Lips thinks bassist Chris Robertson has brought momentum and a great level of confidence to Anvil
Anvil frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow was recently interviewed by Sean Bennett for The Rockpit and the singer spoke about what bassist Chris Robertson means to the band. Robertson has played on the last three Anvil albums — Anvil Is Anvil (2016), Pounding The Pavement (2018) and Legal At Last (2020).
Lips indicated (with slight edits): “Yeah, along with the momentum is a great level of confidence that I don’t think I’ve ever had and part of what makes it that way is having Chris – I’m not saying that’s the whole reason why it’s all working but the third part of the puzzle needs to be right because otherwise only two thirds is working. Quite honestly, we’d had issues for many, many years because part of the puzzle wasn’t there. I’ve never felt the confidence that I do today and one of those aspects is having a bass player who is a perfect complement to the drummer and that is really, really important. You can have a bass player and it’s a bass player but having the right bass player is much more bombastic… much more impressive.
There are aspects in Chris’ playing that we’ve never had in the band and part of what makes it that way is that not only does he play with his fingers, he doesn’t use a pick he uses his finger nails like a classical guitar player and when you do that you get a much harder edge which is completely conducive and completely matched up with Robb’s (Reiner) playing. That combination is just over the top and that is just the best way I can describe it. I’ve never heard anything like that before. I’d say we are getting closer… it’s not 100% of what I’ve heard live and when it does it that 100% people are gonna shit themselves – it’s still yet to come… we’re getting closer [laughs]. I’ve never heard the combination of bass & drums like Anvil has today… I haven’t heard it in any other band to be really honest with you. No other band has a drummer like Robb Reiner to begin with but to have the right bass player with that too? Holy shit man!
Aside from the bass playing having a second voice… in the early days the best aspect of the earlier version of Anvil was that Dave Allison’s voice really worked well with mine so what we did sing together had a very impressive sound and that got lost when he left and had not returned all through the years, until now. I would have to honestly say that’s more important than any second rhythm guitar could ever be, especially live.
It was much, much more important for us to get a second singer than a second guitar player – way more important. The second guitar is ultimately redundant. It’s doing what the bass guitar does anyway and when you have an incredible bass guitar player why are you burying it with a rhythm guitar. So what became ultimately important was that second voice… oh my God, we were playing ‘Free as the Wind’ with all this depth & harmonies – we never had that. Even in the original days, Dave couldn’t sing as well as Chris does so the level of confidence I have today totally exceeds what it was. So, that’s how I feel about it and now it’s a case of keep going, keep writing and trying to get to that 100% point and we’re almost there [laughs].”
You can read the rest of the interview with Lips at The Rockpit‘s website.