“Slamm Magazine” – June, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

The Dark Side of the White Pony: The Deftones 
New Album Raises Them from the Underground 
by Vanessa Lops 



It's 3 o'clock in the afternoon in Virginia and, as the phone is rings, I'm expecting a gruff 
tour manager to answer it, screaming, "Whaddaya want??!!" Behind him, I'd like to imagine a 
room full of deafeningly loud music and a bunch of drunken roadies, partying and acting the way 
we all dream rock stars act at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I am to be sorely disappointed. 
Chino Moreno, diabolic soundpiece for the Deftones, greets me on the phone and politely explains,

"I'm at the mall trying to buy some shoes." Buying shoes??? 
"Actually,' says Moreno, 'I get my shoes stolen almost every other day, so I've got a shoe fund 
The Deftones -- comprised of Stephan Carpenter on guitar, Frank Delgado on turntables, Chi 
Cheng on bass, Abe Cunningham on drums, and Moreno on vocals/guitar -- recently released White 
Pony, their third album on Maverick Records. 

"The name started out as the graphic itself, the picture of a pony," Moreno explains. 
"I thought we should use it as propaganda to represent our individuality, to say, 'We are the 
white pony amongst all these other bands,' and we stuck with it." 

While White Pony suggests a tame, unassuming innocence, the Deftones' new album is ripping 
through the charts like the Black Stallion, shooting these guys straight into the record 
industry's Winner's Circle. The first single, "Change," is on dozens of radio playlists, 
including San Diego's Rock 105.3, and tickets to their shows are selling like marriage licenses 
in Vegas. The album seems likely to flush these veterans from the underground and make the 
Deftones a household name. 

The usual rock-and-roll 'Success Story' is short-lived and tumultuous: Groups gain instant 
success by xeroxing the latest rock trend, then their frail bubble bursts when the next trend 
eclipses their temporary, borrowed star. But this is not the Deftones' story. 
Prior to White Pony, the band had already trotted a few warm-up furlongs through success. Their 
two previous albums sold over 1.2 million copies combined, and established the Deftones not 
only as trailblazers on the rap/metal front but also as a legitimate, reliable revenue stream 
for Maverick. These numbers were reached without a hit single and without bribing MTV for 
video-play. Instead, the band developed a very loyal, underground fan base. One would think 
this would put them in a position to make a hit single, manipulate their marketing to appeal 
to the masses, hire an image man and usurp the ephemeral King of Rock throne, right? 
Wrong. What the Deftones chose not to do is as responsible for their success as what they chose 
to do: They went about making aggressive music and refused to package it as some new toy for 
testosterone-addled frat cats. By shunning proven rock paradigms and heeding their own 
instincts, they proved their musical depth and passion, adding their own chapter to the book of 
Modern Rock. 

"I think it's a natural evolution," says Moreno. "We didn't have a set mind going into this
record, we just wanted to do something a bit left-field of everything that was going on." 
The band demonstrated their commitment to this philosophy when Maverick requested the creation 
of a more mainstream version of "Pink Maggot." "I did a straight-up rap/rock version of it, so 
I could show them that if I wanted to do this cheesy, rap/rock shit, I could," explains Moreno. 
"So I played it, they loved it, and I said, 'Good -- now it's not going on the record.'" 
While the Deftones wanted to steer against the grain, they were still concerned about fans' 
reactions to the softer sonics on White Pony. "Honestly, I was a little worried when it first 
came out. I wondered, 'Man, what if people trip out? Did we completely alienate our fans?' 
But we've always had these elements in our music and now the highs are higher and the lows are 

The album took a year to make, considerably longer than their previous two albums, with the 
extra time spent on the songwriting. Traditionally, Moreno inks out the lyrics and the band 
convenes later to write the music. On White Pony, he explains, the bandmembers wrote together 
as well as separately and compared the results. 
"That has a lot to do with why the record is so diverse,' he says, 'but it's a good balance. 
I think we all wanted to go the same place with the record, but had different ways of getting 
there, so sometimes tension built up and we'd freak out. But it all worked out in the end." 

White Pony continues to champion the Deftones' signature, abstract lyrics, including the song 
"Feiticiera" (named after a Brazilian television show on which contestants compete for the 
chance to drink from the hostess' navel), a song in which the narrator is kidnapped. 
While the captive is obviously being held against his will, the listener must decide whether or 
not he is enjoying himself. "Digital Bath" describes someone electrocuting a girl in a bathtub 
and wanting to experience that sensation -- but despite its violence, it has a passionate, 
beautiful landscape of sound, typical of the band's sweet-yet-sinister side. 
The album's closing track, "Pink Maggot," begins with just guitars and vocals, invoking 
nakedness and inferiority; yet, by the time it hits the final, climactic chorus, it is about 
taking control and feeling triumphant. "A lot of bands these days gear towards kids that get 
picked on in school and say, 'Its okay, I was picked on, too,'" Moreno says. "It's not okay to 
be picked on -- it's okay to be different, but when you start to think, 'Oh, I'm different' and 
feel sorry for yourself, you're not progressing in life. Confidence is one of the most important 
things in life, and if you have it, you can basically do anything. 'Pink Maggot' is a confidence 
builder, an end-of-the-record, epic kind of feeling." 

The CD is available in an enhanced version with features such as video footage of the band, 
lyrics, and a "Pac-Man"-type video game that uses a white pony as the Pac-Man while the 
bandmembers' faces are trying to kill it. Much to his chagrin, Moreno's face moves the slowest. 
"I think Chi [Cheng] is the fastest,' he laments. 'That's whack!" 

The band also used some strategic marketing tools for this album, beginning with an 
interactive, Internet "house party" projected live from a club on the Santa Monica Pier to fans 
connected to the band's Website. They also issued a limited-edition version of the CD, only 
100,000 copies, which include an additional song, "The Boy's Republic." 

