Down (band)

Last updated
Down live in Toronto, Canada, 2009.jpg
Down live in Toronto in 2009
Background information
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Years active1991–present
Associated acts
Past members

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 (Honky), bassist Pat Bruders (Goatwhore), and drummer Jimmy Bower (Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Superjoint Ritual). Since their formation, Down has gone on hiatus twice and they have released five studio albums. The first three were LPs entitled NOLA (1995), Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow (2002), and Over the Under (2007). In 2008, [3] the band began working on additional material, which resulted in two EPs entitled Down IV – Part I , released in September 2012 and Down IV – Part II , released in May 2014.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

A supergroup is a musical performing group whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. The term is usually used in the context of rock and pop music, but it has occasionally been applied to other musical genres. For example, The Three Tenors—composed of opera superstars José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti—or Rainbow have been called a supergroup.

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 391,006 in 2018, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.


The band fuses elements from sludge metal, heavy metal, stoner rock, southern rock, hardcore punk, grunge, groove metal and blues rock

Sludge metal is an extreme style of music that originated through combining elements of doom metal and hardcore punk. It is typically harsh and abrasive, often featuring shouted vocals, heavily distorted instruments and sharply contrasting tempos. While the Melvins from the US state of Washington laid the groundwork for both sludge metal and grunge in the 1980s, sludge as a distinct genre emerged after 1990 through the work of Louisiana bands such as Eyehategod and Crowbar. Later bands often border on stoner rock or post-metal.

Stoner rock, also known as stoner metal or stoner doom, is a rock music fusion genre that combines elements of heavy metal and/or doom metal with psychedelic rock and acid rock. The name references cannabis consumption. The term desert rock is often used interchangeably with the term "stoner rock" to describe this genre; however, not all stoner rock bands would fall under the descriptor of "desert rock". Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo and features a heavily distorted, groove-laden bass-heavy sound, melodic vocals, and "retro" production. The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered foremost by Monster Magnet and the California bands Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Sleep.

Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues, and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals. Although the origin of the term Southern rock is unknown, "many people feel that these important contributors to the development of rock and roll have been minimized in rock's history."


Formation and NOLA (1991–1998)

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 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. [5] [6] 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. [6]

Phil Anselmo American musician

Philip Hansen Anselmo is an American heavy metal musician who is best known as the lead vocalist for Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual. He is also the owner of Housecore Records and has been involved with several other bands.

Pantera American heavy metal band

Pantera was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas. The group was formed in 1981 by the Abbott brothers – drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell – along with lead vocalist Terry Glaze. Bassist Rex Brown joined the band the following year, replacing Tommy D. Bradford, who was the unofficial original. Having started as a glam metal band, Pantera released four albums during the 1980s. Looking for a new and heavier sound, Pantera replaced Glaze with Phil Anselmo in late 1986 and released Power Metal in 1988. With its fifth album, 1990's Cowboys from Hell, Pantera introduced the groove metal genre, while its 1992 follow-up Vulgar Display of Power exhibited an even heavier sound. Far Beyond Driven (1994) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. In addition to their contribution to the groove metal genre, Pantera is credited for being part of the second wave of thrash metal scene in the early-to-mid 1990s.

Pepper Keenan American vocalist and heavy metal guitarist

Pepper J. Keenan, is an American guitarist and vocalist, best known for his work with heavy metal bands Corrosion of Conformity and Down. He joined Corrosion of Conformity in 1989, but did not become the lead singer until the recording of Deliverance in 1994. In 1991 he formed Down with Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod, and Kirk Windstein and Todd Strange of Crowbar.

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." [7] NOLA was supported by a 13-date tour, and afterward the band went on hiatus in order to return to their respective bands. [5]

<i>NOLA</i> (album) 1995 studio album by Down

NOLA is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Down, released on September 19, 1995 by Elektra Records. The title is the abbreviation for New Orleans (N.O.), Louisiana (LA).

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

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

Rex Brown joined the band in 1999 RexBrown.jpg
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." [8] The album was released on March 26, 2002, but was not received with the same positive reviews as NOLA. 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." [9] Despite poor reviews, the album debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200. [10] To support the album, Down toured on the second stage of Ozzfest in 2002. [11] Afterward, the band once again entered an indefinite hiatus to focus on their respective bands.

