Los Angeles’ groundbreaking pioneers of the rap/hardcore hybrid and outspoken sociopolitical activists, DOWNSET, have officially joined forces with the heaviest label in the business Nuclear Blast Records and are currently plotting one of the genres greatest comebacks. To mark the occasion, the band has partnered with the label to reissue the controversial demos that helped ignite a street led movement around the world, “Anger/Ritual” 7″ and “About Ta Blast” 7″, which were initially released 30 years ago.
Commenting on the signing to Nuclear Blast, founding guitarist Rogelio Lozano says:
“Being signed to Nuclear Blast is a big honor for me. It’s a great organization/record label and working with the people there has been nothing but pleasant, professional experience. Nuclear Blast is the #1 heavy metal label in the world with so many great bands and amazing album releases. It gives my band and me the feeling of being a part of something special. We feel right at home, excited and look forward into the re-release of the first two original 7” records as a reissued bundle, as well as our forthcoming 6th album!
Look out for a mix of old school sound and 12 songs featuring the new era of downset in 2022. With our new lineup, Bobby Blood Ponte on drums, Phillip Gonzales on bass, myself on Guitar and OG Rey Oropeza on vocals, we plan on continuing the legacy with future albums to come. WE ARE BACK!!”
Additionally, DOWNSET has revealed a new music video today for the bonus demo track “Breed The Killer,” that features vintage live footage of them performing the song. Watch the video here:
“Anger/Ritual” 7″ Tracklisting:
1. Anger (Demo)
2. Ritual (Spoken Protest) (Demo)
“About Ta Blast” 7″ Tracklisting:
1. About Ta Blast (Demo)
2. Body Cry (Demo)
3. Breed The Killer (Demo)
Monumental progress doesn’t occur overnight. Some of man kind’s most powerful words don’t come from education or privilege, but erupt from the pain and roughness of the streets; they smolder through the cracks in the concrete until eventually grand truths are revealed, and the winds of change slowly emerge. It is with these notions in mind that old school Hardcore Kings DOWNSET began to surface in Los Angeles, California in the early 1980’s.
The genesis of DOWNSET itself was not one of entitlement or handouts, either. Originally formed with a straight edge mentality under the name of SOCIAL JUSTICE, the members of DOWNSET have been fighting against societal injustice for a long time. Founder and vocalist Rey Oropeza began using graffiti as its own language for change in about 1982. “I would hit the streets… and when you hit the streets there’s violence, there’s racial injustice; it’s not just violence in the sense of someone pulling out a gun on someone else, there’s a violence that can happen to anybody, you can be rich, poor, male, female… and these things affect people for the rest of their lives,” he explains. The group eventually released demos and shifted from SOCIAL JUSTICE to DOWNSET. “It has multiple meanings,” explains guitarist and producer Rogelio Lozano (CYPRESS HILL, POWERFLO). “Some people are set up in life, some are down with a set, but it also means to start off underprivileged; to have a life full of disadvantages.” All of these notions and inspirations eventually procured a self-titled studio album that was released in 1994 via Mercury Records.
A musical style that was distinctly hardcore combined with Oropeza’s MC abilities allowed DOWNSET to stand out from other metal acts, while still being able to achieve a variety of tours with some of the most prominent bands of the time. After member rearrangements, and the 1996 release of “Do We Speak A Dead Language,” the band went on to join the original “TATTOO THE EARTH” tour in 2000 with the likes of SLAYER, SEPULTURA, MUDVAYNE and more. This all coincided perfectly with the release of “Check Your People,” and once again the band was on the hustle.
With more member changes and the release of “Universal” a few years later in 2004, followed up by self-released “One Blood” in 2014, the band continued on hiatus. Now seven years later in 2022, DOWNSET have officially returned to the scene and have signed a record deal with the world’s leading metal label: Nuclear Blast Records. The new year will hold colossal announcements as far as new music, touring, and more. The future of society remains to be seen, but the future of DOWNSET has been carved in the stone of the streets for decades.
Rey Oropeza | Vocals
Rogelio Lozano | Guitar
Phillip Gonzales | Bass
Bobby Blood | Drums