"We met on English ground, in a backstage room we heard the sound, and we all knew what we had to do..."
- Lyrics from the song "Manowar" - (R. Friedman/J. DeMaio)
In 1980, Ross the Boss was the guitarist for Shakin Street, who was on tour as one of the opening bands for Black Sabbath. Ross heard pyro tech Joey DeMaio play bass and thought he was unbelievable. They decided to put together a "power trio" which evolved into the four piece band Manowar.
"The group's kitschy approach was designed to be the raw, primal, macho antithesis of classic rock. Their music was based on raw, aggressive riffs, and their lyrics were mostly about fighting, violence, and death. The group dressed in animal skins in concert to underline the point."
- Steve Huey, All Music Guide
All of the musicians in Manowar were ridiculously talented. They fearlessly demonstrated the love they have for the genre of Heavy Metal while proudly embracing all the cliches. Manowar was his chance to really let loose and play as wildy and fiercely as he dared.
"... The problem is that so many musicians have gotten lazy and are prepared to play safe. If your sound is smooth, inoffensive, and runs into all the other songs played on the radio every day, then you're safe. The end result is this 'faceless' music played by all these 'faceless' bands who've got no identity and no balls!"
- Ross The Boss
In 1988, just after the release of "Kings of Metal", Ross left Manowar feeling as if he'd proven his original point, and anxious to try his hand playing some other styles of music.
In July 2005 Ross was reunited on stage with Manowar for two songs at the Earthshaker Festival in Germany which the band headlined. They also held a MegaFan Convention alongside the festival, featuring a Ross The Boss guitar clinic.