Piston Rod: How are you, man?
Eric Adams: I’m doing good, brother! I’m doing great! I’m in LA, there’s sunshine, it’s 90 degrees… life is good!!
P: On thephone with us we also have my partner, Al, who will be helping with the interview.
Al Kikuras: How’s it going, Eric?
E: Pretty good, Al. How’s it going?
A: Good, very good! I just want to tell you that it is an absolute honor to interview you because I’ve been listening to you guys since I was about 11 years old. Piston here is also a huge fan. Manowar is our absolute favorite band.
E: Man, that’s great to hear! That’s good to hear… people like you have got to spread the word now here in America for us .
A: That’s what we’re trying to do here today.
A: I guess we’ll jump right in.
E: Okay, cool!
A: I understand you guys recently started your own record label?
E: Yeah, we did as a matter of fact. Magic Circle Records.
A: Have you signed any bands yet?
E: We’re looking at bands and I think they’re in the process of signing one band now out of Chicago. It should be pretty cool.
A: Can you tell us the name of the band, or..?
E: I shouldn’t yet, because it’s not for sure, but believe me, brother, you’ll be the first to know!
A: Well, now that you guys are settled in with Metal Blade in the US, a label that seems to be behind the band 100% with no sign of backing off…
E: Let me tell you, they really are. They’re young guys, they know what’s happening, they know WE know what’s going on in the metal scene and it’s a real cool marriage. It’s working out great!
A: Do you think you guys might be able to finally do a proper tour of the US, hitting every major city and all the small towns?
E: Well, that’s what we’re on right now. As soon as we signed this they said «When can you do an American thing? We want to get you out here.» So, we said «Let’s go!» and we went out and we worked all the way across the country, we’re out in LA now and tomorrow we play the Whiskey and then we head out East and return back to our homes in NY and then we’re home for 4 days, we fly out to Scandinavia and do a tour out there with Dio and Motorhead opening. Then we hit Russia and then right after Russia, brother, we come back to the states and they want us to continue here in the states on the East Coast, down to Florida and back up and then we start on a new record, so we’re going to be pretty busy.
P: Are the tour dates going to be on manowarkingsofmetal.com?
E: Yeah, the East Coast dates aren’t on there yet, but everything else is.
A: We’re on the East Coast, so we’ll probably make it to a number of the shows.
E: It’s a screaming show. If you’ve ever seen the band live, you know what I’m talking about! (laughs)
A: Yeah, we have!
E: You guys got to get over to Europe. We get the bikes out sometimes and we ride the bikes right up on stage.
A: I’ve read about it, I have videos of it, I’ve seen it!
E: Oh, hey… speaking of videos, you’re going to see a video of it. I’m glad you brought that up. In January, I think (the video has since been delayed — Al) we’ve got a video coming out. It’s over 2 hours long, man, of all the backstage shit, live video feeds from all over the world, different shows we’ve done… it’s really pretty fucking cool! It’s fucking wild! X-rated, brother, Like everything else in Manowar is! (laughing) It’s gonna be a good fucking time!
A: Well, speaking of x-rated, one of the things we do on our site, besides covering music, is we cover porn. We interview porn stars, review porn movies… are you guys fans of porn at all?
E: Fuck yeah, man! We’ve got some coming to the show tomorrow night!
A: Who’s coming to the show?
E: Ahh, I don’t know the girls’ names. I wish I wrote their names down. Joey knows them. He invited them all out here tonight. Hmm… who’s the chick that holds the world’s record for fucking the most guys in a gangbang? She’s supposed to show up tomorrow…
P: Is that Houston? It’s either Houston or… it’s probably Jasmin St. Claire. She’s the one that goes to all the metal shows (referring to the ’99 March Metal Meltdown in NJ).
E: That’s it! That’s the name. There’s a few other chicks. They’re all supposed to show up tomorrow. We’re going to have them right up on stage with us. It’s going to be a wild show! Get your ass a plane ticket and get over here! (laughing)
A: (laughing) That’s a little bit of short notice!
E: (laughs loudly)
A: Okay, when you recorded and released Hell On Wheels, did you have any idea that you would be releasing another double-live album so soon?
E: Well, we talked about that and we said that a lot of fans wanted to hear a lot of the older material as well. When you’ve got 8 studio albums and all kinds of «best of» albums out there it’s hard to pick and choose which songs are best to play on a live album, so we decided «You know what? The fans fucking want these songs!» We listen to them. On the web, they write in and tell us what songs they want and we said, «Okay! Let’s do ’em!» and it ended up being too much material for two CDs. We said «Fuck it! Let’s just be the first band in fucking history to come out with back-to-back double live CDs and it worked out great!»
