söndag 4 december 2011

Intervju med Lips Kudlow och Robb Reiner i Anvil!

För några månader sedan hade jag nöjet att ringa upp Robb Reiner i Kanada och prata om nya plattan och lite annat smått och gott.
När de gjorde anhalt i Stockholm tillsammans med Saxon fick jag möjligheten att ta ett nytt snack. Tanken var att det bara skulle ha varit Lips, men Robb kom med som en bonus. Det blev
bl a snack om Frank Sinatra, tidiga inspirationer, filmen "The Green Hornet", uppföljaren till "The story of Anvil" och en del annat.

How´s the tour been going so far?

Lips: Killer! We have a great time!

Robb: Every show´s been killer!

You´ve played with them before, right?

Lips: Yeah, in the UK.

Robb: That was killer too!

Lips: These guys treat us good. We treat each other good. That´s part of it, you know. You gotta get along and we really do. We´ve found out that we have a lot in common, other than heavy drinking. (laughs)

Robb: Musically it´s a great package. These two bands really fit together, so it´s a great package.

Lips: Same era!

Yeah! You´ve been around so long now, but is there a band that has treated you badly? Ever come across that?

Robb: Not in recent years. Everybody´s been real nice to us.

Lips, I was kinda wondering about your last name, Kudlow? What´s the origin of the name?

Lips: Polish! My parents were born in Poland. My Polish name is Kudlowich. My parents moved to Canada in the 30´s. Then they took the “ich” off and shortened it. They didn´t want to have any association with Poland. Poland was very brutal and not a good place at that particular time.

It´s a Jewish name, right?

Lips: Yeah, because it starts with a K. That´s usually the give away! If it starts with a K it must be. (laughs)

Have you been back?

Lips: No, never! They (parents) went back a number of years ago and it was very upsetting. The only thing that my mother said was there was the old church. Everything was gone! The Germans expropriated everything… I mean, that´s part of what the whole thing was about anyway. It was just “Take out the Jews and take everything they ever owned!”. Including their gold teeth or whatever they might even have on them. It was hidden I Swizz bank accounts!

Robb: In the Swizz vaults!

So, you´ve never played there?

Lips: No! We were supposed to on this tour, but as it turned out, we got to go back to Canada and do three shows with Alice Cooper.

Robb: We chose to do bigger and more high profile shows.

Still, those countries in Eastern Europe are really hungry for metal.

Lips: Oh, no doubt! We´ve never been there and it would be great to go there at some point and we will.

You´re nickname Lips, where did that come from?

Lips: Robb´s dad! (laughs)

Robb: As a teenager…

Lips: I do a lot of talking! (laughs)

Robb: He was called Lipsomatic! (laughs)

Lips: The old chief! (Referring to Robb´s dad) I miss the old chief, man!

When I talked to you Robb, we talked about the possibilities of doing another DVD as a follow up to “The story of Anvil”?

Lips: They´ve been talking about it, but right now it´s just talk. I don´t see any cameras! (laughs)

Robb: We haven´t started anything. They´ve talked to us about it and stuff.

Lips: We´re waiting for it to begin. I think they´re looking for specific points in time to begin so… I don´t know what they´re waiting for and it´s not up to me. At this point Sacha (Gervasi, director) is up to his eye balls in projects. They´re trying to put together… they´re making a movie about Alfred Hitchcock with sir Anthony Hopkins and they´ve hired Sacha to direct it and write it, so he´s really busy. Once at least that gets started and they can get into it, we´ll know more of what his schedule is like, so that we can begin the second Anvil movie. It´s not that he doesn´t want to start it, he´s busy and he can´t be in two places at once. He wants to give it his undivided attention.

So since the last movie, there´s been no filming what so ever?

Lips: No!

Robb: Who knows how he´s gonna present it, but he´ll figure it out. There´s ways to show what happened to the band.

