Old school heavy metal fans place Anvil as the original force that would later become “The Big Four” of the genre: Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth.
They all claim influence from Anvil, as the headbangers from Toronto forged the first blade of Thrash Metal music that would soon wreak havoc on the narcissistic, synthesized pop-style music that plagued the ’80s.
Though initially a four-piece band, the now dubbed “Trinity of Toronto” guitarist-singer Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Drummer Robb Reiner and Bassist Chris Robertson brought metal to The Turf Club supporting last year’s acclaimed Pounding The Pavement.
Regaining popularity and new fans since the 2008 theatrical documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil, which is currently available on Netflix, the band shows no signs of slowing down. They are on regular tours of North America, Europe and beyond as they deliver their music to old school and new fans alike.
Before delivering a blistering heavy metal set, Kudlow sat down with us to discuss how the music scene has changed during Anvil’s 42-year career and what inspires them to keep writing and putting out new material.
MIM: Forty-two years of touring… How has the fan base changed over the years?
Steve “Lips” Kudlow: I think it’s the broadest that it has ever been. Since the movie, we are seeing 20-year-olds, teenagers, and kids. We’re like seeing the Disney characters for some. It’s not like seeing others from our era like Saxxon, or Udo where their fan base is mostly gray or bald. People who come to see us really like bringing their kids.
MIM: Do you think that the movie has inspired others to keep going after their dream, no matter what may be against them?
Kudlow: Particularly among the support bands, they all thank us for inspiring them and setting the pace. Don’t give up, it’s all about the chase.
MIM: With all the advances in technology, do you think that it has helped you or hindered you?
Kudlow: Actually, I think it has been a huge detriment. I think it has actually killed the music industry as we know it, or as I knew it. There is no infrastructure. There is no filtering system, so pure “shit” can get to the top, and it does.
MIM: A lot of bands keep touring on their past. What inspires you to not only keep touring but to keep writing and putting our new material?
Kudlow: Either you have it, or you do not. There is no gray area. You don’t stop, you don’t just run out of shit. If it’s in your heart to write, you keep writing – that’s what I do. I don’t think about running out of ideas, like what, my brain is going to stop working? Every day I think of something new, might be a combination of things. Nothing can stop the brain. Well, maybe an aneurysm?
MIM: Can you give an example?
Kudlow: I wrote the song “Ego.” It could pertain about anyone who has a big ego, but we know certain people who have big egos that are running the world right now. But what am I talking about? Am I talking about my bandmate, am I talking about the President, or am I talking about my Prime Minister, who also has a massive ego. Or our Premier, the guy who runs our Providence. He’s another real son of a bitch with a huge ego.
“I bought a really cool pair of jeans here, once… with zippers.”
MIM: So, before you hit the stage, Any Minnesota memories?
Kudlow: I bought a really cool pair of jeans here when the movie came out right near the theater where the movie was showing. Actually, there is one thing that is not so good about (Minnesota Memories.) We did two screenings here, and one day we did a Q&A and we played immediately right after the movie. We did the first show and everything was just fine, and then we covered the drums with a big black tarp to then let the other audience in. We came back to play again, uncovered the drums and someone had stolen Rob’s cymbal during the movie. We were like, “Welcome to Minnesota.”