New Musical Express Usa - March 3rd 1984
VISIGOTHS SCOFFED MY BACON SANDWICH
Interview taken by David Quantick
THE FIRST striking thing about Manowar is their stage attire all fur loincloths and Viking Goth. I talked to bassist Joey DeMaio and guitarist Ross the Boss, formerly of the Dictators and Shakin' Street, while they sat, hairy-legged, muscle-chested, drinking Coca Cola in an Edwardian hotel lounge. The second striking thing is their confidence. Thus Joey -
'We feel very badly that people have had to suffer with all the false metal and the poseurs… but now we're here. They don t have to suffer any longer. " Manowar divide heavy metal into two types, false metal and true metal. "Real metal," declares Joey, "was started by a group called Black Sabbath, who we feel to this day are still the definitive heavy band."
Real or true metal groups seem to include no-one else apart from Sabbath and Manowar but there you go: false metal includes bands who are technically incompetent and cover this lack with studio and live special effects. What if people cannot differentiate between the two metals? Joey - 'Then they have no brains. "
This is not a disability Joey credits the British with. 'Hail To England' , the current album (released UK and Europe only) is dedicated to the fans here - The title of this album is saying, let's keep the spirit of true metal alive, because it started here, thank you for realising that we play true metal and sticking with us '
Joey - "I think Britain as a whole is the most musically discriminating audience one could ever play for, just because a lot of music was born here. You have to understand that America is only 200 years old and I think the only form of music that we 're really known for is country music: Europe and England have been exposed to classical music, the great composers all come from here really (Manowar rate Wagner in particular). The audience is very, very bright and very cool, until they accept the fact that something is great, and once they have deemed it great, the world catches on from there."
Manowar are doing well here with a five-star album review in Sounds, and a headlining national tour- they refuse to do supports. They continue to talk to me about "greatness", "commitment" and the fact that they've come together to form "the ultimate band''. They dress up "because at one time our ancestors did wear this, and it's very basic, as our music is. No frills attached - just music, just power, just metal". They got Orson Welles to appear on 'The Defender' a new single, because he is ''the ultimate speaking voice, because we want to do everything in the ultimate fashion".
Manowar sound quite convincing in the flesh, and their commitment to their music is admirable, as is the fact that they do a highly over-the-top song about following Satan to infuriate the moral majority, but I part company from them when they claim their music forces people to themselves - "Some people don't like it… underachievers tend to want lo hide from the truth."
I played the album. It was heavy, powerful, and as novel and as provocative as a million other heavy metal albums. I'll probably never play it again. Likewise, all the above was only a pleasant afternoon talking to some charming Americans. Manowar will only break the mould of metal for the previously converted. Some of their ideas may be appealing, but some are just unpleasant. Also they ate Bleddyn' Butcher's sandwich. If Manowar are, as they claim, the Second Coming of true metal, you can cancel my subscription to the renovation.