Lips: Yeah and there´s plenty of footage. Definitely! There´s tons of footage of gigs if we wanted to compile it. It´s insane! I think there´s more YouTube footage of Anvil than any other band in the world. I don´t even get the chance to dry myself off from stage and my performance is already on YouTube. “Did I make a mistake in that song? Hold on! Gimme a second! Oh yeah, there it is!”. (laughs)

The age of technology! When you started out playing, which was the first song that you learned to play?

Lips: “Satisfaction”! And “Secret agent man”. I think “Satisfaction” was first because it was a little easier. You only needed one string. (laughs) “Secret agent man” was a little trickier because you had to use the B and E string. (sings it) Then I found out years later when I watched it on YouTube and watched Johnny Rivers actually performing the song and I discovered I´d been playing it wrong since I was a kid. (laughs)

What was the first thing you learned to play Robb? Did you play along to records?

Robb: Yeah, I actually did, for many years. Creem records, Hendrix, Deep Purple, Sabbath… I played along to all those records when I was a kid.

Lips: And I used to stand outside listening. “Who is this guy?” (sings the drum beats)

Robb: And of course Cactus!

I´ve got kids myself and I don´t know if I´d buy them a drum kit.

Lips: It´s usually the first thing they want. It usually starts out with the pots and pans.

Robb: I actually had a practice pad before I had a drum kit and I took drum lessons, so I was actually playing and learning a bit before my mother bought me a kit. She wanted to make sure that I was really interested. That´s how it all started.

Did you take any guitar lessons?

Lips: Yeah, of course! They were virtually of no use to me. (laughs) I wasn´t the kind of person that liked to be taught. I like to do things my own way. I´m basically self taught and I´m not much on copying and I´ve been very creative since the very, very earliest days. In the old days I used to have a little reel to reel tape recorder and I´d sit there record myself playing all kinds of stuff. That´s how I really learned and I had an older brother that was eight years older and we got the Beatles books and that´s how I learned to play all the chords, but actually playing the songs I wasn´t particularly… I´d rather take the chords that I learned and make something up. That was me, that was my thing! I´ve been doing it since I was really little and I´ve never really been attracted to copy as much as I have been to create. It always seemed much more gratifying. “Look at this cool thing I just figured out!”. It´s your own and not really…

When you come to a new city and I guess you have a lot of down time, do you sit around noodling on the guitar?

Robb: Nah, he sits around noodling on the internet! (laughs)

Do you ever write on tour? Do you come up with stuff when you´re out playing?

Lips: Seldom! I really don´t find it that it´s the right environment. The road is all about fun.

But you should get a lot of inspiration?

Lips: Yeah, but for when you get home. Nothing´s more comfortable than going to the rehearsal place or sitting on my couch at home and coming up with stuff and then coming into rehearsal and working through it. When I´m out on the road there´s never really no time. You´re rushed around and there´s shit to do.

Right! You did the movie “The Green Hornet” a few years back. What was that like?

Lips: Michel Gondry, the actual director of the movie, had seen the Anvil movie and goes “We´ve got to get these guys into The Green Hornet!” . When they filmed us it was supposed to have been at the beginning of the movie when the club blew up and we were supposed to have been on stage and were supposed to have melted, burned up. As it turned out, they cut that completely out of the movie and they just had a few shots of us on a screen, that was supposed to be like “This is what´s going on in the club!”.

Robb: They were security cameras.

Lips: Everybody thought they were just watching a video in the office of where the first scene took place.

Robb: It was fun filming it!

Yeah, it must´ve been cool to see it all behind the scenes?

Lips: Yeah! Let´s face it, I´ve taken cinematography and that kind of stuff in college, so it´s not like it was foreign to me. We´ve done videos before. It was nothing unexpected. It was a lot of fun though!

Robb: Yeah, watching these guys try to film 30 seconds of nonsense.

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen to a lot of new music?

