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It appears that DOWN are well into the writing process for their next release

In a recent interview with Laughingmonkeymusic, DOWN drummer Jimmy Bower confirmed that he and his fellow bandmates have officially kicked off the songwriting phase for their upcoming release. This update marks a significant development for the long-standing heavy metal supergroup, as they have not released any new material since the debut of the “Down IV – Part Two” EP back in May 2014.

“We got together about a month or two ago, and we were practicing with just me, Pat [Bruders, bass], Kirk [Windstein, guitar] and Pepper [Keenan, guitar],” Jimmy said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “Phil [Anselmo, vocals] lives on the other side of the lake [in Louisiana]. We got together over at his house for a weekend, and we have seven songs, man. We’re supposed to get together again in April, and then talk about recording, trying to get this thing out.”

When asked if Anselmo arrives at sessions with lyrical ideas during writing sessions, Jimmy Bower said: “He’s got notebooks and stuff that he definitely writes and keeps stuff for, but he’s generally a writes-for-the-song kind of thing.

Phil‘s amazing to write with because he’s really good with arranging, and he’s just really witty with his arrangements and bridges and stuff like that, that, I’d be, like, ‘Damn, I would have never thought of that.’ And that’s the beautiful thing about DOWN — it’s a room filled with dudes that are witty with their songwriting and stuff like that. We can write all day without Phil, but when he’s there, it’s that much better. It really is. ‘Cause he’d be, like, ‘Do this four times. Go into the bridge, then go back to the verse, and then we’ll do a pre-chorus, and next thing you know, you’ve got a killer song.”

Jimmy also added praise to Anselmo‘s skills as a composer, saying: “He’s such a songwriter, it’s ridiculous. And he’s super, super fucking talented. Sometimes I read comments about people’s misconceptions, and I just hold my tongue. ‘Cause I know the truth. The dude can jam his ass off. It’s just really fun to write with Phil. He’s always in a killer mood, especially when we’re being creative. We’ve been in so many bands together.”

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Last October, Kirk Windstein, who also plays guitar and sings in CROWBAR, joined Scott Penfold on an edition of the Loaded Radio podcast and discussed the possibility of him and his DOWN bandmates writing and recording new music in the not-too-distant future: “I talked to Phil a pretty good bit… Phil‘s attitude is kind of just like, ‘Look, fellas, I’m doing what I’m doing [with PANTERA]. I love it. We’re killing it.’ And boy, are they. We [CROWBAR] had the pleasure of playing with PANTERA in Poland in early June [of 2023]. It was unbelievable. I mean, I laughed, I cried.

“My emotion was something else, because I was very tight with [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag. It’s real — what they’re doing is real. But what Phil said, ‘Hey, man, in the big picture of things, dude, I really don’t have a band. I’m doing a PANTERA reunion thing.’ And of course they’re gonna do it as long as they can. I mean, I don’t blame them. Who would? You do what you’ve gotta do. And they’re killing it and doing it heartfelt for the right reasons, and I love it. But like he said, ‘Look, you are the guys.’ And I talked to Pepper about two or three days ago.

“I think he’s got a few shows in early November with C.O.C. and he’s off for a while. CROWBAR‘s next gig is in Ireland in late February, so we’re off for a good bit. And when you have five guys — well, Phil, of course, will be kind of out of the picture for now but me, Pepper, Jimmy and Pat — in a room together, when you’ve got all these guys writing riffs off of each other…

“And that’s the way I like to write — I like to write spontaneously off the cuff. I don’t like to [go], ‘Okay, this is my new song. Boom. Here y’all go,’ or whatever. I like to write off the cuff, on the spot. I feel what the other guys are giving me vibe-wise and whatnot. And that, to me, is a winning formula. It really is.”

When asked if he is saying that there could possibly be some new DOWN music coming out in 2024, Kirk replied: “I hope. To be honest, we talked about doing like a cover-song EP. But we threw around like a hundred songs and we can’t pick and choose any of them. So, to me, it’s easier to just go, ‘Hey, guys, let’s get in the fucking room and just write some shit.’ Come out with six songs and do an EP. So I hope that that’s what happens.

“To be honest, I don’t know,” he continued. “And this is not from Phil or [PANTERA bassist] Rex [Brown] or anything. They can do [the PANTERA thing] forever. Like as far as festivals in South America, Europe and whatnot, they can — they can always go do a weekend or two in the summer here and there between Zakk [Wylde, PANTERA guitarist] and Charlie‘s [Benante, drums] [schedules]… whatever they’re up to with [their respective] bands. So I hope that they do. I hope they do it forever.

“When we got DOWN together in 1991, that was the first demo tape,” Windstein added. “We wrote ‘Bury Me In Smoke’, ‘Temptation’s Wings’ and ‘Losing All’ in a day. We recorded it. Phil sang. We mixed it off on a four-track or some shit, and that was it. Phil flew back to Texas and Pepper flew back to North Carolina with C.O.C. So when we got together, we always joked, but it’s no longer a joke that this is the kind of band we can grow old with. It doesn’t matter what we look like. We can be fat. We can be bald. We’re not attracting 18-year-old girls. If they wanna be a fan of the music, great.

“If you’re a [Taylor Swift] fan, hey, more power to you. It’s all good. Whatever. But that was not our intention. And it’s kind of ironic or whatever that it’s kind of come full circle where we see ourselves going, ‘Hey, guys, we’re closing in on mid-50s to 60s. This is a band that we can actually do and kill it and then retire with it maybe.’

“So that’s what I personally believe is going to happen, and I hope that in the near future, that’s what happens and we’re able to do more DOWN in, say, ’24, ’25, whatever. But there’s no time limit on anything. I mean, Phil‘s doing what he’s doing and God bless him for that. And I’m so proud of him. I really am.”

During the spring and summer of 2022, DOWN treated fans to a series of rare live performances. Their journey began with a three-date U.S. tour in May, kicking off at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following electrifying sets in Atlanta and Dallas, the band took a brief hiatus before reconvening for three unforgettable appearances at European festivals in June. Their momentum carried into September, where they graced the stage at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Alton, Virginia.

In a remarkable event held in August 2021, DOWN participated in the “NOLA Town Throwdown” at the Fillmore in New Orleans, Louisiana. This unique experience blended the energy of live, in-person attendance with virtual viewership, allowing fans to enjoy the performance either in the venue or from the comfort of their own homes in real-time.