Moreno and Abe Cunningham were junior-high classmates in Sacramento, way back in 1989. 
Knowing that Cunningham was a drummer and neighbor Stephan Carpenter played guitar, Moreno 
dragged Cunningham home on the bus after school one day and introduced them. They started 
writing songs. A reluctant Moreno was asked to sing. 
"Probably because I was the guy who hooked them up," explains Moreno. "And I was like, 'Nah, 
I can't sing,' and they said, 'Just do it,' and so I tried. Then I just kept on doing it." 
Thus began the Deftones. 

For the next year, they played out of a garage and finally booked their first show -- at a 
backyard barbecue. "We didn't try to make it big and have a record deal or anything like that, 
we were just kids having fun," says Moreno. 
Their first club show was in a 300-seater club, where the band bought a slew of tickets 
themselves and gave them away at school. "We really rocked it, and the promoter gave us shows 
with some bigger bands in the Bay Area at the time, like Fungo Mungo and Psychofunkapus and, 
eventually, Primus. 

"At that first show, I asked Stephan, 'What's the name of our band?' and he said, 'The Deftones.'
I said, 'Alright.'" 
In 1994, while playing a gig in Bakersfield, the Deftones ran into future Korn producer Ross 
Robinson, who swapped a Korn demo with the band for one of their own. As a result, the bands 
started hooking up shows together. They booked a show in Los Angeles at the Dragonfly, and 
Moreno distinctly remembers his first live Korn experience. "I remember standing there going, 
'Damn, these motherfuckers rock!' I couldn't believe there was another band out there like us, 
because at the time I didn't hear much stuff like what we were doing." 
A few days later, the Deftones decided to play an impromptu set after the headliners and Korn 
had finished. The club was virtually empty except for Korn and a few straggling fans. What the 
band didn't realize was that a rep from Maverick was lurking in the back. Soon after, Moreno 
and Cheng received a phone call at Tower Records, where they worked pricing magazines. 
Maverick wanted to fly them down to L.A. for an audition. 
"We were like 'What????' So they flew us down and we played. The president of Maverick watched 
and we [had] played three songs when he interrupted us and said, 'I don't need to hear anymore, 
I'll sign you on the spot.' I was like, 'Daaaamn!!'" 

The Deftones signed with Maverick and began work on their first album, Adrenaline. After its 
1995 release, they toured with Bad Brains, then continued touring the U.S. for over two years. 
Exhausted, they withdrew to Seattle and recorded Around the Fur, which took only four months 
to record. 
"We went to Europe to build a following and then came back to the states. Around the Fur 
debuted at twenty-something on Billboard -- we freaked out!" They got back on the road for 
another two years, and then it was time to record White Pony. 
"We started on White Pony when we got home from the Black Sabbath/Pantera tour. 
We wrote some songs, then did Ozzfest, then came home and wrote some more." The band 
split their time between recording spots in Sausalito and Los Angeles, where their planned 
studio schedule included a mere two weeks on vocals and two weeks mixing the album. 
As it turned out, the vocals alone took over two months. 

"I took my time," explains Moreno. "I just really wanted to make sure I was making something 
While in L.A., the band rented a house in the Hollywood Hills, which was the same reportedly 
haunted space Korn and Orgy had previously rented for recording. 
"I saw a couple of creepy things going on, doors moving and weird stuff," Moreno recalls of the 
old haunt. "Then I ran into the guys from Orgy at a bar a few nights later and they were like, 
'Are you staying at the Doheny house? Man, that place is bugged out!' So I started staying at 
a hotel. It was too nuts." 
Along with their dedication to the Deftones, both Carpenter and Moreno have engaged in side 
projects. Carpenter's band is called Kush, with B-Real from Cypress Hill and members of Fear 
Factory. "It's straight-up, heavy-ass shit," explains Moreno. "I have the wimpy side project, 
called Team Sleep. We do really slow stuff, keyboards and DJ with really soft vocals and 
guitars. It's like the song 'Teenager,' from White Pony." 
Prior to White Pony's release, the Deftones did a short European tour, returning to their 
homeland for the first distribution. So far, the White Pony tour is a hands-down success. 
"This one debuted at number three," Moreno says with modest pride. "It's almost a pattern, 
but it gets better and better. Almost every show is sold out, people are going insane trying 
to get in, and the energy level is really high." 
Opening for Deftones on this tour is Glassjaw, a hardcore but melodic band. Moreno describes 
them as "something different from the typical, aggressive, frat-rock kind of stuff that's out 
This tour ends in mid-August, and will take the Deftones back to Europe for a few weeks, after 
which they'll take some much deserved down time. But not too much time -- soon after, they're 
scheduled on a package tour here in the U.S. 
"I can't confirm who the other bands on the tour are,' Moreno teases, 'but you'll find out 

“www.thedeftones.com” – June, 2000 // Abe and Frank Interviewed

Abe and Frank interviewed by "thedeftones.com"


thedeftones.com: What does the White Pony symbolize?
Abe: To me its our stand on the way things our these days. 
It’s a proud triumphant stand.

Frank: It could mean a lot of different things. Like when we 
came up with the initial idea we were just sitting around drunk 
and Chino was like “why don’t we call the album White Pony” and we
were like alright and this is while we were still on the road and 
hadn’t written any songs. So we decided fuck it! We’ll put up a red 
backdrop like a flag. Its like us putting up our flag and saying here 
we are, this is the white pony man, you cant fuck with it. You don’t 
even know what it means but you're going to want to know just for the 
reason you're asking is why. It can mean anything just like our songs. 
It can mean anything to anyone. It really doesn’t matter.

thedeftones.com: People are saying this is more of a "softer" Deftones. 

Do you think you're alienating the harder scene that has supported you?
Abe: I think we’ve given everyone just what they need, this is the 
record we finally feel comfortable making and we’ve wanted to make a 
record like this for a long time.

