As much as a steaming pile Manowar's latest album 'Warriors Of The World' is, I could not pass up the chance recently to interview a member of the band. As luck would have it the band were playing in Essen, Germany and I was going to be in Europe in that particular period so instead of a telephone interview I arranged one in person with the band on one of their days off during their European tour.
Time was short and while in London I arranged a flight to the location where I would meet what was supposedly vocalist Eric Adams. After the short flight I caught a taxi, accompanied by my brother, to a local hotel on the cheaper end of the scale. With that taken care of we traveled a short distance to the fancy lodgings that Manowar were enjoying. I was told to be there at 4:30 PM approximately and to meet their label publicist in the lobby. When we got there I asked the receptionist where the publicist was and in her best English told me to go to the motel bar. There I was greeted by the publicist who told me to wait a few minutes while she fetched Scott Columbus. Wait a minute, for the last three weeks I had been preparing for Eric Adams. Half my questions were now invalid. In the short time I mentally prepared some random questions.
Five minutes later Columbus, drummer, entered the bar dressed in traditional Manowar getup. Leather vest, leather pants and a pair of cowboy boots. Before coming over he downed a pint at the bar. I then watched as he walked to the wrong table and introduced himself to an unsuspecting pair of aging American tourists. "Are one of you Alun Thomas?" he bellowed. They said nothing. "Over here" I offered. "Ahh wrong table, sorry dude" he apologised. "So who do you write for son?" he queried. "Ahh a melodic rock website called Heart Of The Rock and an Illinois based paper called The Zephyr" I said. "Ahh just wonderful, terrific......" he droned. My first question Scott: has it gotten harder to make this kind of metal as your career has progressed? "No but its always a challenge." Er, yeah. I ask that because the length of time between albums has grown longer. "We've been really busy, two live albums in that time, don't give me that shite sonny" comes the rather spiteful reply. Okay then how does it feel to still be around twenty years after so called other hotshots have come and gone? "It's a tribute to our fans. We care about what they say."
Does it annoy you that certain publications treat you like a joke even after all these years? "No. We're Manowar. We do what we want. Fuck everybody else." You are capable of great musicianship, but nobody seems to recognise this but the fans. Does this annoy you also? "No" comes his answer as he stares at a big breasted blond in the corner. "Ahh what was the question again?" he stumbles. I repeat. "No" he says "we're Manowar. You love us or hate us." Good god. Columbus itches his balls, orders a drink. "I'd give her one" he says to a roadie at the bar. Why are the Germans more receptive to Manowar than Americans? "Umm, we're Manowar and we do what we want. They're erghh, more dedicated....where's my Holsten!!!??" Who influenced you? "Sabbath, Purple, Jericho Jones." Was Ross The Boss (original guitarist) as metal as you and the others? "Yes." Could you have taken Dee Snider in a fight when you feuded with Twisted Sister in 1984? "Ahh that was a joke." But could you? "Ahh Christ where's the beer?" Have Manowar found a home with Metal Blade? "I think so." Back in 1996 did you think you were the only dedicated metal band left. "Doesn't matter. We're Manowar. We do what we want." Are you happier now than in the 80's? "We've paid our dues." Give me an answer you bastard! " Tried this Tennants beer? Alcohol level of 10%!"
As disinterested as Columbus I stumble through the last few questions then make some up on the spot. Why are you so stale? "We're Manowar we do our own thing." Why have the last two albums sounded exactly the same? "Ask Joey (DeMaio, bass)." Do you help with the songwriting? "I play drum." With all the charisma of a beef fart, Columbus departs. What's so hard about answering the questions ? I ask my brother who is slightly dozing. "Huh, is it over?" he answers.
That's Manowar for you.