Anvil: Rock and Doc Stars

Sacha Gervasi's buzz generating documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil finally gets unleashed in Toronto theatres today.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is, well... the story of Anvil. The Toronto band had a brief hit in the heavy metal world of the early '80s, but never managed to achieve fame and fortune. The doc finds Anvil persisting three decades later, not the least bit deterred by years of incompetent managers, overlooked albums, and unpaid royalties.

I asked lead singer-guitarist, Steve Kudlow, also known as Lips, about effective rock and roll marketing and the band's recent documentary fame.

Have you toured around the festival circuit with this movie? And if so, how is it different from touring with music?

We did attend a few festivals and it was quite different than regular touring. We didn't play and got standing ovations for just being there!!

I just read that Sacha Gervasi was a roadie for Anvil in the early 80s. I assume that he approached you about making the film - did you remember him?

Of course we remembered him! He was a great kid who we missed for many years and when he finally got back in touch it was a great and wonderful thing. He quickly discovered we hadn't quit and in fact kept going and recorded 12 albums at that point. He was so impressed by our tenacity he decided to make a movie.

Would you have done a documentary with a director that you didn't know personally?

Maybe, but having a friend do it was relaxing and we gave him full access to our lives, which we may not have done otherwise.

Anvil is all over the press for this movie. Is it increasing the band's record sales and concert bookings?

That is too obvious! It's the largest promotion campaign in the history of the music business!!

Was being a documentary subject a good experience? Would you do it again?

It was fantastic but why would we ever need to do it again? This is a one time deal... and I would venture to say others will attempt it, but the fact is this took 30 years to develop the entire story. I wish others luck in trying to compete.


Anvil! The Story of Anvil is not only a local story, it's a well-crafted mix of comedy and sentimentality - and I promise, it's not just for fans (full disclosure: I was a teenage metalhead).


Anvil! The Story of Anvil opens at the AMC Dundas Square, Friday April 3rd. The band will be in attendance at the 8:15pm and 10:30pm screenings this Friday and Saturday. Photo by Brent J. Craig/ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL.

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