“Radio One BBC” – March 27, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

Deftones Interview 
 Broadcast 27th Mar 2001

Chino Moreno and Abe Cunningham from The Deftones took a break from their UK tour to join 
Mary Anne late one night on the Rock Show to talk music, play some of their favourite tracks, 
and answer some of the questions you e-mailed in for them. 

Click here hear the whole interview, or read the highlights below and click on the questions to 
jump to that section of the interview. 

You are half way through a tour, how's it been going?
One of them, the Hamburg show, was the lowest point of the tour. We all just broke down, missing 
our family, it was the only bit of the tour I can think of that was sad....We started drinking 
at 10 in the morning - it was bad. Ever since them it's been getting better. 

So how to your recover from that?
I don't know how. We bounced back pretty good, the shows have been getting better and better. 
You cannot predict how you are going to feel. I love music and I love to play music, but to do 
it every day as a job you look at it differently. 

Tell me about our support acts Tap Root and Linkin Park
Honestly, I don't listen to their music at all. But, I think our fans, especially the younger 
ones, dig it. Whether those bands will admit it or not they are the epitome of Nu-metal. They 
are good bands, I'd take them over a lot of other stuff. If you listen to the stuff I listen to 
it's different. 

Track 1 - Howard Jones 'No-one Is To Blame'
The story is Abe and I had a crush on the same chick, and I thought it was my song with this 
girl, and Abe thought it was his song with her. 

Chino, You liked to impersonate Morrissey as a teenager.
Morrissey is so damn swarve, I don't understand why people cannot see that. People think I'm 
joking about that, but I straight up love that man....I went to school in the 5th grade dressed 
like Boy George. It was a predominately black and Mexican area where I went to school, and 
people were looking at me like 'what the hell is he doing'. I love his persona and his 
boldness, and I love that about Morrissey. 

Which is your favourite Smiths song Chino?
I've got a lot of them. My favourite Smiths album is 'The Queen Is Dead' and a song off it 
is 'I Know It's Over' 

 Track 2 - Quicksand 'Dining Alone'
We took them on tour with us in the States, we got them back together as a band. That was one 
of my favourite tours of all time 

You've collaborated with so many people in the past, but there is rumour that you are going to 
collaborate with Mogwai.
The first time I heard that band I was imagining what it would be like if I could sing over some 
of their songs - obviously a lot of their songs don't have vocals. They are just really lush and
pretty songs, I could hear tons of melodies over them. At the Leeds festival last summer I met 
one of the band, he came over and started talking to me. I didn't know who he was and he told me 
he was in Mogwai, so I just like fell to my knees and said 'I love your band'. A couple of 
months ago they sent me a track of a song they want me to put vocals on. 

We've had many e-mails asking why are you supporting Limp Bizkit at their Milton Keynes gig, 
when you are the far better band?
I don't look at it like that. I look at it like we are playing a show. People don't admit they 
like Limp Bizkit, I said something to the crowd last night (in Manchester) about Limp Bizkit and 
everyone stated booing. But I know for a fact that all those kids would go to see Limp Bizkit 
play, and they probably own a Limp Bizkit album, they have to - why do they sell so many 
records....I don't dislike Limp Bizkit's music, the same way with Linkin Park, it's very 
formulated and predictable and I think it's good for what it is. It's like a party youthful 
record, and I look at it like that. I haven't actually heard their new album....If I had a 
choice I'd much rather play Milton Keynes with Tool, a band I do listen to, but I don't think 
it's a bad thing we are playing with Limp Bizkit, I think it will be fun. 

Track 3 - Kool Keith 'Sly We Fly' 

Chino, tell us a bit about Team Sleep, your side project
I need to finish it because I've been working on it for so long...The closest thing I can 
compare it to is the song 'Teenager' on the album 'White Pony'...It's real mellow, something you 
can put on your headphones and fall asleep listening to. 

Everyone wants to know when are you going to record new stuff?
It's really important when we put out music that it's really good. We were asked to record 
tonight's (live) show and put it out as a live album, but that had no interest for us...
So when we go home we are going to start writing as much stuff as we can before the summer. 
Then hopefully in the fall go in the studio and start recording 

Track 4 - The Cure 'The Catch'

“The PRP” – March, 2000 // Abe Interviewed

Interview with Abe Cunningham

PRP: Although "White Pony" has been embraced by the fans and hailed by the critics as one of 
the great albums of last year, yet in terms of sales it hasn't seen you take the leap many had 
expected, with the album recently falling off the Billboard charts and not yet selling platinum. 
How do you feel about that?
Abe: Every record we've done except for the first one there has been hype about being the next 
big thing. We don't care, we don't give a shit about what people expect. Its the biggest record 
we have ever had and we do what we do at our own pace. Doing it this long, we are happy with 
ourselves. The music business is a strange business.

PRP: Nearly a year after its release, what songs have really stood out for you on the "White 
Abe: I like it all. I love playing "Feiticeira" live though.

PRP: What has been the highlight of this past year? What with Rock In Rio, Grammy, key to city, 
Abe: The whole year man. All these years we've been waiting for 2001 to come. It's been amazing 
and it's not over yet. It's been great and I can't really highlight anything. Just the fact that 
we can still do it.

PRP: So how did it feel to win the Grammy?
Abe: Even just being nominated we were amazed. It was totally out of the blue. It was exciting, 
but more so for our parents.

PRP: Since the release of your third album, yet again, another host of new bands have appeared. 
Do you have any favorites of the current crop?
Abe: I don't really buy any of those records. I like to listen to older stuff but I really like 

PRP: How does it feel to have Linkin Park support you despite the fact they are more 
commercially successful right now?
Abe: I think its funny. I couldn't give a shit. They have never been over here 
Linkin Park are a band that you either love or hate and they got a lot of shit.

PRP: At theprp.com we ran a feature asking bands such as Machine Head, A Perfect Circle, 
System Of A Down and more what their fave albums for the year were and "White Pony" 
consistently appeared more than any other album. It seems that amongst artists you are the 
most respected band out there. How do you feel about that?
Abe: That's the best thing in the world, better than selling millions, to have the respect 
of your peers. It's very cool.

PRP: A lot of younger bands who've toured with you like Taproot and Glassjaw have said its 
like a dream come true, how does it feel to have such an impact on these groups?
Abe: Yeah, we've done the same thing too though, touring with bands we grew up listening to. 
You listen to a band and you hope their cool people and not pricks. Treat people how you want 
to be treated.

PRP: There has been rumors circulating lately that Maverick Records may shut down sometime in 
the not too distant future, are you guys confident with your future on the label?
Abe: I heard that they gave it some more time. Either way it wont affect us.

PRP:  With "Change (In The House Of Flies)" making TRL, the following singles never quite lived 
up to the success that "Change" had. Do you find this frustrating? 
Abe: No because you have to understand that we never have had any radio play before. So its all 
a success. We built everything we have on touring. Our worries are elsewhere, we are beyond that.

PRP: How many other singles do you plan to release from the album and are there any other 
tracks being eyed as potential candidates?
Abe: To us, the whole record could be singles. For the label its a whole different story, they 
could consider it to be a dead record now.
PRP: A lot of people would love to see "Knife Party" as a single.
Abe: That was supposed to be the first single so who knows.

