ANVIL Documentary Made It Possible For LIPS And ROBB REINER To Quit Day Jobs: 'We're Making A Damn Great Living'

October 5, 2022

A remastered edition of ANVIL's acclaimed documentary, "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil", received its premiere in conjunction with Beyond Fest on September 22 in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater, where ANVIL also performed, along with appearances from surprise musical guests, including ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. This was followed by a question-and-answer session with ANVIL frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, producer Rebecca Yeldham and director Sacha Gervasi, moderated by Steve-O from "Jackass".

In a recent interview with SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Reiner and Kudlow were asked about the fact that although the film was a massive critical success, it failed to put ANVIL in front of significantly larger audiences than had been the case prior to the movie's original release.

"Well, that was never gonna happen," Robb explained. "What was achieved was what we wanted: the band is [now] our shitty day job. [We haven't had to work a regular job] in 15 years. So we're making a damn great living from the band only. That's success to us."

Added Lips: "We're not a pop band."

When host Eddie Trunk pointed out that "neither is IRON MAIDEN," which is nevertheless able to play arenas and stadiums all over the world, Lips countered: "Yeah, but IRON MAIDENwas a pop band, because in 1982 they were all over the radio… I would say 'Run To The Hills' was on the radio every 10 minutes [back in those days]."

Robb went on to admit that ANVIL is still basically an underground metal band with limited commercial appeal.

"There was a disconnect [with the people who saw the film]," he said. "There are movie people who are movie people, and there [are] movie people who are music people. And that's what we experienced. So it wasn't across the board. People stopped at the movie.

"In the movie I say to Lips, I say to him, 'Man, I need this band to rise.' The band has risen, compared to the movie," Robb noted. "We can get more popular, sure."

Added Lips: "We're not a radio-oriented band — never have been, never aspired to be. That's not what this was about. It's about metal — metal is an underground thing. And the more above ground, the less… Less is more. You don't really wanna get above ground; then you end up not liked."

Continued Robb: " MOTÖRHEAD is a great template for us. So whatever you wanna look at that... Whatever Lemmy did, that was great."

Lips said: "What we're saying is they're not a commercial success. They didn't sell millions and millions of copies of their records. Anything that's real metal won't really do that, in my opinion."

The remastered "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil" will be released in theaters this fall and on digital later this year via Utopia alongside Portobello Electric. The new version of the film will arrive in time for its 13th anniversary and will feature remastered picture and sound, as well as a new exclusive epilogue interview with Gervasim Kudlow and Reiner moderated by former MTV host Matt Pinfield.

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" was named one of 2009's best documentaries by a slew of film critics associations across the continent, including critics in Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Las Vegas, as well as the International Documentary Association, the Online Film Critics Society, and the National Society of Film Critics. It also made the year-end Top 10 lists in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Village Voice.

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" was the directorial debut of screenwriter Gervasi and was produced by Yeldham ("The Kite Runner" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"). The film follows Kudlow and Reiner and their band, ANVIL, which released one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's "Metal on Metal". The album influenced an entire musical generation of rock bands, including METALLICA, SLAYER, and ANTHRAX, who all went on to sell millions of records. ANVIL, on the other hand, took a different path — straight to obscurity. The film was both entertaining and touching as it followed their last-ditch quest for the fame and fortune that has been so elusive to them.

ANVIL's latest album, "Impact Is Imminent", arrived in May via AFM Records.

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