Down (band)

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Down
Down live in Toronto, Canada, 2009.jpg
Down live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
GenresSludge metal, heavy metal
Years active1991–present
LabelsElektra, Warner Bros, Roadrunner
Associated actsArson Anthem, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod, Kingdom of Sorrow, Pantera, Superjoint Ritual
Websitewww.down-nola.com
MembersPhil Anselmo
Jimmy Bower
Pepper Keenan
Pat Bruders
Bobby Landgraf
Past membersKirk Windstein
Todd Strange
Rex Brown
 
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Down
Down live in Toronto, Canada, 2009.jpg
Down live in Toronto, 2009
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
GenresSludge metal, heavy metal
Years active1991–present
LabelsElektra, Warner Bros, Roadrunner
Associated actsArson Anthem, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod, Kingdom of Sorrow, Pantera, Superjoint Ritual
Websitewww.down-nola.com
MembersPhil Anselmo
Jimmy Bower
Pepper Keenan
Pat Bruders
Bobby Landgraf
Past membersKirk Windstein
Todd Strange
Rex Brown

Down is an American heavy metal supergroup that formed in 1991 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist Phil Anselmo (Pantera), guitarist Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity), guitarist Bobby Landgraf, bassist Pat Bruders (Goatwhore), and drummer Jimmy Bower (Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Superjoint Ritual). Since their formation, Down has gone on hiatus twice. To date, Down has released five studio albums. The first three were LPs entitled NOLA (1995), Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow (2002), and Down III: Over the Under (2007). In 2008,[1] the band began working on additional material, which resulted in two EPs entitled Down IV Part I – The Purple EP, released in September 2012 and Down IV, Pt. II, released in May 2014.

History[edit]

Formation and NOLA (1991–1998)[edit]

Main article: NOLA (album)
Phil Anselmo formed Down in 1991

DOWN formed in 1991 with vocalist/songwriter Phil Anselmo of Pantera, guitarist Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, second guitarist Kirk Windstein and bassist Todd Strange of Crowbar, and drummer Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod. All of the band members were longtime friends, and shared interest in bands such as Black Sabbath, Trouble, and Saint Vitus, which would significantly influence the music they made. The band made a three-track demo for underground trading. In an effort to build a fan base, the band would ask heavy metal fans if they had ever "heard of this band, Down" and hand them copies of the tape without telling the person that they were in the band.[2][3] Eventually, the tape was distributed throughout the United States and Down played a small concert in its hometown. A record executive from Elektra Records was attending the show. When he found out who the members of the band were, he signed Down to a recording contract.[3]

NOLA has always reminded me sound-wise and approach-wise as a really loud demo, and it was based on three three-song demos that we did just for fun. We were still growing and finding out what we were as a band, and we were into a lot of bands that were influenced by Black Sabbath, like St. Vitus, Trouble and Witchfinder General.

- Phil Anselmo on Down's first album[4]

Down released its debut album, NOLA, on September 19, 1995, debuting at number 55 on the Billboard 200. Allmusic reviewer David Reamer gave the album a nearly perfect 4.5 out of 5 stars, praising the songs "Temptations Wings", "Stone the Crow", and "Bury Me in Smoke". Reamer stated that "this is a landmark album that combines the talents of dedicated rock musicians, and should be included in any collection of heavy metal music."[5] NOLA was supported by a 13-date tour, and afterward the band went on hiatus in order to return to their respective bands.[2]

A Bustle in Your Hedgerow and Over the Under (1999–2008)[edit]

Main articles: Down II and Over the Under
Rex Brown joined the band in 1999

In 1999, while Down was on hiatus, Strange left the band and was replaced by Pantera bassist Rex Brown. In late November 2001, Down came back from hiatus to make another record. The band wrote and recorded Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow in 28 "drug and booze induced" days in Philip's barn called "Nödferatu's lair."[6] The album was released on March 26, 2002, but was not received with the same positive reviews as NOLA. Blabbermouth.net reviewer Borivoj Krgin stated, "Down II appears to have been thrown together more haphazardly, with much of the material falling short of the standard set by the Down's classic debut offering."[7] Despite poor reviews, the album debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200.[8] To support the album, Down toured on the second stage of Ozzfest in 2002.[9] Afterward, the band once again entered an indefinite hiatus to focus on their respective bands.

