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ROADRUNNER SIGNS DOWN

Posted on February 12, 2008

Roadrunner Records are proud to announce the worldwide signing (ex-North America & Canada) of New Orleans-based sludge-doom supergroup DOWN. Their forthcoming third album, ‘DOWN III – Over the Under' will be released on September 24th.

To anyone who cares anything for classic rock and metal, despite only releasing two albums, DOWN are important. Semi-legendary. Almost mythical – rising every six years or so to deliver a benchmark album to the metal hoardes. Boasting an amalgamation of talent from the American South's most important, genre-defining metal outfits – Pantera, Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Superjoint Ritual and Corrosion of Conformity – and featuring one of the most charismatic and engaging metal frontmen of our time, Phil Anselmo, they push boundaries and play by their own rules. This time, it's different. This time, it's not a side-project. DOWN has become a full-blown project.

Roadrunner Records prides itself on a roster of bands that are the very best in their genre and DOWN fit that criteria perfectly. Derek Oliver & Dante Bonutto who brought their A&R skills to Roadrunner Records in November 2006 instigated the deal. They were thrilled to bring DOWN to the Roadrunner stable, stating: “Being involved with this new/third album from Down is something we're incredibly excited about. In many ways, 'Over The Under' represents a fresh start for the band; no more external politics, brand new teams taking care of business, nothing to hold the project back – and now of course former Pantera bassist Rex is involved with the set-up too. As for Phil Anselmo, he's truly the most iconic frontman in the hard rock & metal worlds, a performer totally loved by the fans, who hang on his every word – and he always has something to say! Quite simply, his influence on the scene (both musically & visually) is hard to overestimate.”

DOWN – Philip Anselmo (vox), Rex Brown (bass), Pepper Keenan (guitar), Kirk Windstein (guitar) and Jimmy Bower (drums) came together to begin work on album three just before Hurricane Katrina hit their hometown city of New Orleans in August 2005. Having released two records as a side-project from their ‘day jobs' in other bands, the band gathered to start work on new material. After the tragedy of the hurricane in which the members were displaced and separated for many months, the band reconvened. It was obvious then that this was no longer a side project. With everyone having honoured previous commitments with their respective bands, the NOLA natives were focused on DOWN and DOWN alone, having found new life and a new bond through the common tragedies they endured both separately and collectively, not only with Katrina but with the untimely passing of their friend, Dimebag Darrell. It was all fuel to the fire, culminating in the most definitive record of their career.

In the summer of 2006, DOWN embarked on a six week European headline tour with no opening band, no product and a strictly ‘word of mouth' ethos, yet proceeded to sell out all 21 shows. Off the back of this success, the band were invited to play the ‘secret guest' slot at the UK's mammoth Download Festival at Donington Park and were one of the talking points of the weekend. Inspired by the response, the band reconnected in New Orleans to start work on this, their most ambitious record to date. Having already tapped the Grammy Award winning producer Warren Riker, who worked with them on their second release, ‘DOWN II – A Bustle in Your Hedgerow', the band demoed 18 songs in Nodferatu's Lair, Philip Anselmo's studio in the swamps of Folsom, LA, with engineer David “Puma' Troia. In February 2007, the band began tracking on their third and most committed record to date. Recorded in Los Angeles between February and July, with a Canadian tour with Heaven & Hell thrown in for good measure, 15 songs were ultimately cut for the release. The result is over 60 minutes of genre-defying music further solidifying their place at the forefront of heavy rock. A step up and beyond what they've ever achieved before.

To chronicle the last five years leading to the release of ‘DOWN III – OVER THE UNDER', Philip Anselmo will be placing periodic updates on the band's websites over the course of the next month, leading into release. This is Philip's personal communication to the band's loyal fanbase and gives a first hand account the tragedy, isolation, rebirth and ultimate triumph of one of the most important band' of our time. The first instalment appears on Friday August 17th on http://www.down-nola.com and www.myspace.com/downnola

Expect a European tour later this year.

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