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LAist Interview: Anvil!

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How long can you rock? | Photo courtesy of Brent J. Craig | 42 West

When the film Anvil!: The True Story of Anvil debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, it was instantly acclaimed as the true-life version of This is Spinal Tap. Sacha Gervasi's documentary detailed the story of 50-something rockers from Canada who were still plugging away and trying to get their big break after all these years. The resonance that such an effort had on the audience was obvious: so many of them had once pursued similar dreams only to watch them slip away when "real life" beckoned.

Now that the film is in theaters -- where it has been playing to solid audiences for a month -- everyone can peek into the lives of the members of Anvil and see the story for themselves (LAist review here) Tonight at the Nuart, though, a bonus is in store. After the 10:30 pm screening of the film, the band will assume the stage and play a short (and loud) show for the audience. I encourage anyone in need of a great time to attend. To prep you for the flick and the concert, here's a short interview I conducted with the band yesterday.

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LAist: Welcome, Anvil! Welcome to Los Angeles! I think you guys have been here for awhile, haven't you?

Anvil: Yeah, we're actually going into the recording studio at the moment.

LAist: Are you recording new material?

Anvil: No, we're recording for Sons of Anarchy. We recorded a Who song. (ed. note: I thought Lips said "new" song. If I had heard "Who" song, I would have immediately asked -- as a huge fan of The Who -- "Oh yeah? Which one? FAIL on me!)

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You can rock forever. | Photo courtesy of Brent J. Craig | 42 West

LAist: For the TV show?

Anvil: Yeah. It came out really cool.

LAist: So tell me about the Anvil event on the 13th at the Nuart. What can people expect?

Anvil: Oh, it's amazing, man. It's blow your head off in the theater. (laughing) We're setting up right in the theater. And we're gonna play right in the audience. Virtually.

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LAist: How many songs are you gonna be playing?

Anvil: Somewhere around four or five songs. About a half hour.

LAist: Have you played any other gigs in L.A. recently?

Anvil: Yeah, we did the same thing at the Egyptian. Which was amazing.

LAist: I'm sure you've been asked this question a lot, but how have your lives changed since the movie came out and what have been the positives and the negatives? Have there been any negatives?

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Anvil: There aren't any negatives! It's unbelievable, man! I mean, it's everything we've wanted to do. We don't have to carry on with day jobs anymore. We can just be Anvil! It's amazing.

LAist: One of themes of the movie is your hunger and how it's never really slackened. And so what I wonder is, "What you have now -- is that enough?"

Anvil: You always want more. (laughing) And that's the way life is. You always want more. Can we play tonight? (laughing) It's not that we're unappreciative or anything on that level. It's just we're really, really hungry. It's part of being who we are. The most fun we have are those moments on stage. That's what we live for. That's where you get all of your gratification. That's where you get to be who you're supposed to be. We're famous, dude! (laughing) I'm laughing about it because it's sort of weird to get used to from living in virtual obscurity. I mean there might be one person or two who might know who we are, but now the border guards are asking for our autograph. It's pretty out there.

LAist: A lot of people see the movie and remark that there's a Spinal Tap quality to your lives. How do you guys feel about that? Do you like at it as a compliment? Or does it kind of annoy you?

Anvil: It's unavoidable. Spinal Tap was about real life and real life is funny! Stuff happens, man! There's no such thing as perfection -- you know what I mean? We were playing the other night -- and you could call it a Spinal Tap moment or you could call it an Anvil moment -- but we were about to do two shows in one of the theaters. We went up to start the second show Robb hits the drum to count the song in and then sees that two of his cymbals were stolen! And everything was sitting in the audience with their mouth open.

LAist: That's great.

Anvil plays tonight at the Nuart after the 10:30 screening of the film.