Interview and live pictures By Marko Syrjala
Well, finally, I was able to have an interview with one of my all-time vocal heroes – Eric Adams from Manowar. Eric turned out to be a really nice guy with a good sense of humor. We discussed the band’s current activities, Eric’s personal life, the past, etc., interesting topics. I was even able to ask some KISS related questions so. Read on!!!
EDIT: As can be seen, this interview was arranged back in 2002. Because Manowar did not do any interviews and denied shooting shows during the current LORD OF STEEL -tour, we decided to re-release this oldie then… I hope you like it!
This current WARRIORS OF THE WORLD –tour is your biggest tour production ever. How’s everything been going so far?
Eric Adams: Yes, it is the biggest production we’ve ever had in our whole career. When you look out there, it’s very funny to see there are just four guys on the stage, and there are 45 guys backstage to make this thing happen. There are four trailers, four tour buses – it’s a big production this time. It’s a two-hour show, including motorcycles and everything else we bring with us. It’s been a pretty exciting tour, and the crowd is really digging it everywhere. Gothenburg was a little slow for us because of equipment failure, which was because we had to change a stage set up just before the show and everything. So it was a little slow for us, and the crowd wasn’t like it so much. That’s the fuckin way it goes sometimes. But overall, everything has been brilliant so far for us.
With motorcycles and all this stuff on stage, it sounds that you’re going to bring us a true traditional ’80’s heavy metal show this time!!
There haven’t been too many during the last couple of years…
Yes, that’s what I’ve heard. But you’ll get one tonight, brother!! (laughter)
But at least I’ve seen both Halford and Judas Priest during the past years, so…
And you liked them? Then I’m sure you’ll like this one also! It’s well made. It’s a good show.
What is the main reason that it now took six years for you to release another studio album after the brilliant LOUDER THAN HELL, which was released back in 1996?
Well, I get this question often, but all I can say I say is people have to understand that this was the busiest six years of Manowar’s career ever. I mean, if you think about it. In that six-year time, we toured the world twice. After we released the album, we came out and toured the world. We recorded a double live album. Then we released a double live album, a first double album in a long time. Then we toured the world again because some people were pissed at us because we didn’t put any old songs on that album. So we toured the world again. We did a strictly three-hour show every night. We added all the old songs. Then we recorded another double live album, so there are four albums. Think about it; four albums had to be mixed out; the artwork had to be done for them. Next, we came out with the DVD “Warriors of the World”…no, it was called “Hell On Earth Pt. 1”. It came out, and “Hell on Earth Pt. 2” is also already recorded. It’s been done in DVD format; it is finished. It will come out next month, I think, or at least in January!?
But it’s not going to be out before Christmas?
No, I don’t think so. “Hell On Earth Pt. 3” is also already done. It’s ready to come out. “Hell on Earth Pt. 4” is recorded as we speak tonight. We have a film crew with us tonight. We are recording stuff tonight, and some of this material will be used for “Hell on Earth Pt. 4”. We have “Blood In Brazil,” which will be released with “Hell on Earth Pt. 2.” It’s going to be a double DVD. It’s all really cool because “Hell on Earth 2/Blood In Brazil” is a full show from beginning to the end.
Is it really going to be a complete show this time?
Yes. It’s a whole show from Brazil with twelve cameras, twelve camera angles. It is very cool, it’s extremely cool with some backstage footage and everything, and I’m sure it’s something that every Manowar fan will like one. Plus all those things, we then get back to the studio together and release this new album. We had to write music for that new album, plan the cover art and. Then we released that album. So during the last six years…that’s a lot of things. There has been something like eleven different projects going on. And we’ve done them in the can. They are ready to be released now. So now it’s balls to walls, brother. Now we’re rolling downhill, and we are not stopping. Now it’s like BANG, BANG getting another album out “bang, bang, bang” release that DVD it’s done, “bang, bang, bang” release the next DVD. You know we’re ready to go now. We’ve lined up, and we are ready to go now. It’s ready, and it’s cool. Our armor is in gear, we are ready, and we are attacking right now. This is it. This is just the first leg of this new tour. We haven’t done any in a while. It’s been almost three years. Way to go, brother!! Yes, definitely, it’s time.
Your popularity has grown a lot during a couple of last years. For example, in Germany, you are topping the main charts again.
Yes, we really are.
And WARRIORS OF THE WORLD was number #2 in the German charts?
