Speaking about how E.V. Martel, who previously played with the Brazilian MANOWAR tribute band KINGS OF STEEL, ended up joining MANOWAR as the band’s new guitarist, Joey said (hear audio below): “The fact that he played in a MANOWAR tribute band, I think, has been helpful because he knew the songs. And, of course, he was living for the music — and truly living for the music. I mean, the first thing in his life was, of course, the band that he was playing with — KINGS OF STEEL in Brazil. They’re such nice guys, and they actually were with us on tour in Brazil. But I didn’t spend any time with him or had no real contact with him. I know the leader of the band, of course, but the rest of the guys I only knew just a very little bit, and all fantastic, really, really great people, but didn’t really ever spend any time with him. It just made so much sense that when he joined the band, it was the kind of thing that gave us the opportunity to be able to say to the world, ‘Well, if he can do it, you guys can do it too. You can certainly achieve your dream.’
“To be honest — and this is not an egotistical statement — but it was his dream to play MANOWAR music, and to play MANOWAR music for people,” Joey continued. “And he did achieve his dream — he did do that. I mean, with their band — they’re a popular band, and he was really playing MANOWAR‘s music and he was happy. I don’t believe he ever had a thought to ever play in MANOWAR. He idolized the MANOWAR guitar players and the MANOWAR guitar sound and the music, so it was already in his blood to do it, and doing it every day. And something like this was just, for him, so unexpected. When he first came in to play, he was just white as a ghost.”
Joey elaborated on how Martel‘s first jam session with MANOWAR went, saying: “When he came in and played, it was very much like the  movie ‘Whiplash’ [which depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz drummer and an abusive perfectionist bandleader]. Because although he had played the MANOWAR music and played the MANOWAR songs, but playing it with us is certainly very much different, because there are all these little nuances and all these things that we’re used to doing that we do second nature, but unless somebody points them out to you, you’re playing the song incorrectly. And there was a lot, shall we say, that was pointed out to him, and he put up with so much brutality [laughs] over a couple of days that you had to have instant respect for him.”
DeMaio added: “It was really funny, because he told [a mutual Brazilian friend], ’cause his English wasn’t that great at the time, and he told [the friend], ‘Please tell Joey not to feel bad about yelling and screaming at me in front of everybody, because I want to do the very, very best I can. And I don’t take offense. I really want to learn everything.’ [Laughs] And when I heard that, I said, ‘Well, I have to say, good for him.’ ‘Cause that’s the spirit that you need. If somebody is offering you constructive criticism — and believe me, everything I did and said was constructive, and it was from the heart. It may have been at about 140 dB, but it was from the heart — in his and our best interest. And you have to admire that.”
Martel joined MANOWAR after the band’s longtime guitarist Karl Logan was arrested in August 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina and charged with six counts of third-degree exploitation of a minor. He was jailed after pleading guilty to two child-pornography counts.
Logan‘s alleged offenses took place between June 18, 2018 and August 2, 2018.
A few days after Karl‘s arrest was made public, MANOWAR issued a statement saying that he would no longer perform with the group.
MANOWAR will embark on its 40th-anniversary tour in 2021. The trek will kick off in April in Germany and will include shows in The Netherlands for the first time in many years.
MANOWAR released a new EP, “The Final Battle I”, in March 2019. At the time, the band said that parts II and III of the trilogy would arrive at a later date, inspired by MANOWAR‘s adventures on the remainder of “The Final Battle”.