More information has surfaced about the upcoming MANOWAR studio album, entitled Warriors Of The World, which is scheduled to be released in Europe on Monday, May 27th through Nuclear Blast Records. During a February 9th press conference held at Galaxy Studios in Belgium, where the album was mixed, members of MANOWAR discussed the making of the album and their plans for the immediate future, which include the release of several DVDs and an extensive world tour (the group's first in more than three years). Here are some of the highlights from that press conference:
On recording the album at bassist Joey DeMaio's digitalized, state-of-the-art home studio, dubbed Hell:
Joey DeMaio: "We had to put ourselves under the most rigid conditions to scrutinize the performances and make sure we were creating the music that our fans have come to expect from MANOWAR.
On reasons for mixing the album at Galaxy Studios in Belgium:
Joey DeMaio: We've always considered ourselves pioneers and on the cutting edge of technology. The fact is, we are the first heavy metal band to have a recorded digital record, and we were also one of the first groups to build our own studio, home studio, when the equipment became portable enough. And this studio coincidentally is the development center for Super Audio CD, [which] is a format that allows you to listen to music exactly as it's been produced and Ronald Prent [who mixed the album] is the head of development. He is in our opinion, the engineer of engineers, and it was a combination of choosing him, him recommending this studio, because he prefers to work here, and wanting to achieve the best possible sound for the record.
On recording a version of "Nessun Dorma", the famous opera piece (tenor aria) from Puccini's Turandot:
Joey DeMaio: It is, as a song, the most widely recognized piece of opera music. A lot of people recorded it, and when we headlined the Gods of Metal festival in 1999, which was our second time, we wanted to do something special for the Italian fans, and why not do something completely radical, which opera would be, and also do a piece which is certainly recognized.
Eric Adams (vocals): [Singing the song required] a lot of planning, and a lot of rehearsal, and a lot of trips to operas, to study how they sing. We were never able to play the song, until we went to Italy, because we wanted it to be a surprise. I have to tell you, the first time I did it, I had butterflies in my stomach, because it was the first time ever that a heavy metal singer was attempting opera. And I knew some reporters [in the audience at the Gods Of Metal gig] out there, I saw them making notes during the songs and I tried to keep my eyes closed and concentrate on the song and midway through the piece, I opened my eyes and I could see everybody with the lighters on, they had cell phones in the air calling their families and friends to let them hear it. I knew it worked. I knew it was a good take when we did it in the studio. I can feel it, I was proud to do it.
I come from the school of 'hard knocks', and that means I try to do it the best I can. I went to operas and studied the way [the opera singers] sing. I sat at the front row and watched the breathing techniques and tried the things on my own, and just by listening to so many opera singers, I did it myself and rehearsed. The rest of the band said it sounded great, so we did it.
On how the new material compares to the old songs:
Joey DeMaio: It's funny, because, people who have listened already to the album all have a different opinion. Like someone said, 'You've gone back to Battle Hymns,' and another said, 'For sure, this is like Hail to England,' another is sure that we went back to Into Glory Ride I think that's a compliment, because we have never ever forgotten what the old albums were like. I think of our career as a book, called Manowar, and each chapter is just a different chapter. We stay true to what this is all about, and not like these assholes who every week have another haircut and look. It takes more than wearing funny clothes and putting a sword in your hands in a f.ckin' magazine to be a warrioryou got to give your life to the fans and give your blood and everything you've got, and that's what we have done for years, through good times and bad times, and there has been a lot more bad than good, but through it all we never lost sight of the fact that no matter what, it's not all about us, it's all about the fans, and they are the ones that made us the Kings of Metal and that's what we're living for and that's what we'll die for.
On life outside MANOWAR:
Joey DeMaio: I'm not trying to make fun of other bandsI never do this. I only care about MANOWAR and the fans, but when you pick this life and you make this kind of music, you know that you're going to have a lot of struggles, and a lot of obstacles to take, which is [making music that is] clearly not commercial, when you know you're fighting all of the things out there that will make you successful and happy, you'd better plan on a long, hard road, and that leaves not much time for everything else. But for us it's not like we gave up something to do thisthis is what we all wanted to do. We've been through hard times and that gave us the balls to deal with whatever we have. It doesn't matter to us if we're up and have money or whether we are f.ckedwe can survive. Nothing is going to stop us and nobody is going to tell us what to play. We do what we do from the heart, and those who like it we love, and those who don't, we hope they die.
On upcoming releases through MANOWAR's Magic Circle Music label imprint via Metal Blade Records:
Joey DeMaio: I think in everybody's career there comes a time when you do something and somebody sees it, [and] they cannot deny you. That's how it went too with MANOWAR when we started. When I saw this band BLUDGEON [from Chicago], and I saw these four guys play, I just couldn't believe it, and it kind of reminded me of MANOWAR. I don't know if they'll ever sell any records, or that they are going to be the biggest band in the world, but I can promise you that they are a motherf.cker of a band, and I just had to produce a record for them [the upcoming Crucify The Priest CD]. And speaking of our label, there will also be released this year a CD of our ex-drummer Rhino, who made a brilliant rock opera based on a vampire myth. His group is called SHADOW SYMPHONY, [and] it's tremendous. Also there will be a release of [former MANOWAR guitarist] David Shankle, probably later on in the yearhe's also a Magic Circle Records artist. And another project I'm working on, producing on and writing as well, is called HOLY HELL. So, it's going to be a busy year for the future of MANOWAR, but I promise you all a lot of metal, a lot of fun, good vibes, good concerts, and from us to all of you a lot of love, lot of respect for all of the years and all of the tears, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we truly f.cking mean it.
On MANOWAR's plans for the immediate future:
Joey DeMaio: [Although] we've been off the road the last two years, we certainly haven't been sitting on our ass. We put together four different DVDs: Blood In Brazil, which is going to be our first full-length 5.1 [Dolby sound] concert ever released, and Hell On Earth parts 1,2 and 3. And also the history of MANOWAR is on its waythere is a book being written about the band, there is a host of things are going to happen over the next couple of years and I can tell you, we're not going to stop touring, we're not going to stop playing, and I have going to keep my promise, there is going to be another studio album out, next year.