Steve “Lipps” Kudlow
Questions by Celtic Bob & EvilG
Live Photos by Marko Syrjala
Just want to start by saying that the new album is killer. I found it to be slightly more commercial than JUGGERNAUT OF JUSTICE. Was that a conscious decision or did it just turn out that way?
What ever we did was a result of working with Bob Marlett on Juggernaut of Justice. His influence had an effect on how we arranged our songs. We made sure that our choruses were identified musically as well as vocally. I suppose a well organized arrangement comes off as commercial but trust me after 15 albums with no radio support… radio isn’t what we were going after. It was about an audience being able to remember the songs by title without struggling!!!
Were the songs written while on the last tour?
Robb and I wrote the songs following an 18 month run with Juggernaut of Justice. We went into rehearsal and began putting the songs together in the fall of last year and by January the cd was completed.
For the last album, Anvil toured pretty much from coast to coast playing for the first time ever in NL! Any chance of a return visit and another cross Canadian tour?
I really can’t say at this point in time if we will return, it strongly depends on promoters confidence in the band.
Has touring become more rewarding for you now since the documentary?
Touring has always been rewarding and in fact is what we derive the most pleasure and fulfillment from. The documentary just made it possible for us to tour more frequently and therefore making life a lot more rewarding.
Have things returned to “normal” for you or has the the film kept your profile high?
It will never be what was…or normal again……you can’t remove or diminish what still thrives unless death itself takes it away. So long as Anvil continues so does the fame. When and where ever we play the movie shadows and revives at every show. As people watch the movie over and over they also come to our shows over and over. There are more people everyday still seeing the movie for the first time. The fact is that there are far more people that have seen it and are going to see it than the movie’s first or second year out. This particular movie is not like a regular film that comes and goes…it’s content is about a real living subject. So long as the subject stays active the movie stays relevant…and may stay relevant long after our death…and may even be taken far more seriously in the future than any of us realize.
Now that the mainstream attention that Anvil has received from the doc has lessened to a degree, is it back to business as usual or did the film open doors that remain open?”
From my perspective the requirements will never change regardless of successes or failures. I put out 100% at my performance at all times and push myself beyond my own expectations. This is business as usual and has been since day one. The movie without any doubt changed our level of public awareness which will remain however it’s up to the public what they prefer to listen too. If people thought that Anvil would suddenly begin selling like ACDC they may have been over enthusiastic and unrealistic. Certainly because of the awareness we’ve been able to continue at a much higher level than we’ve ever known. We have been touring all over the world and done extremely well with audiences everywhere. We continue to do so. The most important element is having a large enough fan base now to afford proper recording and production. Our old original fans supported us through years and continue too and we are overwhelmed with gratefulness to them. Since the movie we have acquired a massive following of new young fans, many the teen age children….some are our original fans kids!! We are thankful to them as well and maybe more… This is a tremendous achievement for any band. We are truly honored and privileged to have such a circumstance
Do you think Anvil is finally starting to get some of the respect it deserves?
I think we are getting the respect we earned.
Have you been given the freedom to quit your “Day Job”?
Years ago now!!!
With the industry changing so quickly is it harder for the band now as compared to the early days?
Far harder!!! It’s true you can record in your bedroom these days and the costs become virtually meaningless, however selling music is like selling air. Everyone is getting it for free!! There is no infrastructure to let people know about your music…advertising isn’t worth doing because there’s no return. So how does a band get known? Record companies are almost all gone. To be brutally honest….I wouldn’t want to be starting out in this day and age!!!
Has the digital era helped get your music to new fans?
There is no doubt that more people have been exposed to Anvil due to the digital era…and it’s helped build our following, but in the end , all bands are being ripped off and the industry has all but fragmented into indie labels and struggling bands trying to get people to buy a song at a time that ends up on youtube anyway before the first dozen downloads. Music has become nothing more than the advertisement for people to come see your band and maybe buy a t shirt. Our music is completely available for free on youtube. You can create your own playlist or even download it into your player. We have completely accepted this reality and use it to our benefit. We run a facebook page and post our music for people to listen too. It’s not for money, it’s for spreading the music around, which in turn brings people to our shows.
Your back catalog has been re-issued on CD, are there any plans to release them on LP in the future?
Every Anvil title has been on vinyl at one point…some are very rare but none the less are out there. I believe SPV pressed Worth the Weight recently.
HOPE IN HELL is your second album for The End Records. Do you feel you have found a permanent label?
If they stay in business and so do we anything is possible!!!
Will there be a video for any song from the new album?
There will be two videos….Badass Rock and Roll and Eat Your Words….
How involved are you in the album design and packaging?
Directly involved…complete control of everything
What’s with the new album title? Is Anvil giving hope to people in a symbolic hell?
You know what it is when you look at it, but some people aren’t sure. Noah’s Arc in hell…but in this depiction the arc is an Anvil – aircraft carrier rescue ship on a sea of molten lava in a world that’s an apocalyptic hell. It maybe that my own world is a living hell and Anvil is my only sanctuary….or it maybe just my way of saying find what you love in life climb aboard and loose the horrendous hell you hate.
What does the future hold for the band?
Anything you’d like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules?
I thank all of you for supporting Anvil all through the years. We Hope in Hell we come play near you soon!