JIMMY BOWER, PEPPER KEENAN Interview Online
September 12, 2005, 14 years ago
An interview conducted by Justin (webmaster for OfficialPantera.com, PhilAnselmo.com, Down-Nola.com) with singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan (CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, DOWN) and Jimmy Bower (SUPERJOINT RITUAL, Down) is online at the this location. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:
Justin: Ok let's start from the beginning... how seriously were you taking the hurricane warnings?
Bower: "Well if you live in New Orleans, you're used to being on a two or three day alert. This one concerned us a little bit before those two or three days because of it's size and power. Four days prior to the storm, the Hurricane Center pretty much had it headed for New Orleans."
Justin: So even though you get warnings every year, you knew this was something special?
Bower: "Yeah, they were calling this a "one in a hundred years" storm. We had Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Betsey back in the day... I mean, we've been hit by some small category hurricanes that set us back and did some flooding, but what people don't understand is that when these hurricanes came through 40 or 50 years ago, we had a lot more land and a lot more marsh to, so to speak, soak up the storm. Now we don't have all that. Knowing that helped us anticipate some of the damage."
Justin: So what were you able to take with you?
Bower: "Well I don't have a hurricane survival kit, so I grabbed my two expensive guitars, my new recording machine, my fours and stuff like that. My girlfriend passed away in March, so I filled a big box of memorabilia of her, grabbed my dog Rags, and that's about it man!"
Justin: Have you heard anything about your particular neighborhood?
Bower: "I live right across the bridge from The House Of Shock on the West Bank and we didn't get any water, just wind damage. Hopefully my drum set is ok. I just finished setting it up, I was just about to start recording some new riffs and working on a new record..."
Justin: Pepper's up there with you right?
Bower: "Yeah, Pepper, his mother, his grandfather, his uncle, and his girlfriend. My family accommodated him with a 35 ft trailer so they're lookin' really pretty. Well, they're not lookin' pretty, but he's comfortable and safe."
Justin: So what are you doin' musically?
Jim: "I'm workin' on my solo record. It's gonna be on the lines of 'Doobinterlude' on Down II, kinda ALLMAN BROTHERS-ie, no vocals, kinda like CLEARLIGHT. I've been really wanting to do that, I'm finally now motivated to do it, and I've got my equipment up here too, at least to start. Other than that, another thing that sucks about this whole thing... a week or two before Katrina, all the guys in Down, we were supposed to all have have dinner. We were gonna get together and talk about possibly touring Europe in January. Now all that's gotta be put on hold y'know? But Pepper's here with me. Hopefully we can do some writing out here as well y'know? As far as Philip (Anselmo) with the lyrics, I don't think he's gonna have a problem finding any.
Philip's house was spared, from what I understand. Justin I know you've been to Philip's house but for those who haven't, it's surrounded by trees. They all fell, but not one fell on his house. Not one. The Lair is fine. So out there is fine, but get into the city and it's more like a third world country. Disease, hunger, looting... they're shooting looters, finally. I mean if people broke into my house for food or water I wouldn't care at all, but if you walk out with my t.v., I have a problem with that. There's no need for that shit.
I would like to say that everyone has been accounted for except Mike Williams (EYEHATEGOD singer). Man, it really hittin' me hard because I've known Mike longer than anybody else I know in New Orleans. He introduced me to the whole scene. I guess no news is good news. Mike's a survivor, but if anybody reads this and has heard from him, please get in touch with Justin or make a post on one of the message boards. I'm really worried about him and now is not the time for jokes.I want to thank everybody on the boards for their thoughts and prayers. We're gonna pull out of this... and when we do, look out bro... Down III gonna be vicious, like a pit-bull. It's not gonna be a pretty album, it's gonna be mean. That's the attitude everybody's in. I'm pissed. Hey... Pepper just rolled in."
Justin: Watchu doin?
Pepper: "Huh... well... we got a lot of stuff to figure out but we'll be alright. I just had to find a nurse for my grandfather 'cause one of his legs is infected. So we were here, then the nurse called so we had to haul ass over there and had his leg all wrapped up, now we hauled ass back here..."
Justin: You guys can't catch a break.
Pepper: "We went from being the Jetsons to being the Flinstones in about 48 hours hahaha.. you know what I mean? I ain't catchin' no breaks. Ain't nobody gonna make it easy on you son, you know that. I'm writing some songs daddy-o I'll tell you that!"