Pepper Keenan believes Down still have a future

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Down’s Pepper Keenan says that the band still has a future despite Phil Anselmo’s ‘white power’ outburst earlier this year.

Anselmo offered to quit his band after they were axed from this year’s Fortarock bill in the Netherlands, due to his “white power” outburst at the annual Dimebash in January. Keenan tells Metal Wani: “I don’t know why there wouldn’t be a future. You know, Down didn’t do anything wrong.“We were just guilty by association on that one. That was Phil’s mistake.“I’ve spoken to Phil and told him to get his shit together, and he is. He knows he made a mistake and was being stupid.”

He continues: “I’ve known the guy most of my life. He’s not what that whole thing framed him to be at all. But, yeah, there’s definitely a future for Down.

“I wouldn’t throw all the shit we’ve done, beautiful music we’ve done on one stupid moment that was caught on camera, and he apologised for. So we are far from done.”

Anselmo faced widespread backlash after he made a Nazi-style salute and shouted “white power” onstage at the concert held in honour of the late Dimebag Darrell in January.

The singer initially claimed it was an inside joke about drinking white wine, but was later forced to issue a video and written apology.

Keenan issued a statement condemning Anselmo’s racist outburst, but said he believed that his long-time bandmate could redeem himself.

Meanwhile, Keenan has confirmed his other band Corrosion Of Conformity are working on the follow-up to 2005’s In The Arms Of God. They’ll also headline this year’s Desertfest in London on April 29.

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.