"Rock Hard With Jay Conroy" recently conducted an interview with frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what territories ANVIL had a record deal while opening up for larger bands during the early part of their career:
Lips: "Not in the United States. Everywhere and anywhere else but the United States, which, of course, was the important place to have had a record deal and been distributed and put on tour. We missed that ship. It left the port and we were left behind and that was the end of it and there was no catching up. Once you lose that momentum and four years of being out of the scene completely because, of course, there was no record deal at all, so we're not even fulfilling our following and stuff in Japan or in the U.K. or in Germany, where we were doing really well. We lost our momentum."
On members of ANTHRAX, GUNS N' ROSES and METALLICA citing ANVIL as an influence:
Lips: "Who were they going to credit? In North America, there really wasn't anything to credit. There's no one else to credit. To be honest with you, there was nothing else. That was another part of the problem, because we were doing… You know, when [former AEROSMITH manager] David Krebs is watching us playing '666' and 'Motormount', he's going, 'You guys shouldn't be doing songs like that. No one understands it.' Including himself! He was going, 'You shouldn't be playing songs like '666'.' That's where SLAYER and METALLICA picked up the ball and ran with it and left us in the dust. They completely did not understand what the hell we were spearheading and what we were doing. Just, 'These guys were hot.' He thought we were one of the greatest live acts he's seen in his life, but he thought we were completely inaccessible as far as radio was concerned. He knew it was all about the live arena that we needed to be exposed. But without a record deal, none of the promoters are going to be interested. It was like a Catch-22. There was no way. It was not in the stars for us to connect at that point in time. Now, the way that everything played out, of course, we went the hard route and we put out 12, 13 albums. [Laughs] We didn't stop, nothing stopped us. We just kept on going, regardless of what was going on in the music business at the time, regardless of where that might be, whether it's United States, England, U.K., Japan, whatever. None of that really mattered. We just kept on going. We didn't really get a further chance until '87. By then, we were kind of background noise. It wasn't like we were in the forefront. You lose your momentum and credibility when you've not been in the scene. You can't make up for lost time. But having said that, loading the gun, you keep loading the gun and loading the gun. By the time 2006 rolls around, we were really loaded for bear. Along comes an old friend [Sacha Gervasi] who we were good to when he was a kid. We were good to him when he was a kid, comes back when he's in his 30s as a successful screenwriter for Steven Spielberg and goes 'I'm going to make a movie for you.' The ANVIL ship came in, so to speak. Had all that shit we'd gone through not happened, there would be no movie. When I saw David Krebs 30-plus years later, here in New York, showing up at The Village Theater, out here in New York, I go up to him, 'Thank you so much for fucking me over. Because you know what? We both wouldn't be standing here right now had you done good.'"
On the enduring effect 2008's "Anvil: The Story Of Anvil" documentary has had on the band's career:
Lips: "The thing is, when people make documentaries, they make documentaries about retrospect. That doesn't work. Ultimately, that does not work. That's what the biggest difference about that movie was. It's not about telling about tales of the past and how great you were. It's not about that. It's about how great we are now and where we're going now, in the moment, and not blowing bullshit. It's not bullshit. And that's the other thing: Everybody who makes a video or a DVD, it's all blowing fucking fan shit. It's, like, 'We are great!' They don't show any of the hardships, any of the stuff that really is the truth. There's a dozen great bands and thousands of bands that are like ANVIL. Thousands. Way more like ANVIL than there is that have made it; no question about it. And if you're one of the bands that make it, going out and making a movie, who gives a shit? You already made it! [Laughs] What are you even doing it for? And if you're successful and you come in with the approach that you're not happy with your success, then you come across [like METALLICA's] 'Some Kind Of Monster'. It's, like, 'What's wrong with you fucking guys? You got the world at your fucking feet! You're fucking whining and complaining and going to rehab!' It's the polar opposite. A band who has had nothing but hardships its whole fucking existence has a brighter outlook and is fucking happier to be onstage than a pig in shit. It makes no fucking sense. But, on the other side of it, it makes a lot of sense, because human nature is to whine and complain, even when there's nothing to whine and complain about. [Laughs] But when there really is stuff to whine and complain, then what do you have to do? You have the opposite: I'm gonna make it better. I'm gonna have a brighter future. You close the door on the negativity and only think about the positive. Because when you're in a positive universe, all you can worry about is the negative coming in. That's what the difference is. You can't hope, as a successful band or a successful musician, to make a DVD and do what ANVIL did because you're gonna just come across as a whiny little fucking baby. What are you complaining about? And then, if you go out and go how great you are, then you're coming across as a fucking rock star. You think you're fucking great. You come across as a pompous piece of shit. So what's the right chemistry? What ANVIL did. And you can't reproduce that. You need 30 years in obscurity and hard work and hardship and fucking a dozen albums and the credibility that other musicians who have made it look at you as you're something to look to up to and something that inspired them. That's what's different about ANVIL that makes it different, is you've got Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA], and you've Slash [GUNS N' ROSES], and you've got Lemmy [Kilmister, MOTÖRHEAD]… and the list is huge. It's not about patting myself on the back. It's about them patting me on the back. I'm not saying shit. I don't go around telling people I'm great. People tell me I'm great. And that's what the difference is. That's not my job to go around telling people how great I am. Let the word spread from what I do and how I go about doing it. That's what it's all about."
ANVIL will enter Soundlodge studios in Rhauderfehn in the northwest of Germany in October to begin recording their new album for a 2020 release. The band's most recent studio album, "Pounding The Pavement", was released in 2018.