Frank: Abe said it well before and it may sound selfish but we make 
albums for ourselves, you know what I mean. It just so happens we have 
fans that are really into what we do and that’s a good thing. I look at 
it like the band are in a car and if you want to ride with us get in lets 
go! Because who knows where we are going to go or going to stop. Why do we 
have to keep recreating stuff where we’ve been or done already?

Abe: I like to think that our fans have grown with us and are ready to 
except something new. Our fans are smarter than the average rock fan… 
You know what I mean. A bit more open minded.

Frank: If your looking for your simple, easy aggression song then theirs 
plenty of bands who can offer that. We are offering you what I think is a 
little bit more and if you take that in I respect you as a fellow music 
fan who is open to everything.

thedeftones.com: Looking back on your first two albums, how do you 
perceive them in contrast to the new album?

Abe: Its funny. Just the other day I listened to Around The Fur and I was 
like Fuck this is pretty good! And then one record I hardly ever listen 
to is Adrenaline and I put that shit on and I hadn’t heard it in such a 
long time and its pretty cool.

Frank: We are proud of our albums man. I think ATF is a fuckin great album 
and at the time it came out it was overlooked by a lot of people, which is 
good I think as it put us in the position to make this album. If Around The 
Fur blew up, we probably wouldn’t have made this album the way it is. We were 
in the position to do anything we want and we knew it. We were still on 
this level where we have this great fan base but as far as the masses or MTV, 
we knew they hadn’t touched us yet so we did anything and everything and I 
think that’s a great position. You don’t want to be in a position where you 
feel you have to keep making the same song over and over again just to stay up. 
We don’t have a formula basically and after a while you see that a lot of 
bands have this formula. If you take one song off White Pony and play it to 
somebody you can't say this is what the new album sounds like. Because each 
fuckin song is different and how many albums can you say that about.

thedeftones.com: Did you seriously consider adding a new guitarist to the band?

Frank: We talk a lot of shit and it can get out on the Internet. It’s kind 
of like the Chino changing his name thing. It could have been done but as 
long as Chino feels comfortable. He was more worried about being tied down,
but it’s only a few songs in the set.

thedeftones.com: So how does Stef feel about Chino picking up the guitar 
for some of the songs?

Abe: He hated it at first! It was the times we were going through. 
He fuckin hated it but if Chino hadn’t of picked up the guitar we wouldn’t
have made this record.
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“Guitar One” – June, 2000 // Stef Interviewed

Stef Carpenter interviewed by "Guitar One" magazine
June, 2000


Chino's voice is much better on "White Pony":

Stef: Chino's been able to sing like that since the day he got in 
the band; he's just never really believed in himself enough to do 
it. When it comes to writing songs for our band, everything I write 
is based on the fact that I know he can sing. So as a guitar player 
I'm not trying to say, "Check me out! I'm the guitar player." I write 
riffs that I know he can sing over, and that's really how we write songs.
We all write music, based around riffs and little ideas here and there, 
so he can do his part. Everyone listens to vocals and pays attention to 
the singer, so, knowing that, we should make that part the best that it 
can be.

Stef and Chino relationship:

Stef: We shoot each other down left and right. That's all we do. That's 
like our band pleasure--brutalizing each other. We often verbally assault 
each other, but not in a hateful way, just to keep each other in line. 
And it was mainly me and Chino throwing down, because he and I are absolute 
opposites when it comes to music. He thinks a lot of stuff's really cheesy, 
and a lot of stuff he thinks is cheesy I really like, and vice versa. 
Stuff that he really loves, I'm like, "Man, that sucks!" 
So when we were writing, we said things like, "No, I don't really like 
that. I'm not gonna play it." There are at least three songs on our record 
that I didn't wanna play. But it wasn't because I hated the song. I was just
 thinking, "You're not accommodating what I wanna do, so why should I 
accommodate what you wanna do?" And that's the way it was from day one. 

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“Rolling Stone” – June, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

Deftones interviewd by Rolling Stone (June, 2000)

Chino: When we first started out, we were just playing for fun. 
We started playing around LA and met Korn. We booked shows with them 
and realizes there were a lot of people who liked this kind of music. 
At an early show, we closed for a rock-rap outfit like Ice-T's Body Count.
Everyone left after that band - I think there were ten people still 
there for us, basically Korn and their friends. We played a few songs, and
a Maverick guy saw us and they signed us on the spot. It was crazy - it 
didn't kick in for me at all until I went home and quit my job. I was 
working at Tower Records' headquarters, pricing magazines and boxing them 
up to be shipped out. I liked that job - it was pretty easy.
At first i wasn't even singing, because i didn't know how. I would just rap
over these heavy songs Stephen would make. Nobody was doing that at the time
except Aerosmith and Run DMC. I got tired of it and started getting into
singers like Morrissey, who had nothing to do with the music we were making.

Stef: White Pony is one of the dopest albums of all time. 

Chi: I'm in the band, but it's damn fuckin' good! 

Abe: Bands always want to put their music down, but our music is right there 
in the champion zone with some of the others, like Radiohead.

Chino: I'm more into music now, not so much making a song heavy for the
 sake of being heavy. Different songs came from entirely different places. 
This record has two feelings: One is energy and aggression, the other is real 
humble. It's soft and heavy, so you have to be willing to go with it

Stef: If I had my way, I would tour forever. I would come home once every 
two years for, like, six months.

Chino: I like the European festivals. We've played after like, Bob Dylan and 
before Page and Plant, and the same crowd is there listening to us and getting 
into it. I'd love to put a bill together like that in America. I'd play with 
anybody. I'd play with 'N Sync." 

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“Total Guitar” – 2000 // Stef Interviewed

Stef's interviewed by TOTAL GUITAR (2000)

* www.deftonesworld.com *


Move over Korn - Deftones, on the back of their White Pony album, 
are now poised for superstardom. 

