DOWN drummer Jimmy Bower spoke to Extreme Metal Festival News about the band's upcoming shows to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the group's debut album, "NOLA". Asked how he feels about marking the LP's quarter-century mark, Bower said: "First off, it doesn't feel like it has been that long and secondly I'm just really glad that we are actually doing it. I think it's important for the fans and we haven't really been doing anything lately. We haven't done anything since 2016 due to Phil [Anselmo, vocals] being involved with THE ILLEGALS, Pepper [Keenan, guitar] is doing C.O.C., Kirk [Windstein, guitar] is full time with CROWBAR, I'm doing EYEHATEGOD, so there really hasn't been time for it, but we are finally going to take some time out to do it and it's going to be really cool. I think the fans deserve it and, fuck, it's going to feel good when we get up there. Once we get in the practice room and it's like 1,2,3, it's going to be so cool, man, and we have got Kirk back in there too, so it's going to be killer."
DOWN's 2020 shows will be the band's first live appearances in seven years with Windstein, who left the group in 2013 in order to focus on CROWBAR and his family life. He was replaced by Bobby Landgraf, DOWN's former guitar tech who was previously in GAHDZILLA MOTOR COMPANY, a 1990s outfit also featuring Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS, WATCHTOWER), and HONKY.
Asked if Kirk is returning to DOWN on a "permanent basis" or if he will just be back for these anniversary shows, Bower said: "Well, we aren't permanently a band right now. Just because Kirk is coming back for these shows doesn't mean that we will be doing another record or anything like that. We are just going to take it as it comes, because everyone is really busy with all their other bands. It would be great if we could do some stuff like that, but we will see."
DOWN has several shows scheduled in 2020 so far, including appearances at this year's editions of the Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium, at the Copenhell festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the Psycho Las Vegas festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
DOWN was forced to cancel a number of shows in 2016 after Anselmo was filmed giving a Nazi salute and shouting "white power" at a California concert.
Keenan later offered his take on what transpired, telling Metal Wani that DOWN was "far from done" after the controversial incident. "You know, DOWN didn't do anything wrong," he said. "I mean, we were just guilty by association on that one. That was Phil's mistake. I've spoken to Phil and told him to get his shit together, and he is. He knows he made a mistake and was being stupid."
He continued: "I've known the guy [most of my life]. He's not what that whole thing framed him to be at all. But, yeah, there's definitely a future for DOWN. I wouldn't throw all the shit we've done, beautiful music we've done on one stupid moment that was caught on camera, and he apologized for. [So we are] far from done."
DOWN's last live appearance took place in August 2016 at the Psycho Las Vegas festival in Las Vegas.