A Few Words with Ross “The Boss” Friedman — if it’s gonna be my last show, I want them to know that I gave my all

if it's gonna be my last show, I want them to know that I gave my all...


Interview by: Kalli Isborne

Photos by: Kalli Isborne


MGM: So, you are on tour, how are you finding it so far?

RTB: it’s been absolutely amazing. I mean I got, to be honest with you, it’s been stunning. The people that are coming to see us, to see me, to listen to the old songs on this tour, it’s been absolutely… it does my heart good. I’m feeling such a vacuum in heavy metal, I’m seeing such a vacuum of the old, it was and now, what they are doing, that band and what we are doing. There seems a need for the old school, and what it was that made that band great, the band that has started. But now it’s phenomenal, we have kind of pride Europe open like a tuna fish can.

MGM: We do like our classic heavy metal

RTB: Yes, you do, I know it’s fantastic. It’s not dead, it’s not even close, it’s tremendous, the old kids, the young Kids, everybody is coming out.

MGM: You were inducted into the heavy Metal hall of Fame in January. How does that feel?

RTB: Yes, I was. Well, you know, my son said: “Dad, are you going to have to die to get some recognition in your life?” I said “Jesse, all I can tell you that I have been working as hard as I can, I’ve been doing it, I been putting out records, I’ve played my arse off, I’ve just been doing everything I can do with The Dictators, with Manowar, and with RTB, and Brain surgeons, and all the other bands I have been in. I have played my heart out. Some guys don’t get the luck for the recognition until they die”. All of a sudden I get the notice that I’m being inducted into this new thing, I’m in the first class and I said: “that’s unbelievable, that’s unbelievable!” At the start of the year, and all of the sudden BINGO!

MGM: How are you finding it touring with Rhino on drums?

RTB: Rhino is the greatest drummer in the world, I have said, this you will hear it tonight, this man, is world class, its world-class drumming. It’s not just world-class drumming, it’s like, him and me, we have this blues thing, he has the soul, he has heart, everything he plays, no matter how fast it is he has this groove to it. It’s just a delight to play with it. We have this new band, that’s just firing on all cylinders. It’s really amazing, and I couldn’t ask for a better band to be doing this with me.

MGM: is there anybody from any of your previous bands you would like to have to tour with you right now or in the future?

RTB: No. This band is the band. This band is the new RTB band the band that will be on the new record. Our singer Mark is sent from the gods of metal. I have never seen another person that could play, doing this amount of touring, of singing, using his body, every single night. He has been sent to me from the gods. Even Eric Adams in his prime, at his peak, we would never play this many shows, because there has always been something.. We have to do this for the economics of the situation, the days off I have to pay for them. No promoters will pay for our hotels, our dinners. I can’t push him any harder than I am pushing him and the band. We had a great day off yesterday, got some food. But still, I have never seen a heavy metal band work as hard as these do.

MGM: Your new album, you have mentioned. Is it coming out soon?

RTB: Well it’s gonna come out when it gonna come out. The problem is now I’m getting so many offers to play shows, and there is going to be a huge major announcement in a couple of days.

MGM: Festivals?

RTB: Yes

MGM: British Festivals?

RTB: Not British festivals

MGM: Damn, I was hoping for Download.

RTB: Well, we would love to play download, I would love to play download. But there is going to be a huge announcement. It’s so big. For heavy metal, and I can’t say what it is.. but is a festival, it’s a big one, It’s a huge one. It’s a great honor, we have triggered so much shit now, all of a sudden, all these people are coming out of the woodwork. I had to do this tour because I had to prove to people what it was, what our vision, my vision of what the songs should be. And the people are agreeing.

MGM: Have you got any personal favorite tracks on the album?

RTB: My new record? I love them all. There is some great you know, I’m telling you to believe me. It’s not gonna come out until it’s ready. I’m not rushed, I can’t be rushed anymore. I have no patience. I’ve done too many records already. Thirty in my career, that I can think of and more. My brain it doesn’t work the way it did, the way it used to do. But it’s an honor to play music. I go home next Friday and I have 18 shows with The Dictators in a row, then I fly back Spain. But The Dictators are doing great and Death dealer, people are loving it, so I will play guitar and I will play until the day I die. There is nothing that will stop me. I play my heart out every night. I play my heart out like it’s the last show I will ever play. And it could be, cos at my age, you never know. I know I look good, but still, a lot of my fellow musicians, some a lot younger than me have already passed. You never know, if it’s gonna be my last show, I want them to know that I gave my all. That’s the way, two years we played here at the Camden rocks festival with The Dictators, it was a great night. Last year we played The Borderline, it’s an honor to play music here.

MGM: Out of the Heavy Metal bands that are relatively new, who can you see making it as big as you are, Manowar, Motorhead?

RTB: I don’t know about that, about making it as big, to an iconic state. But I know a band called Night demon I like. There are a few bands out there, Night Demon are really pretty good. It’s hard to say. I can’t see any band really triggering a new genre form or anything like that. I’m sure there are bands out there, I just can’t see them, I just don’t know of them. I just don’t have enough time to investigate who is around. I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody, I sure I know something. When you leave, I’ll be like, I should have said them. A lot of the bands that have opened for us on this tour are really good. Maybe I’m just at the point that I just don’t remember like I used to. But I remember the songs that I’m playing. Tonight, we are playing the song that everybody wants to hear. They are going to hear it, we play the show like it’s, it’s so happy, it’s so happy, it’s so good, it’s so clean, it such an exciting show, its really great, I know people are going to love it. 



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