Interviews / Presse

Titel: The Manowar Story in Joey DeMaio's Words
Datum: 1987
Interview with Joey DeMaio
Published by : METAL HAMMER
Interviewer : David Ling
Published on : 1987

The Manowar Story in Joey DeMaio's Words

The history of Manowar is a long and tempestous one, with its share of ups
and downs Hailed as the Loudest Band In The Entire World, they've even gone
so far as to sign their record contracts with their own blood.
Misunderstood by three record companies and mocked by certain sections of
the music press for their gothic image and "no compromise" attitude, some
would say it's a miracle they're still making records. Here bassist Joey
DeMaio tells the band's story from the first day that they decided to start
"Fighting The World."


"I first met our guitarist Ross The Boss at Newcastle City Hall in April
1980. I was working as a pyrotechnician for Black Sabbath and helping
Geezer (Butler) out with his bass gear. Ross was playing with Shakin'
Street, the support act, I recall going out to the soundboard and checking
them out, and thinking my God, what a horrible band. There were so many
talented people in it, but as a band they just didn't happen. Ross was
burning away like a mad dog on guitar, and later on backstage Ronnie Dio
introduced us because we were both Americans. We got on just great and I
said to him 'You're a great guitar player, let's get something together.'
I'd known Eric Adams all my life, we'd grown up together so there was no
question of who the singer should be. We found our first drummer Donnie
Hamzik {MY FIX HERE, ORIGINAL ARTICLE SAYS HAMPTON} through an engineer in


"I certainly remember our first live gig, and so do the people that own the
place. It was at a place called Summers On The Beach in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, in June 1982. We'd already recorded the first album, 'Battle
Hymns' and we wanted to play a few warm-up gigs. We were so psyched up
because we'd been together for two years and had never played a gig. So we
brought in the full wack of gear that we'd just bought and we levelled the
place. They were supposed to have one band play, then us, and then the
first band was supposed to go back on again. After our soundcheck, the
manager came over and told me they've requested us not to perform. I said
'I don't blame them.' We shook plaster loose and shook the glass in the
front windows. The guy came up to me afterwards and told me it was 'the
best thing I've ever seen.... but don't think of coming back'. So we
started out from the first gig being Manowar."


"After the first album was ready, we were supposed to have been coming to
play at the Reading Festival in 1982. But we got dropped by EMI and we
didn't have the money. Rats always leave a sinking ship, and when the
record company dropped us, the management and agency took a shit too. We
were alone and friendless, except for the fans that liked the record and the
English music press, and that's no bullshit. Everybody told us to give up,
but I looked around at all the untalented losers around and thought 'why
should WE pack it in, they should'. It was all the more reason to carry on
and clear the shit out of all our path. Our Death To False Metal motto came
out around the time of the second album 'Into Glory Ride'. If you look at
the sleeve to that one you'll understand what we're talking about. Scott
Columbus took over on drums for the second album. It came out on Music For
Nations. At that point, we had a lot of interest from small labels, MFN was
the best of the lot. But, at that time, their biggest album had sold only
about 5,000 copies. They were a very small label, whereas now they're a big
small label. Manowar came in and sold 5,000 records the first day. Our
first UK tour was around that time. It was a grand tour, a long dream
fulfilled. It was great to come over and play all the proper venues like
Hammersmith Odeon, everyone who turned up was there for Manowar. We know
that there will never be big crowds to see us, we know we're not gonna
appeal to everybody. We're never gonna play at Hammersmith for a week in a
row, mass appeal is not our scene. We came back within seven months and the
crowd had got slightly bigger."


"Because of the success of 'Into Glory Ride' and 'Hail To England', we
signed to 10 Records. We'd recorded the album we did for them, 'Sign Of The
Hammer', at the same time as Hail To England, keeping the songs separate.
The albums were very much alike, but you could see that the music had grown.
That's something we've always tried to do, expand and grow within the
confines of True Metal. The company seemed to hae a lot of committment, but
things are not always what they seem. The 'All Men Play On 10' single had a
gatefold sleeve, and they charged us extra royalties for it. They dropped
Manowar after no investment. Just to point out what a bunch of losers they
are, look at what they've done to Gary Moore's career. A brilliant artist
like him - and make sure you get this right, I like everything about him,
his songwriting and his playing - and they haven't done anything for him.
Why don't they invest some money in him and break him in America? And look
at that hoax with Warrior. They spent half a million dollars on them, and
maybe a hundred thousand on us. They sold maybe 5,000 albums worldwide, and
Manowar sold 100,000 without any promotion. But you have to understand it's
difficult to constantly be fighting the world. It ain't easy, but some
f**ker's got to do it."


"We came back from America and decided we needed a company with balls.
Jason Flom from Atlantic had signed Twisted Sister so we knew he had 'em.
Whether you like Twisted Sister or not, you gotta admit that they're an
outrageous band. He came to see us live, got into it and signed us for ten
albums. The best part is that we didn't want to end up with another
half-assed label, we're on a course of doing what we want to do. They let
us produce the new 'Fighting The World' album, and digitally as well, and do
the front cover. They're a real company, and they're behind us. It's a
great feeling to have after five albums."


"Manowar will be back in England sometime in late May or early June.
England started the band up, and we'll always play here every year. We have
a special love in our hearts, it's almost like coming home. The song says
'we met on English ground', that's where I met Ross and it's a soft spot for
us. We'll always play there and any f**ker who doesn't like it can die. I
don't give a shit if there's five hundred people or two hundred, even one
hundred, as long as they wanna see us we'll always play. And without giving
anything away, I can tell you we've got a lot of surprises in store."