It took three albums, but the heavy metal "supergroup" Down has finally become a band.
The quintet, started in 1991 by members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod, existed as a side venture on its earlier releases. But with the new "Down III: Over the Under," which came out in September, it's become the main focus for each of the musicians.
"This isn't a side project whatsoever," says bassist Rex Brown, a Pantera alumnus along with Down frontman Phil Anselmo. "We have so much work ahead of us we don't have time to think. We want to take this thing as far as we can go and go to place Down has never been before. We're definitely hitting the whole globe with this thing. We have big plans.
"It reminds me of the old days of Pantera, when we got up and knocked your teeth out. Just blood, sweat and beers, man..."
Brown, 43, says the new devotion is simply because "everything else has just been burned out," though guitarist Kirk Windstein still plays occasional shows with Crowbar. But Brown feels "Over the Under" is "more focused, more solid, cohesive" than its two predecessors, a benefit that came from the musicians being more up on Down.
"We said, 'Let's keep the songs five minutes-ish, get to the killer riffs, get to the killer hook, maybe throw in a lead here and there," Brown explains. "We wanted to make this one of those records you actually listen to as a [i]record[/i], not as a bunch of jams that are just kind of thrown together. This is a more uplifting kind of thing, just straight on the money."
Down performs Friday (Oct. 19) at Harpo's, 14238 Harper, Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 824-1700 or visit www.harposconcerttheatre.com.
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