Kirk Windstein

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Kirk Windstein
Background information
Born (1965-04-14) April 14, 1965 (age 54)
Unknown U.S. Air Force base[1]
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresHeavy metal, sludge metal, hardcore punk, metalcore
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass
Years active1985–present
Associated actsDown, Crowbar, Kingdom of Sorrow

Kirk Windstein (born April 14, 1965) is an American musician. He is a founding member of the sludge metal band Crowbar, and a founding member of the heavy metal supergroup Down playing with them from 1991 to 2013 and later rejoining in 2020. In 2005, Windstein formed Kingdom of Sorrow with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. Their debut album was released in 2008. Windstein began his musical career in 1985 as a guitarist for a cover band called Victorian Blitz, and in 1988 joined a hardcore punk band called Shell Shock as a vocalist and guitarist.

Life and career[edit]

Victorian Blitz[edit]

Windstein played guitar for the cover band Victorian Blitz in 1985. Other members included Sid Montz, with whom Windstein would play again in Crowbar and Valüme Nob; Kevin Noonan, guitarist from 1989 to 1993; and bassist Danny Theriot of Metairie, Louisiana.

Shell Shock[edit]

Having left Victorian Blitz, Windstein joined the New Orleans' premiere hardcore punk band Shell Shock as their guitarist and vocalist. With Windstein in the band they began to play more of a crossover thrash style rather than straightforward hardcore punk, as it better suited Windstein's vocal style and a two-guitarists line-up. When the band was recording a new album called "No Tomorrow", their guitarist Mike Hatch committed suicide.[2] Kevin Noonan replaced Hatch for the final Shell Shock show in 1988, and the band became what is now Crowbar.[3]


After the collapse of Shell Shock in 1988 due to the suicide of guitarist Mike Hatch, the band enlisted Kevin Noonan and carried on as Aftershock, which played a mixture of hardcore punk and doom metal. Under that name they released a demo in mid-1989, but then renamed themselves WREQIUEM when bassist Mike Savoie (who would later direct music videos for Crowbar, Down, and Pantera) left the band and was replaced by Todd Strange. In 1990 they renamed themselves The Slugs, and after a demo in mid-1990, the band collapsed. Windstein considered becoming the guitarist for Exhorder. But Windstein and Strange reformed the band, with Craig Nunenmacher as the drummer, and Kevin Noonan on guitar. The band renamed themselves Crowbar in mid-1991.

Crowbar was originally signed by Mark Nawara to Pavement Music and released "Obedience Through Suffering" in 1991. Windstein's childhood friend Phil Anselmo (who at the time was in Pantera) produced their next effort, a self-titled album released in 1993. The album went on to achieve international success with songs such as "All I Had (I Gave)", "Existence is Punishment", and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter". MTV's Headbangers Ball began to play the music video for "Existence Is Punishment", which was also featured on Beavis and Butt-head. Following that success, the band toured with Pantera. Together, the bands partied heavily, and footage of these events appears on Pantera's "Home Video 3" and Crowbar's "Like Broken" video, in which Windstein dressed up as the Hulk. In 2001, Crowbar went on hiatus, because Windstein concentrated on other bands. Upon Windstein's return, Crowbar released Lifesblood for the Downtrodden in 2005, and two years later released a live DVD called "Live:With Full Force". The band released Sever the Wicked Hand in 2011, Symmetry in Black in 2014 and their latest album The Serpent Only Lies was released on 28 October 2016.


Down released their debut album "NOLA" on Elektra Records in 1995 with Windstein on guitar and bass, Anselmo on vocals, Pepper Keenan on guitar, and Jimmy Bower (Crowbar, Superjoint Ritual, and Eyehategod) on drums. The band played a 13-show tour with Todd Strange on bass, and the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Following the tour, each member returned to their respective bands. Crowbar recorded three albums before Down reunited to release "Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow" in 2002. Following the release, Down toured on the second stage at Ozzfest, and then continued to tour on the "An Evening With... Down" tour. Afterward, both Windstein and Keenan returned to their main bands, thereby allowing Kirk to record Crowbar's "Life's Blood for the Downtrodden" with Rex Brown on bass, Craig Nunenmacher (Black Label Society and original Crowbar member) on drums and Down producer Warren Riker in spring 2005. In 2007 Down released the album Down III: Over the Under. Down released Down IV Part I – The Purple EP in September 2012 and are rumoured to be releasing three more EP's over the coming years. In Fall 2013 Windstein announced that he is leaving Down to concentrate on Crowbar 'full-time', as the band has its 25 anniversary in 2014.[4]

Kingdom of Sorrow[edit]

In 2005 Kirk teamed up with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed to form a new side venture called Kingdom of Sorrow. The band's self-titled debut album was released on 19 February 2008 by Relapse Records. It debuted at No. 131 on the US Billboard charts and sold 6,000 records in its first week of release. The album was recorded at Planet Z with producer Zeuss, known for his work with Shadows Fall and many others.

