Seconds Usa - 8 1989
BORN TO AMPLIFY
Interview taken by Steven Blush
MANOWAR: BORN TO AMPLIFY
Manowar is the loudest and proudest band in the history of mankind. Those of you who don’t know them are obviously false.
On the eighth day, god created MANOWAR. Lord guardians of the Gate of Valhalla and blood kings of Metal, Joey DeMaio and his evil cohorts have been fighting the world for six albums now. Defiant and proud, these soldier of death have spent their gallant careers battling blasphemers in the name of Metal. Armed with fur and leather and total fuckin', power, DeMaio will never stop fighting. Some of you may think this is totally idiotic; perhaps you're right. But then again those people never really knew what it's like to wanna fightfor your own sound and your own look. Hail Manowar: may your cup runneth over with blood!
SECONDS: In these days of glam and thrash, it seems like Manowar is the only band that fights for the glory of Metal. Why do you think that is?
DEMAIO: Well, I think we’ve only done that. If you listen to the first album, it's got "Metal Daze." I think we've always written songs about Metal and sort of championed the cause of Metal. I personally want to see radio play more Metal. It's cool to me to hear a heavy song blow that other garbage off the air. It's happenin'. Also, those other wimps MTV: I'd like to see more Metal on MTV. I don't know what they think they're doin' with Headbanger's Ball on at two in the morning; that don't do nothin' for me. So that's just the way this band has always been. We've always fought for Metal, and more importantly, for Metal people. The audience is everything to us. Come to a Manowar show, we're gettin' off more on the crowd then they are on us! I think I'm havin' a better time than anybody else out there. And I think the rest of the band is that way too. Metal people is really what we're singin' about in all these Metal songs. The whole cause of Metal, that's what Manowar's all about. A lot of people, get the wrong, idea, they don't understand the image or the look of the band. Damn, we're just tryin' to be guys that are fighting for Metal. People that fight for a cause are warriors and our fight is for Metal. And if it's against the whole world, then so be it. But we just wanna kick total ass loud and proud and if people don't like it, get fucked.
SECONDS: There's no doubt that you're the bravest band ever. Do people recognize you for the stand you take?
DEMAIO: Some people do, I mean, you have. A lot of people don't because they don't understand it. When they pick up a Manowar album and look at the band, they don't see deeply enough into what we're tryin' to say. They're just judging the book by its cover. Instead of being smart enough to read the book, some people don't because they're shortsighted. But people like you, people who understand the band are able to sit some of these people down and say, "Wait a minute you've got them wrong. And when you see them live, they don't take no shit, they fire up. Nobody would tell them to turn down ‘cause they'd never do it, they'd turn up louder." It takes time, it's something deep that takes a while to understand. Some of these other bands, you understand them in two minutes. You hear one song and you know what that guy’s life is all about, nothing.
SECONDS: So, there's something deeper to your music.
DEMAIO: Oh man, our whole life's been a struggle.
SECONDS: I've noticed that over the past few years, you've given up wearing the fur, loin cloths in favor of leather chaps. Do you think that some people misunderstood that image, and how do you react to these critics?
DEMAIO: Well, we haven't really gotten rid of the fur. It's always been leather and the skins of the animal, and we represent the animal that's inside all of us. If people like it, fine. I don’t like what everybody else wears walking down the street but I don't care. I care about the person, not about their clothes. If, some people don't understand our clothes, I don't think they really understand what it's like to be different and to wanna fight for your own sound, your own look and your own life. I think they're people that have got no balls or brains anyway, so who cares what they think? I only, care about those people in the audience, that's all I give a fuck about. Anybody else can go die.
SECONDS: Kings Of Metal is Manowar's sixth album. Do you believe that your band will be remembered as the true kings of the Metal world?
