Kirk Windstein

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Kirk Windstein
Windstein performing with Crowbar in 2017
Windstein performing with Crowbar in 2017
Background information
Born (1965-04-14) April 14, 1965 (age 56)
Unknown U.S. Air Force base[1]
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresHeavy metal, sludge metal
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1985–present
Associated actsCrowbar, Down, Kingdom of Sorrow

Kirk Windstein (born April 14, 1965) is an American guitarist and singer. 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 the band 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.[2] Other members included Sid Montz, with whom Windstein would play again in Crowbar, Valüme Nob, Kevin Noonan, and bassist Danny Theriot.

Shell Shock[edit]

Having left Victorian Blitz, Windstein joined the New Orleans' hardcore punk band Shell Shock as their guitarist and vocalist.[2] 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. After finishing the recording of a new album called No Tomorrow, the band's guitarist Mike Hatch committed suicide.[2][3] Kevin Noonan replaced Hatch for the final Shell Shock show in 1988, and the band became what is now Crowbar.[4]


After the collapse of Shell Shock in 1988 due to the suicide of 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 Wrequiem 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 he and Strange reformed the band, with Craig Nunenmacher as the drummer, and Kevin Noonan on guitar. The band renamed themselves to Crowbar in mid-1991.

Crowbar was originally signed by Mark Nawara to Pavement Music and released their debut album Obedience thru Suffering in 1991. Windstein's childhood friend Phil Anselmo (who at the time was with 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, they partied heavily, and footage of these events appears on Pantera's third home video and Crowbar's "Like Broken" video, in which Windstein dressed up as 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, in October 2016.


Windstein (right) and Rex Brown performing with Down in 2009

Down released their debut album NOLA via 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 Windstein to record Crowbar's Lifesblood 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 early 2005. In 2007, Down released the album Down III: Over the Under. They released an EP titled Down IV – Part I in September 2012. In late 2013, Windstein announced that he is leaving Down to concentrate on Crowbar 'full-time', as the band has its 25 anniversary in 2014.[5]

Kingdom of Sorrow[edit]

In 2005, Windstein teamed up with vocalist Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed to form a new side venture called Kingdom of Sorrow. The band's self-titled debut album was released on February 19, 2008 through 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 January 2020, Windstein released his first solo album, Dream in Motion.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Windstein is married and has a daughter.[8] He is a Christian.[9]


Windstein performing with Down at Download Festival 2009


  • 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)[10]
  • Fender Stratocaster White (2009 Tour with Down)
  • ESP Viper Custom Purple Le Fleur-de-lis (2010 Crowbar)
  • Gibson Explorer White (Down)
  • Solar E1.6 Jensen

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)[11][12]
  • 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
September 26, 1991 Obedience thru Suffering Pavement Music
October 12, 1993 Crowbar

(produced by Phil Anselmo)

100,000[citation needed]
March 29, 1994 Live +1 (EP)
May 23, 1995 Time Heals Nothing
October 29, 1996 Broken Glass
July 7, 1998 Odd Fellows Rest
March 7, 2000 Equilibrium Spitfire Records
August 8, 2001 Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form
February 9, 2005 Lifesblood for the Downtrodden

(produced by Warren Riker)

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

(produced by Duane Simoneaux and Kirk Windstein)

E1 Music
October 28, 2016 The Serpent Only Lies

(produced by Duane Simoneaux and Kirk Windstein)


Date of US release Title Label US Billboard peak[13]
September 19, 1995 NOLA Elektra 57
March 26, 2002 Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow 44
September 25, 2007 Down III: Over the Under Roadrunner Records (Europe) 26
September 18, 2012 Down IV – Part I (The Purple EP) 35

Kingdom of Sorrow[edit]

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


Date of US release Title Label US Billboard peak
January 24, 2020[6] 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 – "3 Watch It Go" (full-length home video) (Windstein 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 June 21, 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. "Facebook post from January 7, 2016". Retrieved January 20, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Loudwire (August 13, 2014). "Crowbar's Kirk Windstein - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "Shellshock – No Tomorrow excerpts". Retrieved June 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Shell Shock | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Retrieved April 2, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Kirk Windstein: Why I Left Down". October 14, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b "Crowbar's Kirk Windstein Debuts Title Track From First Solo Album". Loudwire. November 8, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "Hear Crowbar's Kirk Windstein Go Solo With Sludgy, Soulful New "Dream in Motion"". Revolver. November 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Crowbar's Kirk Windstein: "Your friends have been calling and freaking out, you've been on some cartoon called Beavis And Butt-Head"". Kerrang!. May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Shrum (July 1, 2014). "Interview: Crowbar's Kirk Windstein talks about the new album, love for his family and relationship with Down". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved November 18, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "News : Kirk Windstein of DOWN/CROWBAR Selling Guitar". Retrieved April 2, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ [1] Archived August 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Orange Amplifiers – DOWN". YouTube. February 25, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Down Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017.

External links[edit]