An Interview with
that took place at O2 Academy on Wednesday 7th July, 2010 by Glenn Milligan & feat. Alan Shooter
Glenn: How’s it feel to be back in the UK?
Robb Reiner: It feels good man. We were here a few weeks ago. We’re kinda here a lot. it’s really good. The UK’s been good to Anvil. I like it here. I’ve always liked it here. The 1st couple went great. We had a lot of fun being discovered and re-discovered.
Glenn: What would you say the highlights have been so far on the UK dates or on the German dates as well with Girlschool?
Robb: The Highlights?
Robb: The fact that we’ve played for more than 5 people. How about that?
Glenn: That’s gotta be one hasn’t it?
Robb: Yeah – that was a really big hightlight for us.
Glenn: How did you come about touring with Girlschool?
Robb: Lips can tell you that.
Lips: What was that?
Robb: Well they’re friends of ours.
Lips: It was from our Booking Agent. We’ve been friends with them since ’81. When we were signed to go out I asked the agent if it would be possible to have Girlschool so he looked into it and it seemed we could – as simple as that.
Glenn: Awesome. Sounds Good. How was the DJ set that you did at the White Trash ?
Robb: It was awesome man. It was so much fun that I kinda thought that actually I could do that for a living.
Glenn: What things did you get to play?
Robb: Oh we played everything. We played Sabbath, Priest, Frank Marino, Hendrix, Deep Purple – all classic good sh*t.
Lips: We love rock. It’s evil – love that.
Robb: We played 'Mama Lady May'.
Glenn: How would you say your fans differ country to country with regard to how they applause? Do you get different reactions in different countries or are we all about the same everywhere?
Robb: Similar. I guess it’s similar. Certain ones have some moments that are more intense. It’s pretty similar. There’s a lot of love out there.
Glenn: You’ve no doubt been asked this umpteen times but how was it for you when you played Donington last year?
Robb: Well it was the 1st time for G-Five (Bassist).
Glenn: We were watching ‘The Sory of Anvil’ last night and when you see all those fans in Tokyo it was f*ck*ng amazing.
Robb: It was amazing.
Lips: Donington was great man. We had a great time. I don’t know how many people were there man but it was full. That tent was full.
Glenn: Yeah. I was right at the front with Jason from Friday The 13th Zine and we were just having a blast.
Lips: It was great. It was great returning to the holy ground of Donington – it really was. It was much like a mudfest the 1st time.
Glenn: Yeah, in fact we were there a couple of weeks ago and we just watched Slash and then the heavens opened and we got p*ss wet through for Billy Idol and we couldn’t even stop and wait for Motorhead – we had to get back to the car and get dried off and get something to eat. It was like going back to the heyday again.
What made you decide to cancel ‘The Story Of Anvil’ album?
Robb: That was the soundtrack from it?
Lips: It never got cancelled. It never got started.
Robb: There was talk of us making it but they couldn’t work out the business aspect of it however...
Lips: Basically the label that owned the all early albums wanted too much money for the use of the songs to a point where it became more reasonable to re-record them.
Glenn: Wow – it’s crazy it’s all about money this business – it doesn’t make sense to me at times.
Lips: It’s the music business man – greed! Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme gimme and then there’s nothing to get.
Glenn: I know, like on the film and it showed you going to all those record companies in LA like EMI and Capital Records to try and get a deal for the album – just trying to get them to listen to your new album – it’s bullsh*t.
Can you see you guys ever releasing those original demos that were shown on the film?
Lips: No – it’ll never happen.
Glenn: What would you say most of all the proudest moments of your careers altogether have been for all 3 of you?
G(lenn) Five (Bassist): Opening up for AC/DC in Giants Stadium and July Stadium and playing Menniketo in Monkton– quite a highlight there.
Glenn: Did you hang out and part with those guys as well?
G-Five: No they kinda showed up when we were on stage. We heard rumours that they’d come up to the stadium to watch us. But I guess when we were getting off stage, they were getting ready to go on so no. I met Angus for about 5 seconds but that was about it.
Glenn: Well you got to see him as such.
G-Five: Yep. It mattered little but we had a great time.
Glenn: What about you too guys? (Lips & Robb)
Robb: Well that was one of them. That’s a good one – the AC/DC sh*t was good.
Lips: To get all 3 of us together again.
