Tori Stafford of the Kingston Whig-Standard recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On whether he’s ever surprised the band is still together and rocking some 40-plus years after its formation:
Lips: “What, that ANVIL‘s still together? Hell, no, Man! Not at all. You have to understand that when you talk about two guys that started in 1973, we were just 15 or 16 years old. I mean, would we have ever thought at that point that I’d be doing it when I was 56? Well, probably not. But at the same time, it’s no big surprise.”
Lips: “Nothing could feel more at home and more normal, really. We’re one of those bands that kind of loves to be on the road, we’re not one of those bands that can’t wait to get home. It’s usually the opposite. But I think what that has to do with is a long, long period of deprivation.”
“The schedules are extraordinarily hectic at some points where you don’t really sleep. Sometimes there is no time, and I’ve found myself asleep in change rooms an hour before stage. But you sleep when you can.”
On recently being approached in London’s Heathrow Airport by a small man in a long coat and a hat that turned out to be Ian Anderson of JETHRO TULL:
Lips: “He had a solemn voice, a deep voice, one that I knew, but couldn’t place for the life of me. He told me he wanted to let me know how inspiring and life-changing the movie was for him. He said ‘It made me put my band back together and back on the road. How out there is that?! But it feels amazing. I want to be humble, but it really is a great feeling to have people searching me out to let me know they have respect for the band and what we’ve done.”
On putting on a really great show:
Lips: “As much as this band is about the love of metal, I’ve learned recently there’s a lot more to performing than just loving the metal. I love to entertain. People come away from ANVIL shows with a smile on their faces having just seen a great show. It’s not normal, I guess, for a metal band — we don’t inspire punching someone out, or Satan worshiping. But we have enough angst to keep die hard metal lovers happy, and entertain a whole age range, from the kids of today to elderly rockers.”
On whether he is ever surprised that ANVIL can still pull in an audience, still fill the seats after all these years:
Lips: “I think I’m more surprised when we don’t! It truly has been a hard and long road to get here, and it’s more of a surprise when we don’t do well than when we do… At this point. Because it used to be the other way around!”
Read more from Kingston Whig-Standard.