Lips explains how Anvil ended up as a trio
Anvil frontman and co-founder Lips was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Vinyl Writer Music. Anvil began operating as a trio in 2007 after guitarist Ivan Hurd‘s time in the band came to and end after a 12 year run (1995 to 2007).
Lips was asked how Anvil ended up becoming a trio to which the singer replied (with slight edits): “Honestly, it was a redundancy. That cost a lot of money and time. Going into explanations, and the last time going through it was during the recording of This Is Thirteen. After that, I never want to go through it again. It’s just that it couldn’t have been more of a waste of time and energy in an aspect when you’re trying to carry on and do things, and you’ve got something that isn’t working out; nothing could be worse than that. And that was when we found it. And when we became free of it [Ivan Hurd], it was like, “Wow, this is OK.” It feels like all of a sudden; the weight is off. So what was happening is you come to the show, play the gig, but you have this amplifier turned so low, you’re not hearing him anyway. This was going on for years. What was the explanation there? Why didn’t he [Glenn Five] want his bass turned up? He wasn’t playing very well. And he lost interest.”
Lips continued: “What was also happening is we wouldn’t play a lot of the newer songs because the albums weren’t catching on. People didn’t want to fucking hear the new material. So, even though you’re playing it, they don’t want to hear it. And of course, Ivan is not going to capture what Sebastian Morino brought, so we’re not playing anything from Worth The Weight. So, what I mean is a lot of double guitars. There were a lot of places that he actually ended up playing at a loss, and even when he did get it, it was me holding my breath, “Is it going to get through the solo?” I’m going nuts. I don’t know, man, it’s stupid. It’s like, why am I bothering? But what for all the fucking shit that we’re going through? You’re paying for rooms; you’re paying for food; you’re paying the individual.
So, during the recording of This Is Thirteen, I ended up recording most of the solos. I’m sitting there, and Ivan is sitting there doing overdubs with our producer, Chris [Tsangarides], and I say, “You ready to play?” He goes, “What?” Then, he kind of looks on and says, “I don’t know what to play.” I’m just standing there, “What do you mean?” Six hours later here, we’ve got three seconds of a guitar solo. Chris is sitting there, and they figure it out. He [Ivan] the most speed ripping lead guitar fucking player, he went to a university in fucking California to learn how to play and could play all these scales at a million miles an hour. Fucking one of those shredders. I was sitting there; he’s starting to play this solo and the second take, it’s nothing, or he forgets to turn his volume on.”
Anvil‘s long-time frontman also added: “So, then I started asking myself, “What the fuck am I putting myself through?” I have to explain to this guy how to put a solo together, then wonder why I don’t particularly appreciate doing it myself. What’s the fucking point? And meanwhile, at the end of the day, the guy played only two solo sections for the entire This Is Thirteen album. And it took him 12 hours. I did all the other solos. He didn’t even come to fucking England with us knowing the songs because he wasn’t showing up to rehearsal.
All along, we said, “What should we do?” There’s really no going back. I’m not sending him home. How was I supposed to realize that this is what the fuck was going to happen? After all my work that I had gotten done, all the singing, all my guitar is all done. We did everything. We made a premix, just gave it to him; meanwhile, he [Ivan] is sitting at the pub and drinking with the locals.
It doesn’t mean that all second guitar players will be like that. It’s just ultimately; I’m just saying that was my last taste of all of it. At the end of the day, this person wasn’t a contributor. So it’s not going to make any difference on that level. So what am I losing? I’m losing that second lead guitar that no one even noticed. That’s the other thing that was ultimately the deciding factor; we’d been running a second lead guitar player and never heard about it. None ever said, “Great, great stuff.”“
You can read the rest of the interview with Lips at Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.