Solo work[edit]

In 2020, Windstein released his first solo album, Dream in Motion.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Windstein is married, and a Christian.[6]



  • Ibanez DT520 Destroyer (currently with Crowbar)
  • ESP Viper (Black)
  • ESP Viper Baritone
  • ESP Viper Custom (Red)
  • ESP Eclipse Ambery Cherry Sunburst
  • Gibson SG VooDoo (2005 With Crowbar)
  • Gibson SG Standard Black (2005 With Crowbar)
  • Gibson SG Gothic (Down 2002, Crowbar 2005, Kingdom of Sorrow 2008)[7]
  • Fender Stratocaster White (2009 Tour With Down)
  • ESP Viper Custom Purple Le Fleur-de-lis (2010 Crowbar)
  • Gibson Explorer White (Down)

Amplification and Effects[edit]

  • Randall RG100ES (Crowbar, used from 1988 – 2013)
  • Randall RG3003 (Crowbar, used since 2013)
  • Randall Cyclone (Crowbar, used briefly around 2000 – 2001)
  • Dean Dime D-100 (Crowbar, used briefly during 2010 – 2011)
  • Orange Thunderverb 50 (he and Pepper Keenan are both endorsers since 2010)[8][9]
  • Marshall Amplification
  • Marshall JCM800 2203X 100W Head (Down)
  • Orange Rockerverb 100 (Down)
  • Orange Crush Pro 120 Head (Crowbar)
  • Marshall 1960B straight front 300W 4x12 cabinets that use celestion V30speakers.
  • Mesa/Boogie Standard 4x12 cabinets with Celestion V30 speakers (Crowbar)
  • Orange PPC 412 4x12 cabinet with Celestion V30 speakers
  • Maxon Effects Pedals
  • Boss Metal Zone MT-2 pedal (Used for boost with Crowbar, EQ all at noon, level cranked, drive at 0)



Date of Release Title Label US sales
26 September 1991 Obedience Thru Suffering Pavement Music
12 October 1993 Crowbar

(Produced by Phil Anselmo)

29 March 1994 Live +1 (EP)
23 May 1995 Time Heals Nothing
29 October 1996 Broken Glass
7 July 1998 Odd Fellows Rest
7 March 2000 Equilibrium Spitfire Records
8 August 2001 Sonic Excess in its Purest Form
9 February 2005 Lifesblood for the Downtrodden

(Produced by Warren Riker)

Candlelight Records
8 February 2011 Sever the Wicked Hand Housecore Records
27 May 2014 Symmetry in Black

(Produced by Duane Simoneaux and Kirk Windstein)

E1 Music
28 October 2016 The Serpent Only Lies

(Produced by Duane Simoneaux and Kirk Windstein)


Date of US Release Title Label US Billboard Peak
19 September 1995 NOLA Elektra 57
26 March 2002 Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow 44
25 September 2007 Down III: Over the Under Roadrunner Records (Europe) 26
18 September 2012 Down IV Part I - The Purple EP 35

Kingdom of Sorrow[edit]

Date of US Release Title Label US Billboard Peak
19 February 2008 Kingdom of Sorrow Relapse Records 131
8 June 2010 Behind the Blackest Tears N/A

Kirk Windstein[edit]

Date of US Release Title Label US Billboard Peak
2020 Dream In Motion eOne Music n/a

Music videos[edit]

  • 1991 Crowbar – "Subversion"
  • 1993 Crowbar – "All I Had (I Gave)"
  • 1993 Crowbar – "Existence Is Punishment"
  • 1994 Down – "Stone the Crow"
  • 1995 Crowbar – "The Only Factor
  • 1996 Crowbar – "Broken Glass"
  • 1997 Crowbar – "Like Broken" (full-length home video)
  • 1997 Pantera – "Home Video 3" (full-length home video) (Kirk as The Incredible Hulk)
  • 2000 Crowbar – "I Feel the Burning Sun"
  • 2002 Down – "Ghosts along the Mississippi"
  • 2005 Crowbar – "Dead Sun" (filmed in Miami, Florida, around August 2004 and directed by John-Martin Vogel and Robert Lisman)
  • 2005 Crowbar – "Lasting Dose"
  • 2005 Crowbar – "Slave No More" (filmed in Miami, Florida, on 21 June 2005 and directed by John-Martin Vogel)
  • 2007 Crowbar – "Live: With Full Force" (full-length DVD)
  • 2007 Down – "On March the Saints"
  • 2008 Kingdom of Sorrow – "Lead into Demise"
  • 2008 Kingdom of Sorrow – "Lead the Ghosts Astray"
  • 2011 Crowbar – "Cemetery Angels"
  • 2012 Down – "Witchtripper"
  • 2014 Crowbar- "Walk With Knowledge Wisely"
  • 2014 Crowbar- "Symmetry In White"
  • 2016 Crowbar- "Falling While Rising"
  • 2019 Kirk Windstein- "Dream In Motion"


  1. ^ "Kirk Windstein". Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Shellshock – No Tomorrow excerpts". Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Shell Shock | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Kirk Windstein: Why I Left Down". 14 October 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Hear Crowbar's Kirk Windstein Go Solo With Sludgy, Soulful New "Dream in Motion"". Revolver. 8 November 2019.
  6. ^ Shrum (1 July 2014). "Interview: Crowbar's Kirk Windstein talks about the new album, love for his family and relationship with Down". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  7. ^ "News : Kirk Windstein of DOWN/CROWBAR Selling Guitar". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 30 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Orange Amplifiers – DOWN". YouTube. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2013.

External links[edit]