In a recent interview with rob wogANVIL frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow spoke about the band’s upcoming 20th studio album. The effort was recorded late last summer with longtime producer Martin “Mattes” Pfeiffer and Jörg Uken at Uken‘s Soundlodge studios in Germany. The same production team was responsible for ANVIL‘s last four albums, “Anvil Is Anvil” (2016),“Pounding The Pavement” (2018),“Legal At Last” (2019) and “Impact Is Imminent” (2022).

Lips said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “What’s really fascinating, this particular album, and I’m not gonna be like most musicians, you always hype up what you’ve done most recent. Usually I don’t — usually, and most usually, like on the last album, I just said it’s another ANVIL album. What the hell do you want? And the album, a couple of albums ago, [we called it] ‘Anvil Is Anvil’. Fuck it. You know what I mean? You want something different? You’re not gonna get it. It’s almost like tongue in cheek. And after 45 years, you’re not thinking about things like you did when you’re 20.”

He continued: “This particular time, I went about it from a different perspective. And what do I mean by that? In going in, instead of going into rehearsal with bits and pieces and then work my way through it, I put everything together at home before I went there. I knew exactly how many riffs go in the verse, how many choruses, where they go. The songs were totally written before I went in and showed the other guys. And that’s something that I never really — only the last two albums have I done that with. And the difference is they’re pure, and they’re not interrupted, because they’re uninterrupted writing.

“When you write with a group of guys, there’s interruptions. And I can give examples. And not only are there interruptions, but also interjection of parts and stuff that doesn’t actually really belong, and you end up with early ANVIL. Well, actually, middle-era ANVIL where I’ve got — there’s too many cooks. There’s just too many cooks. And it’s actually so true. But I’m two in one — I’m the vocalist and the guitar player. That’s usually what writes in a band. Why are you asking a bass player for parts — unless you’re gonna have the song really predominantly be bass. And having said that, it’s the same thing as you’re expecting the drummer to write the songs, or help you write the songs, but there’s no musicality. It’s only arrangement or tempos or segments of songs or bridges. So it’s not like asking the vocalist, which is the most important guy to ask when you’re writing a song. Where does the singing go? That’s what you’re doing. The singing is the most important thing. Why are you putting the thought for singing in last? It’s a great instrumental, and now you’re gonna stick some vocals on it and hope it works… [But] you don’t say intervention is bad. It depends on what it is. But as the main songwriter, it’s gonna have to be up to me. And you have to take the bull by the horns and you have to take the responsibility for this shit. Plain and simple.”

In January 2023, MVD Marquee Collection released the “Ultimate Edition” Blu-ray and “Standard Edition” DVD of ANVIL‘s acclaimed documentary, “Anvil! The Story Of Anvil”. The new version of the film features remastered picture and sound, as well as a new exclusive epilogue interview with director Sacha Gervasi and Lips and ANVIL drummer Robb Reiner moderated by former MTV host Matt Pinfield.

In the fall of 2022, Lips spoke to the French metal radio show “Metal Zone” on Oxygène Radio about ANVIL‘s unwillingness to pay attention to music trends while working on new songs. He said: “It was never about radio play. It was never about being posers. It was always about high-integrity, as-heavy-as-possible music. And that’s what it was really about. And we didn’t wanna become one of the bands that puts out a couple of heavy albums and then goes soft and tries to get on the radio; that was not our idea. We wanted to stay true to what we started and continue to do.”

Asked how he has evolved as a songwriter since ANVIL‘s inception more than four decades ago, Lips said: “Yeah, I would say I’ve learned a lot of things. One thing I’ve learned more than anything else is about self-recognition. I think that I lacked my own belief in myself and didn’t realize that, really, I shaped and formed everything all along and I didn’t really need the help and that help generally was more of a hindrance than actually helping. And that’s what I’ve kind of discovered more in the later years, that I probably could have done a better job in earlier records had I taken the bull by the horns and been a tyrant and overstepped everybody who was trying to get their two cents in. Because what generally happens [is] I have a vision, I have an idea and I have the whole song in my mind, and if I come into rehearsal and if it’s not completely settled with me, it ends up going off topic and off target, because I’ve allowed other people into the equation that they’re not gonna know what’s gonna happen or how to really do it. It’s a much more pure place that I’m coming from now. I sit down and write all the music, I create all the guitar parts before I go in. Then I present it to the other two guys, and they write their accompaniment to it. That seems to be the best format. I don’t have to have a discussion with the singer, because I am the singer.”





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