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Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Robb Reiner “Robbo”, G5 (Anvil)

Interview with Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Robb Reiner “Robbo”, G5 from Anvil
by Kontogeorgakos Dimitris, Maria Voutiriadou at 03 September 2010, 3:09 AM

We have done many interviews but we have both to admit that this one was at least special. I mean, meeting three guys totally dedicated to music and talking them just like old friends is simply gold. So, after their impressive appearance to this year’s ‘Graspop Metal Meeting’ we met Steve "Lips" Kudlow (SK), Robb Reiner "Robbo" (RR) and G5 at the artists’ lounge and had a really nice conversation with an atmosphere that is impossible to be put in words. So, the least you can do is read what these guys had to tell us. And if you are in a new band, please write down some notes…

(all photos taken from www.MySpace.Com/AnvilMetal)

Hey guys many congrats on your live performance! You looked great!
SK: You think so? Thanks guys! Really appreciate this.

So, how is the tour so far?
RR: Lots of fun. Every show has been great so far, every show.

Do you have any live footage to put on a DVD release?
RR: We are not filming, some fans did this though. I have today’s footage right here (shows his jacket’s pocket) already. A fan and friend of us filmed our entire show today.

Wow! We need a copy from that (laughs). Ok, things have been really busy with ANVIL, how does it feel?
SK: Good, good.
RR: That’s the target for us, to have fun.
SK: We’re doing what we’ve always dreamed of; making our living from the band and playing everywhere all the time!

So, eventually, you can make your living from ANVIL?
SK: Eventually, we are! So, we don’t have regular jobs anymore.

-‘Lips’ with a big smile on his face-

Your smile says it all (pointing ‘Lips’ - laughs). Ok, how do you feel that it took a DVD and a book, in some way, to realize people that ANVIL deserve more than they got the previous years?
SK: We got extraordinary lucky. We were at the right place in the right time. Everything has happened… we made an impact in early times for Heavy Metal and influenced so many bands and we never got our due.

You have inspired all these bands that are in ‘Big4’ now. You were a big influence to them and now are in the ‘Big4’ but eventually, you did it!
SK: That’s right! That’s called justice, a very hard one. It didn’t come easy. And because of that, we are a lot more into understanding what’s going on, about our music, our position, what’s happening, everything. If this had happened when I was 20 years old, I wouldn’t respect it in the same way, how could I? It took 30 years working on these things, you know…

So, all this is a kind of a journey…
SK: It was a journey, of course and this journey continues and the thing that people must understand is that this journey matters and not the things you have to gain and how soon might that happened, but the journey to get there. And it’s elusive because the bigger you get and comes all that pressure, you have also to stay there. So, it never really changed us; our jobs stayed the same, we still must be great in our performances, we still must write great songs, we still gotta be polite and thankful to our audience, regardless of how big or small you are, the job never changes!

In the vinyl edition of “This Is Thirteen” you have re-recorded “Metal On Metal” and “666”; why?
SK: Because we needed 24 track-recordings of the songs to put them on, so we have to re-record them.
RR: Because the original 24 track-recordings of these songs are gone, they don’t exist.

Have you ever thought of re-recording the two first ANVIL albums to release them and avoid all the problems with the record label?
SK: We are sort of, now.
RR: We are recording a number of that stuff that is going to appear on a CD pretty soon.

What about a record label? ‘Lips’, you said on the live that you don’t care about it, and it’s only you (the band) and them (the fans).
SK: We are making more money without them! We might not sell the numbers that we could, but we are making the hell of a lot more money. Record companies all long-sharks, organize crime. They treat you like a prostitute, that’s what it is! You are gonna make money for them and that’s exactly what you do. It cost them a dollar or maybe less -65 cents- to make a CD and they give you the advance of, let’s say 10.000 dollars. But you have to sell 10.000 copies of your CD to get your money, before you see one cent! That’s insane, that’s crime!

Has this situation with the record labels changed all these years?
SK: The things are changing because the record labels going under and the reason is the internet and the availability that people have to download music and share it and there is no real way actually to make money from recording music. So, the only way is get popular via internet, and play music live and sell the merchandise and working. That’s how you are making money in the music industry.

How about the upcoming ANVIL album, "Juggernaut Of Justice"?
SK: Well, we are going to record it after we have finished this tour.

In the latest album you sound more Heavy than the previous; is the new album in the same direction?
RR: It’s gonna be in the same direction but with more energy, we have Metal jazz songs, something new.

That’s because of you, Rob, since you are into jazz?
RR: Oh, I love jazz.
SK: I do, too.
RR: We are gonna record it on September / October, we will enter studio then in Los Angeles, we are not sure yet about the producer. So, we want to make a step closer to our future, you know?
SK: Yes, a step beyond, so, we know what the results maybe but we have to find the best way to do it, we have to made these decisions. And we believe on this, more than everything we’ve ever done before. Note also that after all this publicity and the success that ANVIL movie had, all the huge music magazines have now pictures of us and even the prime Minister’s wife of England get pictured with us. One year and a half after “This Is Thirteen” release, we arrange our first interviews and the list becomes bigger! The 80% of ANVIL’s audience today is all new people.
RR: We’ve been re-discovered by our old fans and discovered by new people.
SK: Because many people believed that we stop making albums after our third release. Particularly, in America.

America is a tough place.
SK: America is a really tough country. It’s a hugely populated place and it’s monopolized. So hard to penetrate; the only way to reach the people there is through tv and radio. We are a Metal band, how we’re gonna do it? No radio play, ever, nothing.

Will you go on US and tour again?
RR: We have a date I think, on September 6th at Seattle.

Now, I want to ask a question to Glenn; Ok, these guys are together since forever. Do you feel like a family with those guys?
G5: Absolutely, they are like my big brothers.

Have you ever felt like ‘Oh, I cant do this anymore I want to quit’?
G5: No, never. Since the day I joined them, I knew it was the band I ever wanted to play with.

What about the new album, do you have a word in the new album or they are tough and don’t let you to express your thing?
G5: No, we write together, all the three of us.
SK: We all write together, absolutely. We are a real band.
RR: All the three of us are a part of ANVIL creation.
G5: From the first album I recorded with them, they gave me the chance to show who I am by participating on that. Now, seven albums later, we still do the same thing; writing songs together.
SK: He was eager to be part of our writing team. So, that’s a good thing. Because we did have members that were not; and that’s why they are not here.

One more question to go: let’s say that you had to give one piece of advice in a new band; what would it be?
SK: Not to do it for money.
RR: Make sure you have fun.
G5: You have to feel it here first (showing his heart) and then the rest will come up naturally.
RR: You have to do it for the right reason, that’s it! Have fun!

Are you still fans of Metal music?
RR: Absolutely, we miss SLAYER on stage right now man! (laughs)

Ok, we don’t have everything else to ask; we read your book, we saw the movie, we love you. Thank you so much for standing al these years with your music.
RR: Thank you for the support.
SK: Thanks for the support, we can use it.

Feel free to say anything you want to, to close this interview.
RR: It’s been too long since we’ve been in Greece, that’s I have to say.
SK: We miss chicken souvlaki.


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Edited 02 February 2023

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