News From The Front   

Down: divide and rule

After several months of uncertainty regarding the position of bass player within Down, Rex Brown’s departure has finally been made official. First by drummer Jimmy Bower, who told MetalChroniques.fr last week that, even if they would love Rex “till death”, “he will not come back”. Then by Rex himself, who puts things straight via 8CountNews.com: “Down’s not officially over. I’m just officially out of the band. Things came to a head. They are better off doing what they’re doing. They have Patrick Bruders (CROWBAR) playing bass. I kind of lost the passion after a while. There were other problems that we had, so it was best that we parted ways.”.

But it’s not the last we’ve heard of Rex’s sublime and powerful bass lines, since the man now plays in Kill Devil Kill, a rather tempting project put together by drummer Vinny Appice. All that’s left for us to discover is the nature of these “problems”, that Phil Anselmo described as “a little marital spat” and that seem to have played an important part in this departure.

Down won’t stop right there, however. Today, many fans were able to discover who Rex’s replacement would be: Patrick Bruders seemed an obvious choice, since the man also comes from New Orleans and officiates in Crowbar, guitarist Kirk Windstein’s other band. And those who attended Hellfest a few days ago will have to admit that the job is in good hands.

But aside from this small line-up change, Down is also working on a new and rather original project with regards to its form. The above-mentioned Kirk Windstein told us avout it when we met him at Hellfest:

“We’re going to do four EPs, and they’ll all be different. We have many elements to our sound, so each one will have its own characteristics. Like, for example, this one we’re writing right now and are about to start recording will be really hard, with heavy Down stuff. Then we’ll have a mellow one, then a doom one – you know, slower and doomy stuff. A little bit of everything.”

But why go down this surprising road, rather that offer a full album? According to Kirk:

“The record industry sucks so bad. Nobody buys anything. We’re trying to do something different, making it cheaper to buy. People want stuff for free! So six songs, its cheaper to buy. Same thing for downloading: it will be cheaper to download. Nobody wants to go to the record store and buy stuff anymore. So we’re just trying to mix it up and do something different. It will be released on physical EP and digitally as well.”

Confronted with a dying music industry, where labels seem to find it difficult to adapt and where they more and more often have to do everything by themselves, bands are looking for solutions to survive without totally depreciating their work. Down therefore chose to follow the same path as bands like the Smashing Pumpkins or The Cult, who have lately released EP upon EP or single upon single rather than full albums. Will this strategy pay off? Only time will tell.

In any case, let it be known that Down will not hang up their instruments and that new material is about to see the light of day in the sticky marshes of New Orleans.

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