A: As a fan, it’s like a dream come true. I have tons of CD bootlegs of crappy quality…
E: Exactly… that’s the problem. You get crappy quality. This is the closest to a live performance as you are going to get.
A: Are you completely happy with both albums? Do you prefer one over the other?
E: Ahhhh… I can’t prefer either one over the other. I like ’em both. It’s like, the other day someone asked me «What’s your favorite Manowar song?» How can you pick your best one? Our songs are our children… could you pick your favorite child? It’s tough. I love our songs, I love ’em all and it’s real hard to pick and choose.
P: Are you still in touch with David Shankle?
E: Oh, yeah, man. As a matter of fact, he sent Joey a copy of something he is working on. I guess he’s working on a new project. I don’t know if he’s starting up a new band, or whatever, but he’s out in Chicago and he’ll be at the show when we’re out there. It’ll be cool to see him again. He’ll be coming to the gig.
P: Why exactly did he leave the band?
E: He wanted to take up his classical guitar playing and go back to school, so that’s what he did. I have no idea what this new thing he’s doing is going to sound like. I have absolutely no idea at all, but that’s the reason why he left. It was a cool thing, a cool vibe. Everything happens for a reason. He left, and that’s how we met Karl. Karl’s just a fucking brother, he’s a fucking wild man on stage and off stage! He’s just a Harley-riding fucking brother!! P: And one of the fastest guitar players I’ve ever seen!
E: He’s the best. He’s the best I’ve ever worked with…. the best I’ve ever worked with! He’s really meticulous, he really knows his shit. He really is good!!
P: How about Rhino, do you keep in touch with him?
E: Yeah, I keep in touch with Rhino. He’s married now, did you know that?
P: No, we didn’t know!
E: Yeah, he got married to this chick he met on the road, as a matter of fact. He married her and he’s happy down in Nashville. I don’t know what he’s doing now, but the cards go out in the holiday time and we get together and give him a shout.
A: Well, speaking of marriage… it’s obvious from what we’ve seen and what we know that you guys have a slew of women on the road throwing themselves at you and all that… do you think you might ever have the urge to settle down yourself?
E: (laughs for about 5 seconds straight) Naaaah, there’s no fucking way, brother!! Come on! (laughing) You’ve been to our shows!!
A: (laughing) Hell, I wouldn’t either, myself, but people do it!
E: (still laughing) There’s no fucking way! That’s just impossible for us, man. We’re too fucking easy going, too wild, too free… I can’t imagine settling down!
A: I had to ask.
P: I got an email from someone when they heard I was going to interview you guys and they said I had to ask you this question: «I heard that back in the ’80s or so you guys had said some bad stuff about Twisted Sister and got into a fist fight with them in a bar.»
E: Let’s get the record straight, okay?
E: (laughing) I don’t know who started that fucking rumor, but it’s bullshit. I never even met Dee Snider. I don’t know who started it, maybe he started it because he wanted to get some press or whatever, but I don’t know… it’s a bunch of bullshit. I never even met the guys.
A: Okay, that settles it! Have you guys begun any work on a new studio album yet?
E: Not yet, man. We’re still on the road. As soon as we get off the road we’re going to sit here in the studio and start working on a new studio album. That’ll be coming up. The next thing that’s supposed to come out with us is the video and once it gets out, then we’ll… we’ve been pretty busy. We’ve been real fucking busy. We’re going to finish up the East Coast and then get right into the studio and start working on it.
A: Especially considering the gap between the last two albums, it is nice that you are so prolific now.
E: We’ll, we’ve been so busy lately and there’s been a big buzz happening lately. The metal scene is really smoking now and it’s a high demand to get the product out there. We’ve been having a blast out there on the road and we’ve got a lot of good ideas so it’s time to write new material.
A: Something I’ve always been curious about… do you guys actually go into the studio and write the tunes there, or do you go into the studio with songs already written?
E: Well, we’ve got our own studio in upstate NY, our own studio there, so it works out well for us because it is both a rehearsal hall and a studio. When we come up with an idea, we lay it down onto tape and listen to how it’s actually going to sound with digital quality and work off of that. It’s a real cool scene for us.
P: Personally, one of my favorite Manowar media appearances in the early ’80s was on the Nickelodeon TV show «Live Wire…»
E: (laughing) Yeah!
P: Do you guys still think about that and do you have nightmares about it sometimes?
