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Anvil: Metal’s “Comeback Kid”

“It’s a struggle to make it. It’s a struggle once you do make it, to stay there and it’s a struggle to survive even if things go down. It ever ends. And all I want to do is just keep doing it. I’ve been living the dream and I’m so grateful and every moment is being appreciated ten times to the level it might have been if I had made it when I was young.” - Steve "Lips" Kudlow, guitarist/lead singer of Anvil (quote from the interview above)

Every so often, a documentary comes along that inspires you to keep on having a dream.

To me that film is “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”.

Anvil is a Toronto-based heavy metal act that goes back to the 1970s. For a time in the early 80s, Anvil was expected to be the next big thing. Their shows and records were popular with fans and even other hard rock bands such as Slayer, Guns n Roses and Metallica.

But by 2005 the band was hitting a rough patch. Gigs were hard to come by and the day jobs for the band’s two original members, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, were a serious drag on their creativity.

Then an old roadie who went on to have success as a Hollywood screenwriter decided to make a documentary about his old friends, Anvil.

“Anvil: The Story of Anvil” was released a few years ago to receive glowing reviews. With a 98% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes review site, here’s what some of the critics have to say:

“Now THIS is Spinal Tap.”Washington Post

“I don't know if their music is any good. Their fans think so. The doc doesn't show one song all the way through. But they swore a pledge when they were 14, and they're still honoring it, and at 51, Lips knows he still has it and that Anvil will be back on the charts. Maybe there is hope for Susan Boyle.”Roger Ebert

On Saturday October 22nd, Anvil will bring its rock show to the Token Lounge in Westland for a Detroit area show. The concert is in support of Anvil’s new greatest hits record, “Monument of Metal”.

I had a chance to talk to Steve “Lips” Kudlow about the band, the film, life and previous gigs in Detroit (we haven’t been the best or biggest fans). Check out the interview above.

Here’s one of Anvil’s best known tracks “Metal on Metal”.