Well, it was number two only because it was going to be number one, but EMINEM decided to release something a week before because some people bootlegged his stuff. We released our albums in the same week, and he smacked us out. (laughing)
The album has received really praising reviews and that number #2 spot in German, isn’t that your highest chart position ever yet?
Yes, it’s the highest placement coming in a chart. The album sales for WARRIORS OF THE WORLD have been the best we’ve ever had worldwide, which is really great. It is saying something?? People really dig it. Germany almost sold out the whole country. Almost every show was packed.
You did several TV appearances in Germany to promote the album, right?
Yes, we did a few. There was Top Of The Pops and that ELVIS track we did live for some TV-show and then there was some live festival footage…what was that name… Anyway, at that festival, we played in front of 27,000 fans. And we also played on Rock ‘am Ring fest and some more. I can’t remember now. It has been very great so far for us.
OTHER STUFF IN LIFE
Well, then something a little bit more personal stuff. When you are not on tour or in the studio with Manowar, what are you up to then?
Bow-hunting my brother. I take my bow and my arrows, and I go into the woods, and I look for a deer. That’s what I do every minute of every day when I’m home. I’m a big-time bow hunter, and I’m a New York State instructor for bow hunting. If you want a license to hunt deer in New York, you have to take my course.
Really, this was news for me?
Or then you can ask some other instructors from N.Y. You can’t hunt without this course. So I teach kids how to hunt and how to be safe to be in the woods.
So say if I’m wrong but isn’t Ted Nugent a hunting instructor as well?
Yeah!! I think that Ted is an instructor in Michigan. Hmm… Yes, actually, he is.
Well, I’m a hunter by myself also, and when I met Ted last summer, and I was going to ask him to come to Lapland someday to hunt reindeers because he hasn’t shot any of those yet. How about you?? 🙂
Well, I haven’t either (laughter). That would be cool! I’ve shot a deer, turkey a lot of different small animals and birds.
How about moose? Have you ever tried moose hunting?
No, never. Moose is not around where I go. It’s an excursion for me to have to go out and do that, and I just haven’t found enough time. July of…sorry 17’th of April I was asked to, in America, they have television programs, hunting shows, and ask celebrities to come and hunt, they film the hunting, and I’ve been asked to do that in April 17’th. Turkey’s you know? They run, you know they are like chickens, but they ran very fast. That will be a lot of fun. Super cool (laughter). That’s what I’m planning to do, man. Manowar is working our schedule around the map, which takes most of our time always. But it’s always cool!!
INFLUENCES AND MORE
Which bands/artists have been your biggest influences?
When I was growing up, I listened a lot to Ian Gillan, Deep Purple. I mean A LOT. I used to go see them every time they played where ever they played and when I heard the screaming of Ian “WOW,” that was so cool for me. Then I knew I had to learn some kind of screaming of my own, which is going to be a signature of mine, and I was a huge fan of theirs.
How about today’s music scene. Are there any new bands you do like, or is it just about the old stuff like IN ROCK and FIREBALL, which you’re only listening to?
I listen to many different kinds of stuff. I listen to classical music, and I listen to a lot of vocal stuff now. People who look at me say, “He likes this, and he likes that,” but really, to be honest with you… I also listen to Disturbed; I listen to… I’m sort of a closet drummer, and I really love drums. I really love rhythms and beats and that stuff, and you know I’m a kind of closet drummer. If you ask Scott, he will tell you that I’m the extra drummer in the band when we are recording…heh! But yeah, I really like a list of bands, but I can’t just pick up one that I really listen to all the time. Deep Purple, Ian Gillan was the guy who got me going on this business. He is the guy who got me clear in the head to one direction, and that was it.
How about Robert Plant or Ozzy Osbourne? I’m asking this because Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath have often been called a “big three,” and they all have been a huge influence for almost all bands existing.
Well, they are good, but they are all different. But for me, it’s definitely Ian Gillan.
You have a long career with Manowar already, but have you ever been thinking of releasing a solo album?
Well, I got to be honest with you. Right now, there is a possibility because we are running our own record label, Magic Circle Music, now, and we are looking for new artists that don’t want to take any of that bullshit that many big record labels are doing these days. And let them record if they’re good to let them record for our label and let them get released and see what happens. You can shake that tree and see what it falls out, if you know what I mean? That’s our thing, and already we’ve got Rhino (ex-Manowar drummer) he has an album coming out from Magic Circle, and we’ve David Shankle (ex-Manowar). His album is coming out within next year, and there’s much more. There are at least seven different acts we’ve signed recently, but I can’t give you the names for legal reasons, but now you heard about it. It’s still in the building process, but you’ll hear some more of these things in the future. About a solo project…who knows? The opportunity is there certainly. We have gear, a recording studio, and everything is ready, so who knows what will happen?