Lips: I listen to mostly old stuff. 60´s and 70´s is what I enjoy. The music of my youth… which is very normal. When you listen to the music of your youth it brings back all the possiblilities you had in your life. It´s very warm and comfortable and that´s what I prefer. I dwell on it. If I listen to stuff other than that it´s outside the genre. I listen to Benny Goodman and stuff like that. Big band swing, I like a lot! Even blues and Peggy Lee.

I love Peggy Lee!

Lips: Tony Benett! I like the old crooners, when you really had to have talent to get recorded. I really like that stuff! I really like “Is that all there is” (Peggy Lee)

Yeah, “Let´s break out the booze and have a ball!”.

Lips: Yeah! I like it when something´s really sung well and a lot of feeling. I mean, I love Sinatra! No doubt about it! It might seem out of place for someone who´s into metal, but to me, someone like Frank Sinatra is Ozzy of the 40´s! Not particularly the best vocalist, but a hundred percent character. Frank could never sing a note dead on, he just slid into it! That´s not much different than Ozzy.

You don´t keep up to date with new stuff? Metal stuff or otherwise?

Lips: No interest in it! The problem is, you see, we grew up in an era that if you wanted to get a record deal you had to be an expert. In other words, if you couldn´t play and really write music, you didn´t get a record deal! In today´s day and age, anybody can record! I don´t have the time or the desire to sit down and screen all this shit looking to find anything. Most of the time, there´s no A&R, there´s nobody sitting there doing it for you, you´re never gonna find out what´s good! It´s really sad for the kids because it cost them 25 bucks for an album whether it was recorded in someone´s living room or whether it was recorded in a top notch studio and you pay the same for that same product. So how do they know which one to buy?

And the funny thing is that these days, no one pays for it.

Lips: That´s right and that´s what it has turned into. Why am I paying for any of it?

There´s a whole generation of kids now that have never paid for anything. Everything is for free and they kinda thing everything is for free.

Lips: And on all levels it really is! Music has now become nothing more than advertisement to come to the show and buy a t-shirt!

Finally, have you heard Metallica´s “Lulu” with Lou Reed?

Robb: No, but I have heard Lars telling the world that he can´t handle the bad reviews and everybody´s missing the point. That´s all I know. (laughs)

Lips: I haven´t heard any of it, but I still kinda scratch my head. Lou Reed? “Take a walk on the wild side”? Huh, I don´t know!

Could you see yourself… not doing anything like that, but something music wise that is totally opposite of Anvil?

Lips: What I would love to do… What I would really love to do, is actually play a song like “Swing thing” and actually have an orchestra… have the brass come out and play it with us! I´d love to experience that! I mean, on the record it was done separately, but I´d love to actually have three or four guys rocking out with us. I´d love to see what that felt like and hear it and experience it.

You should do it!

Robb: We will!

Lips: Yeah, we will! All we have to do is dream it up and it will happen! (laughs)

Robb: We play the song live but without the horns.

Lips: People are really enjoying it because it´s unexpected. “They won´t play it without the horns!”. “Oh yeah!”. “Hey, that´s pretty damn good considering there´s no horns in it!”. Comes across actually very, very well.

After this tour with Saxon, what´s the plan?

Lips: Well, we have these three dates with Alice Cooper.

Robb: After Helsinki we´re going right back to Toronto and we have three shows Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with Alice.

Lips: Then we´re gonna have time off for Christmas and all of February we´re going back out in the States and after that we´ve got South America.

Robb: Then we´re coming back here to Europe for the festivals.

Lips: Yeah, we´re doing all the festivals in the summer and we figure by fall, we´ll have time to write the new album and get into the studio by winter time, so that we can have it out like next summer, in 2013.

Well, it´s nice to be busy!

Lips: Tell me about it! Sure beats the hell out of doing deliveries! (laughs)

Robb: The last five years of my life have been the best years. It´s been great and it´s gone by just like that! (snaps his fingers)

Well, time flies when you´re having fun!

Robb: Fucking does it ever!

Lips: Last time I saw my son he wasn´t as tall as my wife and now he is! (laughs)

Thanks so much guys!

Lips: Thank you!

Robb: Thanks!


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