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Glenn Five Explains Anvil Split in Detail

Glenn Five
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Several days after announcing he was quitting the band, recently departed Anvil bassist Glenn Five has opened up about his decision in a wide-ranging interview with BraveWords.com, discussing his reasons for leaving his musical home of 16 years and talking in-depth about the creative rifts that forced him to walk away.

“I was never encouraged to bring my music to the table and that has limited me creatively,” Five said when asked to expand on his press release statement about leaving Anvil. “A musician to me is about being creative with other musicians and I need to get back to that.”

Although he repeatedly took pains to make it clear that he doesn’t harbor any ill will toward the band — as he put it, “I appreciate and cherish all the great experiences I’ve had with Anvil” — he was also brutally frank about his frustrations regarding the pecking order in the group.

“The truth is, sadly, that [guitarist] Lips and [drummer] Robb have always considered me as little more than just their bass player. The other guy in their band,” said Five. “To me that meant to just enjoy the ride and not have any of the pressures. Not a bad deal at all,” he admitted, but added, “What I want is to progress as a musician and a performer, and I don’t think that will be possible in Anvil.”

He also recounted the disappointing way his decision to leave the band was greeted by Robb, revealing that although he offered to stick around longer to give them more time to find a replacement, “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 band has already moved on with new bassist Sal Italiano, who Five graciously described by saying, “I’ve heard that they’ve got a great bass player on board and I wish them all the best of luck.” Meanwhile, Five said he’s been spending some time jamming in Toronto, writing new music, and networking. “I’m already feeling creative again. As well as session work and collaborating with other musicians, given the opportunity I would love to explore producing or working as a musical director. I’m just looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”

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