In a new interview with Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio, DOWN guitarist Kirk Windstein spoke about the possibility of him and his bandmates writing and recording new music in the not-too-distant future. The supergroup, which also includes PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan (on guitar),EYEHATEGOD guitarist Jimmy Bower (on drums) and bassist Pat Bruders, hasn’t released anything since the arrival of the “Down IV – Part Two” EP in May 2014. Windstein, who also plays guitar and sings in CROWBAR, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I talked to Phil a pretty good bit, and we’re all gonna go out to his house and his property later this month [October]… He kind of does like a little Halloween thing or whatever. So we’re gonna do that.
“Phil‘s attitude is kind of just like, ‘Look, fellas, I’m doing what I’m doing [with PANTERA]. I love it. We’re killing it.’ And boy, are they. We [CROWBAR] had the pleasure of playing with PANTERA in Poland in early June. It was unbelievable. I mean, I laughed, I cried. My emotion was something else, because I was very tight with [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag. It’s real — what they’re doing is real. But what Phil said, ‘Hey, man, in the big picture of things, dude, I really don’t have a band. I’m doing a PANTERA reunion thing.’ And of course they’re gonna do it as long as they can. I mean, I don’t blame them. Who would? You do what you’ve gotta do. And they’re killing it and doing it heartfelt for the right reasons, and I love it. But like he said, ‘Look, you are the guys.’ And I talked to Pepper about two or three days ago. I think he’s got a few shows in early November with C.O.C. and he’s off for a while. CROWBAR‘s next gig is in Ireland in late February, so we’re off for a good bit. And when you have five guys — well, Phil, of course, will be kind of out of the picture for now but me, Pepper, Jimmy and Pat — in a room together, when you’ve got all these guys writing riffs off of each other… And that’s the way I like to write — I like to write spontaneously off the cuff. I don’t like to [go], ‘Okay, this is my new song. Boom. Here y’all go,’ or whatever. I like to write off the cuff, on the spot. I feel what the other guys are giving me vibe-wise and whatnot. And that, to me, is a winning formula. It really is.”
Asked by Penfold if he is saying that there could possibly be some new DOWN music coming out in 2024, Kirk replied: “I hope. To be honest, we talked about doing like a cover-song EP. But we threw around like a hundred songs and we can’t pick and choose any of them. So, to me, it’s easier to just go, ‘Hey, guys, let’s get in the fucking room and just write some shit.’ Come out with six songs and do an EP. So I hope that that’s what happens.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” he continued. “And this is not from Phil or [PANTERA bassist] Rex [Brown] or anything. They can do [the PANTERA thing] forever. Like as far as festivals in South America, Europe and whatnot, they can — they can always go do a weekend or two in the summer here and there between Zakk [Wylde, PANTERA guitarist] and Charlie‘s [Benante, drums] [schedules]… whatever they’re up to with [their respective] bands. So I hope that they do. I hope they do it forever.
“When we got DOWN together in 1991, that was the first demo tape,” Windstein added. “We wrote ‘Bury Me In Smoke’, ‘Temptation’s Wings’ and ‘Losing All’ in a day. We recorded it. Phil sang. We mixed it off on a four-track or some shit, and that was it. Phil flew back to Texas and Pepper flew back to North Carolina with C.O.C. So when we got together, we always joked, but it’s no longer a joke that this is the kind of band we can grow old with. It doesn’t matter what we look like. We can be fat. We can be bald. We’re not attracting 18-year-old girls. If they wanna be a fan of the music, great. If you’re a [Taylor Swift] fan, hey, more power to you. It’s all good. Whatever. But that was not our intention. And it’s kind of ironic or whatever that it’s kind of come full circle where we see ourselves going, ‘Hey, guys, we’re closing in on mid-50s to 60s. This is a band that we can actually do and kill it and then retire with it maybe.’ So that’s what I personally believe is going to happen, and I hope that in the near future, that’s what happens and we’re able to do more DOWN in, say, ’24, ’25, whatever. But there’s no time limit on anything. I mean, Phil‘s doing what he’s doing and God bless him for that. And I’m so proud of him. I really am.”
DOWN made a handful of rare live appearances in the spring and summer of 2022. The band launched a three-date U.S. run of shows in May 2022 at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Daytona Beach, Florida. After playing in Atlanta and Dallas immediately after Rockville, DOWN took a three-week break before regrouping for three European festival appearances in June. An appearance at last year’s Blue Ridge Rock Festival followed in September 2022 in Alton, Virginia.
In August 2021, DOWN took part in a very special in-person live and virtual experience. “NOLA Town Throwdown” was held at the Fillmore in New Orleans, Louisiana and featured fans attending the show in person as well as watching it in real time from the comfort of their living room.
In August 2020, DOWN celebrated the 25th anniversary of “NOLA” with a special livestreamed event. Dubbed “The Quarter Century Throwdown”, the high-production, multi-camera event took place using cutting-edge streaming technology to create a one-of-a-kind virtual concert experience.
A founding member of DOWN, Windstein left the band in 2013 in order to focus on CROWBAR and his family life. He was replaced by Bobby Landgraf, DOWN‘s former guitar tech who was previously in GAHDZILLA MOTOR COMPANY, a 1990s outfit also featuring Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS, WATCHTOWER),and HONKY.
Windstein announced his return to DOWN in 2019, with the band confirming a number of festival appearances for 2020 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “NOLA”, all of which were later canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic which swept the globe.
Prior to the August 2020 livestream, DOWN‘s last live appearance took place in August 2016 at the Psycho Las Vegas festival in Las Vegas.
“Down IV – Part Two” sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release in May 2014 to debut at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band’s previous EP, “Down IV Part I – The Purple EP”, opened with around 12,000 units in September 2012 to land at No. 35.
“Down IV – Part Two” was recorded at Nodferatu’s Lair — Anselmo‘s home studio — and produced by Michael Thompson. It was released via Down Records/ADA Music.