Did ANVIL ‘Invent’ Speed/Thrash Metal?

In a new interview with the “That Metal Interview”, Steve “Lips” Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL spoke about how he and his bandmates came up with the speed/thrash blueprint which paved the way for groups like METALLICA, ANTHRAX and SLAYER. Asked how ANVIL managed to create that sound first, Lips said: “We’re older. What else am I gonna say? I’m two or three years older than those guys. End of story. I was in line first. [Laughs] Somebody had to do it. And let’s face it, it’s a different kind of situation.

“Our drummer, Robb Reiner, is a very, very spectacular, special drummer and inventive and innovative,” he continued. “So when I came up with speed riffs that I thought were like DEEP PURPLE and he’s playing double-bass drums to these kind of riffs, that was the invention of speed metal; people never heard that done before. And that’s an innovation that’s created between a guitar player and a drummer. Only a combination of that could do that — not a guitar player and a vocalist, but a guitar player and a drummer. That’s who’s gonna create that kind of music, because the faster you play and the more parts you put in, the less important vocals are, and that’s basically the direction which speed metal took, and that’s why there’s virtually no melody in speed metal, because you can’t — there’s no time to create a melody in the spaces that you make in the songs. And so it all goes hand in hand. So some of our stuff like ‘666’ is almost void of melody, but that’s the style. That’s the stuff that everything — SLAYER listened to that and said, ‘Okay, let’s make a band around that sound.’ The syncopation and the ideas that were expressed in songs like ‘Jackhammer’ or even ‘March Of The Crabs’ became METALLICA. It’s actually quite interesting.”

ANVIL, a Toronto-based group, was formed in 1978 by childhood friends Kudlow and Reiner. Both came from Jewish families and had been playing music together since their teens.

Though initially a four-piece band, ANVIL‘s current lineup includes Kudlow, Reiner and bassist Chris Robertson.

ANVIL gained popularity and new fans since the 2008 theatrical documentary, “Anvil: The Story Of Anvil”, which is currently available on Netflix. The film focused on how ANVIL got together, and stayed together, through decades of hard work and setbacks.

ANVIL‘s latest album, “Legal At Last”, was released in February via AFM Records. The disc was recorded at Soundlodge studios in Rhauderfehn in the northwest of Germany.

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