PRP: It seems that with Warren Entner managing you guys and also putting together the Faith No 
More tribute record, it would be a perfect fit for you to show up on the tribute. Have there 
been any discussions about this and which Faith No More track would you like to cover if given 
the choice? 
Abe: I think their songs are too perfect to be touched, why fuck with it. We talked about doing 
some really early stuff off the very first record. "RV" is what we came to and then we decided 
to fuck it, there's a lot of bands on the album we aren't too keen on.

PRP: Does it anger you that whenever you release an album, your style of music becomes copied 
quite quickly by other acts?
Abe: I mean everyone copies and we've certainly copied bands too, I think its how you take it. 
You cant just TAKE IT, you got to run it through your heart and soul and give it your own pace. 
Bands should try to get their own fucking thing.

PRP: Where do you feel the band will head with your new album and have you been writing any 
songs recently? 
Abe: Anywhere, that's the beauty of it. We set ourselves up to do whatever we want and people 
can't expect anything. We have so many ideas but mainly we are just trying to find different 
sounds rather than the simple standard instruments. We haven't written anything yet, its all in 
our heads.

PRP: How much of a shock was it in seeing Chi without his dreads and how have the fans reacted?
Abe: No, it was great. He came in the next day and we were like god, it was quite a shock. Those 
dreads stunk, I felt sorry for his wife and kids.

PRP: With Chino cutting his dreads, Stef cutting his long hair, Chi cutting his dreads, what 
dramatic appearance change do you have in mind?
Abe: I'm growing mine long! Like back In the old days, it's been a long time.

PRP: Speaking of the old days, what can you tell us about you old band Phallucy?
Abe: We did a record almost eight years ago but it was never finished.  We were home last month 
and I got together and we talked about it and we went and finished it, mixed it and it sounded 
really good. We are going to put it out just on the internet on a site we are going to make for 
it. It's just kind of cool and interesting. Even eight years later it's still sounding good.

PRP: This summer it seems like you'll be doing an Amphitheater tour with Godsmack in what seems 
an unlikely partnership. Are you excited about this tour?
Abe: Initially we were like fuck that and there will probably be a backlash from people but I 
couldn't give a fuck. Lets make it in to a positive thing, it doesn't need to be negative. Why 
not tour with Godsmack, it's one tour and I think it could be a good thing. I'm not a Godsmack 
fan but we can still have fun, its summertime.

PRP: You've yet to hit Australia or east Asia yet. Any plans to?
Abe: We were going to be playing Japan but I don't think that's happening now. We'd love to get 
to those places but its more to do with the dollar down there and also the yen. It's all to do 
with our management and basically it's to expensive to go at this point but we cant wait to get 
to those places.

PRP: With the amount of covers you guys have both recorded and played live, will we ever see a 
covers album?
Abe: Yeah, maybe when we have time. It's not at the top of our minds.

PRP: You also have a number of acoustic songs that fans, particularly on the net, cant get 
enough of. You could really shine on something like MTV unplugged. How would you react to that? 
and is that something you have ever thought of in terms of performing acoustically live?
Abe: Yeah we just did this thing called "Music In High Places". A show that takes bands around 
exotic locations and we did four acoustic songs on this lava flow. I think the songs translate 
really well, even the heavier shit.

PRP: The rumors of the band touring with Tool or Weezer never seem to cease, are possible tours 
with these acts any closer to a reality yet?
Abe: Same as it is. Rumors.

PRP: Apparently you have a home video in the works. Any firm plans for that and if so what kind 
of footage can we expect?
Abe: Well the digital bath video is out. The cool thing is we did it all ourselves. We all have 
cameras and stuff, most of it was my footage. We hired a friend to edit it. Chino and I went to 
school with this kid and he went to film school and now he has backing for this company to do 
documentaries and stuff. The last tour we did in the states he came out and documented most of 
that. This is different from the home video that we will put out though before the end of the 
year though.

PRP: With many of the band having their own outlet other than the Deftones, do you feel this has 
a negative or positive affect on the band.
Abe: I think its healthy. It makes us tighter and relieves some of the pressure.

“bassstreet.com” – December, 2000 // Chi Interviewed

Chi Cheng interviewed by by Alan di Perna (bassstreet.com)


Crossing a grassy square in funky downtown Sacramento, Chi Cheng pauses outside a circle of 
homeless kids who are seated on the ground, pounding out a tribal beat on a few hand drums. 
Most of the kids are in their early teens and have the dusty, hippie—gypsy look of people used 
to sleeping rough and eating whenever they can panhandle enough change for some fast food. 
Smiles of recognition light up their faces when they see Cheng. They proudly show him some new 
drum beats they've been working out. It turns out that Chi funnels some of the money he makes 
as bassist for the Deftones into a music program for Sacramento's homeless youth. He's bought 
these kids the drums they're playing, and a portable cassette recorder to document their 
musical progress. 

“When people see homeless teens they right away think: ‘drug addicts‹trouble.'” says the 
dreadlocked bassist. “But these are good kids. If life had turned out a little differently, 
that could be you or me there in the park.”

Cheng is an unusual guy to find playing bass in an aggressive new-metal band like the Deftones, 
whose latest album White Pony is currently enjoying huge success. A practicing Buddhist, 
Cheng also has a fascination with Beat Generation writers like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs 
and Allen Ginsberg. He has recently put out a spoken word disc, Bamboo Parachute, culled from 
the stockpile of poetry he's written over the years. 

“All my views are hippie views which are not necessarily shared by the rest of the band,” he 

Cheng was majoring in literature at Sacramento State College when he first joined the Deftones. 
“The guys put out an ad for a bass player around 1989,² he recalls. “I was in college, and I 
think Chino [Moreno, the Deftones lead singer] and Abe, [Cunningham, the band's drummer] were 
maybe 15 or 16. They'd already been together for a few years. I remember things like, ‘Chino 
can't come to band practice, because he got grounded. He got bad grades.' I'm really proud of 
Chino's work on White Pony. I knew him when he was a little kid. And now he's what I consider 
an amazing singer.”

The Deftones were signed to Madonna's Maverick label in 1994. Their first two albums Adrenaline 
(1995) and Around the Fur (1997) both went gold and attracted favorable notice in the metal 
community. But all this pales in comparison with the Top 5 ascendancy of White Pony, which 
finds the band mixing a wide range of musical styles with their core metal sound. 

“My own influences are different than the other guys,” says Cheng. “I'm a big fan of world beat,
jazz and reggae. On our single “Change (In the House of Flies),” there's kind of a dub style 
bass. But it's subtle.” 

In many ways, Cheng provides the perfect foil to Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter's power 
chord menace. “Stephen's the technical guy,” says Chi. “I just like to plug in and play. I'm 
like a punk rock artist in that regard. I use all Fenders‹mostly P-Basses, and I've got a 
Fender Tele bass. The Fender Custom Shop puts a lot of love into the basses they make. I can 
tell the difference. I beat on my instruments a lot, and they always stay in tune!”

Cheng says he was won over to Fender basses when the Deftones played the Warped tour in 1995. 
“I saw Sergio from Quicksand take a Fender, swing it around his neck and throw it across the 
stage. It bounced off a monitor. He picked it up, put it back on and it was still in tune. And 
I was like, ‘That's it. I gotta have Fenders.’”

All members of the Deftones praise Madonna for sticking with them through the lean years that 
preceded White Pony's rise to the top of the charts. “She's an amazing woman,” says Cheng. 
“Real intelligent. Really fierce. I think she tends to belittle a lot of men. She can make a 
man feel small. But I think it's good for a man to be in the presence of a woman who's so 
powerful and intense about what she's doing that it's a humbling experience.”