E: (laughing) I had a fucking nightmare the day we did it! I’ve got a story for you… this is true. The day we did that show, the TV show «Live Wire,» I woke up and I had laryngitis. I couldn’t sing a note, I couldn’t even speak! So, I called up my publicist in NY and I told her… I whispered to her on the phone (whispering) «I can’t talk, I can’t speak. I don’t know what’s going to happen!» She was freaking out. She made an appointment with me to see a doctor in NY. She said «Just fly down here. You’ve got the show… it’s too important to pass up. Come down, anyway.» So I went down to the show and while those guys were rehearsing at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where it was shot, I went right to a doctor’s office down there in NY and got a shot of pretnazone up my ass just so I was able to speak (laughing). By the time I got to the Ed Sullivan Theater we had no rehearsals, nothing was happening, the cameras went on and we just went for it! (laughing) That was weird! It was really out there!
P: Well, it really was something else!
E: (laughs loudly) That’s why Joey did all the talking on the interview part!
P: The kids and the parents going (in the Jewish mother accent that Piston uses whenever he does an impression), «Well it was good, but it was a little too loud!»
E: (laughs uproariously) The questions… they had some questions all lined up for the people there, I remember that! It was questions like your parents would fucking ask! It really took people by surprise, like «What the fuck is this guy talking about??» It was fun, we had a good time!
P: Recently in Metal Maniacs Magazine they had a report on the Dyamo Festival and they said that a guy in the audience that you invited up on stage to play with you guys was a plant. What is your response to that?
E: (sounding off like an alarm) Bullshit! Bullshit!! I HATE hearing that!! I hate fucking hearing that. Let me tell you something, NOTHING is set up with Manowar. Everything is real. Everything is plugged in… it’s true fucking metal! When I say true, I mean there is nothing fake. NOTHING. We go to our audience and say «Who plays Heavy Metal guitar? Who plays?» and out of all the hands that are raised, we just pick one, or they pick one. They might have a local favorite that they lift up and put him on stage. We don’t know this guy. Some times it works out great! Last night, the guy was horrible! We played last night in Santa Anna and the guy was horrible… horrible! The night before we were in San Francisco and the guy smoked! It doesn’t matter to us. The whole point is to get one of our fans up on our stage to play with the loudest, the fucking proudest band in the world. Get up there and do it with us and be a brother and that’s what it’s all about! There’s never any plans, man, we don’t know WHAT the fuck is going on with the crowd. Nothing! Believe me, any true Manowar fan knows that. You’ve been to the show, you know that. I don’t know how people can think it is planned, you know? (laughing) It’s beyond me! I don’t know…
P: One of my personal goals in life is to get you guys to play on the Howard Stern show.
E: There were some plans for us to go on the Howard Stern show. I don’t know it that’s going to materialize, but he was recently asked to do that and I think he’s seriously considering it. I think it would be great! That would be cool! And it would be a good time to do it when we are off the road in February.
P: Manowar are the undisputed Kings of Metal. Where would you place Judas Priest in the royal family, if at all?
E: I like Judas Priest a lot, I really do. I always have. I don’t know… maybe the prince, you know? I think they’re really cool… I think they’re good!
A: On Trumph of Steel, you guys have the song «Metal Warriors: Brothers of Metal, Part 1» and then on Louder than Hell you have «Brothers of Metal, Part 1» (different songs, same title)…
E: No, one is part 2. The first one was part two. Part 2 was written first.
A: So «Metal Warriors» was written first?
A: On the versions I have it says «Brothers of Metal, Part 1» in parenthesis. I guess maybe it was just a typo?
E: Yeah, it must have been a typo. Do you have the CD?
A: I have the CD and cassette.
E: Is it an advance copy or something? That’s weird, because the one I have in my house says part 2, not part 1.
A: It might be a first pressing or something.
E: Yeah, there must be something fucked up there. As a matter of fact, in the song, you’ll hear me do the same, that (singing a melody). That thing that I scream in the background? I do that in both songs because it’s like a continuation. Here’s an interesting fact: «Brothers of Metal» fucking had 62 or 64 different versions before we finally picked one. (laughs) You know? Why does it take so long to record an album? Because we’re pretty fucking meticulous about our material, that’s one reason!
P: On Louder Than Hell, you didn’t seem to go for as many high notes or sustained high notes as on past albums. On first listen, this might lead the listener to think that your voice maybe wasn’t as amazing as it once was. But, I’ll tell you, the last 2 times I saw you guys live, your voice really is as kicking as ever and amazing, so what’s the deal with the high notes on Louder Than Hell?
