Anvil: Alive And Kickin’
They made a pact to rock together forever. They meant it. Ahead of Canadian cult metal heroes Anvil’s tour this month, we spoke with frontman and founding member Steve “Lips” Kudlow about band life in 2014, their infamous documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, and what the future holds.
Last time you were here you were part of Soundwave Festival. How was that experience overall? Can you tell us about your campaign to be involved again in 2014?
The experience playing Soundwave was absolutely amazing! We are forever grateful for that experience. These kind of presents are far and in between! We now have yet another incredible opportunity that may prove to be an even bigger present than the last time. Playing our own shows and being able to do our complete set is more satisfying as a performer and musician. I live for those moments so the more I get the better it is!
Since your return to world stage in a big way in the late 2000s (not to discount your consistent output), which countries have been the most receptive to the Anvil experience and what are you favourite places to tour?
The most supportive place is Germany. We have some of the strongest fanbases there, however most of the popularity is spread out over Europe and a lot in Scandinavia. The record labels in Germany have been a great source of support and they know we are popular throughout the entire region. There really isn’t a favourite place… Everywhere has special aspects and we love it all. Certainly Australia is somewhat similar to Canada, being close in population and demographics. Being a British colony we share the Queen on our money, so it’s like being in another version of home and we love it!
Your catalogue is mammoth, how do you go about selecting a setlist for a tour?
We tend to play standardised setlists when we’re out on the road – current stuff mixed with old classics.
Tell us a little bit about the mission statement you had for your last album, Hope In Hell, and returning to your roots.
I’m not sure we were on a mission as much as just continuing in our traditional way. We’ve found ourselves and now recognise how our past is significant in how we proceed.
Is there any chance of a sequel to your documentary? What kind of ups and downs have there been between 2008 and 2014?
There’s been lots of talk and demand about doing another movie, however nothing concrete has been decided. A great deal has already transpired without documentation, yet I lived it! The sequel was amazing!
How’s the relationship between the two core members these days?
Better than ever! Robbo [Reiner, drums] and I are like brothers.
Following the film release did you feel there was a need to really prove there was value in the band and not just the film? If so do you feel you achieved that?
Yes, there was a need to prove our musical and performance abilities. But having said that, you never stop trying to be the best you can. The reality is we are who and what we are and will remain as true to form until we die. We still have not contrived a “hit single” or gone off in a weird direction trying to win popularity… We have improved because the desire is demanding it.
What artists and albums are keeping you inspired these days?
Black Sabbath’s 13, and Deep Purple’s Now What?! – best recordings in a long time!
What can Aussie fans expect from an Anvil club show VS. an Anvil festival show?
I will be right in your face! It will be up close and personal, which is what real rock’n’roll is about!
Although it’s early days, have you started working on a new album?
We have written most of our 16th album but we probably won’t begin recording until about a year from now. When we tour, we will be playing three tracks from our newest release, Hope In Hell.
Anvil Tour Dates
Thu Nov 6th – Astor Lounge, Perth (18+)
Fri Nov 7th – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (18+)
Sat Nov 8th – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane (18+)
Sun Nov 9th – The Hi-Fi, Sydney (18+)
Mon Nov 10th – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (18+)