For a while, it was unclear whether Rex Brown was still in Down or not. The bassist seemed preoccupied with his new group Kill Devil Hill, while his band mates in Down seemed to be tiptoeing around the issue. And though drummer Jimmy Bower finally confirmed that Brown was out, it still was unclear as to what actually caused the split. “Health issues” were hinted by Bower and Philip Anselmo, but details still seemed very vague.
However, in an interview with High Times, Anselmo revealed that his former bandmates’ (in both Pantera and Down) health issues involved drinking. You can watch the part of Anselmo’s interview where he discusses Brown in the video above (starting around the 3:20 mark), but when asked if he has received “karmic payback” for his attempts to help others get clean, Anselmo said the following:
“Oh my God… Karma come back in a way? Look at the situation with Rex Brown. I’ve tried. I gave it my all and I love Rex Brown with all of my fucking heart and soul. But, goddamnit, he will not put down that fucking bottle for any of us. He is, and has been told, he is going to die. I’m gonna tell you this: He’s not gonna die on my time, because he ain’t drinking around ‘The Kid.’ Straight up. And that means he can’t be around right now, ’cause he’s fucking drinking. And that’s that. That’s that fucking story in a nutshell. And that’s it — that’s the only rift between me and Rex; other than that, we’re fucking best friends. He just can’t stop fucking drinking, and that’s that.”
It’s interesting to hear Anselmo’s concern for Brown. We got to see his new group Kill Devil Hill perform this past weekend, and Brown looked and sounded fine. Any health or drinking issues he may be suffering with weren’t visible to the audience. Then again, it should be noted that Brown was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis back in 2009, so he has had previous health scares that drinking may not help with. Whatever the deal may be, Brown seems to be doing just fine without Down (with Kill Devil Hill recently signing to SPV/Steamhamer), and Down are moving forward as well (having just entered the studio to record new material).
The above video is part 4 of Anselmo’s interview with High Times. You can watch parts 1-3, where he discusses his past drug addiction, the demise of Pantera, weed (of course), and Pantera’s time on the road with the late Pete Steele and Type O Negative, after the jump.