|Origin||New Orleans, Louisiana, USA|
|Genres||Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, Southern Metal, Groove Metal|
|Years active||1991 - 1996, 1999 - 2003, 2006 - 2017; 2020|
|Labels||Housecore, Elektra, Warner Bros., Roadrunner|
|Associated acts||Arson Anthem, Pantera, Superjoint Ritual/Superjoint, The Illegals, Scour, Kill Devil Hill, Southern Isolation, Christ Inversion, Viking Crown, Necrophagia, Goatwhore, Honky, Outlaw Order, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod, The Mystick Crewe of Clearlight|
|Website||The Down Page|
Down is a heavy metal supergroup formed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1991. With two hiatuses between their formation and 2003 before becoming a permanent band in 2006, this band is best known for writing sludgy southern metal deeply rooted in personal struggles, drug abuse and New Orleans history and culture.
Down could be considered the primary musical project of former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo, especially after that respective band ended in 2003 (Though Anselmo stays fairly busy with a host of other musical endeavors.).
Formation and NOLA (1991 - 1996)
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 and stir interest, 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. Eventually the tape was distributed throughout the United States and Down played a small concert in its hometown in 1992 (Though the specific date and venue are unknown). 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.
Down released its debut album NOLA on 19 September 1995, debuting at number 55 on the Billboard 200 and eventually being certified Gold by the RIAA. NOLA was supported by a 13-date tour, and afterward the band went on hiatus in order to return to their respective bands.
A Bustle in Your Hedgerow and Second Hiatus (1999 - 2003)
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." The album was released on 26 March 2002 and debuting at 44 on the Billboard 200 to mixed reviews. To support the album Down toured on the second stage of Ozzfest in 2002. Afterward, the band once again entered an indefinite hiatus to focus on their respective bands.
Over The Under and Rex Brown's Departure (2006 - 2011)
Newly signed to Warner Bros. Records, Down once again reformed in 2006. The band wrote an album over the course of a year, ultimately releasing Down III: Over The Under on 25 September 2007. The album would debut at number 26 on the Billboard 200 and receive positive reviews. 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.[
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.
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". The band had also been at work on Down IV with songs being written on the road. The band actively toured in 2008 as well.
On 3 February 2009 Down was announced on -and later removed from- the lineup for the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival. On 18 February 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 30 March 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 (With Melvins and Weedeater as direct support) without Rex on bass, who had developed acute pancreatitis. The band would go on to release their first live album on 5 October 2010 via Roadrunner Records entitled Diary of a Mad Band: Europe in the Year of VI. In 2011 it would be announced that Rex Brown departed from the band and replaced by Patrick Bruders.
Down IV EPs, Departures and Incidents (2012 - Present)
The band spoke on their Facebook page and said they started recording new material on October 20. On January 16, 2012, they revealed track names for the new EP on Facebook. The band would released their first EP entitled Down IV - Part I on 18 September 2012 while remaining active on the road. 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 to concentrate fully on Crowbar and was replaced by Bobby Landgraf. Down IV – Part II was released on May 13, 2014. Down would tour throughout 2014 and 2015 in support of the most recent EP.
On 22 January 2016, Anselmo ended the "Dimebash" Dimebag Darrell tribute show by giving a Nazi salute and screaming the words "white power" to the crowd. The incident was captured by an audience member's cell phone camera and the video was posted on YouTube. Anselmo would initially dismiss it as an inside joke related to "white wine" but later issue a public apology. This would affect Down as they were dropped from numerous festivals in Europe such as FortaRock. While Hellfest chose to keep Down on in France despite even losing a grant from their government, Down chose to drop out of that festival of their own free will. The band would perform only a handful of times in 2016, mainly a hometown show in April and an appearance at Psycho Festival in Las Vegas. This likely could also be attributed to the band members keeping to their own respective projects (Anselmo with Superjoint, Bower with Superjoint and Eyehategod, Keenan returning to Corrosion of Conformity, etc.).
Down has been confirmed to reunite in 2020 for a series of shows in observance of the 25th anniversary of NOLA.
- NOLA (1995, Elektra)
- Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow (2002, Elektra)
- Down III: Over The Under (2007, Warner Bros. / Roadrunner)
- Down IV: Part I (2012, Roadrunner)
- Down IV: Part II (2014, Roadrunner)
- Diary of a Mad Band (2010, Warner Bros. / Roadrunner)
- Pepper Keenan - Guitars, Backing Vocals (1991 - Present)
- Jimmy Bower - Drums (1992 - Present)
- Phil Anselmo - Vocals (1991 - Present)
- Bobby Landgraf - Guitars, Backing Vocals (2013 - Present)
- Patrick Bruders - Bass (2011 - Present)
- Ross Karpelman - Keyboards, Organ (1994 - Present)
Past and Live-Only Members
- Todd Strange - Bass (1991 - 1999)
- Danny Theriot - Bass (Live) (2009)
- Rex Brown - Bass (1999 - 2011)
- Kirk Windstein - Guitar (1991 - 2013)