Twelve years on from "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", it's hard not feel a shiver of satisfaction that Lipps Kudlow and Robb Reiner are living the life they always wanted: releasing albums on a regular basis and spending the rest of their time touring like madmen. It's worth noting that "Legal at Last" would probably not exist had the Canadians not made the most of their moment in the celluloid spotlight. But here it is, their fifth full-length since the movie, and quite feasibly the most entertaining of the lot. No one is expecting ANVIL to release another "Forged in Fire" at this point — their brief time as pioneers is well documented, but almost secondary to their status as stoic underdogs, impervious to time or fashion. Instead, "Legal at Last" is more of the same thunderous and endearingly goofy old-school metal, hewn from the exact same ingredients that the band have used all along. The opening title track is a textbook speed metal ripper, not unreasonably celebrating the legalization of weed in Canada. Likewise, "Nabbed in Nebraska" tells a cautionary tale of confiscated contraband south of the border, over a slamming hard rock core. "Chemtrails" is another heads-down, double-kick clatter-fest, with some sweet THIN LIZZY harmonies and plenty of knuckleheaded fury. And on it goes, through various exuberant iterations of that undeniably basic but irresistible ANVIL formula: "Gasoline" is a lumbering doom horror show; "Talking to the Wall" is gnarly, menacing throwback to "Winged Assassins"; "Plastic in Paradise" takes an unlikely dive into ecological angst, over a treacly torrent of angular SABBATH-isms. None of it, it hardly needs saying, is designed to confound or challenge, and you could feasibly accuse ANVIL of not trying particularly hard, were it not for the self-evident fact that they play every note as if their lives depended on it. The shit-eating grins and air of sweaty triumph are practically audible throughout. And yes, ANVIL have already hit the road again with a vengeance and will probably stay there until it's time to make another hugely entertaining heavy metal record. It's what they always wanted, after all.
Kerrang! has just posted an interview with Dave Mustaine that originally ran in a June 2018 issue of the U.K. magazine in which the MEGADETH mainman addressed the controversial comments he made on stage in Singapore in August 2012 about then-President Barack Obama "staging" murders and turning the United States into "Nazi America." Asked if he has any regrets about what he said, Mustaine responded: "I have no regrets. If you weren't there, you won't know what happened. We were in Asia and soon discovered that the guy doing our monitors really wasn't a monitor guy; the first two shows had been disastrous. We got a local guy to help us and it was a fucking mess. Naturally, I threw caution to the wind and we knew we couldn't take the gig too seriously. That night I had a couple of drinks and I was really just joking with the audience." When asked to clarify what the "joke" was exactly, Mustaine said: "What I said was how much I wanted to live in Singapore because it's beautiful — the streets are immaculate, there's no graffiti, and hardly any crime at all. It really is a remarkable Asian paradise. I was drinking and started talking about the shootings in America. All I said was next time it happens, I'd come and live out there in Singapore. Whatever else came out along with that was to soften the blow to the audience about the sound issues. When I say stuff that I mean, I stick by it and nobody can shake me from it. And when I'm joking around and laughing, people need to be smart enough to know it is not meant seriously." During the August 7, 2012 concert in Singapore, Mustaine told the crowd: "Back in my country, my president is trying to pass a gun ban. So he's staging all of these murders, like the Fast And Furious thing down at the border and Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there. And now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple." He continued: "I don't know where I'm gonna live if America keeps going the way it's going because it looks like it's turning into Nazi America." Fast And Furious was part of a federal sting operation intended to trace the movement of weapons from legal dealers in the United States to the leaders of Mexican drug cartels. The government lost track of some weapons, which were later found at crime scenes in Mexico. A week after the Singapore concert, Mustaine spoke with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones about his controversial comments, claiming that he was merely repeating the theories of Larry Pratt, a pro-gun activist who runs the organization Gun Owners Of America. He said: "To clarify things, no one can deny there were criminal rogues in the administration. CBS News got the memos, Congress has the information and basically, Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners Of America, who is a highly respected person, said that if they would stage 'Fast And Furious,' they'd be capable of staging everything. And it was all done to blame the Second Amendment. We'd be fools not to look at this. Our U.S. border patrol agents were killed. And like I said, I was just quoting Larry Pratt. That's it bottom line." He continued: "In the heat of the moment, when you're onstage and you're talking, sometimes you're not as eloquent as you'd like to be. Like I said, I was just quoting what Larry said. We really need to investigate this and we need to have the Attorney General release the documents and find out who's responsible for this. People died and the democratic process says, 'Let's investigate this. Let's find out what's going on here.' "I love our country and my whole thing with this is that I think we should just look into it... I just think that we deserve to know the truth — that's it. "I'm a patriot," he added. "I've always been controversial. I'm a political songwriter. And this wasn't done to hurt any our my fellow countrymen. I think that it's something that we really, really need to look into." Earlier in 2012, Mustaine made headlines when he voiced his support for ultraconservative Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He explained at the time that the Pennsylvania politician looked "like he could be a really cool president… kind of like a JFK kind of guy." Later that year, Mustaine revealed his "birther" opinions on Alex Jones's talk show, saying he doubted President Obama was born in the United States. He said: "With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake… And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.' Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now?" Mustaine has consistently denied that he is a Republican, telling Artisan News in a 2012 interview: "I'm an independent, not a Republican — I've never been a Republican. I've always said that. I don't belong to any party — I'm non-partisan. And for me, the sad thing is, instead of voting for the best man, I have to vote for the lesser of two evils." Mustaine's entire June 2018 interview with Kerrang!, which has just been made available online for the first time, can be found at this location.