With Cheng going around making statements like these, and the band's multi-ethnic makeup, 
observers have cast the Deftones as a politically correct alternative to some of the more 
overtly misogynist and homophobic acts in the current rap/metal arena. 

“I think we're so self-involved that we don't even compare ourselves to any other bands,” 
says Cheng. “Maybe we're part of this new metal thing. When I think in those terms at all, I 
think of us more like Tool or Rage Against the Machine.”

But has Cheng seen a change in the audience's makeup since the Deftones hit it big?

“I don't know,” he laughs. “I keep my eyes closed on stage the whole time.”

“Circus” – December, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

circus magazine 
december issue


chino moreno

“basically threre are just 2 diffrent feelings,   
love and hate.”

special interview by gabriella

 the deftones are a unique blend of music and one of
the reasons for it might be the fact that they all and
especially singer Chino Moreno are into a variety of
music. for them variety is the spice of there sound . 

“I always liked a lot of different music. some people
said im open minded and some said i have no musical
taste at all and listen to almost everything. i
couldnt care less, i guess it depends on how you want
to see things. for some people the glass is always
half empty while for somebody else it might be still
half full. personaly i think you cant have to many
influences, its great to be open minded. i dont want
to paint myself in to a corner and just have one
single musical influence.”

but even if he thinks alot of influences are important
for the deftones, when it comes to feelings are
concerned, for chino there are just two major
feelings, but he dosent just see it black and white,
he also realizes there alot of different shades of
gray in between.

“bacially there are just to different feelings , love
and hate . everything else , every other feeling is
somehow connected to one of them. Love and hate are
the two basic feelings and im capable to change from
one to the other really quick, like in a song.
sometimes i go through both moods in one song, not
just one spot a couple of times .”

Chino explains that he doesnt see himself has the
front man just because he is the singer,he rather sees
his voice as a fifth instrument of the band something
that blends and completes the song of the deftones.

“it’s really easy for a singer to destroy a great
song, that's why i dont like to see myself has a
singer but rather has a instrument with in the band ,
the fifth instrument in a great band.”

maybe that’s one of the reasons why, while he puts
alot of effort in the lyrics, the lyrics are something
that comes last when there writting songs. for him its
not the lyrics that are important, the feeling he gets
across is what really counts for him.

“ I want to express my feelings, I want to express
what I feel with out actually having to spell it out,
with out actually having to sing the words, I dont
want to use the words to express myself, I think the
music should express it all. i have always been a huge
cure fan especially when Robert Smith was really
abstract and cryptic, like in pornography , were the
lyrics were really cryptic but definetly intense and
everybody understood and felt what he was trying to

the deftones and korn are often counted to be in the
same genre and are labeled as the new californian
metal explosion, but chino sees it quite differently,
especially when it comes to the lyrics.

“ I think our lyrics are rather introverted and
sometimes really complex, alot of people describe
Jonathan davis this way but i dont think our lyrics
can be compared . the lyrics of korn are quite
different, for example if you hear jon singing about
something you know what he means, hes not talking
around something he's getting straight to the point
while i rather give you a feeling of what im trying to
say. I perfer using metaphors, and give you the
general feeling about what im trying to say it isn’t
necessarily something that has anything to do with my
real life, it isn’t necessarily nothing more than the
feeling that he’s to obvious and transparent. 

I like the way my lyrics are, there a bit different
but maybe that’s the reason why i like them its ok if
people don’t like the lyrics everybody should have
there own opnion about them.

“our albums have alot of different senario. you might
just feel real relaxed and then the mood changes and
shakes you up. it might be a bit uncomfortable
sometimes but at the same time there is a certain warm
feeling around  and it dosen't let you down and hugs
you. I think it's something really rare its certainly
not something you find all that often.”

Just like their lyrics, their sound is everything else
than obvious, it does take some time to get in to
there albums and find all the little tidbits and parts
who are almost hidden away, but who’re still
responsible for a lot of deftones magic. with the
deftones the beauty of a song is often not obvious and
only visable in between the lines. Chino gets right to
the point and sums it up with simple words. 

”we’re trying to be as decent as possible and as effective as

the deftones singer doesn't quite understand that for
a lot of people everything has to be obvious and plain
and he seems to be rather fed up with having to
explain the role of frank delagdo .

“a lot of people keep on asking which role frank plays
in the band and why he’s in the deftones. They seem
not to be able to understand that you dont hear the Dj
straight away. We all work together and everybody in
the band is important but we dont need to please  out
egos with solos. “

Egos and commerce are certainly not something the
deftones place a lot of value in they even refused the
headlining spot at the prestigous family values tour.
something a lot of bands would kill for but for the
deftones other reasons were far more important.

“we really wouldnt have fitted in and it wouldnt have
been our thing. we thought about it but then decided
not to do it. it just seems to be such a big circus
and some many different bands, we wouldnt go on tour
with so why tour with them for family values? i think
there are to many things involved, too much politics
and to much money."

“DetNews” – November, 2000 // Chi Interviewed

"Heavy rocking Deftones are flying high with ‘Back to School’ tour, 
a critically praised album and ... Adam Sandler"

By David Dodd / Special to The Detroit News 



Seated on adjoining couches on the set of an Adam Sandler MTV special 
this week, the Deftones joined the rubber-faced actor in an acoustic 
version of the band’s 1997 hit “Be Quiet and Drive.” 

    It was Sandler — whose new movie, Little Nicky, opens today nationwide 
— who requested the jam session with the Sacramento quintet, the hottest 
high-energy rock band in America right now. The band plays Cobo Arena tonight. 

    “It was a great time,” says Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, via cell phone 
from the band’s tour bus in Atlanta. “I couldn’t pass up the chance to play 
with Adam Sandler — he’s demonic!” 

    It’s only appropriate that Sandler plays the son of Satan in the film, 
for which the band wrote two soundtrack songs. 

    “I won’t lie though,” Cheng continues, “he messed me up the first time 
he started riffin’ off because he’s really good. I totally lost my train of 
thought where I was. It was pretty funny.” 

    The Deftones are riding a wave of critical acclaim with their latest 
effort, White Pony, a collection of 11 tracks highlighting their sinister 
vocals and scorching guitar riffs . 

    Their first single, the hauntingly infectious “Change (in the House of 
Flies),” released several months ago, remains near the top of the modern-rock 

    “We had a lot of good times in the recording studio,” Cheng recalls, 
“but we also nearly killed each other. There was a lot of tension because 
we all felt so passionately about this album — we really wanted to outdo 
the two albums we’d done before, and we felt those were two really strong albums.” 

    Only in their late 20s, the Deftones have already been together for 
13 years. 

    The core band members — Cheng, guitarist and vocalist Chino Mareno, 
drummer Abe Cunningham and Stephen Carpenter on strings — were friends as 
kids. They traded in their skateboards and video games for guitars in 1987, 
playing California clubs as a foursome. 

    The band soon added hip-hop DJ Frank Delgado on the turntable, featuring 
him on both their records and stage performances. The Deftones’ first national 
release, 1995’s Adrenaline, introduced Mareno’s cryptic yet appealing vocals 
to a larger audience. 

    On the current leg of their 36-city Back to School tour, the Deftones have 
enlisted two popular bands — Incubus and Taproot — to open for them. 

