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NOLA was written mainly by Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan between 1990 and 1995. Throughout 1991 to 1993 the band released three demos, a three-track demo (1991), a four-track demo (1992) and a ten-track demo (1993). Originally the band made the three-track demo for underground trading. The demo featured the tracks “Losing All”, “Temptations Wings” and “Bury Me in Smoke”. In an effort to build a fan base, the band would ask heavy metal fans if they had ever “heard of this band, Down” and hand them copies of the tape without telling the person that they were in the band. In 1992 the band recorded a second demo, this time featuring the same track listing as the original but with an intro. In 1993 the band made the Demo Collection 1992 – 1993 which is a ten-track demo featuring all the songs that would make the album cut except “Rehab”, “Pray for the Locust” and “Underneath Everything”. Anselmo solely wrote only three songs on the album (“Hail the Leaf”, “Pray for the Locust” and “Pillars of Eternity”). Eventually, the original demo tape was distributed throughout the United States and Down played a small concert in its home town. A record executive from Elektra Records was attending the show. When he found out who the members of the band were, he signed Down to a recording contract. The band began recording the album in the summer of 1994 at the Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana and completed the recording sessions by January 1995.