Uncompromising and abrasive? Check. Forays into acoustic-dom and contemplative 
lyrics? Check. One of the best albums so far this year? Check again. On White 
Pony, their third album, Deftones have created an record of breathtaking contrasts, 
setting themselves even further apart from their so-called 'nu metal' counterparts, 
and firmly establishing the band as one of the smartest heavy rock acts around.

But the Deftones have always been one step ahead of their contemporaries. Never one 
dimensional, obvious or reliant on self-absorbed lyrics about 'how their life sucks'. 
Admittedly, it's hardly poetry, but singer Chino Moreno's stream of consciousness 
delivery is a welcome diversion in a world often too wrapped up in a blanket of self 
pity. And, unlike many bands of a similar ilk who rely on two guitarists to get their 
sound, Stef Carpenter is more than capable of delivering it alone. He shifts 
effortlessly from hypnotic and heavy riff-based songs like My Own Summer (transcribed 
this issue), to the far more pop-tinged affair of new single Change (House Of Flies).

It's taken three years since the critically acclaimed Around The Fur was released, 
for White Pony to appear. And despite the hype surrounding it, the album doesn't 

"We know what we're doing now. We're much more confident," begins Stef. "When we did 
the first album, we just wanted to put out a record. We were all really nervous. I don't 
want to sound arrogant, but we've just produced a really awesome record." Okay, 
whatever. But Stef's breathless excitement, when he talks about White Pony, makes it 
clear that he's convinced it's destined for great things.

But first a warning, if you're not quite sure what to expect. There's no Method Mans or 
Busta Rhymes or Ice Cubes here. The only departure from the trad four-piece rock band is 
Frank Delgado on turntables, now a fully integrated member. Instead, frontman Chino Moreno 
is joined by his good friend Maynard James Keenan (Tool/A Perfect Circle) on Passenger, 
and Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland (a man with one of the most versatile names in rock 
at the moment) helped him with his vocals on RX Queen. Not only that but the acoustic-led 
Teenager is, according to Chino, "a love song." You don't find many of those on a 
Slipknot album.

That's not to say the Sacramento boys have gone all soft on us. Elite is one of the 
hardest songs the band have ever written, where Chino's voice is put through a robotic 
vocoder, and Stef's ESP is given a free rein to provide one of the most brutal guitar 
moments on the album. Similarly, Fieticiera is led by Stef's trademark growling riffs 
and driving rhythms.

This diversity of styles wasn't initially intended, but was the result of a need for 
a compromise, between two conflicting styles of songwriters, Chino and Stef. The 
guitarist is quick to confess to a lot of tension between them. "Me and Chino rowed 
a lot when we were working on White Pony. It was a really abrasive process and that's 
because we're both into really different music. Basically, I just wanted to make a 
heavy metal album, and Chino was like: 'No way.' He's always represented the softer 
side of Deftones. He likes stuff like The Smiths and The Cure and Depeche Mode, 
whereas I'm into heavier music, particularly bands that have seven string players 
like Fear Factory and [Swede metallers] Meshuggah."

Perhaps Stef's hard'n'heavy leanings were part of the reason why Chino decided to 
strap on a guitar this time around, though Stef's metal-edged playing is still, for the 
most part, at the forefront. "Chino plays on Pink Maggit, Digital Bath and Teenager -the 
acoustic one - is just him playing. He plays on Change, too. All of the quieter, poppier 
songs, really."

For a grind merchant like Stef, Teenager is surely something of a cop out?
Initially, he agrees, "I hate it!, I think Chino's playing is awful!" Really? "Well, no." 
Pushed further, Stef admits that although acoustic balladry isn't exactly his cup of tea, 
songs like Teenager still have their place - even on a Deftones album. "I suppose I came 
round a little to Chino's way of thinking when we were doing White Pony and I like those 
songs a lot better now than I did. I guess it's important to explore different directions, 
and it was time for a change. We couldn't have made another album like Around The Fur."

Thrash Metal Kid
Rewind, past Around The Fur, to the mid 80s when Stef was growing up. Bands like Metallica 
and Slayer were busy pioneering the thrash metal sound, and quickly became heroes for the 
young Stef. It was one of those songs that became the first track he learned to play. "Yeah, 
it was Among The Living by Anthrax, I was about 13," he fondly recalls.

Stef may be a product of 80's metal, but don't have him down as any solo aficionado or 
spotlight hogger. "What does it for me most, are really good rhythm players. I'm a big fan 
of guitarists like James Hetfield, and I think you can hear those influences in my own 

It was players such as Hetfield that first attracted Stef to ESPs and he now has two signature 
models - a six and seven string, complete with Seymour Duncan pickups. Despite the band 
having all their gear nicked (along with the lorry it was in) last year when they were touring 
with Black Sabbath, this prompted no real change in Stef's choice of equipment. The only change 
to his original set-up is the acquisition of a TC Electronic FireworX which he says 
provides him with unlimited sounds: "I get pretty much all my effects from that now, 
although I still use my Rocktron (Replifex - rack effects), my ESPs, and my main amps are 
still Marshall. I've got pretty much everything I want at the minute. The only thing I'm 
thinking about getting is one of those new Line 6 rackmountable heads."

White Pony was a mostly six-string led affair, and the album, at least from a guitar point 
of view, doesn't differ greatly from Around The Fur. But Stef has something up his sleeve for 
the next record. "I've been playing seven string a lot more," he confesses conspiratorially. 
"Again, like the new directions we've explored on this album, it's just a matter of moving 

forward. I've been playing six for a long time now, and now I want to see what I can do with 
seven." Can we really believe Stef when he tells us his favourite guitarists are in Metallica, 
Slayer and Fear Factory? Or has he got some Steve Vai workouts and Satch soloing in store? 
He says not - and unlike a lot of the 'player players', he isn't of the opinion that 
contemporaries Korn, haven't pushed the seven to its full potential. Not that he's a big 
fan anyway.

