Crowbar began in 1988 as the brainchild of Windstein and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Bower (also of Eyehategod and Down), with an eye to playing slow and-most importantly-low. "When we started the band, thrash was at its peak," Windstein recalls. "Then Jimmy and I started rediscovering Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus and bands like that. We started tuning to D and then C and then B and even A on some songs. It was all about how much low-end we could get out of it."
Bower split Crowbar in 1990, only to return to the drum pulpit for 1996's Broken Glass and 1998's Odd Fellows Rest, the latter of which also featured Goatwhore's Sammy Duet on second guitar. (Duet also played on Crowbar's 2001 release, Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form.) Meanwhile, Windstein and co. toiled away on the global club circuit, slowly establishing Crowbar as a force unto itself and earning the admiration and respect of fans and fellow musicians. Meanwhile, members of Hatebreed (vocalist Jamey Jasta currently co-manages Crowbar and founded Kingdom Of Sorrow with Windstein), Killswitch Engage (bassist Mike D'Antonio did the cover art for Crowbar's latest) and Chimaira professed their discipleship to Windstein's detuned church of immaculate heaviness. "When I met these guys, they were freaking out about Crowbar," he says in astonishment. "And to me, that's like, wow-because all these younger bands are so much bigger than Crowbar. But that's definitely been raising a bit of interest in us these days."