Interview with Lips, Anvil (May 11, 2004)

1. Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?

Lips - The new Anvil album is yet another typical Anvil album. Weíve known our direction and understand our style and kept quite true to those roots all threw the years. Most of our newer cdís have had a great deal of faster songs, which in our belief was our way of showing that age is meaningless when it comes to playing fast. As time is passing it is becoming very confining always playing in these fast tempos. There are a multitude of other feels to explore as well as other chord progressions and arrangement ideas. Of course being stuck with my voice, guitar and Robbís sick drumming it will always sound like Anvil!!!! No matter what we try to do about it. Many people think of Anvil as one of those bands that hasnít changed, much like Motorhead or AC DC. It would only figure as we come from the same era, when you had to sound unique.

2. How has your new album been received by the media?

Lips - As it always has, mixed in a drastic way, with no middle ground.

3. I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?

Lips - Traditional heavy rock to old school heavy metal.

4. Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?

Lips - It really depends on the particular song. Sometimes it starts with a simple guitar riff, that you just start playing as soon as you plug in your guitar, but sometimes itís a virtual study of an old piece of music by another artist, and you do a note replacement, and adapt just the drum track of a song. Itís an extremely difficult task to do and not make it too obvious, but in a certain way still somehow capture a reminiscent feeling. As far as lyrics go I play the musical pieces for months sometimes trying to imagine what might be an appropriate title. It can be the most difficult aspect but once you have the title your on the way, usually a couple of hours from completion .

5. What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?

Lips - I donít have any boundaries as far as subject matter is concerned. I like to write about complete reality, expressing all emotions. It mostly depends on what seems to fit the best on the musical piece that is of paramount importance.

6. Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?

Lips - We have been working with Pierre Remillard and we are very happy with his work. I just wish I could smoke cigarettes in his studio...

7. Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?

Lips - The artwork was done by Christoph Schinzel using our ideas. It sometimes takes months to decide on a album title, and of course think of what the artwork should be. In the case with "Back To Basics" we thought the title best described the music and immediate direction and we also thought that having a blacksmith working in a shop would best display the idea of "Back To Basics". Album covers are extremely important to us, however some people have been very critical of our ideas but I still believe we have had some of the most remarkable covers in the entire genre.

8. Do you have any touring plans?

Lips - NO?

9. How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?

Lips - Iím satisfied with everything really, Iím sure they have done the best they could possibly do as I have.

10. The internet is a very important source for many metal fans ? how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?

Lips - I use the internet everyday. It is the only way to communicate with people in the music business. If you donít have access to the internet as a band you are dead in the water.

11. How do you see the metal scene at the moment?

Lips - Iím completely out of touch as I donít pay attention. I extremely rarely read magazines or go to see new bands if they happen to come to town. I seldom listen to up to date radio stations, mostly oldies.

12. To finish things off - could you pls. make a all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?

Lips - 

  • Deep - Purple In Rock
  • Black Sabbath - Masters Of Reality
  • The Beatles - Rubber Soul
  • Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced
    and either
  • Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes
    or 
  • UFO - Live In Japan (with Michael Schenker)

A bit thanx to Lips for taking the time to do this interview and all the best for him and Anvil. Also a big thanx to Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.

Anvil - Back To Basics

Album out on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Anvil.