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Registered: 04-2005
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Another kick ass interview with Pepper - about down


January 17, 2002
by: Derek

Wanna know the entire story of Down? Read on and see what Pepper has to say about the new record and the future of both COC and Pantera!


Derek:
How did you know it was time to shake the moth balls off Down?

Pepper:
Well everyone had been on tour, and it is very hard to get the band organized. Cause everybody is in different bands, and very rarely is everyone not on the road at the same time. Whenever I was on the road, every town I went to man, I could be in fuckin New Zealand and I had !@#$ askin about fuckin Down. Always, any city we went to. Phil (Anselmo) was goin through the same !@#$. Years and years had gone by and the Down thing was stayin alive. It was kinda takin a life of it’s own. Which was cool! We kinda made the record and then went off in our particular directions and the fuckin thing wasn’t dieing!

Derek:
That’s a good thing! Anne (from Elektra) called me today and was like, "You wanna interview Down?" I was like, "Hell !@#$ yes!" But what was funny was I told some of the other guys involved with the site about the interview, and they were jealous! Back in 99 we did a top 100 metal records of all time, and not that we really matter., but out of all of us Down was always near the top! Always!

Pepper:
No !@#$! What is so weird about that, and I don’t know if you know the whole story about how the Down thing started...

Derek:
Go ahead, by all means tell us!

Pepper:
Not many people know all this crap! But it was cool cause Down was kinda an undergroundy type thing. I wanted it to stay like that to a degree. But we made this record and the fuckin thing is huge. I thought whatever happens to it is cool with me, but I always want to be approachable. I don’t want to be holier than thou type cat. So anyway, when the Down thing first started me and Phil got together. This was like 92. We had all grown up together since we were like 15 in New Orleans. Before we were in any bands we were just fuckin metal heads and punks in New Orleans. And we were always into the same type of [sign in to see URL] know Black Flag, Obsessed, !@#$ like that! And so I guess like 92 or something we were all in town for Christmas and to see our folks and !@#$. Phil wanted to get everyone together. He was like, "Dude lets just go jam in this dudes garage". So we went over there and Phil made this banner and !@#$, it said Down on it. So we hung it up above this kids drum kit... we were just fuckin around! All of a sudden we just stopped jammin and we were like, "Man did you hear what we just did?" We had just written a song called "Bury Me In Smoke!". That was just off the cuff jamming! And what happened is we made a couple of songs and made a 3 song demo tape. Me and Phil were real into tape tradin back then. We were all traveling and touring, and we were curious if the tape tradin thing still existed. So we made a tape, 3 song tape. It had "Bury Me In Smoke" and two other songs, I can’t remember!

Derek:
What was the time frame? From the time you went into the garage to completing the tape?

Pepper:
That was like a day and a half. We wrote those songs in one night, then we had to go find someone’s 4-track so we could record the !@#$! I think it was "Bury Me In Smoke", "Losing All" and uhh, I can’t remember! It was another one! We made a 3 song tape, and I made a little cheesy cover for it! Then we went on the road. Phil had a tape, I had a tape! And we just started giving them out to kids. Just one at a time. You’d meet people after shows and be like "Check this !@#$ out!" We didn’t tell them that we were in the band. We said it was some killer underground band. Be like, "Dude check this band Down out!" Six months later I was in Finland or some !@#$ and some kid comes up to me and gives me a Down tape.

Derek:
(laughs)

Pepper:
He was like, "Dude, you heard this band?" I was like, "No I ain’t heard this !@#$!". So we go on the bus and you can barely hear it cause it had been dubbed so many times. The muther !@#$ were into this !@#$.

Derek:
Then you got signed with it?

Pepper:
Well no we made 2 more tapes. 3 tapes and 9 songs. Some guy got all three of the fuckin demo tapes. And they’re 4-tracks sound like crap. But the meaning is there, you can hear "Bury Me In Smoke" clear as a fuckin bell. But it was cool. Me and Phil weren’t sayin !@#$!

Derek:
You never told the kids in Finland?

Pepper:
No, we were just keeping this weird thing. I guess in the eyes of a fuckin marketing dude it was !@#$ genius. But we were just dickin around.

Derek:
(laughs)

Pepper:
You know? And it was cool, and all of a sudden we had enough songs to play a show. We had 9 songs. This was over the course of the next 3 years, cause we were all on tour. We only practiced maybe 3 days a year. We all had to be at home cause Down don’t work unless everyone is there.

Derek:
Can you shed some light on the new record?

Pepper:
Think about who’s in the band, what they are into and what they have fuckin done... it is just a fuckin broad record! It‘s an album! If it was ID’d as one 66 minute song that would be fine with me. It’s like Pink Floyd... it’s an album. You can roll a joint, light it, and light it up again and go through the second half!

Derek:
So it is in the vein of what you have already done, but a little more trippy?

Pepper:
Not trippy! It reminds me of Zeppelin! Nobody in our generation has ever attempted to make a record like this in those situations. Back in the day Zeppelin would be holed up in some fuckin castle. We were kind of doin that in our own white trash kinda way! We were like !@#$ it man, lets hole up in a fuckin swamp and nobody leaves until it is fuckin done!

Derek:
How long did it take to do?

Pepper:
It was pretty ridiculous actually! You gotta remember we were sleepin in a fuckin barn! The nearest town was a gas tank away! So we had enough food and booze and all that !@#$ shipped over there. We shipped all the gear down there and just started goin! We did it in little under a month!

