Interview: Anvil Drummer Robb Reiner

Blazing through the slipstream of the Juggernaut Of Justice album and tour success, Canadian metal legends Anvil are back with a new line up and a new album.

Ever-present drummer Robb Reiner is confident that the band’s latest album, Hope In Hell, coming out in May this year, will build upon the success of their recent resurgence and deliver their best release for thirty years. “I can’t say much about it other than it’s fucking awesome!”

Robbo was very relaxed and happy to talk about new bass player Sal Italiano’s input, getting back out on the road, and stepping away from their breakthrough documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil.

Continue reading for the interview!

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Movie Review: Anvil: The Story of Anvil
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Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Starring Robb Reiner, Steve “Lips” Kudlow
Not rated
Release date: April 10, 2009 (limited)

Keep on pounding
Keep on pounding
Join the heavy metal fight

Ah, now that’s a mantra I can easily adopt.

Earlier this month, veteran metal band Anvil brought their heavy metal fight to New York City’s Blender Theater, where they played a short set of four songs in support of the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil, a documentary about the two founding members of the band and their decades-long struggle to recapture the glory of their early years in the 1980s.

Since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008, the Anvil film has been a surprise hit with critics, nearly all of whom likened the documentary to director Rob Reiner’s 1984 musical mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. As with the fictional Spinal Tap, Anvil had their 15 minutes of fame back in the early 1980s — before bands like Metallica made their way to the top of the speed metal pile — then spent the subsequent years in obscurity with low record sales and poor concert attendance. Anvil director Sacha Gervasi (best known for his script for Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal) was smart to hone in on the similarities between the bands by showing us an amp that goes to 11 (plus, Anvil’s drummer’s name is Robb Reiner), because it gave viewers, most of whom never even heard of Anvil, a reference point. But while Spinal Tap kept us laughing with their stupidity and their attempts to constantly reinvent themselves with current music trends, Anvil tugs at our heartstrings by staying true to themselves and to their heavy metal roots.

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‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’ Theatrical Trailer + Screening/Tour Dates
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Over a year ago, I wrote about Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the documentary which got great reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival and has since won a bunch of awards at various film festivals.

Now, a theatrical trailer is online (watch it here below) for the film, which is getting a release in NY and LA on April 10, 2009 with a national rollout through April, which includes a live performance from Anvil after each screening (see list of dates/venues here below).

Directed by Sacha Gervasi, Anvil! follows two 50-something years old musicians Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner of the 1980s Canadian heavy metal band Anvil as they try to recapture the magic of their glory days.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I was a fan of Anvil and saw the live in the 1980s, so for someone like this, this documentary is a must-see (and I was lucky enough to get a screener of it already and an invite to a cocktail party for the release, which I had to miss because I was at WonderCon!). But reports all around have been that you don’t have to like metal to fall in love with this movie, because in the end it’s not about the music itself but about hope and about following your dreams.

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