Grand Magus Talking About Manowar Is The Most Metal Thing Ever

Grand Magus Manowar
(Image: © Art: Matt Dixon)

Grand Magus’ Master Of Ceremonies, JB Christofferson, raises a horn in celebration of New York’s Kings Of Metal.

THEY TOOK METAL TO THE NEXT LEVEL

“It must have been around ’84 or ’85 when I first heard them, when Hail To England came out. I heard it at a friend’s place and we were both shocked because it was so aggressive! I’d obviously heard Venom around then too, but they were never as ferocious as that Manowar album. Also, the sound was not booming; it was very sharp, and I hadn’t heard anything like that before, so we were both fascinated and a bit scared when we heard them! It made a huge impression. It sounded really extreme to me.”

THEIR LYRICS ARE PURE GENIUS

“They do amazing, epic songs like Gates Of Valhalla, then suddenly you hear them singing ‘Manowar! Manowar! Living on the road!’ and they’re singing about their own band. It’s weird but it works when they do it. I’ve never been into bands that sing about partying and drinking. I like partying and drinking, but I want to do it while listening to people singing about going to war! The reason why people are happy when they listen to Manowar is because it makes you feel powerful and proud and that’s the essence of heavy metal.”

THEY’RE MORE METAL THAN ANYONE ELSE

“They’re so good, yet they catch so much shit. Despite that, they remain unfazed by highbrow idiots who think they’re silly, and that makes you feel loyal to them. They have never tried to be anything but what’s in their hearts. I’ve
always taken them seriously and that’s the whole point with Manowar! It’s not a pastiche of heavy metal – it is heavy metal. It’s the real thing. That’s a huge inspiration.”

THEY TREAT THEIR FANS WITH HONOUR

“The most important thing is the people who really, really love your music and understand what you’re doing – that’s who you’re there for. You do music for your own satisfaction, but you also do it with the fans in mind, not the critics. Manowar are the living embodiment of that. They’ve been such a big influence on me and the band for such a long time that I think that attitude has definitely rubbed off on us.”

THEIR SHOWS ARE THE STUFF OF LEGEND

“I’ve seen them five times, I think. Unfortunately I never saw them with their old guitarist, Ross The Boss, but all the gigs have been great. They’re super professional and tight. There are a lot of bands who are great live, but many metal bands are rougher around the edges when they play live. Manowar never seem to be that way. They’re very to the point and there are no mistakes. Eric Adams is probably the most underrated vocalist in metal. People talk about the great singers in metal, but Eric Adams is a phenomenon. The power he projects live is mindblowing.”

NOTHING TOPS A MANOWAR ANTHEM

“From the old era, I have to pick Gloves Of Metal as a great Manowar anthem. But also, Call To Arms from Warriors Of The World – it’s a fucking awesome song. That’s the difference between the real Manowar fans and the smart guys that think they’re in the know… it’s very fashionable to say that the early records were pretty good, but that after Sign Of The Hammer it’s not so good. That’s bullshit. They’ve done so many great things all the way along. I love every era of Manowar and if you don’t, you’re not a proper Manowar fan. Wimps and posers leave the hall! Ha ha ha!”

GRAND MAGUS’S NEW ALBUM, SWORD SONGS, IS OUT ON MAY 13 VIA NUCLEAR BLAST