Download 2011: Windstein favours cutting release format to do them more often, and says band will cut tour cycles too

Kirk Windstein

Wind down: Guitarist Kirk

Down guitarist Kirk Windstein says the band will change the format of their touring cycles to match the new format for releases as they aim to put out four six-track EPs nine months apart.

They begin recording on September 1 and aim for the first short-form disc to appear at the beginning of 2012, with the second due in the autumn.

And Windstein sees the strategy merging with what they need to do to keep touring – and his own decision to cut down his drinking after he spent six months on the wagon.

He tells RockAAA: “I’ve been talking it very light. I took time off from drinking in August last year and rewired my brain. It did me a lot of good; I learned a lot and I’m glad I did it. I’ll have some beers now but it’s going to be controlled.

“We’ve finally got our old asses into jamming at Phil Anselmo’s house and we’ll put out these six-song EPs. As far as retail goes these days, the EP will be cheaper. And we’ll get new music out a lot sooner than in the past – a hell of a lot better than four or five years between albums.”

Windstein accepts the band burnt themselves out with their previous attitude to hitting the road. That’s one of the reasons bassist Rex Brown, who was a member of Pantera with frontman Anselmo, isn’t currently appearing in the lineup.

So they’ll adopt a policy of spending two weeks on tour at a time, being more selective about where they play, to match their EP release schedule.

The guitarist says: “We toured ourselves to death with the last album – which was one of the reasons I had to stop drinking. We toured non-stop for three years. By the end of that you’re sick of each other and you’re sick of Down.

“We’re not doing that any more. I’m 46; we’re not kids. We have families, home lives, other things we want to do. Down’s our main thing, but we think the new attitude and the new schedule will allow us to play and not get burnt out.”

The attitude has already borne fruit, he adds: “Being on stage at Download was like being 20 years old again.”

Last week Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell suggested his band were also thinking of turning their backs on the full-length format. And Tommy Lee recently hinted the same thing about Motley Crue.

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