The future of New Orleans sludge outfit Down has remained hung in the balance following frontman Philip Anselmo's racist actions at Dimebash 2016. With the band both being stricken from festival lineups and Anselmo voluntarily backing out of European festivals, fans have speculated whether they will see the band return to the stage and/or studio. Pepper Keenan, one of the band's founders, believes Down have not reached the end.

“Well, I don’t why there wouldn’t be," the guitarist told Metal Wani (full interview below) when asked what the future of the band holds. "You know, Down didn’t do anything wrong," Keenan continued, "I mean, 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 s--t together, and he is. He knows he made a mistake and was being stupid. 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 s--t we’ve done, beautiful music we’ve done on one stupid moment that was caught on camera and he apologized for. [So we are] far from done.”

In early February, Keenan released a statement detailing his thoughts on the Anselmo snafu, saying, in part, "Through Down, Philip and I have written many beautiful and powerful songs in the past that have touched and inspired people from all walks of life positively and have helped pull many out of their own darkest hours. This is not something I take for granted and should always be at the forefront of one’s conscience to keep you grounded, humbled and grateful. One of the responsibilities and joys, in my opinion, of being an artist or musician is having the ability to help make the world a better place. I accept Phil’s apology, and I believe he can."

Anselmo has issued multiple apologies regarding the incident, once again regretting his actions in a statement surrounding his withdrawal from Hellfest and all other European festivals this summer. He asked festival organizer Ben Barbaud to "give me this time to get my brain clear" before hoping to return at next year's installment.

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