An Interview with Anvil

[Metalhead contributor Andrew Epstein managed to get to Lips from Anvil. – AC]

In case you’re unfamiliar, Anvil is a Toronto heavy metal band that emerged in the early 80s and is credited for inspiring bands like Metallica and Slayer. Their first three albums are considered metal classics. But due to a cocktail of poor management decisions and label jumping the band drifted into obscurity despite a string of solid albums full of their distinct blend of kinky metal and bluesy hard rock.

Everything changed in 2008 when the documentary film “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” was released. Directed by former Anvil roadie Sacha Gervasi, the film chronicles the band on an ill-fated European tour with sparsely-attended shows, followed by their struggles to produce their thirteenth album and the toll it took on their family and friends. After premiering at Sundance the film went on to garner near-universal acclaim (it currently holds a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes). The film gave way to a significant rise in the band’s popularity and big name gigs started popping up, including an opening slot for AC/DC.

The last time I spoke with frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow was in the summer of 2006 behind the fondly-remembered Big Bop in Toronto. That night the band the band would play to a handful of people, a scene that was echoed throughout their documentary. With their latest aptly-titled album “Hope In Hell” having just dropped in May, the band is now two records deep since the release of the film. I had a chance to talk with Lips about the film’s overall impact on the band, and why he thinks there’s no point in Anvil creating more commercial music.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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