Windstein: Too much downtime made me quit Down
Kirk Windstein quit Down because the band had too much time off on tours which led him towards drinking alcohol and missing his family.
The guitarist left the band to front Crowbar where he is happier with the ability to wrap up foreign tours quicker without rest days to avoid spending too many lonely days in hotels.
Speaking to Devil Horns podcast he explains: “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, with us getting older and Philip’s [Anselmo, Down singer] voice and now Down has to take a fair amount of days off in order for Phil to rest his voice properly, which is totally, absolutely understandable and well respected.
“It’s just, for me, I like to go out 15 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.
“It’s like, I wanna be at the gig every day, but I don’t wanna sit in a hotel room in Europe 34 times now — and I feel very blessed to have done that with Crowbar and with Down as well. I feel blessed to have done that, but for me personally, I’m an in-out kind of guy – give me 15, 18 shows and I’m fine. But I wanna do ‘em and get home and get back to the other half of my life.
“That’s just being honest. The guys 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 – no doubt about it. On show days, it’s fine, like I said I have a responsibility and I love being on stage and playing and I love playing with my friends; there’s no doubt about that.”
Windstein insists there are no hard feelings from either himself or from his former bandmates about his decision to leave the band.
He continues: “With the 25th anniversary of Crowbar coming up and with the way my life has changed, it just seemed like the obvious decision for me. 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.
“I’ve spoken to the guys. In fact, Bobby Landgraf from Honky, that’s taking my spot, is a very good friend of mine; he teched for me for awhile and he’s been teching for Pepper [Keenan, Down guitarist]. I spoke to him the other day and he can use my rig that I used with Down and he’s actually gonna come and me and him are gonna jam a little bit on some tunes.
“He’s got a few questions. He’s an amazing guitar player, but it’s hard to get every little lick down of somebody else’s stuff, so he asked me if I could pop by and jam with him a bit. I said, ‘Absolutely.’ Anything I could do to help out would be great.”
Windstein concludes: “I’m almost… closing in on 50 years old, and I just feel as though I’ve earned the right to do what I wanna do. And kind of being in charge is a good feeling.”