Genre: Heavy Metal
Click on the link beow to view Orange USA’s, Alex Auxier, interview with Down’s Pepper & Kirk on Orange-on-YouTube
Down formed in 1991 with vocalist/songwriter Phil Anselmo of Pantera, guitarist Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, second guitarist Kirk Windstein of Crowbar, bassist Todd Strange of Crowbar, and drummer Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod. All of the band members were long-time friends and were known from their respective bands, making them a supergroup. The band made a three track demo for underground trading. The band members would ask heavy metal fans if they have “heard of this band Down” and give them a copy 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. A record executive from Elektra Records was attending the show to find out who the members of Down were. When he found out the members of the band, he signed Down to a recording contract.
Down released its debut album, NOLA, on September 19, 1995. Debuting at number 55 on the Billboard 200, the album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. 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 “This is a landmark album that combines the talents of dedicated rock musicians, and should be included in any collection of heavy metal music.” NOLA was supported by a 13 date tour, before the band entered a hiatus to return to their respective bands.
A Bustle in Your Hedgerow 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 2002, 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 a barn called “N??dferatu’s lair”. The album was released on March 26, 2002 and was not received with the positive reviews that appeared when NOLA was released. 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.” Despite poor reviews, the album debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200. To support the album, Down toured on the second stage of Ozzfest in 2002. The band 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 throughout the course of a year. Lyric topics on Down III: Over the Under were written about many 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. Debuting at number 26 on the Billboard 200, the album was released on September 25, 2007 to generally positive reviews. Kirk Miller of Decibel Magazine stated “For almost an hour, it’s like the metal world was set right again.”
Down preceded the album by touring with Heaven and Hell and Megadeth, and supported the album performing on a headlining tour starting at the end of September 2007. There are several speculations that Down may be re-releasing NOLA with Brown on bass, as well as possibly remastering the album along with Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow in 2008.
On April 22, 2008 the BBC Radio1 Rockshow broadcasted a new session of Down recordings featuring alternate versions of NOD, Beneath the Tides, and Jail, along with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s version of When The Levee Breaks.
Down IV, DVD release & the future
On July 8, 2008, Metalunderground.com reported that Down was rumored to be planning their fourth album, likely to be called Down IV, for a 2009 release. Although little more is known about their next album, the band will start writing it while they take a break after touring. Along with a new full-length, a live DVD is also in the works, possibly including Down’s live performances in Europe, which were shot by Jim Van Bebber.
On July 24, 2008, frontman Phil Anselmo mentioned in a post on the band’s Myspace blog that Down has been “fucking around with some new material” and “got enough material already recorded” (at least 6 new songs) as well as the songs that did not make the final cut on Over the Under. This hints that the band could actually be planning their fourth album, although Anselmo did say the material 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 has 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.”
On February 3, 2009, Down was announced and later removed from the line-up for the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, currently the largest annual outdoor music festival in the U.S. On February 18, 2009, Down was announced in the line-up for the 2009 Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Following these live dates, the band will tour the USA and Canada during the months of August and September 2009. After the North American tour, the band is aiming to be in the studio by October 2009, to record their fourth album. On March 30, 2009, Down posted a statement on their message board indicating that they will be back in the studio from October through to December writing and recording what will eventually become Down IV.
Down will release a DVD documentary of how they reformed and toured Europe prior to the release of the Over the Under album. The documentary was slated to be released in July 2009. 
Down began a US tour without Rex on bass. While there are rumors that Rex has quit or was fired, Anselmo has stated that Rex is the bass player in Down and will continue to be. It has been said that Rex did not join this tour due to imminent health concerns. Kirk recently stated on the website: Bassist Rex Brown. Diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, he underwent surgery, during which his gall bladder, along with some polyps were removed. He’s doing much better. He’s gaining a little weight back. Rex is one of my best friends in the world. I love him to death. He’ll be all right. Everybody’s not Lemmy (from MOTORHEAD). I tell him that sometimes. It got to the point where his body just started giving out from 25 years on the road drinking every day and what not. Most people do it on the weekend. Add that up to every day for 25 years and that’s what happens. By no means is he out of the band. Fortunately for us, my friend Danny (Theriot) who I played with in VICTORIAN BLITZ, my first metal band in the early 80s, helped us out. Obviously I prefer Rex to be there. But in a weird way, it is nice, 25 years later, to put my head on Danny’s shoulder while I’m doing a lead, cause we used to do it when we were kids. But, I would prefer to put my head on Rex’s shoulder.
On January 27th, 2010 I was anounced that Rex Brown (DOWN, PANTERA) has nearly fully recuperated from his fight with pancreatitis. Says Brown, “After two major surgeries to close out 2009, I have recovered from pancreatitis and am looking forward to getting back to work with Down.”
Brown, and the rest of Down, have discussed reconvening in New Orleans sometime after the 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.
Brown who is currently looking forward to a healthy and productive 2010 says, “I’d like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes during my illness and recovery.”