Quality fan-filmed video footage of DOWN's entire October 25 performance at at Emo's East in Austin, Texas as part of DOWN singer Philip Anselmo's Housecore Horror Film & Metal Festival can be seen below.
Guitarist Kirk Windstein recently left DOWN and was replaced by Bobby Landgraf, the band's former guitar tech who was previously in GAHDZILLA MOTOR COMPANY, a 1990s outfit also featuring Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS, WATCHTOWER), and HONKY.
"I couldn't feel more blessed," Landgraf, 48, said in an interview. "Phil could've gotten anyone to play guitar, but I've been jamming with them during soundchecks, so they know we can play together."
"It's really a dream come true," added Landgraf. "It's what you're working for all those years."
In a recent interview with the "Devil Horns" podcast, Windstein stated about his decision to leave DOWN: "My life's changed a lot in the last year. With being married, I wanna concentrate a lot more on my family first and foremost. And DOWN, with us getting older and Philip's voice and now DOWN has to take a fairly amount of days off in order for Phil to rest his voice properly, which is totally, absolutely understandable and well respected. It's just, for me, I like to go out 15 shows in a row and get it done. With DOWN, a lot of the [touring], especially internationally, is fly dates and things like that and there's so many days off. And really, for me, to be blunt, on those off days, man… I mean, show days are great, I have a responsibility, of course I love every second being on stage, but on those off days, I have absolutely nothing to do and it just ends up turning into drinking too goddamn much and wanting to not be there… The guys could see I was kind of not really getting into it, they could see me on the off days hitting the sauce harder than I should have been — no doubt about it."
He added: "It was kind of a mutual thing — no hard feelings or anything whatsoever like that. There's absolutely zero drama, zero gossip that I know of, at least from my side. I doubt there's any from their side. I've spoken to the guys. In fact, Bobby Landgraf from HONKY, that's taking my spot, is a very good friend of mine; he teched for me for awhile and he's been teching for Pepper [Keenan, DOWN guitarist]. I spoke to him the other day and he can use my rig that I used with DOWN for [DOWN's appearance at the Housecore Horror Film Festival] coming up, and he's actually gonna come and me and him are gonna jam a little bit on some tunes. He's got a few questions. He's an amazing guitar player, but it's hard to get every little lick down of somebody else's stuff, so he asked me if I could pop by and jam with him a bit. I said, 'Absolutely.' Anything I could do to help out would be great."
DOWN entered Anselmo's New Orleans studio, Nodferatu's Lair, on October 7 to begin recording a new EP that is tentatively due in early 2014.
Speaking about the band's new material, DOWN guitarist Pepper Keenan told the "Metal Hammer" radio show: "It's kind of slight continuation of the first EP, but it's a little bit more… It's hard to say, man… It's more… I wouldn't say 'aggressive,' but it's definitely got some freaky guitar stuff on it. And it's definitely got a pretty good groove factor. And we spent a lot of time trying to make all the songs [fit together stylistically]. We had several songs that didn't quite match it, so we kind of [set them aside] and we're gonna move them to another EP. But it's got a super-heavy vibe to it, man. I mean, I'm really excited about it. Everybody in the band is excited about it."
He continued: "We wrote it kind of like we did the 'NOLA' record. Each one of us had some riffs and we got in a room and we just hashed it out like the old days — just going off each person's experiences and ideas. Everybody's ideas were valid, and it really ended up being well rounded and slamming. It was [a] very creative [process], let's put it that way. Actually, it was surprising some of us how much we really still got it."
Pepper also spoke about the cover theme for the next DOWN EP and how it will be connected to last year's "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP".
"When the second [EP] comes out, you'll see it as being an extension of the last cover," Pepper said. "So number 2 is gonna connect sideways to number 1, and you'll start to see a morphing kind of process. There's some kind of liquid light kind of thing that's kind of melding across as you go… I hate to quote the overall color, but I believe it's something like orange. I haven't looked at it in a while. It might not be orange yet, but it's heading in that direction."
Released in September 2012, "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP" was DOWN's first in a series of four EPs to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band's sound.
"Down IV Part I" sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart.