Victoria Holdsworth of Leeds Music Scene conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL before the band’s June 24 concert at Newcastle, England’s O2 Academy. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Leeds Music Scene: How does it feel after the past 23 years to be finally receiving the recognition you deserve from the music world and not just your fans and peers?
Lips: [Lips takes a deep breath and pauses for a moment] It feels victorious! How would anybody feel? When you work at something your whole life, and then finally the doors open, you think, what have I been doing wrong? [laughs] OK, well maybe you don’t ask yourself so much what has been going wrong but… [deep sigh] it’s just incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. I’m not walking around all big-headed, and I haven’t lost it. I am still quite blown away by it all! Most of the time I find myself having to pinch myself, ’cause sometimes I think I’m really not sure, ya know? [laughs] It’s like I fell asleep and all my dreams are coming true, and I’m getting to meet all my favorite rock stars, and they all know me and they all wanna meet me, and shake my hand, and I’m here thinking, what has happened?? It is TOTALLY a dream come true! On every level! So how do I feel about it? I can’t really put it into words. Appreciation is the best! Let’s put it this way. Nothing in life that you didn’t work for has no value. If somebody just gives you a CD for free, it will probably just end up on your shelf, and you won’t listen to it. If you have to pay for it, or you’ve had to work to go pay for it, you value it, and that’s exactly the same scenario that I’m talking about. I’ve worked my whole life for these moments, so I don’t kick it, I don’t take it for granted, and I have a full on appreciation of what’s going on, so I’m not gonna squander it. If I’m making money I’m certainly not gonna start blowing it! It took so long to get here, and I know how fleeting the music business and the whole entertainment world works, and I’m gonna hold onto every penny, and be very, very careful and conscientious of what I’m doing, so yeah, that’s how I feel.
Leeds Music Scene: In the documentary, we saw a massive insight into your continued friendship with the other band members, through all the trouble and strife. What was it about that friendship that made you stick together so vehemently, and what was the hardest part for you to get through over the years?
Lips: It was having the same goals. It’s just like a relationship. A marriage if you like. Relationships are relationships, basically the only difference is we’re not having sex with each other. [laughs] On a mental level there are a lot of things that come together and that’s just the way that it has worked. So having the same goals and aspirations and desires you stay in tune with each other and you run parallel and it’s all good. The only places where we have fallouts is approach. You might have a different opinion on the way we approach the same problem, and that’s where we’re gonna have a difference of opinion, but it’s still to get to the same goal.
Leeds Music Scene: The new album, “Juggernaut of Justice”, which is a fitting title to your plight, is a bit of a smorgasbord of attitudes, rhythms and riffs, with some jazz metal thrown in their for good measure. What was the inspiration behind it?
Lips: Well, we were thinking like the “Metal On Metal” era, and we were looking to create an album that is filled with templates. What I mean by templates is you can take a song like “March of the Crabs” and say that became METALLICA and then you take a song like “666” and that became SLAYER, pick a song like “Stop Me” and that became BON JOVI, or RATT and they’re all templates. You could build a whole band’s repertoire around the sound of one song, and we made an effort to create another bunch of songs that did the same thing. This is the best example that we could come up with, for that type of song and each song is a unique little piece that is not really attached to any of the others, it’s all unique! You can tell that they’re all ANVIL, but they’re very different from each other. It’s like having a flower bed and you growing some chrysanthemums over here, and some daisies but they’re all flowers! They’re not all the same color and they’re all different, but together they make a wonderful looking garden! That’s what we were looking to do.
Read the entire interview from Leeds Music Scene.
Quality fan-filmed video footage of ANVIL‘s June 18, 2011 performance at this year’s edition of Copenhell — the first big, outdoor metal festival in Denmark — in Copenhagen can be viewed below.