Rex Brown American musician

Rex Robert Brown is an American musician and author, who is best known as having been the longtime bassist for the band Pantera (1982–2003). He is a former member of Down (2001–2011), and is the former bassist for the band Kill Devil Hill. He released his debut solo album Smoke on This on July 28, 2017. For the first time in Brown's career, the work features him not only as a bassist but also as lead vocalist and guitarist.

<i>Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow</i> 2002 studio album by Down

II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow is the second album by Down, released on March 26, 2002. The subtitle "A Bustle in Your Hedgerow" is borrowed from the lyrics of "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. is a website dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock news, as well as album and music DVD reviews. was founded and is run by Borivoj Krgin. The first version of the website was launched in March 2001; in October 2001, the record label Roadrunner Records began hosting it.

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 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. [5] [8] Debuting at number 26 on the Billboard 200, the album was released on September 25, 2007, and received generally positive reviews. [10] Kirk Miller of Decibel Magazine said of the album, "for almost an hour, it's like the metal world was set right again." [12]

<i>Over the Under</i> 2007 studio album by Down

III: Over the Under is the third studio album by Down, released five years after their previous album, Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow. It was released internationally on September 24, 2007, and in the United States on September 25, 2007.

Columbus nightclub shooting Murder of Dimebag Darrell and three others in a mass shooting

On December 8, 2004, four people were murdered and three others were wounded in a mass shooting at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. Heavy metal musician Dimebag Darrell, the main target of the attack, was on stage with his band Damageplan when the shooting took place. The perpetrator, 25-year-old Nathan Gale, was shot and killed by police officer James Niggemeyer while holding a wounded victim hostage.

Dimebag Darrell American musician and songwriter

Darrell Lance Abbott, best known by his stage name Dimebag Darrell, was an American musician and songwriter. He was the guitarist of the heavy metal bands Pantera and Damageplan, both of which he co-founded alongside his brother Vinnie Paul. He was one of the driving forces behind the development of groove metal, and is considered one of the most influential guitarists in heavy metal history.

The release of Over the Under 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. [13]

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)

Down performs in Bologna, Italy, on 22 July 2008 Down live bologna 2 new.jpg
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. [3] 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 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." [14]

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. [15] 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 and Windstein's departures and EPs (2011–2014)

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." [16] 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 during 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. [17]

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. 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.

Following Anselmo's white power and Nazi salute controversy during the Dimebash event in the United States, the organizers of FortaRock Festival decided to cancel the appearance of the band for the 2016 event. [18]

Next album (2018–present)

When speaking to Max Morin of Bucketlist Music Reviews in January 2018, Anselmo said that Down would record the follow-up album to 2007's Over the Under, "I have to focus on this new stuff for the time being because really, to clear it up and make it loud and clear for everyone: Down, when Down got together, we knew we were a band made up of many other bands. It's always been out of brotherhood and love that when any of our 'real' bands such as C.O.C. and Eyehategod, specifically get on a roll, at the time, even Pantera, at the time, back in the day. If any of our bands get on a roll, we always make room for that band. A tour like for Superjoint, for what it's worth, when Superjoint is working, there's no real time for Down, of course. It's a complete and just, I think, clear, very crystal-clear understanding between all of us that the day will come when things will slow down and we'll feel primed enough and ready for it and moods will alter as they do over time, especially musically. If you play certain songs, no matter what band you're in, if you play those songs enough times and enough nights, in a row, night after night, you're going to want to change tastes here and there. Yes, we will record another Down record. Everybody's committed to it. It's just right now, everybody's committed to it." [19]

Band members


Down (band)


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
1995 NOLA
  • Released: September 19, 1995
2002 Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow
  • Released: March 26, 2002
2007 Down III: Over the Under
  • Released: September 24, 2007
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended plays

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
2012 Down IV – Part I
  • Released: September 18, 2012
2014 Down IV – Part II
  • Released: May 13, 2014

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
2010 Diary of a Mad Band
  • Released: October 5, 2010


YearSongAlbumMusic video
"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"Over the Under
"I Scream"No
2012"Witchtripper"Down IV – Part I
2014"We Knew Him Well"Down IV – Part II

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Todd Strange American musician

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Kirk Windstein American musician

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