Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Anvil: The Story of Epic Creative Fortitude

Finally watched Anvil! The Story of Anvil, an unfathomable story about two (Jewish! Canadian!) guys that spend 30+ years trying to make it as a metal band.  They are respected by all their peers, many of whom have gone on to sell millions of albums.  But since Anvil's start in the 1980's, success has inexplicably eluded them.  At the start of the film, lead singer Steve "Lips" Kudlow is still working a crap job delivering school lunches to pay the bills. 

This film goes way beyond music and metal.  It's about having a strong creative vision, and following through.  It's also about luck and circumstance, and the undeniable roles they play in tipping one's career towards explosive success or epic failure.  It's about not listening to the market, and doing what feels right. 

Lips talks about selling out as being the "Fuel of Failure."  Which is something that we are all faced with as creative professionals -- to what degree will we compromise our creative vision in order to sell it? 

Anvil stuck to their guns, way, way, way longer than most people do, and ultimately it paid off.  Now they have the best of all worlds -- doing what they love and getting paid.  Let's just hope that appearing on Conan O'Brien and cameos in Michel Gondry films doesn't go to their (metal) heads.

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