ANVIL Mainman LIPS Discusses His Singing Technique

ANVIL mainman Lips recently spoke to freelance writer Michael Schübeler about the group's songwriting process and their previous releases, among other topics. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

Q: For this kind of music you sing very melodic. Is it hard work for you to find the right melodies?

Lips: "No. Quite honestly I didn't even know what I was gonna sing until I went and did it! I wrote all the lyrics and went into the studio completely unprepared! I put the song onto the headphones and I start singing — and I make it up as I go along, haha! I don't know… 'cause I consider myself more as a guitar-player, so everything is more a technical thing to me. I know the variables as a guitar-player what I could do with my voice. Basically the chords tell you what to sing anyway. It's nor here nor there, whether I've done it with the band or practised it or anything 'cause really at the end of the day you end up doing the only thing you could do. 'Cause that's what you're forced to do: You're forced to do what you're capable of and nothing beyond that. That's it!"

Q: But your voice has many different facets — which I haven´t noticed before until I listened to some ANVIL records in a row.

Lips: "Because I've never put it all on one album! That's why. I did a lot of different things this time because I wanted to try to sort of write an album as if nothing had happened since 1983, totally as if there was nothing… like time stopped. And I went back, and I'm gonna write from this point on, not from 2000 and then on. You know what I'm saying? I ignored all those influences and everything that has happened in my way that I wrote, in using influences that are only old, as well as some riffs that I wrote 20 years ago!"

Q: Is touring very hard for your voice?

Lips: "No, not so much that. It's getting sick. That's the biggest downfall on tour. Nature takes its course. There's nothing you can do about it. It's like stopping the rain. You can't stop the rain, you know, if it's gonna rain it's gonna rain! If you're sick you're sick! There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. And 85 to 90 %, on the road you get sick. You're living in confined quarters with many people. You're not sleeping properly, you're not eating properly and before you know it you're sick! That's what it is."

Download the entire interview as a Word document at this location.


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