Then one question you’ve heard hundreds of times, but here it comes… the 9/11! Where you were then, and how did that affect you??
Well, 9/11. I wasn’t in New York City then. I was in the upstate of New York when this happened, and I was in my car cruising down the road, and I had a radio on. I heard that WTC was hit, and I was thinking, “Christ, what the hell is happening” and you know I thought that it just a small plane and it was an accident… and then ten minutes later the next one hit and I knew that it was a big time. I turned immediately and drove home. Got family together and let them know what had happened — what kind of planes those were, etc. Nobody knew what really was going on because rumors started to fly around. Some said that the Philadelphia crash happened and that the Washington crash happened, and there was all kind of rumors like that places in Seattle and L. A were attacked, Miami was attacked, and so on. It was like, “What the fuck is going on here?” It was a tough time, BUT it didn’t stop Manowar. At that time, we were already in the process of recording the new album. Lots of songs were already done and written, so let’s say that they failed with us!
THE GOOD OLD TIMES
You guys have been to Finland many times. Do you have any special memories from your past visits here?
Yes, there are some…
In 1984 when you played in a place called Himanka in the middle of nothing. Do you remember that one?
Yes!! I really remember that place. To me, I loved it because it reminded me of the place where I hunt. Evergreens everywhere and a lot of snow and ice, you know, that was like where I live. I live in the woods.
It must have been one of the strangest places where Manowar has ever played?
Yes. As a matter of fact, this is a true story coming up now… Two days ago, I was talking to a promoter about that. He remembered Himanka because he put me there (laughter). I mentioned that at the dinner. I said, “We played in that place, way up north, in the middle in the back of the backwoods in a place called Himanka” I was wondering if anybody is going to show up. But they did. They rushed through the snow and ice at a last-minute, and the place was packed. And I really remember that. There was no ground in the building, and everything was freezing. I was thinking, “holy fuck” but yeah, it was cool. It would be cool to hunt there… (laughs)
I’ve heard that Joey is really a big fan of the Finnish band Nightwish. How about you, then?
Nightwish. He really likes them.
How about you, do you have any “love” for that band?
Well, we do know a lot of bands. We are friends with many bands. I don’t know Nightwish guys personally as Joey does. He went to see them playing in Germany. I like some of their stuff. I think they are talented, it’s a very talented band all around, and they are doing well, so they do something, right?? They play from the heart, not for the wallet, and that’s good…so I have nothing bad to say about them.
There’s another Finnish band called Hanoi Rocks? If I remember right, you guys had some “war of words” in the magazines back in the ’80s..?
Hanoi Rocks… Well, those guys are a bunch of party guys. They are mostly “good time” guys, and they know how to work with the press in this business. I haven’t followed their career too much.
Have you heard that they did a reunion just some time ago?
Yes, I knew about that.
They are just releasing a new album and everything…
I knew that also. I knew somebody was going to see them. All the best luck to them!
Then back to the more Manowar oriented stuff. That creature warrior you’ve used in your cover art since KINGS OF METAL…
There is Eddie by Iron Maiden, Vic Rattlehead by Megadeth, etc., but who is that guy on your album cover? Do you have any names for him?
No, because he is you, he is her, he is this person, he is that person, and so on. He has no face, which was on purpose because everyone needs a hero in their lives, and our music is all about heroes and, you know, being the leader, not the follower. Its picture of the hero and you being that hero is that what it is all about. So there is no real name for it. It’s a fantasy world, man. Put your face there are you are the hero!
I believe that…and the last question is – The cover art of the album FIGHTING THE WORLD was created by Ken Kelly, who also did the cover art for classic KISS albums LOVE GUN and DESTROYER. So are there some KISS fans in the band, or did you just like the artist?
It was the artist. We have some crew members who are KISS fans. Personally, I have never been a KISS fan. I never liked them, but it’s a very personal thing for me. KISS, I just don’t dig it, but it’s just me. I know a lot of people who really like them.
Well, I’m a huge KISS fan by myself. I have been a fan since 1980…
Then I’m talking to the wrong person (laughing). But I’ve been honest with you, brother. Anything I say is not bullshit,” laughs.”
Well, you have to go now. Thank you very much for your time, and have a good show.
Well, thank you for a good interview!!