Every new release by sludge meisters Down is something to look forward to. The band’s latest release is called 'Down IV Part I, which is the first in a sequence of four different EP’s which will all showcase a different side of the band. Drummer Jimmy Bower is more than happy to shed his light on the latest EP, Down‘s sources of inspiration and the impact of “NOLA”…
Down IV Part I is built on the traditional pillars of doom, the vocals and riffs capture the same raw vitality as your debut—was this approach intentional?
We definitely were going for a different approach on the production this time. In doing that, we went for a raw approach and also recorded at the ‘Lair’ which is a better vibe as well. Add all these factors together and it’s basically the same as “NOLA”, just 20 something years later! It was very easy for us to put ourselves in that classic Down jam mode!
Is there a concept looming over the four EPs? And if so, could you tell us a bit about it?
Nothing really concrete on the concept end of things, we had talked about a different vibe or style for each EP which gives us a chance to expand on the riffs a bit. Like the first one (EP) we’re talking about, we all agreed it needed to be old school Down. Just “Sabbed off,” we like to say!
You guys have had your fair share of personal hardships and struggles with various vices—all of which have been well documented—however, in the last few years you guys seem to be back on the straight and narrow. Has such personal clarity effected the song-writing here, and can you tell us a bit about the song-writing process and why you decided to fore go the usual full-length in favour of four EPs?
Everyone in this band has been through hell and back at some point…. and being such good friends has helped us to move forward! When we get together to jam, it’s very family-like, we usually all bring a dish of food that we make and have a big cookout or crawfish boil. Set the vibe so to speak…. Plug in and riff off! This EP, the songs seemed to come really natural to us during writing. It was Pepper‘s idea to do four EP’s and we all thought the idea was killer.
Down contains pretty big personalities and songwriters—to say the least! How do you guys manage to put egos aside and work for the benefit of the song, and is it a struggle to do so?
For this answer and the rest of the interview, visit ThisIsNotAScene