Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with Kirk Windstein (DOWN, CROWBAR, KINGDOM OF SORROW). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: What's the progress of the new [DOWN] album? Kirk: It's kind of — let's see. To explain that, it's kind of difficult. We have more than enough original songs that we think would make good material, but it tends to take time. We've recorded new material, and we'd like to play a couple songs out there, and fans obviously would want it as well. But it's moving along. We're trying to get something out as soon as we can. San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You go back nearly 20 years, with Phil [Anselmo] having produced one of the first CROWBAR EP's, and several years with Rex [Brown, bass] as well. What were the initial conversations like in the early to mid-'90s when you guys contemplated forming DOWN, as far as what the band would sound like? Kirk: Actually, me and Phil go back to being friends, I don't know, (to) 1983 or '84, and we were still kids. He was living in Texas. In PANTERA, they were getting the idea rolling. Basically, Phil called Pepper [Keenan, DOWN guitarist]. Me and Jimmy [Bower, DOWN drummer] lived in the same apartment complex. And it just seemed to make sense: "Hey man, let's do a band that's influenced by SABBATH." But also SAINT VITUS and TROUBLE that take a lot from SABBATH. In all honesty, the whole rest of '70s rock — LED ZEPPELIN, THIN LIZZY, LYNYRD SKYNYRD. "Let's do something different." We wanted to be able to grow and bring out all the influences that helped us get into music in the first place. San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: For those out there who are having similar problems but are scared to check themselves in, what can you share about your experience in rehab? Kirk: I didn't go to rehab. It's no problem, everyone mixes it up. But it wasn't one particular thing. I was in a downward spiral for years and years and years, and you know, you get to a point of, "This is enough." I always make damn sure to say this: If I was a regular guy working at Home Depot and had a drinking problem, people wouldn't talk about it. But because I'm in a band . . . For me, I'm in a good place and take it a day at a time. It's a lifestyle change in general, not just about alcohol. It's about getting my life in order, eating right, working out right, getting out of debt, and try to be the best father I can be and best soulmate to my girl that I can be, the best musician. You live and you learn. It's been six months, but I say this every time: I'm never going to say I'm never going to drink again. You'd be lying if you said that. I never want to be back to where I was, let's put it that way. It hits you like a hammer, and it's not a good thing where you're a physical slave to drinking. You need to do a lot of soul-searching and find what works for you. Read the entire interview from the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.