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An Interview With Manowar's Eric Adams

By Don Sill, Contributor
Thursday, July 11, 2002 @ 1:49 PM

The Warriors Are Coming Out To

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Metal hero’s, Manowar, are back and stronger than ever with Warriors of the World, their first studio album in six years, and they are psyched to bring their traditional brand of hard-hitting, ear-splitting heavy metal to the entire world once again.

“…we’re gonna go out and produce our own albums and we’ve done it already in the past. It’s not like we’re virgins here.”
Manowar -- who includes Eric Adams, Scott Columbus, Karl Logan & Joey DeMaio -- have been rocking the globe for close to twenty years and have always delivered a fierce arsenal of head-banging music. I recently spoke with singer, Eric Adams. Adams is an incredible singer whose range is insane. On this album he proves, once again, that he is one of the greatest singers to ever come from the heavy metal circuit, but this time he goes even further as he takes on the famous opera piece, "Nessun Dorma,” and delivers big-time. As you read this interview you’ll be glad to see that not only is Adams one of the most intense and underrated singers in metal history, but also one of coolest.

KNAC: Tell me about your new album, Warriors of the World. This is your first studio album since 1996, you must be psyched to get this one out of your system?
ADAMS: Yes, too psyched, brother... Believe me it’s been a long time coming. Look, we’ve been busy, we’ve been on the road and doin’ all kinds of shit and so it took some time…

KNAC: This album is 100% Manowar, you guys had total control; It was recorded in Joey’s home studio?
ADAMS: Yeah, that’s right, brother, we call it “Hell” (Laughs)

KNAC: (Laughs) How did it earn the name “Hell?”
ADAMS: Believe me if you were up here in central New York and you walked in you’d know exactly why... (Laughs) You walk into what used to be his living room and there’s nothing but gear everywhere you look, you got the drum kit set up all the time, the vocal booth is right there all the time and usually Joey [DeMaio] was right there all the time too, engineering the thing… KNAC: So, all of your hard hours of work to get this album together spawned in “Hell?” (laughs)
ADAMS: Oh Yeah. It was a long time, man. And, I’ll tell ya, I wouldn’t want to wear Joey’s shoes ‘cause he was there all hours, him and Scott [Columbus] and they had to be there. So, when one of us would lay our parts down then Joey and Scott would take over from there and listen to all the different takes and mix it and figure out what’s best and all of that stuff, it’s a lot of work.

KNAC: Yeah, I could imagine, and the result of all of that work is excellent.. Pure, 100% Manowar…
ADAMS: That’s right. Look, we tried other producers and our record company anted us to use different producers and all those guys want to do is make something that’s gonna sound like their last hit. You know what I’m sayin’? But we know what we want to talk about, who would know better than the band themselves? We know what we’re trying to get out live and what we want to put on CD and so, we decided, ‘Fuck this,’ we’re gonna go out and produce our own albums and we’ve done it already in the past. It’s not like we’re virgins here.

KNAC: Is it an easier process to do everything yourself because of the freedom, or is it harder because all the pressure is on you?
”We’re not in any rush to get things done... when it’s right it’s done, and if it’s not right, then it’s not done -- and if it takes us months or years then that’s what it takes.”
ADAMS: Well, earlier in our career it was harder because the money wasn’t there to live off of. The quicker we got one done and got out there meant we were eating again... (Laughs) you know what I mean, Don? (Laughs) But, it’s a lot better now for us, ‘cause it’s a lot more laid back and the atmosphere is better. We’re not in any rush to get things done, when it’s right it’s done, and if it’s not right, then it’s not done -- and if it takes us months or years then that’s what it takes. We’re in no hurry and there’s no pressure at all and it’s really cool.

KNAC: Your music does get quite complex, I’m interested in the creative process.. Do you write the lyrics?
ADAMS: No, Joey writes all the lyrics. He’s a very talented man, he really is. He writes all the lyrics and most of the music. What he does is when he gets an idea, now I don’t know why but he usually gets his ideas at about 3 O’clock in the morning, then he calls me up and he says, “Brother, I can’t do this any further without hearing your voice on it and to see if it’s a good key for you or whatever.” So, I come over to his place right away -- he only lives about 2 miles away -- so I zip over to his house and we do the thing. We work on it a little bit and he sees if it’s in a good key for me and then it’s just a question of finishing the track and then the rest of the song gets put together.

