By Alex Lloyd Gross
Anvil, the band that has kept together for 36 years is coming to Philadelphia. This band, according to Steven "Lips" Kudlow never really went away. They have stayed together since their inception. " I don't do this to be a household name, I do this cause I love it and always will. I want to put a face to everyone of our fans", Kudlow said during a recent interview.
"Lips", as he is better known as, says that "Rob's dad ( drummer Rob Reiner) called me that and it stuck and it came to be. Basically it came to be cause I like to talk", Kudlow said. According to Lips. meeting fans is paramount. "I stay after the show and meet them." Fans of Anvil come out of nowhere. Take for example, the premiere of their docudrama Anvil, the story of Anvil "I take a look out in the audience of the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, and there is Dustin Hoffman with his fist in the air singing "Metal on Metal". Or the time they are at the Village East Theater in NYC and on the balcony is Coldplay.
Anvil will be at the Theater-of-the-living-arts Jan 17 . At this show, Lips said"we play a cross section of material, but the show is dominated by the first three albums. That's the stuff that made the initial impact and the stuff that people know us and what they are expecting to hear. That's what they are going to get", Lips said. On this tour, there is an opening act in some cities. in others"The movie will be", Lips said. When pressed further about the Philly show, he admitted "I don't know, I'll find out when I get there, just like everybody else".
While Anvil first started in the late 1970's, Steve and his friend Robb Reiner made a vow to keep playing in this band forever. One of the songs on the new release, This is 13, is called "Thumb Hang", and according to Lips, it was written in 1974, "by kids". This is 13 is the 13th studio album put out by Anvil.
Things were going slow for Anvil, when the band would play an occasional show or tour, They never really achieved the stardom and success they deserved. Lips would work at a fish factory "For eight years I was delivering fish to places all over the city. That was very strenuous work, it was hard labor but it kept me in top physical form " He also worked at a catering hall which is where he is seen in their movie. That's where things changed for the band.
Sacha Gervasi was a young teenager in the 1980's. He conned his way backstage at an Anvil show and the next thing he knew, he was one of their roadies on a North American tour. It is that kind of karma that came back to Anvil in a very large way. Gervasi lost touch with Anvil, and the bands popularity waned.
Fast forward 20 years or so and Gervasi got back in touch with his friends. They got together and made a docudrama , showing what Anvil was going through that minute. From an incredible friendship between Lips and Reiner , to scenes that show a club owner in Europe refusing to pay after a blistering set by Anvil. Missed trains, venues too small to turn around in and all the time in pursuit of an elusive recording contract. Anvil were told they were too old or too loud. Anvil proved them wrong and released This is 13 on their own.
When the movie was released in the United States, part of Anvil's publicity was a sit down with Eddie trunk on http://www.vh1classic.com/ That metal Show. That really set the ball rolling downhill for Anvil, as VH1 classic picked up the distribution of the CD. New tours, and new opportunities await Anvil now. The band is busier than ever.
They still have time to meet fans, and Anvil's fans are loyal. Back in the 1980's prior to the internet, fans across the country would make fanzines and newsletters and mail them to friends all across the globe. That was social networking back in the day. There were so many articles written about Anvil in the underground press that the band never saw 80 percent of it. Today, with the internet, Anvil fans are everywhere. "I go to my hotel room and the show we just played is on Youtube" , Lips said. Fans have their own websites devoted to the band, and they see most of it.
Anvil just got off the road with AC/DC and a few weeks ago, "I bumped into Doc McGhee who is Kiss' manager, and he said that Gene Simmons saw the movie and loved it, and loves the band, and was thinking of helping us out", Lips said Going out on the road with KISS would help catapult Anvil into the level of fame they really deserve.
For more info on Anvil, check out www.myspace.com/anvilmetal Or