MANOWAR’s upcoming “Gods And Kings” world tour will celebrate “Kings Of Metal MMXIV”, which many fans haven’t had a chance to experience live yet, as well as the upcoming anniversary of “Gods Of War”, which was unleashed on the world in 2007. The setlist will be packed with fan favorites from both albums, plus many other classics and special surprises.
An interview with MANOWAR bassist Joey DeMaio about the “Gods And Kings” world tour follows below.
Q: Joey, the “Gods And Kings World Tour 2016” will be kicking off on January 14, 2016. What does that mean for you guys, today?
Joey DeMaio: Yes, it’s hard to believe we are only a few weeks away! We are in the final stages of band rehearsals for this tour and we are ready to kick ass worldwide! What it means for us is that everybody, band and crew, are working literally around the clock to get every component of this production ready and in perfect shape for the ultimate tour so far!
Q: Can you tell us more about what’s going on “behind the scenes”?
Joey DeMaio: As we speak, thousands of items are being shipped in containers to Europe; we are organizing things like hotels, meals, flights and so forth for over 100 crewmembers that will join us from all over the world. We’ve added tons of new equipment and power amps, for even more power than ever before. Most of our equipment is custom-made, so it is a really intense and time-consuming process getting everything done in time, and meeting our specifications. Those who saw our 2015 tour know that we worked with videos on our gigantic LED screens. We have flown in our video designer from Europe to work with us on new video elements that will be played during the songs and, of course, the LED screens will be bigger and of higher quality than ever — over 150 m² and 6k resolution to be precise. Nothing but the latest and best technology for our fans will do! …These are of course just a few examples of what’s going on.
Q: Tell us more about the tour concept. Why “Gods And Kings”?
Joey DeMaio: The previous tour celebrated “Kings Of Metal MMXIV”. It was a terrific experience for fans, band and crew. The production was big and featured elements that we had not done before. It was more of a multi-media experience, with videos linking the songs and their conception, telling the story of our fans and our lives, capturing the energy on stage and off… When we started planning the new tour, we soon agreed that we wanted to keep the best of this previous tour, but of course add on to it, make it different and even bigger.
Q: And where did that lead you, concept-wise?
Joey DeMaio: Like I said, we decided to keep highlights from the “Kings Of Metal MMXIV” tour in the program. And believe it or not, the 10-year anniversary of “Gods Of War” is upon us: The album was released in 2007 but we started working on it in 2006. But more importantly the question was: Who should join our Kings in battle? The answer was: the Gods Of War! So this is how the “Gods And Kings” concept was conceived. Naturally, the “Gods And Kings World Tour 2016” will be more massive than the “Kings Of Metal MMXIV Word Tour”! The 2015 tour was big. But nothing compared to what you’ll experience on the 2016 tour!
Q: Like how?
Joey DeMaio: Without giving too much of the surprise away, we recently shared a preview of the stage with our fans. You should check it out on our web site or on our YouTube channel. When you look at the stage you’ll feel like you were catapulted into a different world: Maybe into one of those epic blockbuster movies or into ancient Rome, or Greece or Valhalla itself. Just like you’d expect when you hear the title “Gods And Kings”! You’ll experience the songs with a new, enhanced energy. They will be what they’ve always been — and more!
Q: Speaking of songs: What can you tell us about the set list? How will this tour be different from the previous one and what can the fans expect?
Joey DeMaio: As you’ve heard, the fans can expect a huge production, much bigger than the one last year, with lots of surprises. We will play highlights from “Kings Of Metal MMXIV” and from “Gods Of War”, and many other favorites. I can’t tell you all the details, or it won’t be a surprise anymore. But I can tell you this: This is a show you don’t want to miss!
Q: MANOWAR are famous for being innovators. Throughout your career you have surprised us with numerous “firsts,” like working with Hollywood legend Orson Welles when you were still a newcomer band, breaking the world record several times, recording a song for your fans in more than 18 languages. Is there any challenges left for you? More records to break?
Joey DeMaio: You can bet! We always push ourselves to do bigger, better and try out new things. On this upcoming tour for example, we will have a local youth orchestra and two young solo artists perform for our fans in Stavanger (Norway), and a youth choir, or rather two school choirs that have united for this purpose, will open our show in Trollhättan (Sweden). It is our way of encouraging and rewarding student musicians for being true to themselves and for standing up for what they believe in. This is the essence of the MANOWAR spirit. And of course there will be much more. You’ll have to come and see yourself.
Q: You have recently announced VIP ticket upgrades for all shows on the upcoming tour. Why is that?
Joey DeMaio: Whenever we announce a tour, we receive requests from fans asking for the opportunity to get this extra show experience. The opportunity to get a peek behind the scenes, understand what happens before the doors open to the public. Or fans that like the chance to get into the venue a bit sooner to secure their front-row spot. It’s something that requires extra arrangements in each venue, but we were able to get everything organized and have now a limited capacity of Ultimate Fan Ticket Upgrades. For all who are interested, go to TheKingdomOfSteel.eu, search for “Ultimate Fan” or read more on Manowar.com.