Interviews / Presse

Titel: Holy War
Datum: 1983
Interview with Joey DeMaio and Ross The Boss
Published by : METAL FURY MAGAZINE #19
Interviewer : Paul Palmer
Published on : 1983

Holy War

If you think that Sabbath can whip up a frenzy, then you should listen to
these guys. WOW! Powerful stuff. No. Not that, but PPOOOWWEERRFFFUUUUL!
That's better. A more precise description, would be to imagine San
Francisco crumbling in an earthquake. No, to think of it, even that isn't
close but I think you get the message.

And apparently you British headbangers have caught the message right between
the eyes. And why the hell not. At the time MF went to press their album
has just gone into the British HM charts at Number 5, knocking everything
else by the wayside. This is just another indicator that Manowar are most
definitely a band who intend to remain on this earth and conquer another
stretch of this God-forsaken place until they have it all in their grasp,
and that happens you'll have no wimps or posers then, and that's for sure.

But to conclude, I thought I couldn't leave these guys without at least
having one dig at them. And anyway their PR is now in the room, so I must
be safe, or so I hope... So Joey my friend, what would you do if someone laughed at you?

"Well let me put it this way. If someone laughed at you, how long would you
let them continue? If they laugh then that's OK, but I would hope that they
would take us seriously and listen to what we actually have to say, and what we plan to do.

"People have a very simple choice and it's this. We can either be their
best friends or their worst enemies. They can take their pick."

I left quickly, assuring them that I would ensure that the album did really
well over in England. So readers (No-one who buys this magazine can
read-Ed.) I'm pleading with ya. Please go out and buy it. I don't think I
could face another sword wielding session with this group. I mean, I'm
still young. I don't want to have to die. Why couldn't they have sent
Pippa to do this interview...?

Slowly the mist began to clear. In the distance, beyond the small cluster
of trees, four horsemen were approaching. Clad in furs and leather, they
made their way carefully through the murky waters, avoiding those spots
where the heaving brew contained unknown evils... The sun, still faint, was
reflected in the brilliant steel of their enormous swords and at times the
bubbling waters magnified their decorated torso. By the aura of power and
strength which surrounded them, it was possible to tell that these men were here for business...

As they drew nearer one of them rode forward. Raising his sword, he
galloped towards us at a terrific pace. In unison with the monotonous chant
of his comrades, this lone rider began to speak an oath, his voice piercing
through the sinister quiet of the dawn.

"We fight to the death. To the last man. To the last breath. Death to
false Metal. INTO GLORY RIDE.", and with this he spun his heaving stallion
around saluted his assembled comrades, and together they disappeared into
the mist from where they had so mysteriously emerged... As the fog
enveloped them, the one who had spoken seemed to turn and look back. In the
half-light he stood, god-like, waiting for whatever hate would bring, ready
to fight whatever enemy dared cross his path... From the chilling look in
this man's eyes I knew we would be seeing him again...

A few weeks later, and your intrepid writer is on his way to what must be
the most frightening interview of his life. Oblivious to the evil which is
about to erupt, the average New Yorker carries on as if nothing is going to
happen. But I know different. Little do they know, but the two gentlemen
sitting in this office on Broadway are not ordinary guys. No. That is most
definitely true.

For Joey DeMaio and Ross the Boss are two of the furry quartet which
unleashed their terror campaign on the cold morning a few weeks back. Joe
now dressed in 'ordinary' clothes, is the leader of a new American hard-rock
outfit called Manowar; he's the guy who began that glorious chant about True
Metal. That spine-chilling, toe-nail reducing, head-erupting chant which
scared even the sheep. Sweat now dripping like Wisconsin rain-drops from my
forehead, I turn to Joey and ask him what all this talk of Real Metal really means?

"It's quite simple", he begins. My god, his voice is normal. No unusual
tone though I could have sworn that by the end fo the interview my
tape-recorder was beginning to smoke. "As a group we really believe in what
we are doing. We now have a purpose and a unity which none of us has ever
had before. That is special, to all of us.

"Now what that does to a band is fairly simple. It unites us completely,
like an army. For too long now we have stood by and watched people get
ripped-off, and that stinks. So we decided to do something about it.

"Now for the first time I'm playing with people who their music, who can
play their instruments and bring together a whole new sound. At times in
this business we were really suffering watching all these amateurs and how
the audiences would just soak the music up like sponges instead of becoming
involved in what was really going on.

"So that's what our motto is all about. We must get rid of the posers, of
those who peddle the rubbish. All this expensive lighting and effects that
some bands have is a travesty. We don't want that. Unlike most bands we
can play our instruments, and that's it."

Fierce words indeed and from where I'm sitting Joey looks a pretty fierce
guy. When he shook hands with me I thought my writing days were over such
was the power of his grip. Bulging muscles I know, are in, but on these
guys they are more 'beat-you-up' than 'work out'.

So what's all this dressing up for like a drag act? Surely Manowar are
sinister enough without all the furs?

"There is nothing evil about Manowar. That is what I want to make quite
clear. A lot of bands are very much into the darker side of legend and myth
but we're not. Of the various forces which are present in our world today,
we do not represent any dark force. We believe in the supremacy of good against evil.

"As for the costumes, people here in the States accused us of copying the
film 'Conan'. That simply isn't the case. We had the idea of assuming
these characters long before makers of that film did.

"What these costumes lead us to is a wider view of what our music is about.
The costumes represent pure inner feelings. We all must work, we must all
join together and benefit from the force of our union. We must find heroes
within our ourselves and express our belief in good through the music or
through whatever medium is easiest for that particular person.

"We want to get closer to the animal. Closer to a strong form of justice.
For example, do not doubt that we would use our swords if we had to defend
ourselves or our families.

"The justification for this is the Biblical phrase, 'an eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth.' What could be fairer than that? We are not negative in
our outlook, for that would cloud what we are trying to do. We are the
people who save the day, who use their swords in the defence of good, use
our power to intervene where and when we have to. There are no weak links
anywhere in the Manowar concept."

By this time I was a little stunned. No longer were these guys the bunch of
glam-rock posers I had expected, but there was something different,
something special from the mould of rock 'n' roll fantasy. In a flash of
terrible insight, I suddenly saw what Manowar were all about, how they came
to be so different, and so frightened. Jesus, I thought. These two really
believe in what they are doing. Mother help me. They are actually serious.
The New York sky seemed to cloud over, and the air grew heavy. I was
getting concerned. One does hear some terrible things...

As we began to talk about their album, 'Into Glory Ride' it became clear
that Joey takes that piece of plastic very seriously indeed, and with some
justification I should say. For whatever you think of Manowar, their music
is chilling stuff. When I played the record in my apartment, the neighbors
complained, the City Council made plans to evacuate the street, and even now
police ahve to mount a 24 hour guard over my record desk to stop the
desperate attempts of hysterical Metal Maniacs trying to seize it before it
hits the reluctant record stores.