Chronicling the last five years in the preparation of Down’s new album ‘III – Over the Under’ Phil Anselmo will be updating the official Down website over the coming month with all the highs and lows until the release of the album. It is Phil’s personal communication with Down’s loyal fan base. You can see the first instalment below:
“It is clear that I have not personally addressed the people. Fans of the music I've created with other bands old and new, and more importantly the new Down venture. Nor have I made any statements via Internet, radio, 'music' magazines, 'music' television, etc. I apologize, in all humbleness to the loyal, but today is the now, and I choose to communicate on my own terms. In my own words.
“Here is the story of Down – 'Over the Under':
“The end of 04' into 05' were two of the worst years for myself, everyone I know, or ever have, in the history of our young lives. A time of mourning of the highest gravity, I cannot put it into any form of explanation here, nor will I attempt to. (R.I.P. Darrell, in the true spirit of the most lofty love).
“Rex [Brown, bass] and I remained in constant contact. We had our separate therapists, in separate states, however, most importantly, we had one another for extended, real, therapy, then, and now.
“Later, in June (05'), after months of grief, that seemed like decades, I had just been cleared for neurosurgery. I was ecstatic.
“I was asked to jam with Eyehategod (unforgettable!) in New York at CBGB. The day before we did the gig, I was turned on to an incredible band named Witchcraft (first LP)/(respect and love to all of you!!) I was at Paul Booth's 'Last Rites' tattoo shop with EHG (much love brother!/thanks Sarah). The music blew me, and everyone else in the room away. Something else was out there. Being played pure and real. Jimmy Bower and I made eye contact, and telepathy ran its course between us. The first person I thought of was Pepper Keenan [Down guitarist]…
“I hadn't seen him in two years. It was my obligation, and need, to reach out. I did the gig, got on a plane back to New Orleans, took a cab straight to Pep's house, and beat on his door at a well past 10:00 p.m. with the Witchcraft CD in tow. He opened the door, surprised and glad to see me. We sat and caught up for a while, then listened to the CD from the beginning 'till the last note. I noticed he would glance at me, and I at him acknowledging the classic and clever turnarounds and subtle hooks. I felt the telepathy. After the listening session, I told him of my 'awakening,' my upcoming medical agenda, and that I was 'returned.' I called a cab, and when it arrived, we hugged one another, and looked each other in the eye, and I saw his trepidation. I felt it. I had A LOT to prove. And my actions would have to speak volumes, to everyone close to me, who had to walk away, but I had planted a seed. The seed.
“I got home, and over the next few days, and made some imperative phone calls. I called Jim, whom I knew would be ecstatic that Pepper and I had finally made contact, and all went well. I was also very proud to be with Jim. He and I had been through so much together, and to have him as a part of my life, and ours (any and everybody!!!), is an honor. The only drummer for Down. Jim is also one of the most underrated drummers today.
“More importantly, Jim was in.
“I called Rex, and once again, telepathy, was obviously in epidemic proportion between us all. He was ready, waiting for the word. His own gears were already in motion, through association with an old, dear friend of ours, that I had lost touch with for over a decade.
“Rex was in.
“Now, when it comes to Kirk [Windstein, guitar], I have known him the longest. For 27 years it has been a seamless relationship. We know each other so well. There has never been a lie between us. There cannot be and never will. To play in a band together has always been a dream of ours, fulfilled, sporadically, throughout recordings and brief touring. As a person alone, he is as irreplaceable as he is unique. Loved by myself, and all who happen to cross his path in life. He is also irreplaceable as a musician, and a member of Down. I called Kirk with the news, and I already knew what his reply would be,
“Kirk was in.
“I called Ross Karpelman (keyboards).
“Ross was in.
“All that was left to do was to have the time to let the seed planted into everyone's psyche begin to take root…
“Eventually, we would all sit together, and talk this thing out. The telephone rapport became more frequent between all of us. We were ready to jam….Before we realized it, the next few weeks flew by into late August….
Installment II coming soon.