Interview med Joey DeMaio
I over 40 år har Manowar kæmpet kampen for den sande metal. Elsk dem eller had dem – og det lader til, at kun én af de to følelser er mulige, når det handler om de amerikanske krigere – men nu kommer de altså til Danmark igen. ”CRUSHING THE ENEMIES OF METAL ANNIVERSARY TOUR” hedder den aktuelle turné, der bringer dem til Forum Black Box i aften. I den forbindelse tog Heavymetal.dk en snak med bandboss Joey DeMaio, der afslører, at han har tænkt sig at blive ved, til han dør! Så er I advaret.
What is the meaning behind the title of the current tour?
We have always been and will always be the defenders of true metal; metal from the heart, a band that lives for and fights for their right to have the best quality, and stay true to the metal way of life. And we are celebrating special anniversaries of many of our albums, including 40 years of Into Glory Ride and 35 years of Kings Of Metal but also Battle Hymns, Triumph Of Steel and Warriors Of The World.
Who are actually the enemies of metal?
Anyone that doesn’t respect the fans first and foremost; they better stand aside and get out of our way as we will be crushing these enemies of metal without mercy.
With 40 years worth of Manowar classics, how do you decide on a setlist for such an “Anniversary Tour”?
It’s not easy. You want to do every album justice, but you also have to consider the tempo of the songs, the energy throughout the show. And of course, every fan has THEIR favorites.
Is there any room for the so-called “deep cuts”? (On my personal wish list would be “Gloves of Metal” and “Gates of Valhalla” off Into Glory Ride - my first Manowar album and therefore an album that holds a special place in my metal heart).
There you have it. Everyone has their special favorites. We feel we’ve put together a really great set list that represents these anniversaries and includes live standards and not so frequently performed tracks.
If our calculations are correct, Manowar has played at least 10 times in Copenhagen. What are some of the best memories from your times in Copenhagen playing in front of the Danish Vikings?
Lots of great memories. The Danish Manowarriors are passionate and loyal, they know how to party and how to enjoy good metal and good times. And on February 6th they get a chance to enjoy both together again.
How do you get ready to play a show? In other words, what are the last few minutes like before you hit the stage?
As a bassist, I am warming up my fingers, Michael Angelo does the same with his guitar. Eric does some vocal warm ups and lifts weights. And then we all have a secret ritual together, right before we go on stage.
Do you still get the same rush playing for all the Manowarriors as you did 40 years ago?
More than ever and stronger every year.
New Manowar music
Is it true that the The Revenge of Odysseus EP originally was intended to be a much longer piece? Like a classic symphony? What is the story behind that?
That is correct. We wanted to tell “The Odyssey” from our perspective, a combination of narrations and music. It would have been a several hours long project, as the story is so rich. Sadly, the star of the piece, the famous Greek actor Kostas Kazakos who narrated Odysseus passed away last fall. So, we’ll regroup and finish this project off in a shorter version, that will honor Kostas and our Greek fans.
What can we now expect in terms of new Manowar music? Is any release date available for an upcoming full-length album? And will it follow the style of the Odysseus EP?
I don’t have a date for a full album at this point, but we’ll finish a song we worked on right until we came over to Europe once we get back from this tour leg, for a release before the summer. Maybe more, we shall see.
New guitar player
With Michael Angelo Batio now joining the Manowar ranks you get one of the best and fastest guitar shredders in the world. How did that come about?
E.V. Martel, who is a lovely person and a true brother was not able to travel anymore due to family priorities, which we fully support and respect. We had already worked with Michael Angelo during the pandemic when E.V. could not travel to the U.S. from his native Brazil to record for “Odysseus”, so it was a natural process.
How has he impacted the Manowar sound so far?
Like every musician, Michael Angelo has his own style, so the band as such has a different and unique dynamic now. The song I was talking about earlier is a great example: it will shred and burn and crush and kill, just like our fans love.
In your rehearsal room with the cameras off, who would win a shredding contest, you or Michael?
What people do not understand about shredding (or generally in life really) is one only competes with oneself. I play bass and he plays guitar. We’re not competing, but we inspire each other to always reach a new personal best. It’s great fun.
The Manowar legacy
At this stage of your career, do you ever stop to think about the Manowar-legacy in the metal world?
The fact that what we’ve been doing this for over four decades means something to all of us and most importantly to our fans. It is a huge compliment but I don’t sit there and ponder over it. I do what I love, every minute of playing our music and I hope to continue every day until the day I die.