Robb Reiner Interview – by Travis Marc – 2014.
After watching the ‘Anvil’ documentary I simply had to reach out to Robb to try and secure an interview with him for the site. Anvil have worked so hard, for so long, that I feel that they deserve every bit of exposure that they can get. Plus, Robb just happens to be a really great drummer. A man of few words, Robb keeps it short and to the point. Perhaps after years of ups and downs in this extremely tough industry he just likes it that way, anyway here’s what ‘Rocking Robb’ had to say….
Hi Robb, thanks for your time, let’s start.Did you ever have any kind of tuition, or are you completely self taught?
I studied formal drum instructions from the age of 11 till 15 years old from a private teacher. More over than that I was always listening to my favourite influences and feeding off the inspiration and stealing all the licks that I could digest etc.
What about bands? How old were you when you joined your first band and when did you eventually meet ‘Lips’ before starting the mighty ‘Anvil’?
I guess I was 12 perhaps, when I first played with other musicians. On meeting lips – I was 14 years old. We met at a jam brought together by a mutual friend of Lips and myself and after jamming and later walking home together we realised that we really had a lot in common with the music we loved. We decided shortly after that, that we would make a band and rock forever. Here we are, 36 years and 15 albums later,rocking and playing better than I think either of us ever thought possible.
The ‘Anvil’ documentary is ‘at times’ (from a musicians point of view) quite heart breaking to watch. Tell us a bit about your thoughts on the movie and what the process in regards to making it was like?
The movie is a true story and serves as an example of many things, like how the music business fails well worthy pioneering music and talent., staying true to ones passions and beliefs, valuing family and friendships etc. The movie was filmed over a two and a half year period and has served as a real non stop promotional tool for the band (even to this day). Everyday somewhere in the world humans are discovering the majesty of Anvil!
The documentary did pretty much relaunch ‘Anvil’s’ career and since it’s release you guys have been playing some major tours again. Do you have any specific type of warm u routine that you try run through before each show, and if so, what does it consist of?
Touring and showing the band live is what it’s all about in the first place. The bands highest strength is performing live, and always has been. We no routine outside of some short rehearsals before embarking on our tours really. As a band we are in steady game shape where by we play no less then 4 days per week, every week. We’re always creating and putting together new songs and working though ideas as our rehearsal time.
As a drummer, who would you say your early influences were and who would you say they are now?
My influences/inspirations are the real greats. I grew up with the drumming of Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Ginger Baker, Ian Paice, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Don Brewer, Carl Palmer and Simon Kirke and I still love all those guys. If I’m honest I find young drummers of today seem to all try way to hard and have lost the point.
What gear are you currently using, and what’s the one piece of gear you simply cannot live without?
I currently, (and over last 5 years) have been pounding Ddrums. I have used many different models and all of them sound truly great. At this time I’m smashing a Ddrum Reflex Powerhouse kit. The most important ‘must have gear’ for me, is my snare. I use a Ddrum Reflex Metal shell, and do at times also use (the all time greatest snare drum ever) a Ludwig 402.
What would you say has been the most important piece of advice you have ever received in regards to being a musician, and who gave you this advice?
Well there’s been many good bits of advice over the years. i will share this though, “either you Suck or you Rock”- Carmine Appice, and “Don’t ever stop, you give us all hope” – Jimmy Page.
If you could do it all again, would you change anything, and if so what?
Truly, no. I’ve done what I started out trying to do, and that was to make a difference and add something new to the arts.
For more information on Robb or Anvil please visit www.anvilmetal.com
Pictures courtesy of RockstarPix.com.