    “That’s what it’s all about,” Cheng says. “It’s easy to go out and really 
lead a tour and hire some band to open for you, but we wanted to have an 
entire night of great music, so the tour’s been great so far. Incubus is an 
amazingly complementary band to us, and Taproot’s been really cool.” 

    But it’s the Deftones that everybody wants to see. 

    The band’s music and muscle have been in high demand. In addition to the 
Sandler movie soundtrack, they’ve re-released White Pony with a new track, 
have a single featured on the upcoming video game MTV Sports: Skateboarding 
featuring Andy MacDonald, and are watching their second single, “Back to 
School,” play all over the airwaves. 

    Cheng, who’s a book lover, has also released a spoken-word CD — Bamboo 
Parachute — featuring the works of many top writers. 

    And, oh, yeah, the band recently was given a key to their California 

    “There are so many avenues to explore,” Cheng says. “We don’t want to 
limit ourselves at all.” 

    As for tonight’s show at Cobo, the biggest venue on the current tour, 
Cheng says: “It’s huge, it’s scary, it’s kind of a big place, but we’re
really excited, we’re really energized. Detroit has always been good to us.”

“Rock Express” – 2000 // Chino Interviewed

Interview: Chino Moreno, Master of White Ponies


rockexpress - 2000

     I skateboard and have always carried my 'board on tours. Stephen likes cycling 
and, for the past two or three year, has been bringing his own bike on tour. He goes 
out and finds a skateboarding ring and ride and I occasionally go with him. Chi likes 
reading and spends all his time with books, Abe... I don't really know what he is up 
to but on the last tour he spent all his time talking with his wife on the phone 
because she was expecting a baby. (chino)

     It is the fourth year since THE DEFTONES' second album, 'Around The Fur', had  
come out and, finally, its supplant is upon us, entitled 'White Pony'; its title, at 
least, continues the theme of the previous one -- regardless of what singer Chino 
Moreno had and is claiming -- although it switches the gender and instead of the female, 
the male genitalia gets a cryptic focus on. The title of the new album had also been a 
source of a rumour than Moreno officially changed his name to 'Pony 1' but it got blame 
settled on a  pseudonym 'Pony Wong' he had used for guesting on Sevendust's 'Home' album. 

     In meantime 'Around The Fur' was voted the Best HM Album of the year (1998) by 
Brit-readers. The bend toured for over two years, as they had done following the release 
of the debut album 'Adrenaline' (1995), although found time to contribute songs to the 
soundtracks to the movies such as 'The Crow: City Of Angels' and 'Escape From LA' (1996, 
both), plus cover songs 'The Chauffeur' (Duran Duran tribute) and 'To Have And To Hold' 
(Depeche Mode tribute, both 1998) and it was expected that Moreno's side-project Team 
Sleep would have had some of its atmospheric music released.  

     But no, it has been put on ice for The Deftones' sake, to finish the third album 
and tour it. At least one Team Sleep songs has survived to the laser of a CD player, 
'Teenager', a trancey-psychedelic cut; the rest of 'White Pony' slots in between the 
band's known sound of fury ('Street Camp', 'Fieticeira'), more adventurous ('Digital 
Bath', 'Knife Party', 'RX Queen') and ultra-heavy ('Elite')... There are not many guests 
although Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) trades vocals with Chino on 

     If you are fan of the band and would like to have their complete works then you 
have to search hard and long to locate a copy of a 'Live' mini-LP that had been issued 
in two countries only, France and the USofA, between the first two albums and deleted 
soon after. When I complain to Chino about this he explained it as a record company bonus 
to the fans who had showed support for the band in their earliest days.  

      Touring, the band is known for long and hard playing all over the world but, it 
might be a bit more difficult now as a couple of members have children, bassist Chi 
Cheng and drummer Abe Cunnigham. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter is the fourth member of 
the band that originated near the Korn's place -- Sacramento, California. 

A great gap between studio albums...

Chino: We had a few false starts and had to abandon recordings because we went touring... 
And then, when we started work on vocals we came up with a couple of new songs and then 
few more which has delayed the process a bit. But, we got everything  under control and 
the album is ready to be heard by the world.

The delay wasn't due to your searching for the right song ideas, as some might have suspected?

- No, that's never been our problem, we've always had too many ideas... We kept on coming 
with so many ideas in a studio that it was incredible... Every day we thought to replace a 
song or two we had already recorded. It was mad and we had to stop and concentrate on 
finishing some of the ideas we had put down. Even then, nothing was finished until the 
master-tapes were delivered to the record company.

Which is going to be followed with a lot of touring, as usual? 

- Yes, and our first stop is Europe, ahead of the album comes out... We know that's been 
a long time since the last tour and it is going to be difficult to be away from home for 
such long periods of time but it needs to be done. We know only too well that our playing 
live sell our records as that is the only way we can promote our music. We have never relied 
on MTV or radio to get our music across and the only way left to us is to play live. 
People come and like what we do and then tell their friends. That is the most valuable, 
the word-of-mouth.

Live, they are...

     THE DEFTONES, the Californian's capitol Sacramento natives, earned their reputation by 
playing loud, intense and extreme shows that were perfect for crowd surfing, stage diving 
and general moshing. But, on this night, there wasn't much opportunity, the main reason 
being the volume that was far from what this band has been known for; instead to be of the 
Spinal Tap-ish patented '11', it was more like an '8'. 

     We thought it could be customised due to the new material being spacier, more complex, 
more structured, but no, the lower volume prevailed until the very end when we had a sonic 
explosion that reminded us why we got into them in the first place. Tours that followed their 
first two albums, 'Adrenaline' and 'Around The Fur', used to be like prescribed in one of 
their old songs, 'Nosebleed'.

     All the known elements are on 'White Pony' -- the cutting guitar of Stephen Carpenter, 
the driving bass of Chi Chueng and Abe Cunningham raging on his drumskins, but it has all 
mutated. 'Elite' could be the hardest song of their career but it is restrained force, there 
is more of withheld aggression that the actual aural menace. 'The Street Carp' is a rare song 
that bridges between the past and the now, 'Change (In The House Of Flies)' is atmospherically 
heavy, 'Pink Maggot' sounds like an anthem designed for the stadia…

     Chino Moreno sings and screams, crouches, twists and stretches his body in an attempt 
to maximise passion of his vocal expression in front of a star-lit backdrop; a horse outline 
was also projected on it indicating a new song without Moreno needing to introduce it. 
He avoided addressing us, apart few well placed 'Thank you's' and letting us on his post-stoned 
daze as he had spend the day and played a gig in Amsterdam. His state didn't affect the 
performance of favourites like 'Headup', 'Around The Fur', 'Root, 'Be Quiet And Drive 
(Far Away)'… 

     There was also not much for the DJ Fred Delgado, who used to be a regular onstage 
contributor, to do. The Deftones, as the flashed sign reminded us several times, are 
undergoing a metamorphosis that is taking them away from the crossover they established 
themselves with. At one moment the stylised lettering on the backdrop read 'DE ONES'. 
Well …getting there.     

Very often your official festival dates (such as Reading in 1998) are preceded by a club 
show; why do you need to do that or are you using such shows instead of rehearsing?

 - We did that club date because we wanted to, there was no need. It was a thank you to 
our fans, on one hand, and an opportunity for people who have never seen us in such a 
small place to witness what we can do, on the other hand. And also, whenever we played 
London it was a big show; even our first one, it was in a 2500-capacity venue; that 
(club) show was in front of 500 people only.

- And true, we never rehearse, it has never been our style. We soundcheck and that's 
about it. We should know the songs because we wrote and recorded them.