"Everyone acts like Korn were the first 7-string players, but what about all of those 
death metallers? I could write some Korn songs easily, and there's not one I really like. 
Okay, we know them, they're our friends, but they're still living off the hype of that 
first record. And as for Fred (Durst, Limp Bizkit), no matter what anyone says, he 
completely ripped Chino off. Reality is reality."

Harsh words maybe, but with Korn becoming increasingly full of their own pomposity 
can they really make another album based around Jonathan's sorry life story?), could Stef 
be the new 7-stringer on the block? Especially as he informs us that his good friend Wes 
(Limp Bizkit) is fed up of being associated with sevens, and is playing mostly six now.

Whatever the outcome, seven strings will make Deftones even heavier. Wonder if Stef 
has told Chino? Somehow we don't think so...

“DefJam” – May, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

Def Jam: An Interview With Deftones' Chino Moreno
by Blair Fischer


In the middle of an alt-metal revolution, Deftones, a harbinger of the genre, are turning things
around. The first single from the group's third album, White Pony offers a taste of the 
evolution: "Change (In the House of Flies)" vacillates between textured guitar squalls over 
frontman Chino Moreno's heavy whisper and a stuporous vibe that permeates the entire album. 
"A lot of the heavy, aggressive music that's out now was what we were doing when we started 
out," Moreno says. "Now we've come up with this heavy yet warm sound."

Heavy indeed. Moreno has some major baggage attached to White Pony, which is chock full of 
lyrics that would put a high school English teacher in full-body armor. In "RX Queen" for 
example, he sings "I'll steal a carcass for you/then feed off the virus," and in "Elite," 
it's "you'll know when you're ripe/when you're ripe you'll bleed/out of control." 
Chino and his Deftones are not exactly shiny, happy people. drDrew.com spoke with Moreno 
about violent lyrics, Korn's downhill turn, and Napster's impact on the music industry.

drDrew.com: In this post-Columbine era, it seems bands are a little more self-conscious when 
it comes to violent lyrics. Was that a concern? 
Chino Moreno: I thought about it, but I don't give anybody directions to do anything stupid. 
I use a lot of imagery, so you don't actually know what I am talking about. [People] can assume 
the worst if they want, but it's all just fun. It's like reading a scary book. Obviously it's 
not all horrific. There's a lot of beauty in [my lyrics].

drDrew.com:You kind of lay back in the shadows unlike [Limp Bizkit's] Fred Durst. Is that a 
conscious decision? 
CM: I prefer to be behind the guitar and singing. Sometimes I enjoy being a frontman too, but 
being in everybody's face is not really in my character. I don't have all these opinions and 
stories about myself that I wanna go tell people. So it's a little bit harder for me sometimes. 
[With] Fred, every time the camera is on him, it's like, boom, his nose is right in the lens. 
That's cool, that's his thing, but I also think people get tired of that. If you're always in 
the camera's eye, people [get tired of] looking at you.

drDrew.com: Bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit are releasing new records every year now. Would you 
like to do that? 
CM: Not really. I've been friends with Korn from the beginning and I know they're a great band. 
I would hope they would spend more time [on their next CD] and get back to what drives them to 
make music. I mean their first record is one of the best records of the "90s. When you put 
records out that fast, it's obvious they're not gonna be as pristine as they possibly could. 
[They're] kind of going through the motions. That's kind of asshole of me just to say, but to 
put out a record, you have to live life and get the experiences that make these songs. If you're 
constantly just putting out music, it's not gonna have depth to it.

My favorite thing about [Korn] was the realness of [their music]. After knowing them personally 
and seeing them [recently], they've lost a little bit of that. As a fan, I would hope they spend 
more time making music with more of the intensity they had in the beginning. That's just me 
being honest. I don't think that's me talking shit at all.

drDrew.com: Where do you stand on the whole Napster debate? 
CM: In a way, I feel strongly about both sides. It really affects bands like us, where we've 
only sold a little over half a million of both our records. The records went gold, but you don't 
make a lot of money on a gold record. Every record that we sell matters. Our new record is 
already available [on Napster] and whether they've taken it down from the site or not, people 
have already downloaded it and are selling it, which sucks. There's really nothing you can do 
about it. I don't wanna take that stand and be completely against it, but at the same time, it 
could affect me financially. Metallica sells so many damn records, I don't think it affects them 
as much financially.

At the same time, I'm a fan of the Internet and I enjoy downloading music. There's a lot of rare 
stuff [on the Internet] and I'm a fan of [downloading] rare music myself, so I kinda understand 
why people would enjoy it.

“www.knac.com” – May, 2000 // Chino and Chi Interviewed

Chino and Chi interviewed by www.knac.com
May, 2000


In separate phone interviews from their respective Sacramento, Calif., 
homes, Moreno and bassist Chi Cheng (Deftones are rounded out by 
drummer Abe Cunningham and DJ Frank Delgado) took a break from the 
hectic run up to White Pony's June 20 release to talk about the new 
album, overhauled sound and the pressure of living up to all the 

KNAC.COM: Are you enjoying your last little stretch at home, it might 
be a while before you get back? 

MORENO: I'm actually looking for a place to live, man, but it's hard. 
I was in New York all last week, the week before that I was in L.A., 
we've been doing all this press and stuff. I've been traveling so I 
haven't been able to come home and look for places. The house we're 
living in right now, the guy wanted to sell it to me but it's kinda 
small and I don't feel right about buying it. He's been trying to work 
me for the price and shit so I said fuck it. I'll look for another place 
live. But the neighborhood where I live, all the houses are so expensive,
so I was thinking maybe I'll just find a place to rent and make some more 
money and find a bigger place. For now I'm just stressed out on it. 

KNAC.COM: Are the other guys all married with children too? 

MORENO: Everyone but Stephen, who is single with no children. We all got 
kids, we're all old and weathered (laughs). Abe has a son who's two, Chi 
has a son who's gonna be three. Frank doesn't have any kids, 
but he's married. 

