the new album as it’s the best Manowar album so far.
Interviewer: On this album you used the state-of-the-art in digital equipment. What was the experience like to record and mix the album in full digital gear?
Eric: Well it wasn’t our first digital album so… it’s always nice to get the best sound we can hear and then we brought it to Belgium to finish it off in Galaxy Studios with Ronald Prent. He final mixed it to us. I’m really, really happy with the result, specially the drums in particular… it kicks ass! It’s the best sounding Manowar album.
Interviewer: I think the sound is perfect! I mean, we can hear every detail of each instrument on the album…
Eric: Thank you brother! I appreciate that brother. He did a super job mixing it! Have you heard the super-audio edition or the normal CD?
Interviewer: …I think it’s the normal CD edition…
Eric: Because it’s coming out a super-audio CD… are you familiar with the super-audio technology?
Eric: It’s pretty cool! It’s like we can put you, the listener, on stage if we want. The drums can be behind you, the vocals directly in the front, the guitar on your right and the bass on your left… pretty cool! 5.1 sound technology, it’s the future!
Interviewer: So it’s like a DVD with a digital sound?
Eric: Exactly! It’s very, very cool!
Interviewer: On this album you have 2 special songs so to say, the first is the Puccini master piece “Nessun Dorma”. How the idea to record this opera piece did came up?
Eric: Well we did it on “Gods Of Metal” in 1999, as a tribute to our Italian fans and it went off so well live and it was the last song of the night, then when we went backstage Joey came to me and said: “Eric did you see that crowd tonight after we did Nessun Dorma?” and I said: “Yes I did, I did…” and then he said: “Man we should do it in our next studio album!”. We left it like that… and when time came to do this next studio album, we talked about it and we decided to do it. This album has very symphonic elements so it’s was the perfect album to do it.
Interviewer: It was hard for you to sing it?
Eric: It’s a demanding piece! I’m not going to lie to you (Laughs)… it’s pretty demanding. It’s cool, it’s good because it makes me think up there on stage and not just feel the music… I really have to concentrate every single note I’m hitting.
Interviewer: I’m a big Manowar fan for some years now and I know you have a great voice but I never thought that you would be able to sing an opera piece like that! It sounds amazing…
Eric: Oh man, thank you! Thanks very much Jorge!
Interviewer: The first time I knew you were going to do an opera piece, I was like, the guy has a great voice but he’s not going to make it. But after I heard the song I recognize I was wrong. The guy can sing it…
Eric: (Laughs) Thanks! So next time we play in Portugal we should play it live! It’s really good live… we’ve done it a few times live now and it works really well.
Interviewer: The other song is “An American Trilogy”, which was made famous by Elvis. Why have you choose this track?
Eric: Again, it was one of those that we always wanted to do, and this album seemed to be the perfect album to do it. Also this year is the 25th anniversary of Elvis death so it makes sense to do it. It just one of those pieces that works well… it sings about the North, the South and the last part of the trilogy “...all my trials…” it kind sols it all together because it’s a prayer for the war dead. We’re not talking just the war dead of the American civil war but all the war from all over the world. I mean, let’s face it Jorge, we live in a fucked up world right now.
Interviewer: My next question is about that, the album was recorded during the September 11th events… How did these events influenced the band and the recordings of the album?
Eric: Well all the songs were already written before the September 11th events. After the September 11th things happened it was like… we didn’t want to everybody to pick up the album and say: “oh, they did this… they trying to jump on the band wagon.” that’s fucking bullshit! We never done that, you can pick up any song, “Courage”… any of those songs and you can put it on the 9/11 thing you know, but we decided to do the song “Fight For Freedom” and dedicated it to the 9/11 cause! Only because there are so many people that lost their families, it affected so many people here in America and all over the world.
Interviewer: I think it still affects, you know? I don’t know what our future will be…
Eric: No one knows that brother. But let me tell you that’s a fucked up world right now. We can only hope for the best brother. We go out there and do our thing, try to have doing it and if people leave their things alone it will be a better world.
Interviewer: Let’s change the subject a bit, you were or still are one of the loudest bands in the world…
Eric: We are!
Interviewer: …so do you still plan to break another record then?
Eric: Nahhh! There’s no reason to do it! We still are the loudest, the proudest… you know we brought so much equipment to do that, if some one claims that they have beat that… that’s bullshit! (Laughs) Because if they want to break it, they have to bring the double of the equipment that we brought in, and we brought in a wall of 60feet by 40feet high nothing but speakers and they were all powered. I mean we had to fly in the upper speakers on the top of our normal stage set to make this whole thing work! So if some one says that they are going to break that, they are nothing then just a bunch of bullshiters! (Laughs) We don’t have to prove to anyone that we are the loudest band because our fans know it! If our fans come to a Manowar show and don’t bring ear plugs… that’s a fucking insult! (Laughs)
Interviewer: It’s already 20 years since you release your debut album “Battle Hymns”. Did you ever thought that after 20 years you would still be making metal music like you are?
Eric: You know, I never gave it a thought, because I live for the day. I live for the fucking day. Last night I rode my motorcycle, its beautiful weather here, I screamed down the road… this is what I want to do! 20 years ago when we did “Battle Hymns” I lived for the day then to and when Joey asked me to sing on Manowar I was OK, here’s my first album, our first record then the next thing I know it’s I’m doing another album, then another one… and we are down the road, 9 albums later and 150.000 bootleg albums. (Laughs) 20 years down the road and we still making music and nowadays we are more successful then ever before… and who wouldn’t like to this for a living brother?
Interviewer: What are the best and worst memories of these 20 years of making metal music?
Eric: Oh, man… I think the best memory is when we play and crowd comes on stage with us. All the times we brought guitar players on stage, singers or even bass players you know? It’s the best thing to have our fans with us on stage, it’s a true brotherhood and that’s the best part of the night.
I really don’t have bad experiences… but my most embarrassing experience was when we had this out fits and we didn’t had time to try them, the outfits met us in Europe… So when we were playing live, my zipper wasn’t sewn together so my balls just popped out and I got my foot on the monitor and I’m singing away and the chicks just point to my nuts and I have no idea what they’re looking at until and I see it, my balls swinging to the wind here so… that was pretty embarrassing but they got their show that night (laughs). We all had a laugh in the hotel later!
Interviewer: What are the remaining tour plans?
Eric: We are planning a major tour in Europe in the autumn and then the rest of the world… we’ll see what happens.
Interviewer: Leave us a last message…
Eric: We never forget our fans! We are a family of true heavy metal people and we are proud to carry the flag of heavy metal and have all you soldiers with us! So see you all on tour because that’s what this is all about!