Melody Maker Usa - 1984
POSING WITH THE BIG BOYS
Interview taken by Heavy Metal Heather
Are Manowar literary giants or illiterate midgets? Read on...
If someone were to write a dictionary of modern-day phrases, the therm "Heavy Metal" might well be described by one word - MANOWAR. After all, they do claim to be the only true heavy metal band in existence. What about Motorhead?
"No" they chorus
"No" they hiss
Not even Iron Maiden? Why is everyone laughing?
A quick sneak through their travelling tape collection revealed nothing more than Wagner and Manowar, although they will admit to liking early Black Sabbath.
"Any one who doesn't like the first Black Sabbath Album, should die!" They assert
One thing's for sure, you either like Manowar or you don't. There are no half measures with this band. I can think of a good few people who don't - all the musicians they've branded as "false metal" for a start.
"Most other bands are afraid of us."
I don't blame them. Then there's the feminist, and that doesn't surprise me either. Manowar's attitude to women is a bit alarming.
"All women are slaves," according to the band. They mean it as well.
"We were put on earth to make women happy!" you better believe it.
If you're wondering what inspires a band like this it's simple - "Hatred is our inspiration". They certainly look for inspiration in the strangest places. You should see the thing they are travelling around in. Limos? Are you kidding?! Their van is the ultimate in discomfort, and they choose it on purpose.
"After driving to a gig in that, we're so full of hate we can't help but be brilliant." It's all right for them.
So, who do Manowar think they are? Are they just a bunch of loud-mouthed Americans who should go home and shut-up? Or is there more to their boasts than meets the eye? An investigation is obviously called for. In my opinion the LP "Sign of the Hammer", is a masterpiece, but as they say, "No tape can contain this band!" It's live that Manowar come into their own. It has to be said that Manowar rehearsals are no places for the faint hearted. If you are not careful, "the black wind" is likely to blow you straight out of the door. Earplugs are in plentiful supply, but resorting to them would brand you as a wimp - the worst insult possible under the circumstances. However, I do know for sure that at least one member of the band wears them, but I won't tell who - yet! Watching Manowar in action does make everything else pale somewhat by comparison. They certainly practice what they preach. Ross the Boss is arguably the best guitarist around - he's definitely the fastest.
"It's not how fast you can play, it's how much hate you put into each note!" He insists.
Joey DeMaio has added a whole new dimension to the art of bass playing, and any vocalist who relies on a mixing desk to sound good, should retire after listening to Eric Adams. Their lyrics reflect the band's general philosophy. "Nobody tells a man how to play" (All men Play on 10 - the single). "Four sworn to vengeance, see the hate in our eyes" (Sign of the Hammer). And so it goes on. I don't think it's fair to call Manowar arrogant, they're just dedicated to the cause of true heavy metal. And yes, they do have a sense of humour. Easy to miss I know but there all the same. As they put it, "We live for comedy". Whether they are the only true heavy metal band is for you to decide. But if you've checked them out and can still honestly say you don't like them, perhaps you should ask Santa to bring you a Culture Club album for Christmas. Manowar is not a band, it's a way of life.