Robb: We’ve done a lot of good sh*t together.
Lips: Like the Fillmore West.
Robb: Yeah. Playing the Fillmore West in San Francisco.
Lips: To a packed house. That was pretty amazing. Met a lot of famous people dude. I went to a washroom right – I went to have a f*ck*n’ p*ss and I’m looking in the toilet and I’m going, ‘F*ck*ng Hendrix sh*t here’.
Glenn: So how was it meeting some of your idols – like in ‘The Story Of Anvil’ and you saw Tommy Aldridge. I was thinking like, ‘these guys are idols to some of us’ and we’re all like fans of each other.
Lips: Yeah that’s right. It’s still like that.
Glenn: Did you get to meet Ted Nugent?
Lips: No I never got to talk to him. Mr. Superstar.
Glenn: Yeah it’s bullsh*t.
Glenn: There’s no need for it – we all sh*t, eat, p*ss and drink the same so what’s the big deal?
Lips: Well you know – some guys are just f*ck*n’ so full of themselves.
Glenn: Yeah. What would you say the best and worst things about living in Canada are? I know Canada is a big place but living in your area as such?
Robb: Well the worst thing about it, is that it’s a cold place.
Lips: It can be. Right now in our City it’s 35 degrees centigrade – in f*ck*ng heat right now.
Glenn: It’s extremes ain’t it?
Lips: Yeah extremes.
Glenn: Yeah I have been about a metre into Canada as I put my foot over into Canada on the Derby line.
Lips: The worst thing about Canada is the apathy towards its own talent. They don’t believe in their own talent until it makes it in the United States. If you don’t make it in the United States, Canadians don’t give a sh*t about you and when we do and they are into Canadian bands and make a big thing about it – they are not usually big anywhere else. So that’s some of the bullsh*t aspects in Canada. Otherwise it’s a wonderful place to live – it’s safe. Not that riddled with crime. It’s bad but not that bad.
Glenn: Yeah it’s the same everywhere. Here’s one for ya that Al came up with..
Alan: Blame me.
Glenn: He said, “Have you still got those dildos?”
Alan: Awesome. It wouldn’t be Anvil without them.
Glenn: Where did that idea come from? Was it just like a gimmick to use on stage – something different to get noticed?
Lips: Erm. Well I originally I discovered that the sound of the electric motor comes through my guitar and when we 1st started putting songs together in the early years all the songs were about sex and girls and that so I used to go on and put a vibrator on my guitar.
Glenn: Such as like that one called 'Bondage' & 'Bedroom Thing' too.
Lips: Yeah 'Bedroom Thing and ‘I Want You Both With Me’ and many more of ‘em. Every song is about it.
Glenn: I was playing them to about 1am this morning and thinking, ‘This is ace!’ How was it touring with Saxon?
Robb: Awesome Man. F*ck*ng great guys, great band – it was a great package.
Lips: What we found through talking with them is that there was a lot of common history. It was pretty amazing actually. Parallell. We’re on a parallell universe. (Laughs). Really weird.
Glenn: We saw them the other week at Donington and they played the entire ‘Wheels Of Steel’ album. It was magic – absolutely magic. What would you say the highlights were of playing with Saxon?
Robb: Lips got to jam with them.
Robb: That was a pretty good highlight. I enjoyed it.
Lips: It was Denim & Leather. A lot of fun. At Leeds. In Leeds - that’s where it was when we did that.
Glenn: Awesome. What was one of the weirdest gigs you’ve played?
Lips: Weirdest gigs we’ve played? How about Ivan’s Wedding.
Glenn: Hahaha – that was quality that.
Robb: And the only reason we can’t forget it was because it was our worst gig.
Lips: There was Daniel Boon’s Saloon – how about that. It was a place in Quebec. The guy has this log cabin in the mountains and basically 50 to 80 people up there and there was a party and we played there.
G-Five: How about Leo’s friends where 15 people showed up and it was packed.
The room was as big as this (their dressing room). Seriously – I am not kidding you. Maybe 12 people filled the room.
Lips: Actually there were 30 people there. He charged 10 bucks. It was a ten year ride and we walked out there with 300 Euro.
Glenn: That’s cracking.
Lips: That was a full room. You couldn’t get anyone else in.
Lips: They got a little pub.
Glenn: Yeah – it’s incredible that.
