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20 years on from NOLA, Down reflect on its flood-fuelled creation...

Straight from the swamps of New Orleans, Down brought a new sludgy groove to heavy metal.

In a way, it’s apt that the memories have become faded and sometimes lost. New Orleans is used to that kind of thing, what with the 24-hour drinking and the occasional devastating storm from which its residents are forced to salvage what they can.

After all, it’s been 20 years since Down released their monumental debut album, NOLA, named after that most vibrant of cities. And while it remains a stoner rock classic – hell, a rock classic, period – it’s fair to say the band were fuelled as much by booze as by herbs, and some of the details are hazy.

“That was definitely a part of it!” laughs guitarist Pepper Keenan today. “I did more than my share of interviews from under the sheets, telling the dude to whisper because my head was ringing! I’ve forgotten more than I know!”


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