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Interviews : “The fondest memory was probably just getting started” – An Interview With Ross The Boss

By on April 3, 2018

If you have what can be termed as a passing interest in heavy metal, then it will not be without coincidence that you will have wrapped your ears around some Manowar.

Battle Hymns (’82), Sign of the Hammer (’84) and King’s of Metal (’88) are albums that the ‘trve’ metal aficionado will find atop a treasure chest of essential listening from the band, so it is one man’s contribution to the legacy that we are here to talk about today.

Ross Friedman AKA Ross the Boss is the guitarist who formed the band with bassist Joey DeMaio in New York in 1980. Sources online offer that Friedman was asked to leave by the bassist after the recording of King’s of Metal.

We sort of kind of had a falling out… it wasn’t really a falling out. It was nothing that I thought would cause me to depart the band, but in his mind, he wanted to control everything. I was his partner and I represented someone else, someone stronger. He thought it would be better if he controlled everything, so he asked me to leave… To me, one of the worst mistakes in metal history.”

Manowar’s genesis is the era that burns brightest for Friedman, so here is what he had to say about the band’s beginnings.

The fondest memory was probably just getting started, just creating it. Joey and I started the band. I was in Shakin’ Street, the French band, and I was supporting Black Sabbath. We were supporting Black Sabbath in England on Ronnie Dio’s first tour (supporting) Heaven and Hell (’80) and Ronnie comes up to me and says, ‘Hey Ross. I really dig you. I know (about) The Dictators and Shakin’ Street are here but you should meet a guy on our road crew, his name is Joey DeMaio and he plays bass. I think you guys would be good”.

That man again…The hallowed blessing of one Ronnie Dio is all it would take for most to form a band. Thus, it was so for Friedman and DeMaio.

He said, ‘Go meet him’ I go, ‘Yes sir’ and that’s what we did, and we decided to form a band and we called it Manowar.”

For reasons that may seem at a loss to answer, Manowar has never toured Australia. Friedman offered his own take (“I would say that it’s a matter of money for (DeMaio) because everything’s about money for him”). So, it is reassuring to finally look forward to a principal architect of the band’s sound bringing a Manowar show to Australia for what is sure to be appreciative audiences.

Let me tell you something… we’re going to bring the old school Manowar set that we’ve been playing to the Australian shows, we’re really looking forward to it. It’s just songs from the six Manowar records that I did, songs that I wrote. Totally old school set, no bullshit, no solo’s, no speeches, no tapes, no effects, no nothing, just raw blasting metal at its finest the way I know how to do it. We’re just ready to go. We’re ready and we can’t wait to be there.”

Catch Ross The Boss on his upcoming Australian tour.

ROSS THE BOSS – AUSTRALIA – APRIL TOUR DATES

Thursday, April 26: The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney
www.facebook.com/events/2034045880213454

Friday, April 27: Fowler’s Live. Adelaide
www.facebook.com/events/1753035954768234

Saturday, April 28: The Croxton, Melbourne
www.facebook.com/events/354317774978250

Sunday, April 29: The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

General admission and VIP tickets available via www.dinnerforwolves.com.

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith