In the late ’ 70s and early ’80s, one of the most influential metal bands was also one of the most commercially unsuccessful. Anvil — three thrashers hailing from Toronto — might have been the harbingers to Slayer and Metallica, but they were largely forgotten until 2008, when Rebecca Yeldham, producer of films The Motorcycle Diaries and The Kite Runner, released the critically acclaimed documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil.
Since then, the band has been getting the recognition they deserved. Nostalgic fandom has led to a slew of concerts across North America. And, on Aug. 2, that includes Edmonton, where they’ll perform at the Pawn Shop.
But the city can’t get enough of Anvil. That’s why, tomorrow, July 31, fans have a chance to whet the appetites at the Metro Cinema, where the documentary is screening.
Cara Ashbey, an independent punk rock and metal promoter, says the Anvil resurgence isn’t just with the headbangers who grew up, cut off their hair and made families. Anvil, she says, is also the youth who recently found metal and are reaching for its roots.
“People who really get into this music start looking back to where it started,” she says.
To the promoter’s surprise, Corey Ory, drummer of the tour’s opener, Titan’s Eve, contacted her about bringing Anvil and his band to town. Ashbey immediately thought about how to make the metal pioneer’s stop in Edmonton a little more special. Hence, the film.
“The guys who listened to Anvil in the ’80s aren’t really going to shows anymore,” says Ashbey. “So I wanted to do something a little more accessible for them and their kids.”
Ashbey says there’s a perception of metal being an exclusive club, one in which people who don’t look the part get ostracized by “hyper-masculine beer guzzlers.” She insists this stereotype is inaccurate but acknowledges it exists. “I want it to be a giant group hug for the metal community.”