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Down's New Record: 'The Future Of Music’
Toby Cook , August 22nd, 2012 07:24

Kirk Windstein tells us The Purple EP is set to be the supergroup’s “rawest material since NOLA"

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This September, sludgy New Orleans supergroup Down are set to release their first record of new material since 2007’s Over The Under and according to guitarist Kirk Windstein the four-EP series, which begins with The Purple EP, could represent the way that all bands release their music in the future.

Speaking to The Quietus at the recent Bloodstock festival, where he was appearing with Crowbar, Windstein said of the new EP: “Basically with the music industry the way it is, people don’t buy records, all they own is a couple of tunes off iTunes or something.

“So this [new EP] is part one of a four part series – six songs per record – showing all the different elements of what we do; I just think it’s innovative and kind of groundbreaking at this stage of the music industry.

“People are scratching and clawing to make a fucking dime these days in the music world, so I think this is a good approach to make the product cheap to buy retail, cheap to buy on Amazon or on iTunes or whatever.

“You don’t get the big budgets to record with anymore and there’s just no sense in putting out a 13/14 song album – that takes you forever to write – and for nobody to buy it because they can get it for free or listen to it for free on Spotify.”

As for the content of the new EP, Windstein says that the group have attempted to capture the rawer sounds of their 1995 debut NOLA. “We didn’t want it to be perfect,” he said. “Too many bands sound too perfect now, too polished; it’s too fixed on Pro Tools, every fucking kick drum is perfectly put on the grid and everybody plays to a click track. We wanted to be raw and old school – we wanted it to sound like the original NOLA demos.

“With Down it’s always been about the energy and the vibe of what we’re doing, not about playing each note perfectly. We wanted it to feel like the listener is sitting in the jam room with us with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other, y’know, just having a good time.”

During the interview as well as making the startling and decidedly un-metal confession that, even though he is one of the most impressively bearded men in metal, he’s not opposed to some grey cover up: “I do put the Just For Men in… people know I’m fucking 47 years old and ain’t got two hairs on my head, so I don’t expect them to think that I’ve got a black beard”, he says.

Windstein also revealed that he is already working on new Crowbar material too. “We’re not at the demo stage yet but once I get into that ‘Crowbar world’ it doesn’t take long," he revealed. "I mean, I wrote three, four, five songs in a day on that last record sometimes, so it’ll come when it comes.”

Down’s new EP Down IV, Part I – The Purple EP, to give it its full title, is set for release on September 18.

Wellington Bellis
Aug 22, 2012 7:33pm

So instead of putting 12 songs on 1 record they're going to split them over 2 records - and that's going to be cheaper for everybody? Us and them?

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Toby Cook
Aug 23, 2012 11:33am

In reply to Wellington Bellis:

I think the idea is supposed to be that rather than release a full album that will sell for £15/£16 and likely be downloaded because people don't feel £15/£16 is worth it, if you release a six song EP for £6/£7 people will be more inclined to buy it because it's cheaper. There are four EP's due; release one every nine months or so and people have got more music than with an album and whilst the total outlay is greater the individual unit price is far cheaper. He doesn't actually say that this approach is any cheaper for the band, although to be fair if it means that more people aquire Down's music legally then their profit/loss margin is probably going to be a lot better. They don't call it the music 'business' for nothing, hey!?

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Jorge Caicedo
Aug 23, 2012 2:52pm

Toby is correct, not to mention that 6-8 songs is plenty for a release..Bands nowadays cram 15 or songs on a CD and halfway through you can't remember the rest, it's filler...also, the cheaper the price, the more people will buy..in this economy it's a very sensible thing to do.

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Sep 13, 2012 4:27pm

This makes a lot of sense. Many music fans have NO idea what a band goes through these days to make music. It is mostly stolen and paid little attention to. Now this may offend the more intense fans but they are a small number, but not insignificant to the band, but too small to sustain their market. Bands are not Communes full of hippies that live on love alone. That notion is asinine. You cannot sustain a band on air. That does not work and the culture that gave birth to the band/tour/record complex is dead. It is over. Most kids today treat music like wallpaper instead of framed art, like it was yesteryear. So, smart bands work smarter and not harder. If one is in denial of this their band just breaks up. Too many gigs unpaid, too many records and merch unsold and apathy will kill you. That is the reality. So to keep going one has to adapt. Shorter releases are a good way to go. Fewer gigs, more festivals to keep the mileage down on the band and spirits up. We are only human and bands are not soda pop bottles but we do break.
Cheers
Tom (Oxbow/Black Face)

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