Pit Usa - Fall 2001
ERIC ADAMS: Questions & Answers
Interview taken by Mark Kadzielawa
It was twenty years ago when Manowar unleashed its first vinyl, and declared war on the unsuspecting disco-ridden music scene, that album was Battle Hymns, a landmark achievement in heavy metal genre. The group consisted of four pissed off individuals namely Joey DeMaio on bass, Ross-The-Boss on guitar, Eric Adams on vocals, and Donnie Hamzik on drums. Out of this initial line up, Adams and DeMaio still keep the torch burning. Battle Hymns is now re-mastered and re-released with very impressive liner notes, and archive photos. Vocalist, Eric Adams, goes back in time and tries to recapture the essence of the period.
Pit: Until I read the liner notes in the booklet I had no idea how instrumental Ronnie James Dio was in getting MANOWAR off the ground.
Eric Adams: Ronnie was very instrumental in getting this band going. Ronnie is a very good friend of Joey's and mine. We grew up almost in the same town. We were about thirty miles away from each other. Whenever we see each other on the road we reminisce about the old days. But, that's how the ball game got started. Ronnie got hold of Joey to help out with the BLACK SABBATH project. That's how Joey met Ross (The Boss). Ross was the only other American on the Black Sabbath tour, they clicked right away, and here we are.
What do you remember from the formative stages of MANOWAR?
I remember getting a phone call from Joey from Europe. He was asking me if I would do a favour and sing some songs that he was writing. When he came back to U.S. he told me what the songs were about. I met Ross and the three of us began to rehearse these songs. I think the firs song we worked on were "Battle Hymn", "Shell shocked" (Shell Shock), and one more. There were just three songs. We got a studio drummer, who was just a friend. We went into a studio, and we recorded it. It was just like a demo. The following weekend Joey tells that we have a record deal. I was very surprised because I didn't think we had a band. It was a weirdest thing, but everything happened for a reason.
How would you describe the members of the band at that time?
I'll be honest with you, and tell you that everyone had the same attitudes. That's hard to get. Everyone had the same attitudes. We wanted to play some serious metal. We were sick of what we were hearing on the radio. It was being called metal, but we really wanted to do it the right way. We all had one direction in mind, and it made it really easy for us. Me and Joey are still together after all these years, and we're still thinking the same way.
Eventually Ross-The-Boss and Donnie Hamzik were gone, how come they left the band, and what are they doing now?
I'm still in touch with Ross, and Danny I haven't seen since we split up in Dallas. Danny left the band after he found out we were dropped by the record label. He was living in Florida, and we were based in New York, and he didn't want to make the commitment I guess. The band was still in the infancy stages at the time. We only worked together for six months. We put the ads in the magazines, and we found Scott (Columbus) who is still with us. Ross left because his musical taste just changed. He wanted to get back into blues more. Kings Of Metal was his last album with us. I remember him having the conversation with us about it. He felt bad, and he didn't want to hold us back. We left as friends, and we're still friends. I saw Ross in Madrid about a year and a half ago. We spoke a little, and he's doing fine.
Battle Hymns is filled with some incredible songs, in many ways pure metal statements. How do you feel about the material 20 years later?
I feel just as strong about them as I did 20 years ago. The songs still have the same meaning as they did 20 years ago. Every album since then is filled with powerful titles and lyrics. We were making a statement back then. The title, Battle Hymns, meant that we declared battle on a lot of metal bands that were out there. We felt that we were not a bullshit band, our music was serious, and that was it.
Will other MANOWAR albums get similar re-issue treatment?
I think we're planning on that. It's a good idea. Hail To England was our next album, so two years from now it will celebrate its 20 years. We'll have to see. I'm sure there'll some big plans for that one as well.
Are there any special events planned to celebrate the silver edition of Battle Hymns?
We're too busy right now completing the new album, so there is nothing planned. Who knows what's gonna happen when we go on the road. There maybe some surprises. That's too far down the road to even think about. We may incorporate some of these songs into a set list.
What pisses you guys off to continue doing MANOWAR?
What pisses us off is the music of today that we hear on the radio. Right there is a single motivating factor for us to come out with another record. It reminds people of what metal is, and how it should sound.