KNAC.COM: Do you find it harder to adapt to family life after coming off 
the road or band life after you've been home for a while? 

MORENO: I think it's harder to adapt to family life, for me. I come home 
and I don't know how to just sit around at all, I'm so accustomed to 
doing something creative or keeping busy. I'm not into mowing the grass 
and wash-ing the car. I don't mind it, but usually I'll find some excuses 
that are band oriented, find something to do like messing with my equipment, 
or whatever. Doing band stuff usually keeps my mind sane, even though 
it's pretty hectic. 

When it comes to home stuff, like trying to find this new place to live now, 
it just drives me nuts. It's some-thing I'm not accustomed to. The last 
two places we've lived in, my wife found them and I just came and looked 
and said "they're cool" and lived there. But now I have to go out and find 
places and meet with people and it's hard for me to explain what I do. 
I talk to people and then when I tell them I'm a musician they bug out 
and think I'm gonna have band practice in the living room. 

And some people think that because we have two young kids they're gonna 
wreck the place. I found this one place, a dope house, and the lady was 
like "well do you have any pets?" And I said "no, I have two kids." 
And she was like, "Uh oh" and started bugging out, so I said forget it, 
and kept looking. 

KNAC.COM: You'll have plenty of band stuff to keep you sane in the 
coming months. 

MORENO: Yeah, our main concern is getting the record out and focusing 
all our effort on that. This record is gonna be a big step in our 
career and we want to make sure everything is in line. 

KNAC.COM: Do you get the feeling things are going to absolutely 
explode for you? 

MORENO: I think everyone has that gut feeling. But it's never good 
to just rely on that, so we're really working hard about the way we're 
presenting this record. This record to me is way different that a lot 
of stuff that's go-ing on right now. We didn't reinvent ourselves or 
totally change our style, but it's just different. 

CHENG: That's the smoke everyone has been blowing up our butts. 
We'll see. I'm just happy that people dig the album and I would 
like a lot of kids to hear it. Our fans are kind of protective of us 
because they've had to find out the hard way about us and there's a 
feeling of not wanting to share it with other kids you may consider 
lugheads. They've got to realize that we want to bring the music to 
a bigger audience. We're not trying to be the biggest band in the 
world, we don't have any aspirations or cares about being that. But 
we definitely would like to have more kids into the music, more kids 
at the shows. 

KNAC.COM: Are you surprised the band has grown to the point that it 
has given the brutality of your earlier material? 

CHENG: It was all in steps so everything seemed natural to us. The 
first album by the time that we were done with it sold 200,000 maybe 
300,000 copies and we were pretty happy especially considering what 
type of album it was. And then the second album, right toward the end, 
went gold. So fortunately doing everything in steps keeps you humble 
and if nothing's to abrupt or sudden, it's kind of nice. 

KNAC.COM: It seemed like you guys have taken great pains to prepare 
everyone for the fact that this album was going to take a different track. 

MORENO: The impression got put out there that this was going to be a 
really mellow record and it's not a mel-low record, it's actually 
pretty heavy, but it's not that heavy, aggressive, senseless angry 
music. It's not like that I'm going through this painful time in my 
life and I just need to vent. It's more emotionally heavy as opposed 
to being an angry record with chunky riffs on it. 

The single that we chose, "Change (In A House Of Flies)," it's already on 
the Internet somehow and people are hearing it and all the feedback I've
read is saying it's different, but it's Deftones and it's the most beautiful 
song they've heard by us, and I dig that. It's not like a novelty type of 
song, like, say, The Bloodhound Gang where you know you like it, it's a 
funny song and you dig it, you bob your head to it, but it still gives 
people a lot of reason to hate it. 

Our record doesn't have anything like that on it. It doesn't give anybody any 
real reason to hate it. The songs are pretty well structured, and they don't 
just have a bunch of riffs and nonsense and useless parts in them, they're 
pretty lean and mean. It's more of a trip from beginning to end on the record, 
there's not any wasted time. 

There's all these different moods and they fit in right. There's some songs 
that are real extreme on either end of the spectrum. If you compare a songs 
like "Elite" with something like "Teenager," they are extremely different 
songs, but all the other songs help bridge them together so it's not like 
"here's our wimpy song, here's our heavy song." It all kinda fits. 

CHENG: We have naturally progressed, our band is never going to reach a musical 
plateau where we feel like we've found something we've wanted. We didn't deviate 
from anything we did, we just strengthened a lot of the characteristics of our 
band, the moods, the songs, the ups and downs, we strengthened things that are 
good qualities in our band. 

KNAC.COM: The songs seem more complete and song-like than the blunter, 
more cryptic material of the first two albums. 

MORENO: When we went in to do this record we knew we that didn't want to make 
a record with a lot of riffs on it and a bunch of screaming vocals over the top, 
which, especially on our first CD, there was a lot more of that, attitude as 
opposed to songs. It took us about a year and throwing so many different ideas 
away and coming up with new ones and at the end weighing everything out. 

Stephen and I personally had a lot of differences with this record. At first 
I was hoping he would come up with a lot of the songs and then he didn't, he 
was writing a bunch of heavy-ass riffs, these violent riffs. And I don't mind 
that, but that's all he wanted to do. And when nobody really would play along 
because everything was starting to sound like that we went through this little 
lull where we weren't really writing too much stuff. So I said fuck it and 
picked up a guitar and Abe and I started writing songs. 

But when Abe and I write songs we write way different songs. Most of the stuff 
I write is more melodic, I don't usually crunch on the guitar, it's more strummy 
and open sounding. So there was two different types of music completely going 
on, and right before we went to record is when we started putting it all together. 
Stephen would put his stuff into my songs and they would become Deftones songs 
and vice versa. And when we started playing guitar together, everyone started 
joining in and that's when it started to work. 

