Interviewer: It looks like you have a lot of stress with interviews, preparations for the concert and a lot more. What was your day in Vienna like?
Eric: Just like everyday. We had a day off yesterday and we didn’t do much either. Today I got up at about 10 am. and went to the fitness studio, where I did my daily work out. After that I immediately started off with the preparations for the concert. We have a lot of things to look after, like the Harleys, they have to be put into shape. I spent the most of the day here at the venue.
Interviewer: So you didn’t have much time to rock around Vienna, or do you have another day off tomorrow?
Eric: That would be nice, but we’re heading to Rome immediately after the show. We may have a couple of drinks after the show, but I expect that we’ll be leaving rather quickly.
Interviewer: The concert in Vienna is pretty much at the beginning of your tour, right?
Eric: That’s right. Today’s concert will be our fourth, so we’re actually just kicking off with the tour. We were in the Czech Republic about 1 ½ weeks ago to get the details of the show straight, to look after the lightshow, the Harley number and all the other stuff. It’s gonna be a very long tour, we’ll be on the road 'til Christmas, then at home to celebrate Christmas and after that we’ll be heading for Brazil and Japan.
Interviewer: It looks like it doesn’t matter to you being a long way from home, or does it?
Eric: If I didn’t love the music and the people who make it, than I would have quit this job a long time ago. I live for this music and it’s perfectly normal for me not to be at home. In some way or another I feel naturally at home on the bus or in a hotel. And let me tell you, sometimes time passes by so quickly you don’t even notice being on tour for months already. Every evening you play in a different city, in front of a different audience, meet a lot of nice people and time just flies by!
Interviewer: The last time we met in Belgium, we heard the new songs. What are the differences between the mixes and the final versions we’ll be hearing on CD?
Eric: There’s not really any big changes, more in the details, which Ronald Prent put in, while mixing the songs that make them a bit different to the mixed versions. Ronald Prent is the sort of guy who just turns the buttons a little bit and all of a sudden it sounds great, although it was only a minimum change. That’s what we like about Ronald and I can assure you, that we’ll be recording the next album with him again, because he’s a very good and ambitioned producer.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about your stay at the Galaxy Studios! How long was your stay and how did your day look like?
Eric: We were there for four weeks, although we didn’t stay there permanently. A typical day at the studio, well, it was like normal for us. We got up at 10 and worked until we got hungry. We ate a delicious meal, which was cooked by the studio’s own cook and in the afternoon we went back to work on the material. It’s a great studio, and it has a big advantage: you don’t have to leave it, because it has a living room, a fitness studio, you have your own cook, etc. That was very important to us, because we were able to work undisturbed and concentrate on the material.
Interviewer: You showed us part of the documentation “Hell On Earth Part II” at the time. When will it be put out in the stores?
Eric: Actually, we don’t know. We’ve already finished Part II and Part III of “Hell On Earth”, but it looks like our record label wants to wait with the release. Besides that, we recorded a live DVD that will be released soon. The DVD is actually ready, but we have no idea when it’ll be released.
Interviewer: You’ve been doing this kind of music for quite awhile now, so you’ve surely thought about doing a side projekt, haven’t you?
Eric: I was thinking about it at one time or another, but the main problem is the time factor, MANOWAR takes all our time and leaves no spare time at all. We just recently founded our own record label, Magic Circle Music, which allows us to get in contact to other sorts of metal music or just keep it up. After I settle down with Manowar, I could see myself working in a small band and making something totally different to what Manowar does.
Interviewer: You perfectly sang an opera song on the new record. Wasn’t it hard for you to get your vocals up to that?
Eric: You bet, because to sing an opera song you have to use a complete other technique, as in shouting a metal song. I took lessons in singing operas for a time, watched a lot of operas and spoke with the singers about their breathing techniques. I’m not a perfect opera singer now, but I do have much more of an idea of this matter. I think you can hear it, because I believe it would sound horrible, if some singer would just want to do an opera song without help or any special technique!
Interviewer: I know, you’re not the youngest anymore, so I was just thinking, have you ever thought about your life after Manowar?
Eric: No. Definitely not, because I live my life here and now and not in the future. I don’t plan way ahead of me because I want to have fun right here, right now. And I don’t have any idea what I am gonna do, when I get to old or to weak for Manowar. I really hope that I can stay in this job a lot longer, but when the time comes, maybe I’ll have my own studio or work as a producer to keep in touch with the scene.
Interviewer: So I really do hope that you and the rest of the band always behave and drink your multivitamin shakes, so you guys can keep on rockin’ for a long time yet!
Eric: You can bet your ass on that!