Anvil, the Canadian heavy metal outfit whose hit documentary has led to a late-career resurgence, is having one the best weeks in its 30-plus year history. The band opened for AC/DC on Tuesday night in Boston – the first of three stadium shows the group is playing with the Australian rock legends; singer/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner were trailed around New York City by a crew from ABC’s “Nightline” for an upcoming network television profile; and new-found fans Green Day even brought their Anvil t-shirts into the White House on a visit Wednesday afternoon.
“Really amazing, amazing experience — just walking out onto that massive stage,” Lips told Billboard.com.
“Opening for AC/DC was totally mindblowing,” Reiner added. “I can’t wait to do it again.” They open for AC/DC tonight (July 31) at Giants Stadium in New Jersey and again on August 6 at Magentic Hill Stadium in New Brunswick, Canada.
The band’s schedule is just as jam-packed into the middle of 2010.
“Anvil: The Story Of Anvil,” the documentary directed by teenage roadie turned screenwriter Sacha Gervasi that made its debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and opened in theaters in New York and Los Angeles in March, continues to play in theaters across the United States and Canada. The band will make a special midnight appearance at a screening in New York City’s Village East Cinemas on Saturday night. The DVD release is scheduled for October 6, and the group will do a two week tour of clubs and movie theaters in November to celebrate.
In addition, VH1 and VH1 Classic will air the television broadcast premiere of the film on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
“This Is Thirteen,” the band’s thirteenth album that was recorded during the filming of the documentary, will finally see a proper national release on CD and vinyl September 15 on VH1 Classic Records. The CD version includes a newly-recorded bonus track, “Thumb Hang,” while the vinyl version includes re-recorded versions of two of the band’s classic tracks, “Metal on Metal” and “666.”
The band is also re-recording a number of the songs from its immense catalogue with producer Chris Tsangarides for inclusion on the film’s upcoming soundtrack. “In fact, it was far cheaper to go in and re-record in the same studio [Phase One], with the same producer, and re-do the songs,” Lips told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview earlier this week. “The new version of ‘Forged in Fire’ is amazing – I think the original version was played too fast. Remarkably, we’re getting a second chance to record the songs.”
Anvil’s autobiographical book, which includes a forward by long time fan and Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash, has been published in the U.S. too.
The band is going international as well. After the film screened at the Cannes Film Festival, it was picked up for theatrical distribution in all major territories throughout Europe, Asia, and even the Middle East. The movie opens in Australia in August and Japan in October. The band is heading to Australia for a tour – its first ever down under -in February, and UK metal legends Saxon have invited the band to tour the U.K. later this year as well.
Then its back into the studio to record “Juggernaut of Justice,” Anvil’s 14th album. “It needs to see the light next year,” Reiner says.
“All the writing is done,” Lips adds. “We’re already writing songs for our 15th album.”