Your tours last years; how do you amuse yourself during such stints? 

- I skateboard and have always carried my 'board on tours. Stephen likes cycling and, 
for the past two or three year, has been bringing his own bike on tour. He goes out and 
finds a skateboarding ring and ride and I occasionally go with him. Chi likes reading 
and spends all his time with books, Abe... I don't really know what he is up to but on 
the last tour he spent all his time talking with his wife on the phone because she was 
expecting a baby. These two are family people and when we are off touring they spend all 
their time with their loved ones.

And you, what do you usually get up to during your downtime?

- We all live lives we want to. If you wanna homelife you can't have it on the road. 
There are times when I wish I was at home but when I'm at home I wish I was on the road. 
But, there is a balance and everything we do is to that effect; we don't go on the road 
and say 'To hell with our homelife!' It doesn't work like that and you have to take care 
of everything.

- But, the grass is always greener on the other side. What we are working toward is to 
have a revolving gate with green grass on both side. That's what we are working toward 
to have and to keep everybody equally happy. We like to keep it like a big party and 
have everybody enjoy himself.

Collaborating with other people, Soulfly for instance, what do you look for in it?

- It is always great to work with other people because every band works differently 
and you can learn something from other people's way of writing songs. There is no better 
or more effective way but it is inspiring to see other people. There are so many ways to 
do music but the main reason for working with other people is to have a good time. That's 
why we do our music; if I thought that working with somebody would be stressful, I'd never 
do it. I'll only work with people I admire and feel comfortable working with.

Don't such excursions cause any frictions in the band?

- No, not at all and everybody is happy when somebody else's got to do something different. 
The band didn't come with me on the Soulfly record because there was no time. Max planned to 
have so many guests but he simply ran out of time. The thing with the outside work is that it 
is okay as long as it doesn't affect the work in the band. If I was not focused on what was 
going on in the band, they'd tell me. This band is the priority and everything else is a 
bonus. Otherwise we wouldn't be were we are.

How unified do you feel as a band? I'm asking because few times I spoke with  Chi he told me 
that he didn't feel committed to the band 100% and wished to start teaching?

- He is one person in the band who is... when he is with the band, he's with the band; 
when he is not with the band he is doing something else. His interest isn't music only 
but he wants to go to college, he wants to teach... I don't hold it against him but he knows 
when he is with the band he needs to take care of the band and he does take care.

- We all are different people; Stephen and Chi are just the opposites: Chi would stay at 
home every day if he could and Stephen would be on the road every day if he could. Somewhere 
between these two are Abe and me which means that we all have to compromise. He knows it 
and his compromise is neither lesser nor greater than for the rest of us. He can tell you 
all day long that he wants to be a teacher and a parent and a husband and go home but, this 
is as much of his life as that is. And we all make everybody as much happy as we can.

- We told him that if he didn't want to be here he shouldn't need to be. But he wants to be 
here and he is. I think it is okay for other people to have other interests as long as they 
know what are the priorities. It is understandable, I'd say. I think such tension make us 
stronger as a band. It's like not only him who has his own thing but everyone of us have own 
separate lives from all this. The fact that we have known each other for so long and we all 
know what we want to do individually, it has drawn us together to be able to work things out 
and make everyone happy. Everyone would get what they want and we'll still be able to do our 
own band thing. The fact  that everyone gets what they want makes us stronger because this is 
what is creating the opportunity for everybody to do what they want.

Isn't it a bit unnerving that you have such a state among the members?

- No; if you were unsympathetic to what anyone of us needs, this would simply fall apart. 
That's why we are so close because we understand each other's needs. We've been friends forever 
and friendship is what keeps us going. Nobody puts a foot down in this band in protest. 
Nobody creates situations here and we are equal although we know we all have our own selfish 
needs. But, for one to have such needs met we all have to work together.       

Passionate metal from the kings-to-be

You are well respected but, recording a tribute to a band like Duran Duran, didn't it worry you 
that it might dent your reputation?

- No, not at all. It is fine to do things like that. We know what we stand for and what we do. 
No, doing covers is fine by us and when we recorded that song we did it because it was a great 
song. I liked them a lot and must have been the only boy to have liked them. I didn't like their
pop stuff but slow songs were brilliant. That song, the vibe, the video for that song, it is a 
bit dark song, I really liked it a lot.

- The rest of the members weren't fans but when I played them the record they dug it immediately. 
We had no problem with recording a Duran Duran song... that's elitism, if song is good, it is good, 
and there is no discussion.

Marilyn Manson likes to think of himself as the best band in the world...

- Well, we were at an Awards ceremony when he won such a title and I thought it was cool what he 
said in his acceptance speech -- 'Who else would have won?' I like him, I think he is a swell guy. 
He is definitely an interesting character who knows exactly what he is doing and when people talk 
about responsibility of musicians I think of him. You may believe he is s calculating type but he 
does his own thing and nobody else's.

Precisely, he hasn't influenced many other artists while Spineshank swear by you?

- That's nice and I have no problem with it... I met the singer and he was really cool. It is nice 
to inspire somebody to start making music like ours. As long as they don't just copy our sound 
and scream-sing-scream but try to copy the spirit of it, then it is fine. There must be some 
depth and certain identity to it all. It is a big compliment whenever a band name-checks you 
but we've never become big-headed because of it.

Very humble opinion for the difference from your old friend's band, Korn, who couldn't resist 
to name the previous album 'Follow The Leader'?

- Well, that's the road they've chosen and the attitude... We haven't been in touch for a long 
time and I don't know what's going on there now. You'll never catch me talking bad about any 
bands and especially not Korn. People like to see it like a competition but it's not like The 
Deftones thing versus the Korn thing. It's not like that with us, if I feel like dissing them 
I'll do it, in the press or in their faces.

- But, because they've got a new record out ('Issues') everybody wants to know what I think of 
it. I guess it is understandable... I don't wanna say anything bad about it but, you know  what, 
the record doesn't suck but, to me, it is nowhere near as good as I think it could have been or 
how their debut album was... I don't get that feeling, that I got when I listened to the first 
record, on the last three records. They are generally getting worse, the records are. But, as 
far as that, it is much better than anything out there that is like it, how can I possibly say 
something bad about it?

- If I compare Korn to Korn, I'd say it wasn't as good, but compared to anything else in that 
genre, it is miles better than the Coal Chamber's debut album, for instance.

You contributed songs to soundtracks and I wonder what is your criterion?

- If we are not on it, it is not cool enough. I don't think there are enough interesting movies 
out there... Apart from that we usually don't have any songs recorded that we could offer to 
movies; I guess we could go and write one, if a project was interesting enough... We have a couple 
of songs from the last record we didn't finish and we could go back to that... If something 
interesting comes along we'd take it.

But not something like 'Godzilla'?

- Green Day had a song in it and I thought that was cool. It was in the true punk rock spirit, 
go and fuck up the corporate thing. For me punk rock is rebelling against what everybody else is 
doing. Green Day know who they are and are comfortable with doing such things. They are one of the 
bands with the most integrity that I've ever met. They don't care about impressing anybody.

- Something like 'Godzilla' for us...? I don't like taking stands and if there is something good 
we'll do it. We'll take any shit as it comes and don't usually make any big plans.

- As far as The Deftones go, no big proclamations for us because we might change our mind and 
look stupid.


