This month started off with a bit of a surprise, as Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein announced he was leaving sludge metal supergroup Down, which he’d cofounded. At least he was leaving for the right reason – to concentrate on Crowbar – but in a recent interview, he went into more detail than he originally had. Speaking to the Devil Horns Podcast, he commented:
“My life’s changed a lot in the last year. With being married, I wanna concentrate a lot more on my family first and foremost. And Down… has to take a fair amount of days off in order for Phil [Anselmo] to rest his voice properly, which is totally, absolutely understandable and well respected. It’s just, for me, I like to go out fifteen shows in a row and get it done. With Down, a lot of the [touring], especially internationally, is fly dates and things like that and there’s so many days off. And really, for me, to be blunt, on those off days, man… I mean, show days are great, I have a responsibility, of course I love every second being on stage, but on those off days, I have absolutely nothing to do and it just ends up turning into drinking too goddamn much and wanting to not be there…The [other members of Down] could see I was kind of not really getting into it, they could see me on the off days hitting the sauce harder than I should have been… It was kind of a mutual thing — no hard feelings or anything whatsoever like that. There’s absolutely zero drama, zero gossip that I know of, at least from my side. I doubt there’s any from their side.”
It may be the fact that he’s been an Alcoholics Anonymous member since 2010, but being able to see that he had a problem, isolating the reason of it, and cutting it out of his life can only be seen as a positive. While it’s disappointing that his thunderous riffs won’t be heard in Down, the silver lining is that he’s still very much in Crowbar and looking forward to the new album, which will be coming out next year.