Anvil is an iconic heavy metal band from Canada and this website is an unofficial, fan made, tribute to this great band, who has had a huge influence on todays music. Anvil has also played a huge role in my life and I thought I owe it to the guys to setup this website where I’ll talk about the band history, share their music and even some live footage from their gigs here in Germany. Sadly the band isn’t really all that active on the concert scene during this modern age of high quality drones that can capture excellent quality video and sound so that we have that, but there’s still plenty of earlier video footage of the band, that’s worth checking out. I’m not surprised about the band not being active nowadays. They never really got into mainstream that much since their initial success back in the 80s, and they are older now, it’s been close to 40 years since the band was formed. The boys have been around quite a bit. I’ve seen them play 3 times in Germany. I hear that they still play small gigs in North America, and that’s very cool of them. Why don’t we go to the beginning and see how it all started back in the 80s in Canada.
Anvil, the band – beginnings
Band that we know and love today as Anvil was first formed all the way back in 1981 by Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Rob Reiner. Kudlow is the lead vocalist and guitarist, while Reiner plays the drums. The two is currently joined by Chris Robertson on bass. Over the years band lineup has changed several times, but Kudlow and Reiner were always there as the core band members. They actually played together long before forming Anvil, according to “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”, a 2005 documentary about the band (and inspiration for website name), Kudlow and Reiner were playing together since 1973. As I said, no wonder that the band is taking a step back from big international tours. They’ve been around way before HD camera, high quality drones and other cool high quality equipment that we have nowadays for HD capture of video and sound. Part of me is sad about this, younger generations won’t get to enjoy new amazing shows that the band knows how to put up, but as that old saying goes, time spares no one. Is that a saying?
Initial albums and fame
During the first half of the 80s band released 3 albums with Attic Records, a small Canadian record label. 80s was a time when Anvil was at the height of their popularity, and there was even some talk about the band signing for a major record label when band was approached by David Krebs, manager of Aerosmith. Krebs promised the band a big record label deal, and he has even gotten Attic Records to release the band from their contract. Band signed a managing contract with Krebs, but then Krebs a change of heart. He stopped contact with the band, and it took years for the band to get out of the managing contract with Krebs and to find a new record label for their fourth album “Strength of Steel”. All those lost years without a record label and without a new record out was enough for the band to drop out of the spotlight, something from which they never fully recovered.
From 90s to mid-2000
At the turn of the decade Anvil found themselves signed to US based Metal Blade Records with whom they released another 3 records. First record for Metal Blade Records was the aforementioned “Strength of Steel” which was the most popular release of theirs in the United States. After leaving Metal Blade Records, the band signed for Maximum Records, a Canada based record label. In 1996 Anvil had another record label change. This time they signed for Hypnotic Records in Canada, but also for Massacre Records, which is a German based record label. If you are a heavy metal fan you’ll undoubtedly remember the popularity of Anvil in Germany at the turn of the millennium. They were pretty big on this side of the pond. So much so that I think I read someone Lips saying that German record sales is what made it possible to survive and release new music.
“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” and present
In 2008 the band saw the release of the famous documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”. Documentary, or “rockumentary” as it’s called, covered the history of the band, their successes, their story basically. “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” was well received and it has made possible for the band to have sort of like a second renaissance, or third, depending on how you count their resurgences in the mainstream consciousness over the years. The following year the band played at Download Festival and they also made an appearance at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie actually premiered. Since 2010 the band has released 4 more albums, the latest being “Pounding the Pavement” which was actually released in January this year. Band has released 17 albums during the course of their career, which is very impressive if you ask me.
Give it up for the Anvil
With such a long, turbulent and ultimately successive career, you can’t help not to give it up for the Anvil. They’ve lived through some very bad times and they managed to come up on top. I’m a huge fan of the band, and I have almost all of their records (I’m still trying to get my hand on some of their earlier records). For an old fart like me, Anvil is and always will be what heavy metal should be all about. With this website I hope to give back to the guys, keep the dream alive. Checkout the rest of the website to catchup on their discography, band members and subscribe to the news feed for updates about future show and tours. Keep on rocking.