DOWN Guitarist: 'We've Created A Band That Doesn't Sound Like Anybody Else'

Pepper Keenan (DOWN, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY) was recently interviewed by Andrew Haug of Triple J's "Full Metal Racket" (based in Australia). Download the 13-minute interview in MP3 format at this location. Check out the show's entire playlist here. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On the upcoming DOWN album:

"Our main goal was to try and take these ideas and all the things we had been through personally and collectively [including Hurricane Katrina and death of Dimebag] and really try and focus on trying to stay positive and not using these negative things to write songs. So we were really trying to take that attitude and trying to do something like that, and I think we really pulled it off. I think it's a huge-sounding record, and the songs are big and the topics are big. I think it's something… regardless of if it's the hurricane or whatever you're going through in your life, I think these songs as a unit I'm very proud of, and they stand up for what we're trying to do. And I think it helps anybody who, like I did when I was younger, finds solace in music. I think it's one of those records."

"One of our main issues on this album was that there wasn't really that many places to record that were left in New Orleans. So we made the decision to go to Los Angeles to do it. Plus we kind of needed to get out of New Orleans for a while. That way we could just go somewhere different and just focus completely on the music and not be going home to destroyed houses or dealing with the daily grind of that. So we went to California and we did the record out there and we'll be finished with the record in about a week and a half."

Oh Phil Anselmo's (ex-PANTERA) vocal approach on the upcoming DOWN CD:

"It's definitely an evolution. I think one of my biggest factors working with Phil… I've known Phil for years and Phil can really sing — I mean, he's got a beautiful voice. And I've always tried to push it a little bit for that way. And he wants to do the same thing. I thought it was really important to try and pull that level out. 'Cause we've all been there and done that. I've said to him, 'We've all done it.' And I said, 'The idea now is to take all those things that we've all learned over the years with and without each other.' I mean, DOWN is its own thing. We've created a band that doesn't sound like anybody else, and it's a wonderful feeling. There's nobody even close to ripping us off that's any good at it. And we like it because it's not an easy thing to do — these are not easy songs. And it's a cool feeling to be on that level again because you really feel like you're playing fresh music — even though it's stuff that we were influenced by as kids."

As previously reported, DOWN is scheduled to release its long-awaited third full-length album, tentatively titled "Down III", on September 25 through the Independent Label Group (ILG), which is composed of Warner Music Group Corp.'s Asylum Records, East West Records and Cordless Recordings. Producer Warren Riker (CROWBAR, SUBLIME) helmed the effort, for which the band had reportedly composed more than 18 tracks.

Several photos of DOWN recording its new CD at a Los Angeles studio have surfaced online:


DOWN has been confirmed to support HEAVEN AND HELL on their upcoming tour of Australia/New Zealand. The dates are as follows:

Aug. 02 - Challenge Arena – Perth, AUS
Aug. 05 - Thebarton Theatre - Adelaide, AUS
Aug. 07 - WIN Entertainment Centre - Wollongong, AUS
Aug. 08 - Entertainment Centre - Newcastle, AUS
Aug. 10 - Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne, AUS
Aug. 11 - Entertainment Centre - Sydney, AUS
Aug. 14 - Entertainment Centre - Brisbane, AUS
Aug. 16 - Logan Campbell Centre - Auckland, NZ

DOWN performed a brand new song, entitled "I Scream", during their headlining appearance at the Roseland in New York City on Saturday, March 31. Watch a video clip of the performance at

DOWN completed a Canadian tour in March as the support act for HEAVEN AND HELL and MEGADETH.


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