Newly signed to Warner Bros. Records, Down once again reformed in 2006. The band wrote an album over the course of a year. The lyrical content of Down III: Over the Under covers subjects such as the breakup of Pantera, the murder of ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, the band's anger at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and Anselmo's recovery from back surgery and drug addiction.[2][6] Debuting at number 26 on the Billboard 200, the album was released on September 25, 2007, and received generally positive reviews.[8] Kirk Miller of Decibel Magazine said of the album, "for almost an hour, it’s like the metal world was set right again."[10]

The release of Down III was preceded by a tour with Heaven & Hell and Megadeth. To further support their album, Down headlined a tour starting at the end of September 2007.[11]

On April 22, 2008, the BBC Radio 1 Rockshow broadcast a new session of Down recordings featuring alternate versions of "NOD", "Beneath the Tides", and "Jail", along with a cover of "When The Levee Breaks" (written by Kansas Joe McCoy and his wife Memphis Minnie, and famously covered by Led Zeppelin).

Diary of a Mad Band (2008–2010)[edit]

Down performs in Bologna, Italy, on 22 July 2008

On July 24, 2008, frontman Phil Anselmo mentioned in a post on the band's Myspace blog that Down had been "fucking around with some new material" and had "enough material already recorded"—at least six new songs in addition to those that did not make the final cut on Over the Under.[1] Just what or how much will be included on the tentative Down IV is uncertain, but according to Anselmo, there is "definitely enough for an awesome EP, with some surprises within."

Asked in November 2008 what the current status of the new album was, bassist Rex Brown told Billboard.com that Down had been "writing constantly on the road. We still have all these ideas, and we play a lot of new stuff at sound check, just to feel it out. Hopefully, we can get back in the studio in the fall and work on something."[12]

On February 3, 2009, Down was announced on -and later removed from- the lineup for the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, a large annual outdoor music festival since 2002. On February 18, 2009, Down was announced in the lineup for the 2009 Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Following these live dates, the band toured the USA and Canada during August and September 2009. On March 30, 2009, Down posted a statement on their message board indicating that they will be back in the studio from October through November writing and recording what will eventually become Down IV. In the summer of 2009, Down began a US tour without Rex on bass, who had developed acute pancreatitis.

On January 27, 2010, it was announced that Brown had nearly fully recuperated from his fight with pancreatitis.[13] Down had discussed reconvening in New Orleans sometime after the 2010 Super Bowl to begin work on a new album. With a release date yet to be announced, the new album will be the band's fourth studio offering. After legal issues with Warner Brothers Records regarding the rights to the music, Down released Diary of a Mad Band: Europe in the Year of VI CD/DVD on October 5 via Roadrunner Records. The title is a reference to Diary of a Madman, an Ozzy Osbourne album.

Brown's departure and EPs (2011–present)[edit]

In 2011, Phil Anselmo commented on the future of Down, stating: "Man, there will be a time for Down. Matter of fact we had a meeting this past week, and I know Jimmy's gotta go do an Eyehategod tour in February. But after that, I think we're looking to do some shows starting in March. Maybe local around here, maybe even some Mardi Gras gigs. But yeah, last week we sat around and they played me some new stuff they're working on, and it sounds good. Sounds like it's got a lot of promise, and really they just need me in the fuckin' practice room. So all this is going to happen this year. It has to happen. I know there's a responsibility here. Down has a fanbase and they are very very very loyal. So I don't want to let those people down. They deserve some new music, we have it. We've demoed other songs, there's songs that haven't even been released that people have never heard, so there's always Down there. For all you people out there, don't you stress. We got the Down coming."

On May 11, 2011, Down announced on their Facebook page that they "demoed a brand new tune."[14] Down played at Download Festival on Saturday 11 June 2011. They played alongside System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold and Alice Cooper. Rex did not tour with Down during their spring 2011 shows. Crowbar bassist Pat Bruders filled in for Rex for those shows. "Rex is not gonna be with us," said Keenan. "He’s got things he needs to deal with, and we gave him an ultimatum and he’s trying to work things out. We’ve got Pat (Bruders) from Crowbar playing bass, and he’s ass-kickin’ in the same way. He plays with his fingers — which is really cool; he’s got the whole Geezer Butler thing going on." When asked whether or not Brown was still considered a part of the band, Keenan was hopeful but hesitant: “I don’t know what to really say on that; he’s not out of the band, but he’s not playing with us live.” On June 22, 2011, Jimmy Bower announced that Rex Brown would not be returning to Down, and that Pat Bruders is his replacement.[15]