“Metal-Is” – November, 2000 // Chi Interviewed

Chi Interviewed by J. Bennett (Metal-Is)
16 November, 2000


Metal-Is: Where are you right now?

Chi: I’m in Vegas. 

Metal-Is: Ouch. Sorry about that. 

Chi: You know, I feel the same way. I went down to the tables and watched everyone play, and I 
couldn’t even bring myself to place a five dollar bet. I’m just not into it. I don’t know - 
I don’t see the pleasure in throwing your money away. 

Metal-Is: It’s so... not fun. I think Las Vegas is the most miserable place I’ve ever been to.

Chi: I don’t know, man, Reno is the poor man’s version of Vegas, and I think it’s even worse. 
We just played Reno, and I went straight to my hotel room, went out and got some Japanese food, 
and went straight back, did the show and left. It’s really depressing. I think I wrote a piece 
about it being a bunch of overweight, armless women or something. Something about it freaks me 
out - wearing glamorous hats and shit like that. I started writing some weird Burroughs-type 
shit. Reno is totally overwhelming to me. I mean, you know in your heart you’re not going to 
win. I know people who are like, “Well, I’m just gonna bring a hundred bucks, and I plan on 
losing it. It’s worth it if I can kick it at the tables for a couple of hours and they comp me 
out a couple of free drinks.” I mean, I drink for free every night. Then I see them at the 
table, they’ve got 600 dollars’ worth of chips in front of them, and it goes in, like, ten 
minutes. I think it’s the speed that gets me, the actual speed of losing. I watched our tour 
manager get cleaned out of 400 dollars in, like, two minutes. Boom, boom, boom, and it’s over. 
I’d rather take my kid to Disneyland than blow it at some stupid table. At least your kid gets 
an experience out of that. I’m all about experiences. 

Metal-Is: Speaking of experiences, you guys blow up more and more with each album. Is 
everything moving at a comfortable pace for you, or is it overwhelming?

Chi: No, I think everything’s moving at a really nice pace. Things don’t really feel that much 
different to us. Musically, each record kind of leads into the next one. I think we’ve set 
ourselves up where we’re in a really good position. If this album does do really well, it’s 
good, because we still have the freedom to do what we want musically. We’ve never compromised 
ourselves musically, so no one can really take anything away from our integrity. 

Metal-Is: What did you want to accomplish when you went into the studio to record ‘White Pony’?

Chi: I don’t think we had any kind of game plan; we had no idea what it was going to come out 
like. We just knew that we didn’t want to cover the same old bases, you know? 

Metal-Is: Tell me a little bit about ‘the devil house’...?

Chi: Ah, the devil house. You know, it’s this house in LA, and I guess Chuck Berry lived there 
for a while. Korn lived there for a while, and they said that there was some pretty spooky stuff 
going on there. So we went there while we were recording ‘White Pony’, and it was pretty spooky 
- mainly for Chino and Abe. They had the downstairs part, and they said they saw some really 
weird shit.

Metal-Is: So you think it was haunted?

Chi: Yeah, most likely. When Chino was doing his vocals, he ended up going to a hotel for a 
little bit. I don’t know if it was the house, or the partying, or what, but he was just like, 
“I’m going to a hotel.”

Metal-Is: What I’ve always liked about you guys is that you seem to have an excellent 
understanding of dynamics, as far as going from hard to soft, quiet to loud, is concerned. 
I think with ‘White Pony’, you’ve capitalised on that aspect more so than on your previous 

Chi: I agree. I think that going from ‘Teenager’ to ‘Elite’, or something like that, we’ve 
taken all of our strengths and really worked on them, you know?

Metal-Is: And whereas the Deftones were lumped in with the Korns and Limp Bizkits of the world 
before, this record has gone a long way toward separating you from that - in a good way.

Chi: Absolutely. I think we’ve always tried to separate ourselves from being part of that 
scene. We’ve taken a lot of steps to not be a part of any sort of scene. 

Metal-Is: Tell me about your latest single, ‘Back To School’, which wasn’t included on the 
original release of ‘White Pony’, but is included on the re-release. It’s obviously an idea 
that you came up with after ‘White Pony’ was first released... 

Chi: You know, ‘Back To School’ came about in a strange way. Toward the end of the recording 
process, our A&R guy asked us to take the chorus of ‘Maggit’ and turn it into something else. 
So we worked on it, but never really finished it. We were like, “Well, we’re already pretty 
much done with the album, and have it in our heads as completed, so we’ll just save this song 
for a soundtrack.” But someone at Maverick got a hold of it, and everyone there flipped out, 
and was like, “This is gonna be the new single.” Well, how can it be the new single if it’s not 
on the album? And they were like, “We’ll re-release the album!” and I was like, “I don’t 

Metal-Is: You didn’t want your fans to have to buy it twice.

Chi: Yeah, exactly. I was really not into it, because it sounded like a cop-out. 
It sounded like we were trying to get kids to buy it again. I’m not into that. So I was like, 
“If you can work it out so that all the kids who’ve got the album can download it for free, 
or can somehow get the song without having to purchase, then knock yourselves out.” ‘Cause, 
you know, it’s good to see your label all fired up about something. So, you want ‘em to be 
like that. 

Metal-Is: But at the same time, you don’t want to screw your fans.

Chi: Well, our fans are the most important part, you know?

Metal-Is: I heard your cover of Sade’s ‘This is No Ordinary Love’, and it sounds fantastic. 
Do you have any other covers or unreleased songs planned for any of the singles coming up.

Chi: No, not yet. It was a hard album to do, to be honest. Everything we got - that’s it. 
We got through it without killing each other, which is a big accomplishment for us. 

Metal-Is: A small victory. What is a ‘Bamboo Parachute’?

Chi: Pretty non-functional. (Laughs) No, I don’t know... it’s both maybe an ascension and a 
descension. It’s a non-functioning metaphor, something that’s supposed to help you out, but 
maybe not really. 

Metal-Is: It’s the Dada of metaphors.

Chi: Yeah, you know... naw. I could definitely come up with better, but it was the one I 
happened to like at the time. I was like, “Bamboo Parachute - yeah, good enough.”

Metal-Is: So it’s a book of poetry.

Chi: No, it’s actually a spoken word CD. I’ve been selling it through deftones.com, at the 
store there, and at shows. It’s about 25 different pieces, no music, just spoken word. 
I don’t know how to explain it. A lot of people have been digging different ways into it, 
so it’s interesting to me. It’s really cool to have people’s feedback. 

Metal-Is: Is that something you always wanted to do, but it didn’t come together until now?

Chi: Yeah, well, writing is definitely something that is more natural to me and something I 
do quite a bit better than music. I have all these books sitting around - I’ve been writing 
for like 12 years - and I have like four, five or six books sitting around on my bookshelf. 
I just kinda look at ‘em and think, ‘I don’t really have time to get all these published, 
but I’d like to do something with them.’ I’ve got all the means to do a spoken word album, 
so I just did it in, like, two or three mornings - something like that. 

Metal-Is: Do you have any plans to make it available in stores, or do you want to sell it 
strictly at shows and online?

Chi: Right now, I’m just doing everything myself. I’m not signed to anything, as far as that 
goes. It’s my own punk rock way of doing it. It’s starting to get a little blown out of hand, 
so if I could get somebody to put it out, that would be cool. I heard Ani DiFranco is starting 
a label, something like that. I’m more into doing something like that than trying to work with 
a publishing company. I would never want it to be a huge deal or anything. 

