EX-MANOWAR Guitarist ROSS THE BOSS Says Illegal Downloading Is Killing Music

MetalSucks' Sammy O'Hagar recently conducted an interview with ex-MANOWAR guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman. An excerpt follows below.

MetalSucks: You mentioned earlier in your response how you think that the Internet has killed rock and roll. Could you clarify that a little?

Ross: I certainly can. Okay, so two weeks before my record was to be released on AFM in Germany, it was available online in Russia. By thieves. So anyone who wanted could just go there and get it. This happens to every single group that tries to release a record and puts out promo copies to journalists that probably for 15-100 euros sends it off to a friend in Russia or wherever. Then it is illegally downloaded. So what happens is the artists get fucked in the ass. The record company gets fucked in the ass and will eventually have to close its doors and not sign anymore groups. So the scene gets destroyed. The record company gets destroyed. The artist can't make any money from his work. They have to just go on touring and selling merchandise. Eventually the whole scene will just evaporate.

MetalSucks: Yeah. Have you already seen signs of that hitting you directly?

Ross: Absolutely. You can bust your ass on a piece of work, and you see constantly diminishing returns. So why should I even make records? I made 28 of them. Why should I even do it if I'm going to get ripped off? I mean would you? Would you do something for free?

MetalSucks: I would do something for free if it didn't suck up so much of my time and effort, I suppose.

Ross: Do you have a son that is about to go to college?

MetalSucks: I do not.

Ross: How am I going to pay for the college?

MetalSucks: Not sure.

Ross: Right?

MetalSucks: Yeah. It's all money out of your pocket.

Ross: That's right. My time is my money, and being that I am a grown man, I should think about supporting my family. When I get ripped off, I get rip-riding mad. Everybody is enjoying the record. "Oh I didn't pay for it," but you know there are consequences.

MetalSucks: Yeah. I definitely agree with you. That sucks. The record is solid, but obviously as you mentioned with the diminishing returns may keep you from being able to support certain aspects of your life.

Ross: Exactly, and a lot of artists are facing the same problem. Everybody I know.

MetalSucks: This will probably put more emphasis on touring then, right?

Ross: Yeah, but now that the world is gripped in a recession, no one has the money to go out and support bands. So now it is a double whammy. So think about it. We're in a world of hurt right now. My option was picked up by AFM to do another record because we sold enough and made money. Which is great, and I am very happy about that. All the bands are out there touring, and no one has the money to go see them all. So it's a problem.

MetalSucks: Are you going to make another record for them?

Ross: I'm going to make another record. But, you know, it's almost like a side project. I made 28 records, and my first record is sitting in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Did you know that?

MetalSucks: Yeah. The first DICTATORS record.

Ross: Right. So really what do I have to prove to myself? I got to support my family. I am more of a musician than you ever want to meet. I have given my whole life to rock and roll and heavy metal music, but this is insane. I am very down on the downloads. For the price of like two beers in a bar, these people could have bought the record. A lot of these people could buy the record and support the artist.

MetalSucks: Definitely. You mentioned that you are still making another record. Why make another record if the returns seem to be diminishing?

Ross: Listen. You still have to be in the game. We have a passion for music and we love creating the music. Maybe the recession will end and the touring thing will get better. We still have to do that. Think about it. It's hard.

MetalSucks: Yeah. It's almost impossible to make a living as a musician.

Ross: And listen, I have done well in my life, very well. I cannot complain in that aspect. I can still make a living, but it is getting ridiculous. Someone should really find a way so that you can't get robbed. There has to be some technology out there where you can't get robbed. Everyone I know, all my friends in bands, have had it.

Read the entire interview at www.metalsucks.net.

"Blood Of Knives", the latest video from Ross The Boss, can be viewed below. The song comes off Ross' new album, "New Metal Leader", which was released last August via AFM Records. According to a press release, Ross "continues his legacy with a true metal album that doesn't deny his past and displays his charismatic style of creating great music. Imagine a basket of first-class, stomping, ground shaking epic heavy metal in the style of 'Battle Hymns', 'Into Glory Ride', 'Hail To England' and 'Sign Of The Hammer' — this is exactly what you get here. . . Tracks like 'Blood Of Knives', 'God Of Dying' and 'I Got The Right' would have been highlights even on MANOWAR's glorious releases from 1982-1988. The battle shouts of 'We Will Kill' haunt you to the day you die, the thrilling up-tempo smasher 'Death & Glory' and a goodtime-rocker like 'May The Gods Be With You' then round off the whole spectrum of ROSS THE BOSS. Add to this the majestic epic tracks 'God Of Dying' and 'Immortal Son' (both in the tradition of eternal hymns like 'Bridge Of Death' and 'Guyana (Cult Of The Damned)', every fan of the early MANOWAR must be crying out in joy!"

"New Metal Leader" was made available in the following formats: standard CD, limited digipack CD and limited two-LP gatefold vinyl. The limited digipack and the gatefold vinyl contain two bonus tracks.

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