Sal Italiano from Anvil interview

Canadian metal band Anvil have just returned home after a successful tour promoting their latest studio album ‘Juggernaut Of Justice‘.The final date being a long awaited concert at Bloodstock Open Air Festival on Sunday, August 12th.

New bassist Sal Italiano kindly took time out to answer an email interview with me for PlanetMosh.


How old were you when you started playing bass guitar and was it your original instrument of choice?

I was fifteen…learning Sgt Peppers on bass was my first lesson studying with a teacher. A day in the life, If I do recall.

What models of bass and amps do you use and why? 

Right now the hartke hy-drive series (2)8×10 cabinets with (2) lh1000 amps.

These amps are crystal clear I’ve played almost every bass on the market over the years. I like the fender p-bass modified with the Seymour Duncan Quarter pound pickups and the badass bridge. Steve Harris rotosound flat wound strings.

Dean guitars have a John Entwistle hybrid that they sent me a beautiful bass guitar. The active eq I use it on some songs that need that extra texture and tone.


Anvil have  just played 2 European  gigs, 1 in Sweden and 1 in the UK? Was this your first time playing in Europe?

We had played Germany. Not, to as big an audience, but boy, were they passionate. That was the first EU show and then Sweden the day before bloodstock. With live after death, my iron maiden tribute band, we did this ‘hallowfest’ in trinidad on

Halloween night 3 years in a row amazing fans. 5000 to be exact at this pier one venue in Port of Spain. It’s pretty gratifying to play in front of so many metal fans no matter where it is!


The UK Bloodstock gig was almost 30yrs since Anvil have played outdoors at a UK  festival. How was the gig for you?

How about spectacular! Being from New York, and growing up listening to so many British bands then to actually play for that audience, brings me full circle on my musical journey.


There was a huge queue to meet Anvil at Bloodstock. What were your thoughts when seeing all those fans passing through?

When fans show you that kind of love, it is there because you have touched their hearts.

And Anvil has done that hands down. Anvil has reached a new audience and it’s not just about music. it’s a far deeper connection and if it’s possible to touch every fan with a handshake or a hug…line them up. I’m there.


Now the current Anvil tour is over, are there any bands you are planning to see?

Shinedown is coming through New York at the end of the summer. I just saw Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper.

I need to catch up being here, it’s easy to go out on any night and see a show. Ah, New York City.


Who is your favourite band of all time?                                                                                                               

Wow. Can’t say one. There were always bands that defined it for me.

70’s Queen/Alice Cooper.

80’s Iron Maiden/Judas Priest. (cities….and i say that because i loved what we started to create while we were together. We were in the thick of it!)

90’s Foo Fighters/Queens of the Stone Age. These past 10 years, Shinedown/Slipknot. Is there a pattern here?

Now, what got me started? I’d have to say the Beatles. I think what they did influenced a whole generation on so many levels.


What are your favourite studio and live albums of all time?

The Beatles white album. Double sided plethora of creativity. Sound pictures!!! Oh yeah!

There wasnt anything out there that could touch it.


If you could play bass in a super group. Who would be your ideal members be on drums, rhythm/lead guitar and vocals?

I would base my choices on creativity.

Neal Peart. Jimmy Page & Slash. Steven Tyler. These guys are all acrobats at what they do and there you have it. Hope you enjoy. Thanks mate.

A very big thank you to Sal Italiano for his time, also  to PlanetMosh photographer Simon “Snake” Thomas and Festival Photo photographer Anthony May for the use of their pics from Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2012.

Also check out:

My In depth interview with Robb Reiner at Bloodstock click here

My review of Anvil’s awesome set at Bloodstock click here


Anvil links:


About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!