Metal-Is: Maybe you should send a copy to 2.13.61 (Henry Rollins’ publishing company)...

Chi: You know, I was thinking about it, but this work is pretty weird shit. Rollins is pretty 

Metal-Is: Yeah, he usually doesn’t get too weird. It’s very much life experience type of stuff.

Chi: And it’s got the same thread that runs through it. It’s pretty angry. It’s pretty good 
stuff, mind you...

Metal-Is: What have you been listening to lately?

Chi: Let’s see...Willie Nelson, ‘Milk Cow Blues’. I love Willie, I think he’s great. Willie’s a 
madman. The only other two other artists I’ve been playing a lot lately are Aimée Mann - she 
did the ‘Magnolia’ soundtrack. She just kills me, man. Her songs are like listening to The Cure 
when they put out ‘Head On The Door’. It’s just so good and so depressing, it makes you happy 
to listen to it. She used to be in that band ‘Til Tuesday, but that’s not a good replication 
of what she’s doing now. She’s really great. I’m a huge fan. The other one is Elliot Smith, 
and that’s about it. 

Metal-Is: Tell me something about the Deftones that would surprise your fans.

Chi: That we actually like each other, despite all the fighting. We actually care about each 
other quite a bit. I think our fans pretty much know everything about us; it’s kinda scary.

“Latin MTV” – November, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

The Deftones interviewed by Latin MTV
November, 2000
Translated by: NR

Would you like to sing some song in Spanish?   

CHINO: Next month we will record a song with Cypress Hill and we are planning to sing a
little bit in Spanish. He's gonna rap in Spanish.  

STEF: I would like to see "MASCARA" in Spanish.  

Why Vodka with Gatorade?  

STEF: We like to invent things.

CHINO: No, it is powerful, for that reason I like. It gives you energy and it
puts you with crossed-eyes.  

Since age began to smoke marijuana?  

CHINO: I began when it was small, but then I stopped. 
Once, I almost called my mother and tell her that. 
It gaves me a kind of a heart attack and they had to take me to the hospital. 
Then I stopped of smoking for 8 years. But now there is so much marijuana to my 
surroundings that I cannot control.  

Why did you cut your dreads?  

CHINO: Because they were very dirty.  

What do they think of what is happening between Metallica and Napster? 
Do they believe that the internet is affecting them?  

CHINO: I'm not sure if it is affecting us. I know that many people have downloaded our songs, 
but our record stills being the number 3 of all records. I am fan of the internet and I don't 
want to enter in the means, but Metallica has a lot of reason in what they say, and at the same
time I think that they didn't have to get angry because it is for their fans. 
I don't think that Napster wants to take possession of everything, but it wants to make it for 
the fans. I remember that when I was a kid they didn't have this things, and I had to look
for and to buy disks.

Have you downloaded songs from the internet?  

STEF: Yes, a little. What I download more is pornography! I think that if you put more rules 
to something, worse it will get in front of the rest of the world. 
The internet gives us freedom, there's no rules.

CHINO: The internet is like our link between us and our fans. Especially to our fans that 
live in other countries. 

Stef, tell me your plans. You're about to move to Mexico.  

STEF: Yes, I would like to go and learn more about Mexico. 
I am not moving because I am Mexican.  

Are your parents Mexican not?  

STEF: My mother is Mexican and my father is north American.  

And youre Chinese?  

CHINO: My mother is half-spanish and half-chinese and my father is Mexican.

Do you know how to speak Spanish?  

CHINO: I speak, but I don't want you to laugh at me.  

Many happiness for your new album White Pony. It has a lot of melody. Tell me about the melody.  

CHINO: I like music that has emotion and love. Honestly, that can be in any music type. 
We try to incorporate all that we have listened from small and we make this way our music.  

What music type were you listening when you were recording the WP?  

CHINO: Everything.  

STEF: There are records that we always listen in different stages of our lives. 
We listen everything. We don't listen classic music or country, but we don't have anything 
against it.

“Antix.com” – October, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

The Deftones interviewed by Vinny Cecolini
October, 2000


Vinny Cecolini: The wait is finally over. 

Chino Moreno: I can't say that I was confident the whole time we were creating this masterpiece. 
Once we finished mastering the record, however, I listened back to it and it changed my life. 
I love it more than I love anything else now. It is an aural hug that is just waiting to get 
out there and embrace people. 

VC: Is it true that some of your fans criticized the band for getting too soft? 

CM: When we recorded Adrenaline, everyone was upset that I wasn't singing. They said I was 
yelling. I was asked to take some of my yelling out of the songs because the record company 
was afraid that people would not embrace our music. Now people are coming up to me and asking 
me why Deftones have gotten soft. I just can't win. 

Frank Delgado: We can't listen to what people say. I look at this band as if we were all in a 
big car. If anyone wants to go for a ride, we'll open the door and they can jump in. If not, 
stand back. We're on our way. 

CM: I started [this controversy] by saying White Pony would not be as aggressive as our previous 
records. What I meant to say is that this record would not be full of senseless aggression. 

VC: When I spoke to you last summer, Chino, you were concerned about being lumped in with the 
New Metal or Adidas Rock movement. 

CM: I had recently read a magazine article where the writer compared us to Limp Bizkit. There 
would be no Limp Bizkit if it wasn't for Deftones and Korn. There are people who realize who we 
are, but there are also kids who buy the records, who watch MTV and see videos 
like [Limp Bizkit's] "Nookie." I was concerned that some of those kids would not be aware that 
we've been around five years longer than bands like Limp Bizkit. When these kids hear heavy 
music with a groove to it, they are going to compare it. 

VC: What is the story behind the title White Pony? 

CM: There really isn't a story. I came up with the title before we started working on the 
record. It is just a title that stands alone. And that is how I look at our sound; it is its 
own entity. And I always loved the title [of Paul Simon's album] One Trick Pony. 

VC: Although Deftones originally stopped touring in early 1999 to begin writing material for 
the new record, the band accepted an invitation to join Ozzfest, a decision it now regrets. 

CM: We knew what we were getting into. After a while, it felt stagnant and dragged out. We only 
enjoyed ourselves when we were on stage. It wasn't a challenging tour. Looking back, I wish we
had continued to write music. Financially it was successful for us, but it didn't inspire us. 

Stephan Carpenter: We're a lazy band. After we were back in the rehearsal studio, our creative 
juices began to flow. There were times when I would leave practice complaining that I just 
wanted to play some heavy stuff. We were all in a different mindset when we began writing this 
record. That's probably why it took so long to record this record. There was a lot of 
compromising involved. But we all met at a certain spot. 

VC: White Pony's creation process was documented on www.Deftones.com. While the band was in the 
studio, snippets of music and video footage would periodically be posted on the site. 

SC: The Web site is our avenue to our fans. 

CM: When I was growing up, I was often frustrated trying to find information on my favorite 
bands. I was into mainstream music, but I was also into types of music that you had to go out 
of your way to find; music that you just had to turn your friends onto. That is why making 
those little  clips for the Web gets me excited. It is not too much information. It is 
just enough to wet the fans' appetites. 

VC: Some fans were frustrated by the numerous delays releasing White Pony. 

CM: I didn't know the record was done until it was mastered. I knew we weren't going to make 
wack shit, but I did not know exactly what we had accomplished until it was done. 

Chi Cheng: It is the result of five different people with diverse perspectives getting together 
for a year and making a record. 

