Mark Dean of Myglobalmind recently conducted an interview with drummer Robb Reiner of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Myglobalmind: Robb Reiner is widely regarded as an innovator in drumming technique — but how do you view such praise?
Robb: Yes, I’ve been hearing this my whole life and it’s great that one can be an inspiration to so many.
Myglobalmind: As a huge fan from your early releases — “Hard ‘N’ Heavy”, “Forged In Fire” and “Metal On Metal” in the ’80s — I have a particular fondness for that lineup. Are you still personally in touch with Dave Allison and Ian Dickson? In the current trend of band reunions and reformations, is that something that you and Lips have ever considered? Especially when financially times were difficult for the band, and you having to take other jobs etc.?
Robb: In recent years, we have been throwing the notion around of doing a world tour and calling it the “1, 2, 3 Tour”. Which really means that we would only play songs from the first three records, and having said that, there has been discussion of doing it with the original guys, but at this moment, it’s unknown and undetermined if they are physically in the condition to weather the life of rock’ n’ roll for a tour. Regardless of their involvement, we still plan on doing this tour.
Myglobalmind: In retrospect how do you view the ANVIL documentary film? Do you feel it helped with a resurgence in the band, or alternatively largely overshadowed your extensive musical legacy?
Robb: The success of the ANVIL movie brought the band’s story to the world stage. As a result of that, the band has been able to perform in front of tens of thousands of fans over the past four years, notwithstanding the reality that all the band’s back catalog has been re-released and all the fans new and old are rediscovering and discovering the majesty of ANVIL‘s music.
Myglobalmind: From that movie, it’s apparent that both the band, and you and Lips personally have encountered very difficult times. What gives you inner strength and determination to persevere? Was that strength of character passed onto you by your parents? In a more positive era for ANVIL, what motivates and inspires you today?
Robb: The single motivation for keeping a career going is that we have a fan base that loves what we do, hence we love it even more. Creating and writing songs and recording is a passion to live for.
Myglobalmind: Over your extensive musical back catalogue, what are the personal highs and lows for you?
Robb: The personal highs are having made fifteen killer albums with killer tracks that inspired, innovated, pioneered and created a whole genre that still lives on to this day. The lows are that the corporate world missed the boat all along.
Myglobalmind: How do you justify ANVIL‘s place in the current digital age of technology? Has the modern changes in the industry been a benefit or hindrance to bands with a longevity?
Robb: We all miss recording on two-inch tape, but who cares?! We now all have Pro Tools. Pro Tools gives the artist endless creative manipulative processes that the past never had. Is it better or worse? It can make it easier for anybody. I guess we can all thank the digital age for killing the sale of music, i.e. digital downloads.
Myglobalmind: How would you describe your relationship with Lips?
Robb: We have a business relationship, and we create awesome music together, and we smoke dope, and he’s my brother.
Read the entire interview from Myglobalmind.
Photo credit: Grant Yoshino