E: (laughing) Well, I’ll tell you… I sing what I feel. I go in the studio, we rehearse it, and I sing what I rehearse. (At this point in the background, you hear Al lay a somewhat subdued but nasty wet fart and then a slight swooshing sound has he wafts it over to Piston’s face). And then, with the remaining tracks I have I go nuts and see what works and what I feel at the time. It’s a magical thing. I don’t say «Shit, I’ve got to make sure I hit the high note right here,» because I want people to think that I still have the voice. I don’t worry about that, because anybody that comes and sees us play… I sing every note like I did on the very first album and like I did on the last album. I’ve been gifted, I guess with a pretty good voice and I take care of myself and the high notes never seem to be a problem for me, you know what I mean? Which kind of sets us apart from a lot of the bands out there. We’re able to do any fucking kind of music we want. Any song we want. If we want to do a slow ballad, we can make people cry. If we want to do a heavy metal, fucking kick-ass, rip-roaring, ass-ripping song, no problem! We can do that, you know? If I want to sound like Satan, himself, I can. I’ve been gifted with that type of voice. I don’t take it for granted. It’s just something that I just do. I don’t worry about the notes. As long as they work in the scale, that’s what I do. The song didn’t call for those big high screams, I guess, or I didn’t feel it at the time.
P: Speaking of that, last time I saw you guys live, when you hit that sustained high note in «Gates of Valhalla,» the whole audience cried…
E: (laughing) Yeah, again… it’s just a thing. I don’t say «Okay, I’ve got to hold this note for 15 seconds» or «I’ve got to hold this note for 30 seconds.» It’s just a thing that feels right at the time.
A: I recently interviewed Chuck Sculdiner of the bands Death and Control Denied. We spent about 15 minutes of a 45 minute interview just talking about Manowar.
E: (surprised) Really?? Cool!
A: He is a HUGE fan of Manowar, as big of a fan as we are. Are you at all familiar with Death’s music?
E: No, I’m not. I’m not familiar with it… but I will be!
A: You should definitely check those guys out. The name might throw you off and make you think it’s just death metal, but it is absolutely pure metal at the core.
A: I think you would be very much into it. The last album, in particular.
E: I’ll definitely check it out. What is the name of the album?
A: The Sound of Perseverance.
E: The Sound of Perseverance?
A: Yup. It is actually on Nuclear Blast, so I am sure they can hook you up with a free copy.
E: Cool! I’ll check it out!
A: Have you heard Anal Cunt’s cover of «Gloves of Metal?»
E: I heard about it, but I haven’t heard it yet. Is it good?
A: Ummmm, it’s… very different!!
E: (laughs loudly)
P: (talking out of his ass) It’s absolutely done with love. It’s not a parody, it’s definitely done with absolute love.
E: Is it?
E: Yeah? Well, then I don’t want to fucking hear it! (laughing)
P: (laughing) Well, with a little parody in there…
A: In your opinion, what are the three greatest metal albums of all time?
E: Excluding Manowar albums?
A: Excluding Manowar albums, because we couldn’t limit it to only three if it was.
E: Holy shit, that’s a tough one! That’s a tough one… fuck, I think any Judas Priest album. Any Judas Priest album would do it. Back In Black from AC/DC, and I’ve always loved Black Sabbath. Early Sabbath. So, any one of their albums would be cool.
P: With the recent resurgence of metal in the US, how long will it be until Manowar is as huge in America as they are in Europe and the rest of the world?
E: Brother, I don’t have an answer for you there. When it happens, when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to fucking be! All I can tell you is every night we’re out here kicking some fucking ass and if there is two hundred people at the show, then the next time we play there’s going to be two thousand people. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way it’s been all over the world. It’s people like you that we need to support this band and push the fucking name and let people know exactly what the fuck is happening here with metal. Once people see this band, believe me, they fucking tell everybody they know what they just fucking missed and the next time we roll in town, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and I think next year, after we come out with our next album, it is going to be a real big year for this band. I really do. There’s going to be a lot of information stoking in the fire about what people missed on this last American tour. I think it’s going to be big for us!
A: Hey, there’s going to be the Howard Stern appearance…
E: That would be cool! Hey, I’m there!!
A: At what point in Manowar’s career were you guys able to actually make a comfortable living off the band?
E: A comfortable living? Aw, shit… I’ve got to say it’s probably been about 15 years, now. We’ve been doing real well over in Europe and that is the whole thing. Metal has been big over there and Manowar has been huge over there and we still are. It’s a big trip for us, man, but we don’t look at it like a job. We look at it as a good fucking time!
A: A way of life.
E: It is.
A: Okay, one more. This is it: girls or beer? Which would you give up first?
E: (solid silence for 5 seconds) Beer! (laughing loud and hard) That’s a good one!!!
A: Made you think a little, huh?
E: (still laughing) Yeah!
P: Okay, thanks very much for the interview! It has been an honor and privilege to speak to you!
E: It’s been our pleasure, believe me, brother! Spread the word for us, alright?
A: Death to false metal! We will!
P: Hail and kill!!
E: Take care, brothers! Bye!
by Al Kikuras & Piston Rod