KNAC: Is there much tension is the during studio sessions?
ADAMS: Fuck yes, are you kidding? (laughs) Remember, we’re a family here, okay. It’s a family, and there’s tension -- there’s always tension. The good thing about this is that is somebody’s part just sucks then we can honestly just tell each other, “Listen man, that ain’t happening.” We have the opinion that it’s either “It” or it’s “Shit” right away. So, there are times when I sing a song and I ask them what they think about this note I’m singing, and I can see the other 3 guys just looking at each other and then one of them says, “Hey man, that ain’t happening.” (Laughs) So, it’s cool, it’s cool thinking about it now, but there is tension sometimes because you want to do your best, but it’s a cooperative thing, everybody helps each other and criticizes each others performance so it can be the very best it could possibly be.

KNAC: You guys have always been into all of the sword & sorcery/ fantasy stuff, why has that particular theme been such a big part of Manowar for all these years?
ADAMS: You know what, it all started out because we wanted to bring the whole image back to the roots of man and that’s how we started doing all this sword and sorcery stuff right in the beginning. It took right off in England -- it was unbelievable. From there we did the tour and decided to bring some swords out with us and we had a reputation for using real swords on stage, and word of mouth spread and we always kept that whole tradition and idea together. I think it’s a great image, ‘cause not only does it show the strength of the band, but the strength of the music behind the band. It’s that whole feeling of brotherhood that an army of immortals would have.

KNAC: The first thing most people think of when they think of Manowar is that whole powerful image with the swords and muscle and all that stuff…
ADAMS: That’s the whole idea. You don’t want to go out there with pots and pans, right? You gotta kick ass, right? You gotta kick ass when you go into battle and everyday is a battle. Everyday life is a battle; everyday you’re dealing with bullshit. So, if you’re going into battle, you should use your sword and fight. That has been a great image for us and is something that has really sowed the whole thing together.

KNAC: What is the whole concept of your new album, Warriors of the World?
”…if you’re going into battle, you should use your sword and fight. That has been a great image for us, and is something that has really sowed the whole thing together.”
ADAMS: It never starts out being a concept album. It always starts out with great songs that we came up with at the time, but as it develops the album kinda makes itself happen. This is a much more versatile than any of our other albums; it was balls to the walls after we started developing it. It was like, anything goes here. That’s why we did "Nessun Dorma,” that why we did the Elvis track, “The American trilogy” and all of that. We just said, “Fuck it.” There has never been a concept idea. We always have an ass-kicking song on every album, always an anthem song, always had slow songs, always had fast songs, so this is just something Manowar has always followed and we done it again. But, this time we’ve taken it a step further and added opera to it.

KNAC: Yeah, that Opera piece, "Nessun Dorma”… what made you decide to include that?
ADAMS: It was fun to do; it’s a lot more fun to do live.

KNAC: When you guys played it live in Italy I heard that you had the fans holding back tears.
ADAMS: Yeah. (Laughs) We did it live again and we filmed the crowd, you should see it… It’s unbelievable. Maybe we’ll add it to the normal set, who knows.

KNAC: That is the kind of thing that I think everyone could appreciate.
ADAMS: Well, it does set us apart from the other metal bands out there and it really calls out the shit, ya know... A lot of guys today think they’re singers, okay, but I call them vocalists. Anybody can grunt and make sounds with their voice, but if you’re gonna be a singer you better be ready to fuckin’ sing. That’s my whole thing; I think this calls out the shit.

KNAC: Well, there’s certainly not a lot of ‘new’ guys that can pull off opera, I’ll tell you that.
ADAMS: Exactly, and then they hear the Manowar album, they buy it and they listen to it and they say, “Holy fuck…”

KNAC: (Laughs) Hell yeah, you raised the bar, man…
ADAMS: Yeah and I think that’s a great thing… It does set us apart just like the band itself sets us apart. I really believe in my heart that we’re a band set apart from other bands out there… We’re a band of brothers and that’s the way it has always been.

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