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Down, ‘Diary of a Mad Band’ — DVD

Adrenaline PR

Down may reside in the swampy bayou of New Orleans, but the band is coming up for air with the long-delayed ‘Diary of a Mad Band’ DVD, which was originally slated for a spring 2010 release and documents the band’s first-ever overseas trek.

‘Diary of a Mad Band’ will be a three-disc affair — two CDs and one DVD — clocking in at 130 minutes of viewing pleasure. It’ll be on the shelf of your local retailers on Oct. 5. It is indeed a diary of Down on the road, as the audio discs collect the band’s live performance in London. The DVD portion is a documentation of the band’s offstage antics, additionally covering their 2006 resurrection, their practice room and the shenanigans that took place on their first European tour.

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The bonus behind-the-scenes featurette is entitled ‘Tyrades and Shananigans,’ and it’s unfiltered and brilliant. Collectors will also be happy to know that a 180-gram triple vinyl version with a bonus DVD will be available on October 26!

The DVD has everything a Down fan could want, especially that sneak peak into a day in the life of Down. “It’s pretty close to that,” guitarist Pepper Keenan, also formerly of that other essential metal band Corrosion of Conformity, told Noisecreep. “We’re a bunch of kids who grew up together, playing music and eventually getting to bigger venues. We started out in the garage and we’ll end up back in the garage, and the DVD hits everything in between.”

The DVD was scheduled to come out in the Spring via eOne, but it was temporarily shelved. Keenan took us through the arduous process of the DVD, saying, “It was the first European tour and we had been through hell and back with death of Dimebag and Hurricane Katrina, so everything was piling up on us. We decided to go to Europe, play some shows. We had never been there. We started figuring out it’d do well, bring a film crew and capture the good, bad and ugly s—.”

He continued, “Once we got back, finished it, filming the entire tour, where we played a city in each country, we put it together in order of the tour and the set list is in order of how we played, so it had a mathematical element. I can’t tell you how many hours of sleep we foregone. I wanted to try and do it that way where it was not one particular city, but Europe in general. We had it done, we got home, had a new record and were reinvigorated to get back in the game and focus our energies, so the movie sat on the wayside.

“Once we pieced it together, two years later, looking at the footage, Warner Bros. passed on it and told us we could release it with someone else, in a nutshell. So we did that and found another label to put it out. But when the label saw it, they changed their minds. They wanted a piece of the pie after they saw it was not some homemade video bulls—. It was a bigger deal than it was before, and timing is everything in this stupid business.”

Keenan cited the footage of Download/Donington in England as the “craziest” on ‘Diary of a Mad Band,’ which was a “secret” show for Down. “No one knew we were playing,” Keenan recounted. “It was 11 in the morning, and as soon as they dropped the Down banner, people were jumping over fences, going ape s—. So that was a big deal, so you can see how many people are there. We played and as the credits roll, you can see everyone leaving in droves. That was a special moment, besides the drunk bulls—.”

The crowd’s reaction to the band’s set was crucial to Down’s future. “That was the pinnacle to convince Down we need to continue,” Keenan admitted. “We’d be fools not to, so big thank you to Europe; [for helping] us get our s— back together.”

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