Derek:
That actually leads to my next question. I think you just answered it. The trend lately has been to have guest vocalists. No chance on this one?

Pepper:
I don’t think anyone coulda hung! We were talkin about it but...

Derek:
You were out in the boonies!

Pepper:
It was fuckin mayhem down there. One of the things that was really cool was the room we were recording in. We painted it all in black. We would just fuckin jam in an all black room with two red lights... and that was it! We were tryin to keep our heads straight! We were puttin everything on DAT. We were rollin tape all the time! We were tryin to log all this !@#$! So we went in there with a bunch of pieces of chalk and you could write on the fuckin flat black walls. And we started writing "Hell riff number 7" and getting these things organized. By the time we were finished it looked like fuckin taxi driver, !@#$ disgruntled postal worker, fuckin hell room! "Riffs part 7" you know... "Life surgeon funeral"... you know, just keeping !@#$ organized. We started to lose our fuckin gords! We had no phones, no TV, we were just completely enveloped in making this !@#$ record.

Derek:
How does that whole process work? Do you compromise or do you guys just do?

Pepper:
One of the main thing is we have known each other since kids. So if I scream and yell, the dude ain’t gonna sit there and cry and be like, "You’re an asshole!". He will just hit you in the back of the head and be like, "shut up!". Just like fuckin kids. There was no ego !@#$ goin on. If someone !@#$ up you spit on him he was like, "!@#$!" It wasn’t like it was any big deal! As for compromising, everybody’s heads are in the same place. We don’t have like 5 metal dudes and one country dude. It was just 5 heavy hittin dudes!

Derek:
The way it should be!

Pepper:
But we are all very open! I love Pink Floyd! We all love Zeppelin! We started off writtin on the wall bands we dug! The we started writtin bands nobody knew. We were just dickin off. Bands like "Riot", just cool bands.

Derek:
Is there any chance that there will be any songs directed or hinting at 9/11?

Pepper:
Phil kinda did that unconsciously! I didn’t want to be Mr. America guy! I didn’t want to be trendy but Phil wrote this song that ended saying, a lot! It was called, "What Wars Are Made Of". It is a gigantic acoustic song. Like 7 and half minutes long. It blew me away. We were goin over some tapes and Phil had this riff. I was like, "Dude what the !@#$ was that?"

Derek:
Is Phil any good at guitar? I saw him play once on stage.

Pepper:
He’s not great, but on acoustic !@#$. He is good at writing Laguna Sunrise type !@#$! So he had this fuckin song and it’s one of these things. The second I heard the demo tape I said, "This muther !@#$ is gonna be huge!" The next thing I know we are putting string sections on it and !@#$. This mammoth fuckin bizarre war song! It is the last song on the record.

Derek:
What is the release date!

Pepper:
March 26th!

Derek:
Take yourself back to the first time around with Down. Any war stories?

Pepper:
Oh man! We went on tour. We did 13 shows. The fuckin bus pulled up at Phil’s house. I mean this is crazy, this is 5 of your best friends! And you are getting ready to go on fuckin tour. It is like a vacation. The crew was from New Orleans, the bus was packed full of fuckin idiots! (laughs) We zig- zagged around the United States! So we get in the fuckin bus and go on tour. Then the tour is over and I can’t remember what color the tour bus was, I can’t remember the towns we played. None of us did, we were fuckin annihilated! And there is bootleg video’s of the shows. And the shows were killer! They are all over eBay! We played the fuckin Warfield Theatre in San Francisco! That’s like where the Allman Brothers played... I can’t even remember being there! We were just having a fuckin ball!

Derek:
Obviously there is going to be a tour, any plans for that yet, and after that what is next for COC?

Pepper:
The only thing I can say is Down is kinda blending itself into... well me and Phil were talkin about having a band you can grow old in! And Down is that type of band, and you will realize that with this record! You know... I’m not saying a bunch of acoustic !@#$. But I don’t think Phil can play Five Minute Alone" when he is fuckin 45 years old!"

Derek:
Do you feel like you can be you with no limitations?

Pepper:
We are trying to build a band right now that cannot be pigeon holed! I hate to say it but bands like Led Zeppelin man, they never got pigeon holed. They kept reinventing themselves in cool ways. I mean they could play those songs when they are 55 years old! It is just a way of thinking. We are playing music for life, it is all we know! This is not a weekend gig to us!

Derek:
Well thanks for your time and hopefully I’ll see you when the Down hits Boston!

Pepper:
Sounds great!


Last edited by Petalouda8, 11/27/2005, 12:58 pm


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Registered: 08-2004
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Re: Another kick ass interview with Pepper - about down


Excellent interview, thanks for posting [sign in to see URL] this is my first visit over to your site, it looks great and you did nice job-- good luck and keep up the great work.

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12/12/2005, 7:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Het Lover   Send PM to Het Lover
 
Petalouda8 Profile
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Global user

Registered: 04-2005
Location: Between Het & Pep. Nekkid.
Posts: 1411
Karma: 61 (+61/-0)
Reply | Quote
Re: Another kick ass interview with Pepper - about down


quote:

Het Lover wrote:

Excellent interview, thanks for posting [sign in to see URL] this is my first visit over to your site, it looks great and you did nice job-- good luck and keep up the great work.



emoticon Tracy!

And thanks so much for the kind words. emoticon



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Fuck me gently with a chainsaw

The Pepper Keenan Board


12/12/2005, 7:21 pm Link to this post Send Email to Petalouda8   Send PM to Petalouda8
 


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