Anvil interview (02/2006)
|With:||Steve 'Lips' Kudlow [vocals, guitars]|
A silenced artist is much like a caged bird - unable to fulfill its purpose and adventure new highs. But when this cage does open, the energy conserved during this bird's 'exile' might very possibly make it unstoppable.
Such an analogy seems appropriate for Metal legends Anvil. Granted, these Canadians never stopped churning riff-laden in-yer-face Metal since the late 1970s but a series of unfortunate events resulted in the band being overshadowed in the global media for some time.
Anvil's performance at Germany's Keep It True Festival last November could very well have been the start of the band's path to reclaiming their rightful throne amongst the highest echelons of Metal. After this show, I had interviewed founder / lead vocalist / guitarist Lips and discovered a frank, charismatic and angry frontman.
Chris: So how do you feel after tonight's successful return to Germany of ANVIL?
Lips: It was fuckin' great, man! I mean I can't put into words the emotions I feel.
C: Yeah, I think your obvious gratitude to the audience's response was a compounded catalyst to such an incredible show.
L: And you know why? I waited for years at a time for a moment like that - that's why.
I am so starved by the business of what we love the most - which is playing live. 'Cause to me that's what Anvil really is. We recorded albums and have got lots of music and all that, but the real truth is that the strength of Anvil is our live performances.
C.: I suppose that's also because it provides direct contact with the fans….
L.: That's right, because that's where it all began and that's where it'll end. That's what it's all about, the whole thing in a nutshell. It's what you are 'live'.
I am Lips, I am a human being - I'm alive. I'm not……..crystallized on a CD, I'm a living, breathing and fuckin' functioning human being and I deserve better than to be locked up for years at a time and kept away from my fans. It really is unfair!
C.: You have a point!
Lips, I'd like to refer to Anvil's discography…….I understand you're about to re-release onto CD format the first, classic, Anvil albums. At what point is this 'project'? Is a date set for their release?
L.: No! Once again, that's more of the business bullshit. The records and distribution companies that were involved all petered out on us.
You know, they went, "oh we don't want it", "oh it's not gonna do well", "no-one cares", for whatever the stiupid reasons it kept getting back-burnered while time elapses and nothing happens. Once again, it's the same old shit!
I'm really sick of it, totally fed up! I won't quit because I'm a fighter and I will fight to the end but I mean this is ridiculous, I've been starved on every aspect of the business level.
C.: Maybe tonight will have served as a reminded that Anvil still mean business…….
L.: Well, you know what's really interesting? The record company that we were involved with (Massacre Records) shoes up here tonight with all kinds of (Anvil) CDs and selling at half the price that we were.
C.: Yeah, I noticed that too…..
L.: Now that is the lowest form of business that I have ever witnessed in all my years as a musician, ever. It's thievery, because not only were they selling them at half the price, but I don't get paid.
Lips accentuates every word of that last phrase. It might be here pertinent to clarify some points for the readers' benefit. Interspersed between songs in the aforementioned gig were various emotional baggages Lips seemed to bear for so long, and which he duly vented with the audience as tailor-made complements to Anvil's music.
Amongst this 'baggage' were the wargames of one Mr. Bush as well as perceived unjust practices by records label executives. Lips' frustrations saw no sign of abating in the changing rooms where this interview takes place.
C.: Lips, I've noticed that in most of Anvil's songs, you're angry about something or someone - do you think anything has really changed in spite of your protests?
L.: No! I mean, the governments are corrupt and money is the most corruptive force on Earth. Until mankind learns the difference between humanity and humanitarian causes, we will never ever come out of the dark age.
I'm a fatalist. I really believe the end is nigh! And the end is not going to be at our own hands - it's going to be at the hands of Mother Nature. Not that there's a God, but Mother Earth is angry at mankind. We are destroying our environment, we think we can control it and we think we are in control. But this is a big falsity. The tsunamis, the hurricanes, the earthquakes…..she's gonna wipe us out! The Earth will reclaim its power and once more we shall be nothing more then what we started off as - a little blink and we'll disappear as if we were never here.
C.: Let's talk about something more positive now……..
C.: Next year (2006) shall be the 25th anniversary since the release of Anvil's first album ("Hard & Heavy"). Are you planning anything to celebrate this milestone?
L.: Whoa….hold on, hold on there, let's get some things clear…you're way off pace. First of all, Robb (Reiner, drums) and I have been playing together since 1973. I know everybody likes to count (the band's age) since the first album, but if you really want to know the first album was finished and recorded at the end of 1979, so it's been well past 25 years.
So are we gonna do anything special for our anniversary? No! I live for today not for tomorrow.
C.: Wrapping this interview up, I'd like some details on Anvil's forthcoming (13th) album (tentatively titled "TIT - This Is Thirteen")….
L.: (grins) It's very much Anvil, everything that we've ever been, and many things that we've never been. Certainly not lightweight, heavier than the last album ("Back To Basics"). It's not as transparent in the level that you can hear the influences. This time it sounds more like Anvil.
Lock your doors and throw away the key because the blacksmiths of Metal are back with a vengeance!
----- Chris Galea [email@example.com] -----
Lips (Steve Kudlow) - lead vocals / guitar
Ivan Hurd - guitar
Robb Reiner - drums
Glenn Five - bass / back. vocals
"Back To Basics" (2004)
"Still Going Strong" (2002)
"Plenty Of Power" (2001)
"Speed Of Sound" (1998)
"Absolutely No Alternative" (1997)
"Plugged In Permanent" (1996)
"Worth The Weight" (1991)
"Pound For Pound" (1988)
"Strength Of Steel" (1987)
"Forged In Fire" (1983)
"Metal On Metal" (1982)
"Hard & Heavy" (1981)
Official website: http://www.anvilmetal.tk
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| Valentin B
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