Lips: But what the hell!
Glenn: Yeah exactly.
Robb: What about that guys birthday party?
Lips: Oh yeah – the Kitchener.
Robb: You remember that birthday party (to Lips)?
Lips: We drove in this snow to get to it – we almost got killed.
G-Five: Yeah we almost died but we got all the way there.
Lips: And he felt so band that he gave us f*ck*n’ extra money.
Glenn: Do you plan to bring out like a ‘Story Of Anvil – Part 2’. The continuation - like a DVD of a concert like 1 gig that you’ve played now – after us seeing part of that gig when you played in Japan. It’s become such a big show now.
Robb: Yep. There’s a lot of people do (want that).There’s been talk of doing an Anvil 2 but we just don’t know what, when or where so who knows. Right now it’s the time in our lives to live out the epilogue. It’s great that they want us to do something but not right now.
Glenn: What do you think to metal now as opposed to the heyday. Do you think it’s more healthier now to get known media wise than it was then for younger bands?
Lips: Well right now there seems to be resugence and there seems to be a great deal of attention to the bands from the 80’s. Yeah it’s good. It happens every 20 years or 25 years – something like that. Just like in the 70’s where everybody was listening to Chuck Berry and Little Richard even though their heyday was in the 50’s.
Glenn: What songs do you like playing most of all – do certain songs stand out and you never get sick of playing that one?
Robb: We actually enjoy playing all of them.
Lips: I don’t really get sick of any that we play. We were in a comfortable world in a time you were forced to play other peoples material.
Glenn: Covers and that.
Lips: It doesn’t matter once you play original music – your own sh*t – you don’t care. You never get (sick of it).
Glenn: What touched us about the film itself, apart from being down to earth people but the heart that you’ve got for Anvil is just like... when you get to the end of the film and you see all the eyes of the fans in Japan, you’ve got tears in your eyes and you think, ‘Oh man, the guys have done it’.
Lip: Finally we get some good luck after all the past. Yeah absolutely.
Glenn: It’s like a life-changer watching that film and you look at yourself and think, ‘Now I understand who I am and why Im love it so much’. I mean I don’t get paid for this – I just love the Rock & the Metal.
Lips: Well one day you’ll have a chance of making it really big because you have the right kind of passion.
Lips: You will never get there without that. If you were doing it for money, you would have quit already.
Glenn: Yeah exactly. It’s the passion.
Lips: That’s right.
Glenn: It’s right there (I say, slapping my heart area).
Lips: Where you are driven. When you are driven to do man what’s in your heart and if you’re doing it because you wanna make money it’s a big disappointment and you’re gonna quit because you’re not gonna make money. You gotta do it because you love it and because you like being on stage and it’s a fulfillment – that’s why you do it. If you happen to get paid – great.
Glenn: It’s a bonus ain’t it.
Lips: But if you don’t, you got the other kind – you got fulfillment – right?
Lips: So it’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – it’s the journey there.
Glenn: And that’s what hit me as well.
Lips: Look at how much fun I have had in my life because of the choice of choices.
Lips: That I made. Oh I know I’m not a millionaire. F*ck - in every other way I am a millionaire. I got friends all over the world, I got family, I got everything else.
Lips: You know I got the admiration of other musicians. Man you could be the biggest band – the biggest thing since sliced bread and never get that. You know as massive as say Metallica is, Lars will never get the respect that Robb has. Lars is certainly in a big band and they make tremendous music – everything – all that. But the way that fellow musicians look at you with respect – that’s something that.. you can’t buy it.. you can’t attain it by selling records man. You know it’s something that’s there or it’s not.
Glenn: Well you guys have got it – all three of you.
Lips: I hope so.
Glenn: Well that’s what comes across all the way through the film – even when you are bickering and that. It’s only because you love each other so much, what you do and it gets inside you (the frustration and anger) and you think ‘No – this is what we’re really about – just motor and keep going’.
The guys thank us for the Interview, have a photo a few records signed. Then they completely rock out room number 2 - review of that on the A section of Live Reviews.
A Big thankyou to Jenny Modglin of The Rick Sales Entertainment Group (Management), Dale Tomlinson (Tour Manager), Alan Shooter, Chis & Jeff (Alan's Inlaws), all the staff at O2 Academy and of course Lips, Rob & Glenn of the almighty 'Anvil'.