DOWNSET Releases Powerful Socio-Political Album “Maintain”

Los Angeles’ groundbreaking rap/hardcore pioneers, DOWNSET., have released their first album in 8 years, “Maintain,” today with Nuclear Blast. Featuring stand out cuts like “The Place To Be,” the band’s long-awaited 6th album draws inspiration from their early hardcore and hiphop roots while reigniting their passion for the streets and fury for the current societal and political injustices.

Guitarist Rogelio Lozano states: 

“2 Years ago, if Someone would have asked me my thoughts on releasing an album on June 10th, 2022 with Nuclear Blast Records, I would have said not in a million years…All I can say is that God blessed us with this opportunity and chance of a lifetime for all this to come about. Two years in the making, we sincerely are happy to present the ‘Maintain’ Album. With Nick Jet Producing, the outcome of the recorded material exceeded our expectations. For those who have been patiently waiting 8 years for a new downset. release, thank you so much for all the support “

Following their recent signing with Nuclear Blast, DOWNSET. reissued their 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.

The word “maintain” is defined as “a condition or state of affairs; to provide with the necessities for life or existence.” To have the ability to maintain is to be able to hold fast to the unpredictable balance that is life, and to find a way to prosper through the most fluctuating of circumstances. LA hardcore natives DOWNSET are no stranger to this concept, going on to use life’s checks and balances as the inspiration for their first new album in almost 8 years: “Maintain.”
Recently signed to world renowned heavy metal label Nuclear Blast Records, and having recently released reissued throwbacks of their original demos, DOWNSET have reawakened the passion of old-school hardcore within themselves, and have tapped back into the energy that fueled them from the beginning: life, death, love, hate, injustice… and the streets. 

From the beginning I’ve had concerns about the problematic nature of society,” explains founder and vocalist Rey Oropeza. “I reflect on the experiences of my life. There are concepts that should be challenged and thought about. Everyone is going to come to their own conclusions on how they feel about inequality, misogyny, political topics, etc. but all of these things have kept me critically focused on my activism over the years. My abilities as a vocalist revolve a lot around what I’m feeling, going through, or witnessing at the time; pretty practical.” 

During pre-production, “Maintain” was the first song that we plucked out of the air,” describes founder and guitarist Rogelio “Roy” Lozano. “Going through hard times you’ve got to hang in there, hang on, MAINTAIN and hold it down. During the first wave of the pandemic, we had a lot of fear. Everyone was getting sick, people were dying like our manager Scott Koenig (RIP). It was amazing that we were able to pull all the work off that we did for this album through lockdown.” 

With Lozano producing and working in a variety of recording studios alongside the likes of successful engineers and artists (Jerry Finn, Greg Fiddlemin; Cypress Hill, Powerflo, etc.) for many years, it was only natural for him to take the helm of the recording process for Maintain. “I was lucky to have full responsibility for this album. It was kind of like a graduation; I was finally able to produce my own album in a big studio. I was really happy and confident and with the help of Nick Jett from TERROR we had the perfect combination for DOWNSET and for the sound of this album. Jett made it really easy for us to go through pre-production and the writing process.” The album was then mastered to perfection by Howie Weinberg in Los Angeles, California. 

Breathing life back into something that’s not only old school, but that actually stands for something is meaningful work, and meaningful art: “We had a good time and we’re really happy with the way this record turned out,” says Lozano. “I’m happy with the tones, and with the maturity we show in our writing and recording this time around. Regardless of what kind of responses we get, we genuinely love the album, and that’s what really matters for us. Just like Rey’s lyrics to the final song on the album, READY FOR IT, I’m ready for it, bring it on.” 

Rey Oropeza | Vocals
Rogelio Lozano | Guitar
Phillip Gonzales | Bass
Bobby Blood | Drums

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