DEMAIO. I think we will. While some bands will play faster and some will play slower, I believe we will always be remembered as the band that had the best singer, the best bass player, the best songs, the best concept of what Metal means to the audience, and delivered it without ever wimping out. And After six albums, we've never turned down; I think that says it all. Yet our following's always gettin' bigger 'cause people like you are spreading the word. So I think we'll be remembered as the band that took Metal to the farthest point possible in terms of greatness great songs, great production great live shows and being great, to the people that support us.
SECONDS: What does Manowar mean to you? Is it ever tough being Joey DeMaio?
DEMAIO: Whether it's hard or not, I have no choice I was born as I am. A lot of people get me wrong; some people think I'm a fuckin' asshole, some people think I'm the greatest guy in the world. Some people think I’m the greatest bass player while other people think I stink. I hear so many, different things, you have to judge the whole thing in perspective. Look, I just like heavy music, I always have. And I like what I do. I put up with a lotta shit sometimes but I think that anyone who ever did anything substantial or meaningful probably had to go through a lot more shit than me. Compared to a great composer like Wagner, my life's been a hayride. Everyone's gotta deal with some shit in their life.
SECONDS: What does your family think of what you do? Are they supportive?
DEMAIO: Now they are. At first it blew their minds, they could not relate at all; they thought I was fuckin' crazy. My dad's a cop; he never wanted this. But I knew at one point in my life that this was it for me, I realized that music is my whole life. It was never a question of whether I was gonna make it or not, there was never any choice for me. There is nothing else, there will never be anything else for me, I will die doin' this because Metal is my life. When you have that type of attitude, nothin' will get in your way. If people don't get out of the way, they're gonna get blown the fuck out of the way, that's just the way this band is. So when my family saw that the band was starting to get somewhere, that we were actually going places and people were really appreciating the music, they couldn't help but get a good vibe.
SECONDS: The obvious question is what happened to Ross The Boss? I’ve heard people say that Manowar withut Ross is blasphemy.
DEMAIO: Well, a lot of people might think that way, and certainly at one point I may thought that way too. But the reason Manowar can go playing without Ross is that Ross feels that he has given this band the best of his playing, his energy, his talent, his love, his blood and his sweat. He's given everything he had to this band and now he feels that he wants to express more of Ross than more of Manowar. Manowar isn't Joey DeMaio or Eric
Adams or Scott Columbus or even Ross the Boss, it's the audience of HeavyMetal. We're just taking that energy and giving it back. It's not any one of us, it's just a feeling. I think he wants to get back to more bluesguitar playing. He's not really impressed by a lot of the Metal stuff that's goin' on now, and to a degree I can understand him. He left on a good note. There's a good vibe – we’re brothers and we always will be. I'm happy for him. It's like breaking up with a girl you love; you don't want any bad vibes, you want her to be happy, but things just have to change. Our new guitarist is a fan and friend of Ross', so he was the logical replacement. This new guy, he's here to kill. He didn't get that name "Death Dealer" for nothin'. The guy is serious, he's really burnin' people up.
SECONDS: Manowar is in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the loudest band ever. That must be a difficult feat to accomplish.
DEMAIO: But it's not surprising 'cause we've got more gear than anyone. Our gear is all customwe can develop more pressure on stage than anybodyelse’s. There's, nights that I'm afraid to stand in front of my bass rig! One of our amps is like three of anybody else's. But it's not noise, it's clear sound, and that's what it's all about. Hopefully Manowar has the reputation for being a highlive band. We've always spent as much money possible on proper sound equipment and PA because we want it to be the best.
SECONDS: Manowar doesn't get a lot of support slots on major tours. Do you feel that other bands are afraid of you?
DEMAIO: In other words, do they think they're gonna get their ass kicked when we go on stage and, that they'll look stupid when they come out? There's no doubt about that. Unfortunately, that's the way it is. We're set up to be a wrecking machine, period. Our gear, our crew, we're, setup to go in, seek out, destroy and go to the next town. I think that the audience has to always get the best show possible, and that's what they get from Manowar. It’s too bad that some of these so-called Metal bands won’t let us get on stage and play with them because it’s the audience who are really missing out. But nothing's gonna stop Manowar, they can let us come along for the ride or they can get blown out of the way 'cause we've got the people behind us. That's the beauty of it, our audience will push us all the way to the top. Manowar owes everything to our fans' cause they've always been there and never let us down".
