Manowar (Joey DeMaio)

On the occasion of the release of "Kings Of Metal MMXIV", we spoke with Joey De Maio, which appeared sober but still charming. And although the latest releases of the band seem a little bit weak, the values of True Metal still proves strong and glorious...

Article by Federico Mainardi - Publish on: 19/03/14
Hi Joey, glad to have you on SpazioRock! I want to start talking about "Kings Of Metal MMXIV": it is going to be released soon and true fans can't wait; what kind of surprises shall we expect from it?


Hello Federico. The 2 disc CD of "Kings Of Metal MMXIV" will be available on March 21, and it will also include two 24 page booklets with rare photos and new Ken Kelly artwork. The digital album was released on February 7 already, coinciding with the start of our world tour, for those who didn't want to wait any longer.


Right, there's also a "Kings Of Metal MMXIV" Tour, but no dates in Italy have been planned yet, am I right? Will Manowar come back to Italy soon?


The Italian fans love metal and they love MANOWAR, and we love them! We can't wait to return. The "Kings Of Metal MMXIV" World Tour is a big tour and will continue throughout this year and 2015, and we plan to reunite with our Italian Manowarriors soon! On this tour we will play the entire ‘Kings Of Metal MMXIV' album and many other classics. We have created a multi-media stage production that will bring our songs to life in a way that you have never seen them before. By the way: There is going to be a Magic Circle Festival this year again that traditionally unites MANOWAR fans from all over the world. It's on July 25th and 26th in Helsinki, Finland, and I trust we will see many Italian flags in the audience!


demaio_2The new version of "The Warrior's Prayer" features famous British actor Brian Blessed; I was impressed to find out that he's a hard rock fan, despite he's almost 80! Above all, I was impressed by the fact he's been awarded from Metal Hammer UK for his contributions to heavy metal. In your opinion, which are the people that, although standing outside the musical scene, had an important influence on heavy metal?


Working with Brian Blessed was an incredible experience. He is a giant in everything he does, and as a person. Brian's voice is majestic and thunderous! Brian has helped us shape "A Warrior's Prayer MMXIV" into something completely new and special, and our fans love it. And yes, Brian is a true metal brother and embodies the values of MANOWAR and heavy metal: He has an incredibly adventurous spirit and what he sets his mind on he will do, no matter what others say. He currently trains to go on a space trip, and has climbed the Mount Everest several times! The late, great Orson Welles too had the metal spirit in his veins: He believed in himself and his values and ideas, regardless how hard he had to fight for them. He did! And he won!


"Kings Of Metal MMXIV" is the second reissue in your discography: someone criticized "Battle Hymns MMXI", dispraising Karl's performance (you know Ross's still there in the heart of the fans, when one talks about your early works!), or judging it as an attempt to belie a loss of creativity: what do you want to reply to them?


People who say that have no idea what they are talking about and are just out to criticize. If we had copied everything like a copy machine does, they would have a point. But we didn't try to improve anything, because there wasn't anything that needed improvement. These new recordings are different interpretations; they sound different and are unique and stand for themselves. We were able to accomplish an even better sound because we were able to cram more sound and power into the recordings, with today's advanced technology and the custom-made equipment we have developed over the years. And playing these songs so many times in front of a live audience every night has added a new perspective. In 1988, we had never performed the songs live before. And of course, the arrangements have evolved over the years. When you perform live, there is this excitement, this energy floating between band and audience. And we would like to believe that the energy from all those years of playing these songs has found it's way back into this album, giving it what we call a 'fresh sound'.


The old bonus track "Pleasure Slave" has been cut off from the reissue: why did you choose to leave it out? Have you ever been criticized for its lyrics, that someone might consider sexist? What would you reply if you'd been accused of sexism?


"Pleasure Slave" was not supposed to be on the 1988 release in the first place and therefore does not belong on the "Kings Of Metal MMXIV" album.


Joey, when I reviewed "The Triumph of Steel" I wrote that Manowar's integrity is the expression of your own personality, since you started out as a roadie and you made your dreams come true, with your own strength, making no compromises: do you agree with this?


Thank you brother. In a way you were absolutely right. But it is more than an expression of my personality and my values. It is about what Metal, True Metal, stands for: Loyalty, honesty, integrity, that you stand up and fight for what you believe in. And the faith that there are others like you and that your faith in what is right unites you with them.




Manowar is probably one of the few bands that that has spread a sort of philosophy around the world. Speaking about Manowar's integrity and intransigence with a friend of mine (who's a true Manowar fan), he said: "What the fuck, I need heroes, not politicians!" How does the idea that fans consider you as a lifestyle model make you feel?


We have fans from all walks of life, from different nations, religions, and social background, and many of them have become close friends through our music and our concerts. We have met with many of our fans over the years and have received mountains of letters and emails from fans that have told us their stories, and how our music has inspired them, gave them courage and the strength to believe in themselves, to not be held down by naysayers or adversities in life. We feel honored that our music helps our fans.


At the beginning of your career, have you felt discouragement or thought you would have given up music? How did you react to critical moments in your life?


Never. That's the power of metal. It gives you the strength to do the right thing, and when you do, nothing can discourage you or hold you down.


In the "Warriors Of The World" album Manowar gratified their Italian fans with "Nessun Dorma": Italy is well known for classical music, which I know you like, but what about the Italian contemporary scene? Any Italian bands that you like? Of course many Italian bands love Manowar! Doomsword, one of our best epic metal acts, were deeply inspired by "Into Glory Ride", for example.


Italians have music in their blood; there is no doubt about it. "Nessun Dorma" was very special to us, and we know our fans love it, too. I can't say anything about the metal scene in Italy I am afraid. I am 100% focused on all things MANOWAR to give our fans the best in all; I am nonstop working either in the studio, or on tour, or preparing a tour.


Manowar has always lived their lives under the sign of the excess: is there anything that Manowar wants to do, but hasn't done yet? Which is the next record that Manowar wants to establish?


There is a lot we haven't done yet. Just wait and see!


Thank you Joey, it has been a pleasure and an honor. Hope to see Manowar in Italy soon!


Thank you, Federico. The pleasure was mine. Hail to our Italian Manowarriors! We will return!

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