A lot of those songs are the ones that made it on the record. A song like 
"Knife Party" is a good example of a combination between all of us. Those 
are usually the best songs when everyone has all their input in them because 
I honestly don't think my songs are the best and I don't think Stephen 
does either. 

KNAC.COM: Was it a battle the whole way, getting this record done? 

CHENG: It was a battle the whole way and it worked out, there was a lot of 
tension and people wanting differ-ent things, but we did end up in some sort 
of compromise. It was a cool album because I don't think anybody particularly 
wanted to showboat. I moved to the backseat as far as trying to be a songwriter 
on this album to just writing the best basslines I possibly could. 

On this album I think it was important for Chino to establish himself as a 
songwriter and Stephen feeling challenged by it and trying to maintain being 
the primary songwriter and I didn't feel like being another cook in the kitchen. 

KNAC.COM: You mentioned your own writing style is more mellow. Are you 
more comfortable singing that way as well or has it been a struggle to 
move away from just screaming to actual singing? 

MORENO: I've always loved to sing. When we did our first record everybody 
was saying, "Why are you scream-ing, radio's not going to play this, blah, 
blah, blah, why don't you sing more?" And I was like, "Well I just feel like 
screaming." That's just the way I was, a lot of these songs were written when 
I was 16 years old, so I was an angry teenager who felt like the whole world 
was against them. That's the way I perceived it and that's what came out. 
Now radio is playing all kinds of heavy shit that they wouldn't even think of 
playing when our first record came out. Now our label and everybody wants us 
to fit back in with all this, but we feel like we've already grown past it. 

KNAC.COM: I talked to Stephen when your first album came out and he likened 
your voice to another instrument. Do you still feel this way, or do see 
your voice as more of a complement to the music? 

MORENO: I think I've grown out of that. On the first record, especially, 
my vocals were kind of intertwined in the music. It was more like an 
instrument, I was just singing in and out of the music. On this album 
there's still some of that intertwined stuff, but now I find myself singing 
more over the songs a lot more. That's where we have progressed and I feel 
like I can do this now and I've figured out how I can do it. 

KNAC.COM: With your vocals standing out more, has that changed the way you 
write lyrics? The first album was very cryptic, do you now try to tell a 
complete story or make a definite point? 

MORENO: I'm probably telling more stories now, but they're still pretty 
metaphorical. I still don't really speak just straight out or tell blatant 
stories. This album, if anything, has a lot of scenarios, but not a lot 
of it is straightforward, it leaves you thinking, "I know he said this, 
but does he mean that?" 

KNAC.COM: The titles help add an air of mystery, too, a lot of them are 
quite perplexing and seem to have no relation to the song. 

MORENO: Some of them do and some of them are just more of an idea of 
maybe what the song was inspired from or where it came from. Honestly, 
the titles are like the very last thing that I do. I usually like to 
be a little bit out there. For me to call the single "Change," that 
was hard from me, but I didn't want to alienate people too much. 
I felt that since this was going to be a single, I wanted the title 
to have something to do with what was in the song. 

But another song, like the first song "Fieticeira," that song doesn't 
actually have a chorus in it, it's a really weirdly written song, that 
title was this name of a Brazilian game show host I read about in a 
magazine. I liked the way it sounded. And then a song like "Teenager," 
the word's not in the song, but the story of the song is a total teenage 
crush or teenage love song. 

KNAC.COM: How did Terry Date [who has produced all three Deftones albums] 
factor into the new album, did you consider other producers to capture 
the changing mood of the band? 

CHENG: He was on track the whole way and he was great. Our relationship 
with Terry has been growing and he's learned a lot to grow with us. So he's 
open-minded and cool. We considered everyone for this album, we didn't 
really consider using him because we didn't want to do anything we'd done 
before thought it might be cool to bring in another producer. But it ended 
up being like a full-circle where we realized musically we were going to be 
the ones to change things up and that Terry is open enough to capture what 
we want. There was quite a bit of tension and I don't think another producer 
would have understood what was going on. 

KNAC.COM: Where did the White Pony concept come from and why did it stick? 

MORENO: I don't why it stuck, it was just an idea that I came up with 
from no one specific place. I just liked the imagery of it all, and then 
we created that little logo with the horse and decided "let's just use 
this, let's run with it and see how we far we can manipulate this." 

Coming up with artwork is really hard, especially for a band like us, because 
it's really easy to want to go along with the music and make everything 
really dirty and scary or heavy metal or really artsy. To me it's not 
really artsy, it's not really anything. It stands on its own, it's kind 
of militant in a way, it has its own look to it. 

KNAC.COM: I read where you said you felt pressure doing this record. 
Is that the pressure of the expectations that this re-cord is really 
going to blow the band up big or the creative pressure of your musical 
metamorphosis and making sure you got it right? 

MORENO: If anything it was knowing that everybody expects this record 
to be huge. We don't have any formula for making a hit record. But when 
you're a band that can make novelty songs, hits are a lot easier. A band 
like Sugar Ray, for example, if they had to make a Sugar Ray song a hit 
from their first album it would have been difficult. But they did it by 
changing their style completely for one or two songs on each album since, 
and every hit they have now is that different style. 

Or Limp Bizkit, that song "Nookie" it's goofy and it has that novelty thing 
to it. But I can't do that, I feel I have already earned this respect to not 
do anything silly. A lot of times being silly might sell you some records, 
but I don't think we're going to be going there any time soon. We're just 
going to make our records and hopefully the people will come around to it 
instead of us changing our ways and going somewhere else to make a hit record. 

