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Interview: Ross The Boss

RTB Tour 2018 1

From Press Release

Ross The Boss, co-founder of one of the most iconic metal band’s in history, Manowar, will be performing three exclusive shows in Australia next April! The co-writer of such classic albums as Battle Hymns, Into Glory Ride, Hail To England, Sign of the Hammer, Fighting The World & Kings of Metal will be performing a classic Manaowar set to Australian audiences for the first time ever!! When you think of True Metal… epic battles, clashing swords, loin cloths and classic heavy metal artwork featuring ripped warriors, savage beasts, gods and demigods, theres one name that comes to mind.


Responsible for defining the sword and sorcery of this style of metal, Manowar spawned a sub genre all their own which continues to give birth to bands following the ‘true path’ to this day.  There have been many imitators but Manowar will forever remain the original and best. Ross spent 8 years with Manowar, performing on six studio albums and the bands unbelievably loyal cult following consider Ross to be the bands definitive guitarist.

Ross started his musical career in 1973 forming the legendary NYC punk band, The Dictators before creating Manowar. After his tenure there he reformed The Dictators under the name Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, which bridged the gap between punk and metal. Ross had a stint in The Brain Surgeons, a project created by members of Blue Oyster Cult in the mid 2000’s and formed the Ross The Boss band soon after which released two critically acclaimed albums. He also formed Death Dealer, a metal supergroup featuring members of Cage, Halford and Dungeon which saw him back in front of metal audiences the world over.

Everywhere that is, except Australia… until now.

We, the Ross The Boss Band, are so looking forward to our concerts down under, performing classic Manowar tracks in Sydney, Adelaide & Melbourne. We will bring the message of True Metal to our Immortal Metal Armies. I have assembled three incredible musicians, and together we will deliver an experience only to be described as, true classic metal. We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Ross recently. Sit yourself down, grab a beverage of your choice and enjoy a few minutes with Ross The Boss

H2Z: Hi Ross, Andrew from Here 2 Zen in Australia, how are you today?
RTB: Hey there Andrew, pretty good, pretty good.

H2Z: Touring in April, Whats taken you so long to visit us?
RTB: (Laughs), We’re coming down, we’re coming down. Really whats happening, with this Classic Manowar idea that I invented last year, and the response has been so  fantastic, and so I wanted to take it everywhere I could, and we were offered to come to Australia, and I couldn’t say no to that.

H2Z: Its well overdue and a lot of people are excited about it.
RTB: Im so happy that people are excited and I know we are going to have 4 tremendous shows down there. We are really stoked and really cannot wait to play. Its an honour to play in Australia, I can tell you that.

H2Z: As we all know its going to be a complete set of all Manowar classics, so for you, what songs have stood the test of time, and do you have any hidden gems planned?
RTB: Our set is jam packed with all the Manowar hits, and while we cant play every song from my 6 records, we know everyone will be happy, and we also have our own record coming out on April 20th via AFM Records, and we just released the single called “This Is Vengeance”, and while we are so excited about that, I doubt we will play new songs in Australia, as this is the first time anyone from Manowar has played in Australia, so we will play the old stuff, the great stuff.

H2Z: So, with that in mind, introduce Australia to your Ross The Boss Band members.
RTB: Okay, on drums, our newest member is Steve Bolognese, and he is an incredible drummer. He was in a band called “Into Eternity”, and also in my band “Death Dealer”, and he is a really fantastic drummer. On bass we have Mike Lepond, who is a real monster. He is right up there with the likes of Geezer Butler and John Entwhistle. He also played in a band called “Symphony X”, and his own project called “The Mike Lepond Silent Assasins”, you should check them out, they are amazing. And on vocals we have” Mark Lopes, and he has a band called “Let Us Prey”, and he is amazing, an absolutely great lead singer. We have been doing this for a year now, we did around 50 shows and major festivals, and the reaction to the band has been absolutely amazing, and I know Australia is going to see how good these guys are. This band is chemically exciting for me, and its how I envisioned Manowar. No speeches, no solos, no dead time, no bulls@#t as I would call it. This is a more stripped down version, which makes it far more exciting to the concert goer. They are not there to see bulls@#t, they want rock action, and I have always been about rock action in my career. People want value for their money, they want to hear the songs, and we are going to give them songs, exactly what they paid for.

H2Z: As you know Ross, a lot of musical heroes have left the last few years, do you have any dream collaborations you would love to do?
RTB: Yes a lot of folks have been leaving the planet, leaving the turf. I fantasized about playing with Tony Iommi, I fantasized about playing with Geezer Butler, but if that never happens I am ok with that (laughs). I really wanted to jam with BB King who is sadly no longer with us.

RTB Album COverHZ2: Lets shift focus, you have your new album hitting shelves just before your arrival, tell us more about that?
RTB: Our record is called “By Blood Sworn” its out April 20th, it features 10 brand new tracks, and 3 bonus tracks, of classic Manowar tracks, which have been done the way I originally envisioned them, as I was never happy with the finished product in Manowar. The new record is organic, a non-computer record, unlike some of the metal records out today. Its real musicians, playing real instruments, and creating real songs.

H2Z: Tell us about some of the more unusual or crazy guitars you may have in your collection?
RTB: Well I have a few guitars, not as many as some, and that’s because I believe that every guitar you have, should be played, not just there to gather dust. I want to play them on stage or in the studio. The one guitar that is very sacred to me is a BB King ES-355 Stereo Lucille, that I just had to have, I had to have it. To me, that’s my favourite guitar in my collection. I have a lot ESP’s, I have a lot of Les Pauls, a lot of SG’s. Grosman guitars in Romania have made me a new guitar which I will get soon. I don’t need 50-60 guitars like a lot of guys. I used an ESP Artist Viper on the new album as my main guitar, I also use it as my main guitar, as I can get everything done on that guitar.

H2Z: Last Question, the one you are probably asked the most. Do you ever see yourself playing with Manowar again?
RTB: Yes, I do get it asked a lot. They know my number, they know where I am at. I have always said that I just love playing music with my friends, playing with my friends is a joy to me, no matter who they are. I don’t think it will ever happen, honestly, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. Im not ruling it out, you just never know.

H2Z: Thanks for your time today Ross, all the best with the new album, and we look forward to catching up with you at the shows
RTB: No problem at all, we look forward to seeing all our friends in Australia. Thank you and see you all soon.

Thanks again to Ross for his time. Ross The Boss will be joined in Sydney by Night Legion who feature his Death Dealer band mate, Stu Marshall (Dungeon, Empires Of Eden). There is only one place to be if you follow the true metal path!

DO NOT miss these shows!!



Thursday, April 26: The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney

Friday, April 27: Fowler’s Live. Adelaide

Saturday, April 28: The Croxton, Melbourne

Sunday, April 29: The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

Tickets are $55 + bf

On Sale Now! + VIP Packages Available 


Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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