To make it you have to be in the right place at the right time, that’s a given. However, this took decades for Anvil. It was only recently, well into their 50s, when the legendary heavy metal Canadian band have happened to stumble onto the right place at the right time. That’s not to mention their ridiculously notable influences on tremendous bands such as Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax! How did they slip under the radar so rapidly?
It all started with two teenage boys; Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, who made a pact to rock’n’roll. This over the years lead to them rocking out with high profile rock bands, but their time didn’t seem to come for them. A number of factors could’ve contributed to this unfortunate fate, but it just goes out to show how cruel and ignorant the music industry generally can be. In the 2008 rockumentary ‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’ you can clearly witness the band’s frustration as Lips dedicatedly distributes Anvil’s latest music deeply hoping on the chance of a major label noticing them. To much of Anvil’s demise they are still not taken on, but at the end of the rockumentary they get offered a place at a notorious Japanese rock festival, which is a big step for the band already.
Up to now Anvil have recorded up to fifteen albums, and yet they still work in day-to-day jobs supporting their families whilst dreaming of how else they will tackle that rock’n’roll dream to make it a reality. Perhaps over the decades this could’ve been due to the band’s lack of management, the fact that it is them doing it by themselves. This has come with the worse, they’ve not been paid the amount of money that they deserve for their genius and innovative art of music. These guys have gone on to influence HUGE bands, and yet you don’t know who the hell they are? In the rockumentary they humbly tell us whilst sitting in an ice-cream parlour about this great song about the Spanish inquisition ‘Thumb Hang’ that they’ve had in mind for decades but never really got to record properly. You can now find that same song on their 2012 album ‘This Is Thirteen’, it’s a hell of a song.
In the 2010’s the band’s popularity has risen up, and finally they’ve been selling out shows, like how they should’ve been doing for a while now. In fact, they’ve also been getting paid for their efforts, like how they should’ve been getting paid for decades now.You simply cannot dismiss their dedication, they have been at it ever since their teens up until now as middle-aged men, and we haven’t taken any notice! They’re the artists that clearly do not do it for the money, nor for the fame, they do it for the passion. The most satisfying thing to watch as a huge lover of music is Lips’ smiling face as he checks his emails to find that the band have a place at a high profile rock festival, all after having bursted at the seams with anger when disgustingly selfish club managers refuse to pay the band.
There’s a lesson that you can learn from the ‘underdogs’ who CLEARLY should be above all those bands that they have influenced over the years. They were first, they planted the ideas on this tree of rock’n’roll that continues to grow. Go listen to all of their albums, ALL of them (and there’s PLENTY of them), and let their own music speak for themselves. That’s where you can hear real dedicated musicians who have continued to believe in their dreams even when the world rejected them. Their song ‘666’ from their 1982 album ‘Metal on Metal’ is an absolute legend, it is smartly constructed both lyrically and instrumentally. That’s the album where you can see how Anvil might’ve influence heavy metal giants such as Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. Thank you, Anvil, for never giving up!