Ex-bassist Glenn tells of drummer’s “disrespectful” attitude – and says he wanted out of movie-star band before follow-up began shooting
Departed Anvil bassist Glenn Five says Robb Reiner never stopped reminding him he wasn’t a real member of the band – and while frontman Lips Kudlow didn’t say as much, he agreed with the drummer’s viewpoint.
Five announced his departure this week after sixteen years in the outfit who spent decades in the doldrums before the movie Anvil: The Story of Anvil helped propel them back towards the big-time.
Kudlow responded by accusing him of trying to sabotage their plans by leaving at the worst possible moment, while adding he and Reiner had been expecting the move for some time.
But the bassist says he wanted to remain a musician rather than be a film star, and felt he had to get out of the band before a proposed movie sequel begins shooting.
And he believes Reiner in particular didn’t deserve the loyalty he showed the band since joining in 1996.
Five tells Bravewords: “Throughout the years many people asked me why I remained dedicated. For a time I had many reasons to stay. It was lots of fun to play bass in Anvil and experience all the things that came with being in the band.
“For the most part I was dedicated to Lips. I think he actually appreciated my contribution – or at least he let me believe he did. Robb didn’t deserve my dedication, to be honest. He had no appreciation for my loyalty or hard work, and didn’t hide that fact.
“They called the shots when it came to band decisions. I was cool that; I knew the deal when I joined. However, after almost 16 years in the band it became more difficult to accept them not taking any of my suggestions or ideas seriously.
“The truth is, sadly, that Lips and Robb have always considered me as little more than just their bass player, the other guy in their band. It was the two of them and me, not the three of us.
“In fact, I was often reminded by Robb that Anvil was and always will be just Lips and Robb. I know Lips shared this sentiment, but if anything he tried to protect me from the fact.”
Five says the low level of responsibility meant his position was “not a bad deal at all” and once he’d decided to leave, he offered to stay on board until a replacement was found.
“There was no encouragement from them to stay,” he says. “I told Lips they could hire me for the next US run and the other things that were already booked. Unfortunately, as I was explaining this to Lips, Robb made some very disrespectful remarks, the gist of which was they haven’t wanted me around for years and people don’t attend Anvil shows to see me anyway.
“It was at that point I decided I had played my last show with Anvil.”
The bassist reveals plans are afoot to start making a second documentary later this year. “After the buzz of the movie died down the exposure of the music died down too,” he says. “Millions of people love that movie and came to Anvil shows to see the characters in the movie.
“Three years later when we recorded the best album Anvil has ever written we no longer had the big-name record companies of press involved with the band, and those people who supported the movie didn’t keep coming out to support the music.
“I suppose that’s why they’ve agreed to do a part two, which is rumoured to start filming this year. The band is losing momentum musically and the know they need to remain in the public eye.
“Truthfully I believe that’s another reason it’s a good time to leave. I am all about being a musician. The Hollywood scene is cool and I’m glad I got to experience a bit of it – but I would rather focus my efforts on being a musician than being a character in a film.”
Five says his artistic ambitions lie beyond Anvil’s musical style. “I couldn’t be happier for them that they have found success on that path. I just need to find another path – one that I can progress musically on. One where I will be appreciated and respected by my peers.”