SECONDS: I noticed that both Battle Hymns and Kings Of Metal open with motorcycle sounds. What kind of bike do Manowar ride?
DEMAIO: I used to race motocross so I've had motocross bikes, small street bikes, Harley, BSAs, Triumphs I've had all types. I don 't have have a bike at the moment because I wanna build a brand new one. I wanna get one of the old Harley panheads and build that up, I’ve always been fond of the bikes in Easy Rider. Panheads, shovelheads, all the great Harleys – that’s the way I go. Anyone who rides a bike is cool, ther’re different. I saw some chick the other day ridin’a Harley, man, it was happenin’. Anybody that rides is cool. The same with fast cars, hot cars. It’s all derivative of Metal, it’s in your blood.
SECONDS: In ‘83 you proved your commitment to Metal by signing your Megaforce Records contract in blood. Why did you do that?
DEMAIO: A lot of people thought we were doing that for publicity and we really weren't. We ended up getting a lotta press about it because it was so radical and different. We did it because I was so pissed off that we'd been dropped by Capitol Records, 'cause they're just a bunch of fuckin' idiots over there. I was also mad at what was goin' on in the Metal scene at the time and some of the bands that they were promoting, this garbage. I got so fuckin’mad that I just wanted to show the world how much we believe in Metal and Metal people. I know that the people in the audience believe in these bands; unfortunately, a lotta time they're believin' in a bunch of jerks. They don't realize that most of these guys are wimps, that behind that big set they're playin’ thru a fuckin’ amplifier the size of a telephone. There's a lotta horseshit that goes on behind the scenes and I just wanted to show the world how much we believe in Metal. I still feel the same way. At any fuckin' point in time I would gladly draw more blood, just to show everyone that I believe in what I'm doin’. Obviously I can't draw blood for anybody who walks up to me on the street or I’d die! Metal is my entire life and I’d gladly do it again.
SECONDS: There's no doubt that you guys get a lotta chicks on the road. I've noticed that the list of Manowar Ladies' Auxilliary members is always growing.
DEMAIO: It'd be nice to list all the girls we've laid on the road on our records, unfortunately, we wouldn’t have room for anything else! We believe that we’re on a sacred religious mission to make all women happy. We’re not into just sitting around and talking about it, that’s not our image. But I’m not into bragging about it either. But when you get done playing, there’s just something glorious about comin’ off stage and grabbin’ something to eat, havin’ a few drinks, grabbin’ two or three hot chicks and just drill up a storm; it really is great way to live. Besides, somebody’s gotta do it… A lot of these girls we call pleasure slaves because everywhere we go, girls ask us to tie ‘em up. We have a lot of fun on the road and meet a lot of nice girls. But it pisses me off to see people abuse these chicks, I don’t like it when girls are called groupies or sluts. I mean, we all wanna have a good time, who’s kiddin’ who? I’m there to have a good time, they’re there to have a good time, so why don’t we just cut the shit and have a good time and party? I always tell girls not to come backstage after the show to talk ‘cause we don’t wanna talk. After the show, we wanna party, we wanna get naked. Before the show, I’m glad to talk to anyone. But after the show, girls should know that there ain’t gonna be no talkin’.
SECONDS: Are you guys really the crazee fuckin’ Metal party animals that everyone thinks you are?
DEMAIO: Not in the respect that we’ll go into a hotel and trash the place or that we’re rude and obnoxious people. Everyone in this band is basically a polite person. But do you mean do we like to throw good-lookin’girls into jacuzis, poor champagne all over them, go crazy and drill up a storm? Yes, that is what we are born for… If people can dig that, fine, if they don’t, they can kiss my ass.