Fans of headbanging supergroup Down will not have to wait the usual few years between releases anymore.
Bassist Rex Brown — who, like Down frontman Philip Anselmo, hails from Pantera — tells Billboard.com that the group “is all our priorities now,” with plans for a full spate of touring in 2009 and to record a fourth album shortly after that. Down is currently on the road mixing opening dates with Metallica and its own headlining shows, and the new year will bring more North American concerts, a tour of South America and European festival dates.
“(Down) is gonna keep rolling,” Brown says. “We’re not getting any younger, and this is what we’re kicking ass at. All that other stuff people were doing kind of cleansed itself out. There’s no reason to take time off anymore. This is a band we can grow old in together, which is really cool.”
Brown says there’s “a lot of material left over” from last year’s “Down III: Over the Under,” which was recently released in a deluxe edition through Best Buy for Down’s current live run. The outtakes will be considered for the fourth Down album, but Brown adds that the quintet is also “writing constantly on the road. We still have all these ideas, and we play a lot of new stuff at sound check, just to feel it out. Hopefully we can get back in the studio in the fall and work on something.”
Before a new album, however — and perhaps as soon as the first quarter of 2009 — Down plans to release a documentary of its 2006 reunion after a nearly four-year hiatus, including both live and behind-the-scenes footage. “It’s kind of about us learning how to walk together again,” Brown says of the film, which is not yet finished and is so far untitled. “It just chronicles the life on the road of us starting to play again. We’re right in the middle of it now.”
Brown, who joined Down in 1999, also promises that a new version of Down’s 1995 debut, “NOLA,” with him playing bass, “will definitely happen” but hasn’t been planned yet. And outside of Down he says some Pantera archival projects are being planned — “boxed set stuff and a whole bunch of home video stuff,” according to Brown — but those haven’t been firmed up yet, either.