SC: From the first day we got together to work on this record to the day we put the finishing 
touches on it, it was both the best and worst of times. We are such picky motherfuckers that it 
took all of what each of us had to make this thing. 

VC: If the band was able to self-edit, what did producer Terry Date bring to the table? 

CM: He is able to piece it all together. He knows us all too well. When we were recording our 
first album, we were considering doing a Smiths cover and he said, "If you do this, I am not 
going to put my name on this record." 

CC: We have since opened his mind to a lot of things. 

VC: Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan co-wrote and duets with Moreno on 
"Passenger." The two distinct vocalists compliment each other. 

CM: He is a bad ass motherfucker. 

CC: And he works in the complete opposite way that we work. WeÕre kicking around and drinking 
beer and he is real efficient. It was great to see how he approaches things. 

VC: Moreno guests on the new Soulfly record, Primitive, contributing lyrics and vocals to the 
song "Pain." It is the third song Moreno and Soulfly leader Max Cavalera have recorded in 
tribute to Cavalera's stepson Dana, who was killed by a hit and run driver a few years ago. 
Cavalera recently said that the lyrics Moreno wrote "are from the heart," because the vocalists 
knew Dana. 

CM: Max is a very spiritual person. "Pain" was a difficult song, because I wanted to do 
something different. I had just finished recording this record and my creativity was [spent]. 
But Dana was a friend of ours. If anyone asks me to [make a guest appearance] I'll do it, 
because I like to work with other people, but at the time, I needed to slow down. But you can't 
say no to Max. When I went into the studio with Soulfly everything fell into place. It was fun 
because [Will Haven vocalist] Grady [Avenell] was also a part of it. We didn't do a typical 
chorus where we are all together screaming at the top of our lungs. We cut the song up 
rhythmically where everyone got his own syllable. It was like an old Beastie Boys song. 

VC: Deftones has been accused of mellowing or growing soft, but in years to come, your sound 
and style will inevitably be mimicked. 

CM: I disagree. I think it would be hard to imitate what we do, because I don't know what we're 
doing half of the time. I listen to the finished version of some of the songs on this album and 
wonder how we ever came up with them. Songs like "Teenager" and "RX Queen" were spawned from 
nothing. There was no agenda; no frame of reference. 

VC: Do you regret not selling out and going after a New Metal hit? 

CM: We've made a lot of hard decisions in our career. Sure, we could be bigger than we are 
right now. We've turned down things that could have benefited us immediately, but would have 
jeopardized our art and our longevity. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. We want to make 
decisions where we will be able to sleep at night. We've had to sit around and watch bands who 
came after us doing bigger and better things than we're doing. Of course they're different, but 
it is difficult to think that we've turned down opportunities they've capitalized on. The thing 
that keeps us going is knowing that we will be around for a long while. 

SC: I feel successful with the last two records, but I think that this is such a good record 
that twice as many people should hear it. 

CM: It will not provide instant gratification. But the more you listen to it, the more you will 
like it. By the time the record really kicks in, it will be the fall, which is the perfect time. 
I think it is a sullen record. It is, at times, a sad record. That doesn't mean that it is a 
depressing record. For instance, the first single, "Change (In the House of Flies)" is very 
somber, but by the end of the song the listener and the [narrator] are victorious. You have 
your hands in the air. That is why I like bands like Sepultura and the Bad Brains. Their music 
is not skeletons and death, their music is about love. It is an audio hug. And like I said 
earlier, our record is a straight-up audio hug.

“KROQ” – October, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

deftones Interview held on KROQ's Kevin & Bean show 8/10/00
TRANSCRIBED by Nick2k steaming79@aol.com)

K&B: We are pleased to welcome to the KROQ studio, ladies & gentlemen, the deftones.


deftones: Helloooooo...

K&B: Welcome guys. What's up you guys? 

Chino: What's goin' on? K&B: It's weird And have we've been doing this show since you were 
little boys. And we've had lots and lots and lots of bands come here in the mornings. 
You guys are the loosest for guys first here in the morning who are gettin' ready to play 
on the radio. 

Chino: That's because we are already drunk. 

::everyone laughing:: 

Chino: We was drinking mimosas already since we woke up. 

Stef: That's the key right there! 

K&B: Now let me ask you this...because everybody knows the deftones are one the bands that 
just loves to tour. That's kinda how you have sold a million or so records in your career. 
But you really have the fanbase, the fans that come out that support you that love you. Right? 

Chino: Well, our shows...basically our records are advertisements for our shows basically. 
That's how we look at it. 

K&B: Now here's my question, when you're out on the road all the time like you guys, how do 
you have time to watch 'Survivor'? 

Chino: Man, I ain't tryin' to watch 'Survivor'. ::Laughing:: 

Chino: That's wack! 'Survivor' is wack. 'Big Brother' is wack. They ALL wack. 

K&B: You're not on board with the 'Survivor'? 

Chino: Oh hell no. You gotta understand we watch skate videos and stuff, man. Those videos 
are straight insane compared to watching 'Survivor' and stuff like that. 

K&B: How is it, I understand that you guys said in the past & forgive me for asking you to 
repeat yourselves, that kinda skateboarding is what brought you guys together right? 

Chino: Pretty much. That was a common interest and all with all of us. Uhm, I knew Stephen 
from my neighborhood. So we probably became friends when we like ten or eleven years old. 
And from skateboarding is kinda the common interest that brought us all together. And then 
Abe the same way, but I knew him from school, and it was just like a different click. But we 
were all skateboarders so after school we would all congregate behind the school. And instead 
of getting in trouble we'd be skating. But we'd still get into y'know. But it was more of 
something that kept us from goin' just completely crazy. 

K&B: Are you used to the fact now that you're a freakin' band? Are you used to that yet or... 

Chino: Yeah it's cool, I think that's one of the most unique things about us. We've been 
friends before anything for many years. You know what I mean? I was laughing to today because 
people were coming to me because I guess there was something on the internet saying we were 
gonna break up. If we were gonna break up, we would've broke up a LONG time ago, man. 

K&B: Who's idea was for the band, you? 

Chino: Uh...Stephen's really. Yeah, Stephen at the time I was starting to hang out with Stephen 
he had a bunch of band equipment in his garage, but he didn't really have a band. Everyone from 
the neighborhood would come over and just pick up and instrument and... 

K&B: I bet your neighbors loved that... 

Stef: Oh yeah they loved it...I saw the police every day. 

K&B: They were always calling the police because you were being too loud? Stef: Yeah, I knew 
the police by first name. 

K&B: What is the 'White Pony', the name of the record, if you don't mind me asking? 

Chino: Uhm, basically it started out with the symbol itself of the white pony. And the 
basically we kinda looked at it as a symbol of our individuality. Its like this white horse 
that stands on its own. Y'know, we came up with the logo at first along with the name and it 
kinda was something that would represent this record. It's sorta like propaganda in a way 
where we would blanket the cities with this logo. With half of the people saying, "Well, what 
does that mean?". Then give them the record and say, "That's what that means.". 


K&B: 'White Pony' is the CD. 'Change In the House of Flies', a creepy little song. Tell us 
about it before you play it for us. 

Chino: It's like towards the middle of the whole writing process we came up with this song and 
unlike most songs it was written out of a jam in a way as opposed to alot of other songs where 
I'd come in with an idea, or Stephen would come in with an idea or whoever, this is one of the 
songs where we just kinda playing it and it just came out. So its one of my favorites I think 
off the record. 

K&B: Cool... Alright, well let's give it a try.