I’m always surprised by how quickly the end of the month arrives and I find the latest issue of Modern Drummer tucked neatly into my mail box. Like last month, October – graced by Jazz master Jeff “Tain” Watts on the cover – is another great issue where you will find my by-line on three fantastic articles! This month I talk with 311’s Chad Sexton, Vinny Appice of Heaven & Hell / Black Sabbath, and Robb Reiner of Anvil – a metal drumming legend who’s enjoyed such an amazing year with the runaway success of the must-see documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! Out to subscribers this week, be sure to pick up your very own copy when it hits newsstands the first week of September!
Thanks to my eagle eye, which spotted a FaceBook update for the page dedicated to promoting the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil!, I was able to snag two tickets for last night’s “Anvil Experience,” taking place at the East Village Cinema on Second Avenue, about a ten minute walk from the Chickpad. The Anvil Experience is part of the promotional tour for the film, where they show the Anvil movie, and then afterwards Anvil play a live set of about six songs. Then the Anvil guys hang around, schmooze with the fans, rub their sweat all over you, pose for pictures and sign autographs. It’s pretty much of a heavy metal cluster fuck, but a ton of rad fun, nevertheless. Geoffrey and I had a blast despite nearly losing our digits to frostbite due to the EXTREME air-conditioning inside the theater. We also got to meet and get photos of us with Robb and Lips. Oh yeah, and Geoffrey got a picture of himself standing next to Chris Martin from Coldplay, whom he is totally gay for (Note origin of new buzz phrase: “Take It With Your Hand”). That alone was worth the price of admission. If you haven’t yet seen/experienced Anvil! The Story of Anvil!, you are the only one who hasn’t, so you had better go see it while you can.
We Were Throwing Metal and Our Horns Locked! Me with Steve “Lips” Kudlow
Robb Reiner and Steve “Lips” Kudlow Star in Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Yesterday, Geoffrey and I celebrated the first day of really nice NYC weather in over six months by sitting in a dark theater, enjoying the fantastic new documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil. You may have heard this film being referred to as a “Real Life Spinal Tap,” but I assure you that the story of this Canadian Metal band that grasped for fame only to fall into obscurity is all too true. A few of the metal drummers I’ve interviewed in my career have cited Anvil drummer Robb Reiner as an influence, so I had heard of them, but only by name.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil tells an unintentionally hilarious and truly emotionally-moving music industry tale that I am sure a gazillion other bands can relate to, yet Anvil imbue this film with so much heart, I can’t imagine any other “almost was” metal band creating an experience quite like the one you get in this film. Back in the ‘80s Anvil were poised to be the next big thing; touring Europe with supporting gigs for Iron Maiden and The Scorpions, and inspiring peer-group fans that included members of now legendary bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Guns ‘N’ Roses. But where those bands continued on to achieve great commercial success and global fame, it didn’t quite work out that way for Anvil. What went wrong? This movie untangles that web.
There is no doubt that the music is strong and these guys are great musicians, and certainly they did not lack anything in the passion-for-what-you-do department. Anvil is both an incredible inspiration and a highly entertaining cautionary tale that I absolutely loved every minute of. Definitely add it to your list of films to see in the theaters before it comes out on DVD in a few months.