DOWN Drummer JIMMY BOWER: 20 Years Later, Our Sound Is Still Unique

Elliot Levin of the NY Hard Rock Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with DOWN drummer and EYEHATEGOD guitarist Jimmy Bower. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

NY Hard Rock Music Examiner: You're a busy guy; between DOWN and EYEHATEGOD alone, you're full time in two bands. Do you consider either one of them your primary band, or do you just do your best to split time between them?

Jimmy: DOWN is my first priority, totally. But since we finished touring "Over The Under", we've been taking a break, you know? So I'm taking advantage of that and doing some stuff with EYEHATEGOD, but looking forward to the DOWN camp and we have a lot of good stuff coming up. A lot of shows coming up, so get the ball rolling.

NY Hard Rock Music Examiner: Back in the '90s, when you were recording "Nola", did you ever think that DOWN would become this wildly popular band it is today? You can't go to any metal show without seeing at least one DOWN t-shirt in the crowd...

Jimmy: No, I had no idea, no idea at all. I personally saw, or heard, the potential, you know? But I didn't think that many people would get into it. That type of music. The whole stoner thing, you know what I mean? It's been twenty years, so you got a generation gap, everything goes in circles, to me at least. But it seems like when we first started doing it, it was such a unique sound, and twenty years later it's still unique and we're still doing it, and the people we've influenced is what blows me away.

NY Hard Rock Music Examiner: I spoke with Pepper [Keenan, DOWN guitarist] over the summer, and he mentioned some new DOWN music, and the possibility of releasing just some singles instead of a full record. Is there any progress on new DOWN songs?

Jimmy: Yeah, I think we have about two or three of them that are done. We're about to start working on that now, and hopefully it will come out soon. We're trying to keep it on the downlow for now, but it's going to be something special.

NY Hard Rock Music Examiner The first DOWN record had a lot more screaming and yelling, at least from Phil's [Anselmo] part, the last one had some more frequent mellow, bluesy moments. What's the vibe on the newest songs? Is it heavier since you said that's your current mindset?

Jimmy: Yeah, it's more back to the first record. The music we were into when that first record came out, like TROUBLE, a certain kind of groove that I think "Nola" has that, a band like DOWN, we can do whatever we want. We can do blues songs, we can do grooving songs or heavy songs or whatever, but I think it's back to the roots of the band, the smart thing to do, for sure. "Nola"-type riffs, just straightforward and heavy.

NY Hard Rock Music Examiner: What's the status of Rex [Brown, DOWN bassist] for this upcoming tour? Is he going to make it out?

Jimmy: I don't know, man, I still don't know about that yet. Just trying to make sure he's all good and healthy. What he went through is pretty serious, so you wanna be delicate about that. We'll see.

Read the entire interview from NY Hard Rock Music Examiner.

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