Long-running heavy metal supergroup DOWN, featuring vocalist Philip H. Anselmo, guitarists Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein, drummer Jimmy Bower and bassist Pat Bruders, will make a handful of rare live appearances this spring and summer.
The band will launch a three-date U.S. run of shows on May 19 at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Daytona Beach, Florida. After playing in Atlanta and Dallas immediately after Rockville, DOWN will take a three-week break before regrouping for three European festival appearances — Copenhell, Graspop Metal Meeting and Hellfest — in June. An appearance at this year's Blue Ridge Rock Festival will follow in September in Alton, Virginia.
Commented Anselmo: "It's gonna be good to be out playing shows with the DOWN boys again!"
On Tuesday (May 17),DOWN shared a short Instagram video of the band rehearsing the song "Lifer" for the upcoming shows. Check it out below.
Earlier in the month, Windstein spoke to Pierre Gutiérrez of Rock Talks about the status of DOWN's long-discussed EP of "obscure" cover songs. He said: "We have been talking about this for a long time. What's been happening is DOWN is kind of now as it started, which was a side project. We love doing it and it's a ton of fun and we love it — we love the band; it's an amazing band — but everybody's back to doing their other bands. Pepper's [Keenan, guitar] doing C.O.C. full-time, Jimmy's [Bower, drums] doing EYEHATEGOD, I'm doing CROWBAR, Phil's [Anselmo, vocals] got a lot on his hands and a lot of projects, as he always did and always will.
"I would love to knock out this cover-song EP," he continued. "We really haven't, to my knowledge, agreed upon the songs a hundred percent yet. Right now we're more concerned with just being properly rehearsed for the shows that we have coming up at the end of May. And we have three festivals in Europe at the end of June that we need to be prepared for as well. So we're kind of concentrating on that, and maybe after that we'll see where we're at with the cover-song EP."
Asked by Gutiérrez if the members of DOWN have already picked a few songs to cover on the upcoming EP, Windstein said: "We have a few that I think we all agree on, but in the end it's really Phil's choice. The other guys, and Phil as well, have texted each other back and forth and e-mailed each other a million different songs that we think would be good. To me, we need to just sit down and have an actual meeting and say, 'All right, guys. What songs are we gonna do? And let's learn 'em. And make 'em sound like DOWN.' We don't wanna be a cover-song band like you have on a cruise ship or something; we want to redo these songs in a DOWN style. And no disrespect to cover-song bands on a cruise ship or anywhere else… But seriously, we just need to agree on the songs and get down to work with it.
"Life starts to take over as you get older," Kirk added, explaining the delay in recording the new DOWN EP. "We have children, and some of us are married… Life starts to take over where it's difficult with everyone's schedule, like, 'Okay, when can we all get together?' Because this one's got this family function going on and this one's got this family function going on. As you get older, it does make it a little more difficult. But we just need to get in a room and talk and figure it out. And I can't wait to do that; I think it's gonna be great."
Pressed about which tracks have already been agreed upon for inclusion on the DOWN covers EP, Kirk said: "I'd rather not [discuss that in interviews yet] because there's only maybe one or two that are really set in stone. Some of it's some obscure stuff, so I would rather… When we have one hundred percent agreement on all the guys as to what we're gonna do, then maybe in interviews we'll talk about it."
When Gutiérrez mentioned that it would be cool to hear DOWN cover a KISS song, Windstein said: "Pepper threw one out that I love, so you never know. Once again, it's really up to Phil in the end, what he feels is great for his voice and what KISS song, if we did, would we do. I mean, we have one in mind, but can we make it sound like DOWN? Maybe so. It's gotta sound like we wrote it; it's gotta sound like us."
As for the possibility of a new full-length album of original material from DOWN, Kirk said: "That's another thing that needs to be discussed at some point. To me, it would almost be easier to just everybody write riffs and get together than try to decide on which cover songs to do. I'm sure that we'll get around to it at some point. We're not getting any younger and it's something that we enjoy and I think that the fans would love it as well. So I'm sure at some point we'll get around to it."
Last August, 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 have since been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping 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.