PEPPER KEENAN Didn't Want To Play With DOWN Again Unless KIRK WINDSTEIN Came Back
December 14, 2021
In a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Pepper Keenan spoke about DOWN's plans to resume touring in 2022. Plans for select shows featuring Keenan, vocalist Philip Anselmo, guitarist Kirk Windstein, drummer Jimmy Bower and bassist Pat Bruders performing DOWN's 1995-released, now-classic debut, "NOLA" in its entirety to celebrate its 25th anniversary were sidelined due to the global pandemic.
"Everybody's just trying to come up for air," Pepper said. "We played Psycho [Las Vegas festival] in Vegas and we played at Fillmore in New Orleans, and they were both slamming shows. We did live streams. It was just so bizarre to be sitting on your ass for a year — literally. We had shit planned all over the fucking place — both [DOWN and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, Pepper's other band]. And we just got hobbled. So now we're just trying to slowly put it back together without going too fast. But, yeah, it's definitely on the radar."
Keenan went on to say that it is pretty special having Windstein back in DOWN after a six-year absence. 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 and played his first show back with the band in August 2020 at a special livestreamed event dubbed "The Quarter Century Throwdown".
"[Kirk] was our missing link," Pepper told Ultimate Classic Rock. "And I did tell everybody, I said, 'I ain't gonna do it unless Kirk's in the band.' I called Kirk. Kirk said, 'I'm in.' We went berserk. We were out of our element and went insane. But we've all known each since we were kids, so you can't be mad that long. And nobody was mad. It was just… [Laughs] We were losing it. We were coming off the rails."
Prior to the August 2020 livestream, DOWN's last live appearance took place at the 2016 edition of Psycho Las Vegas.
DOWN was forced to cancel a number of shows in 2016 after Anselmo was filmed giving a Nazi salute and shouting "white power" at a California concert. Keenan later offered his take on what transpired, telling Metal Wani that DOWN was "far from done" after the controversial incident. "You know, DOWN didn't do anything wrong," he said. "I mean, we were just guilty by association on that one. That was Phil's mistake. I've spoken to Phil and told him to get his shit together, and he is. He knows he made a mistake and was being stupid."