The band recently said on their Facebook page they started recording new material on October 20. On January 16, 2012, they revealed track names from the new EP on Facebook. They included "Levitation", "Witchtripper", "Open Coffins", "The Curse is a Lie", "This Work is Timeless" and "Misfortune Teller". Initially, rumors spread about the possibility of Down releasing four EPs, instead of an album. However, when asked about it in an interview with Scuzz TV, Anselmo said that "It would be too pretentious, we try not to think as far ahead as that, and just go with what we feel at the time." In the summer of 2013, Kirk Windstein quit the band and was replaced by Bobby Landgraf. Down IV – Part II was released on May 13, 2014.

Band members[edit]

Timeline[edit]


Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsCertifications
US
[8]
AUS
[16]
FIN
[17]
FRA
[18]
GER
[19]
IRL
[20]
SWE
[21]
UK
[22]
1995NOLA
  • Released: September 19, 1995
577568* US: Platinum
2002Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow
  • Released: March 26, 2002
44456780
2007Down III: Over the Under
  • Released: September 24, 2007
26603011465424546
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended Plays[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[8]
FIN
[17]
FRA
[18]
GER
[19]
UK
[22]
AUS
[23]
2012Down IV – Part I
  • Released: September 18, 2012
35163865758
2014Down IV – Part II
  • Released: May 13, 2014
232181885079

Live albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
FRA
[18]
GER
[19]
2010Diary of a Mad Band
  • Released: October 5, 2010
14793

Singles[edit]

YearSongAlbumMusic video
1995"Lifer"NOLANo
"Stone the Crow"Yes
"Temptations Wings"
1996"Bury Me in Smoke"No
2002"Beautifully Depressed"Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow
"Ghosts Along the Mississippi"Yes
2007"On March the Saints"Down III: Over the Under
"I Scream"No
2008"Mourn"
2012"Witchtripper"Down IV – Part IYes
2014"We Knew Him Well"Down IV – Part IIYes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Down: Six New Songs Recorded". Ultimate-Guitar.com. 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  2. ^ a b c Geist, Brandon (November 2007). "Never Say Die". Revolver Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b "Interview with Pepper Keenan (Down and C.O.C.)". Stormbringerwebzine.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-02-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (2002-03-25). "Pantera's Phil Anselmo Gets Down And Dirty - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  5. ^ Reamer, David. "NOLA overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  6. ^ a b Parks, Andrew (October 2007). "Down" (– Scholar search). Decibel Magazine. Retrieved 2008-02-28. [dead link][dead link]
  7. ^ Krgin, Borivoj Phil stated recently that: "I honestly cannot say that Down II was really a high point in my life. Matter of fact I would have to say it was one of the lowest points. I felt like I sleep walked through those lyrics, I was screaming on paper, I was pleading with myself. I knew that the reservoir of strength was there it was just covered by, what I like to say; mountains and mountains of blankets. As you come clean a layer of blankets comes of little by little, by little. You don't just come clean and see the light, you got to take some layers off first. There was a lot of truth on that record I just wasn’t there yet.". "CD reviews – Down II". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Down Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. 
  9. ^ "Ozzfest alumni". Ozzfest.com. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  10. ^ Miller, Kirk. "Down III: Over the Under". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved 2008-02-28. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Megadeth and Down to support Heaven and Hell in Canada". Blabbermouth.net. 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  12. ^ "Down Gets Busy On New Album While Touring". Billboard.com. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  13. ^ "Rex is Back in the Saddle". Down-nola.com. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  14. ^ "Down Demoing New Material". Blabbermouth.net. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  15. ^ "Bassist REX BROWN Will Not Return To DOWN, Says Drummer JIMMY BOWER". Blabbermouth.net. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  16. ^ "Discography Down". australian-charts.com. 
  17. ^ a b "Discography Down". finnishcharts.com. 
  18. ^ a b c "Discographie Down" (in French). lescharts.com. 
  19. ^ a b c "Down > Longplay-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Musicline.de. 
  20. ^ "Discography Down". irish-charts.com. 
  21. ^ "Discography Down". swedishcharts.com. 
  22. ^ a b "Down UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  23. ^ "ARIA Chartifacts". 

External links[edit]