On October 1, Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas conducted an interview with DOWNguitarist Pepper Keenan for the "Metal Hammer" radio show on TeamRock Radio. You can listen to the chat using the SoundCloud player below.
DOWN will enter singer Philip Anselmo's New Orleans studio, Nodferatu's Lair, on Monday, October 7 to begin recording a new EP that is tentatively due in early 2014.
Speaking about the band's new material, Pepper said: "It's kind of slight continuation of the first EP, but it's a little bit more… It's hard to say, man… It's more… I wouldn't say 'aggressive,' but it's definitely got some freaky guitar stuff on it. And it's definitely got a pretty good groove factor. And we spent a lot of time trying to make all the songs [fit together stylistically]. We had several songs that didn't quite match it, so we kind of [set them aside] and we're gonna move them to another EP. But it's got a super-heavy vibe to it, man. I mean, I'm really excited about it. Everybody in the band is excited about it."
He continued: "We wrote it kind of like we did the 'NOLA' record. Each one of us had some riffs and we got in a room and we just hashed it out like the old days — just going off each person's experiences and ideas. Everybody's ideas were valid, and it really ended up being well rounded and slamming. It was [a] very creative [process], let's put it that way. Actually, it was surprising some of us how much we really still got it."
Pepper also spoke about the cover theme for the next DOWN EP and how it will be connected to last year's "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP".
"When the second [EP] comes out, you'll see it as being an extension of the last cover,"Pepper said. "So number 2 is gonna connect sideways to number 1, and you'll start to see a morphing kind of process. There's some kind of liquid light kind of thing that's kind of melding across as you go… I hate to quote the overall color, but I believe it's something like orange. I haven't looked at it in a while. It might not be orange yet, but it's heading in that direction."
Has TOOLsinger Maynard James Keenan secretly been working on lyrics for the band's long-awaited fifth album since the spring? According toThe Pulse Of Radio, Keenanappeared on comedianMarc Maron's "WTF"podcast and, when asked about new TOOL music, replied, "I'm gonna stop by the rehearsal space today. In theory, having beaten them up going, 'Please give me music, please give me music, please give me music, please give me music,' they have a CD for me today. They're like, 'Look, listen to some jams so we can get this thing going.'"
What's interesting, however, is that while the podcast was broadcast last Sunday (August 18), the interview itself was recorded in March — withKeenaneven making a reference to his 49th birthday happening in April. So hasKeenanbeen working on the newTOOLrecord since last March?
Keenansaid he needed to hear music before he could begin to formulate lyrics, explaining, "I can't write words 'til I hear the sounds, and I haven't heard the sounds . . . I've gotta listen to the sounds and go from the sounds."
The vocalist toldThe Pulse Of Radioa while back that he gets restless atTOOL's slower pace of doing things. "I can't sit still, so when those guys hesitate, it takes us so long to do stuff, and it's like a snake eating its own tail situation, 'cause then I get distracted and I go off and do a thing, and then I get blamed for not being around to do the (TOOL) thing," he said. "But nothing was getting done when I was standing there, so I got bored and left. It's just an endless cycle."