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“www.deftones.com” – May, 2000 // Chino Thoughts

Chino Moreno finally talked about every track on the White Pony, here's 
what Chino have to say about each Pony track:

1. Feiticeira - "An old type of deftones song, with really cool rhythms 
and heavy soft dynamics. Its named after a Brazilian female, but its 
lyrically about a kidnapping scenario. It details a few hours of being 
held captive. There's a lot of dialogue in there that was fun to write"

2. Digital Bath - "Abe and I wrote this one, and I play guitar on it. 
its real celestial sounding with intimate singing. there's a big story 
behind it. Most of the songs on this album are about different situations"

3. Elite - "Probably the hardest song we have ever written. its really 
straight forward and doesn't have typical deftones dynamics. its 
just heavy. I use a vocoder which gave my voice a demonic robot effect"

4. RX Queen - "The most futuristic sounding song. Abe and I created 
the drum loop - its a crazy, bionic rhythm. I wrote a seedy guitar 
line over it, and worked with Scott Weiland (stone temple pilots) 
on the vocals for the bridge. he came up with a really cool harmony 
for me to sing"

5. Street Carp - "A classic deftones song, with a rolling riff and some 
really interesting chords in the chorus. the vocals are kinda crazy - 
I'm singing out loud over the top of the music, like (the smiths front man) 
Morrissey or something, a cool contrast"

6. Teenager - "This was originally a team sleep song. its acoustic and 
electric, with pink floydy keyboards. kinda trancey. lyrically, its a 
teenage love story, which sounds pretty goofy, but its actually alright"

7. Knife Prty - "the record company wanted this to be the first single, 
but I battled them because it was a little to weird. its a seductive song 
with a lot of violent imagery. people don't tend to like sex mixed with 
violence. The mid section has amazing vocals from a girl called Rodleen 
who worked next door tour studio"

8. Korea - "The first song we wrote for the record. we played it live on 
the us ozzfest. real heavy and bouncy"

9. Passenger - "This is the one with Maynard. its about being a passenger 
on a cry journey - we have a lot of car songs! Maynard and I trade off in 
the verses. its a lot like a tool song, where it goes through different 
phases. me and Maynard have been friends for a while"

10. Change - "that's the first single we are putting out in America. 
its not mellow but very washy. its a bit like be quiet and drive. 
I play guitar on that one too. its a beautiful metamorphis"

11. Pink Maggit - "It starts off really spacey and freaky with just guitars, 
vocals and turntables. then it turns into just me, and ends up a triumphant 
anthem about being on top of the world and feeling like the coolest kid 
in school"
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“Teenvoice” – 1999 // Stef Interviewed

Exclusive Deftones Interview
By Kate Pinsley and Stacey Sublett (Teenvoice Webzine)
© 1999

Being the opening act on a bill featuring Pantera and the recently reunited Black Sabbath is 
obviously a daunting task, but if any act can handle it, it's the Deftones. 
Despite the common problem of poor audience attendance for opening acts , the Deftones still 
put on an energized show at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. last Friday 
night. Before the show, Teenvoice a chance to speak to guitarist Stef Carpenter about everything
from their stint on the Australian Warped Tour to MTV and an upcoming homevideo.  

Teenvoice: So, they say that youre the internet guy... 

Stef: Yeah, I don't go online a lot. I go on long enough to get my email, and get off. 
Every once and a while I go cruise around and check some sh*t out, but, ya know, I don't really 
got time to sit...No, I'd rather be off doing something more than sitting on my computer. 

Teenvoice: How's the new album coming? 

Stef: Nothing's going on with the new album right now. It's all talk. I mean, we're on tour. 
We don't write songs on tour.  

Teenvoice: When are you going back into the studio? 

Stef: Gonna try and see some time this summer. Get the album out by the end of the year. 
Well, not by the end of the year...like, October.  

Teenvoice: How was the Australian branch of the Warped Tour? 

Stef: Well, it was Australian, so it was like a big camping trip, like all the people that 
were on tour. Well, actually, it's definitely not like the tour here, cause everyone here 
had buses, or RVs, or vans, or something. Over there, only the bigger bands can afford to 
travel in their own RVs and stuff like this. Ya know, it was still pretty lame travel, 
but it was better than traveling in the van. They had, like, the 40-seat passenger van, 
where everybody was rolling there.  
Just, ya know, hot and tired, a real gross kind of vibe. You get to the gig, and you gotta 
deal with these really torn up tents in the night. One night...it rained a couple times and 
people got totally, all their stuff all soaked. It's pretty ghetto, to say the least. 
We didn't partake in that aspect of it. We had our own little RV and stayed in hotels. 
We're rock stars. *laughs* We wanted to go, but we didn't want to be all "ghettoed out" . 
We've been doing that for years. Chino and replacement bassist Sergio Vega of Quicksand 

Teenvoice: So, now you're big, huh? 

Stef: No, we're not big. We just can afford to pay for our own stuff now, that's all. 
So it's either pay for it, and be comfortable, or don't pay for it... 
You don't really save any money not doing it, so you might as well be comfortable, right? 

Teenvoice: Limp Bizkit mentioned you in their song, "Indigo Flow". What's your relationship 
with Bizkit? 

Stef: No, we don't really have a relationship with them other than that. 
They're like friends of ours, but when we see them...I don't really talk to any of them, 
like call 'em up or anything like that. I think Chino might talk to them, Fred or something 
like that, every once in an while. But I mean, we're not really friends with anyone unless 
we're seeing them. We don't hang out with bands. We're not like, ya' know, homeboys with 
everyone. We're friends with damn near every band there is out there that everyone knows 
right now. But, I mean, I don't call them all up, buggin' them all up, joggin em’ ‘Oh yeah, 
let's go, let's kick it, let's go on tour, man!’ I don't really care. *laugh*  

Teenvoice: You guys don't use 5-string basses and 7-string guitars like some of the more 
popular hardcore bands that have recently become popular. 

Stef: Yeah, 'cause that sh*t sucks. *laughs* 

Teenvoice: If you could bring one celebrity back from the dead, who would it be? 

Stef: One celebrity from the dead? Ummm...So many good ones...ummm...I think if I had to, 
I'd bring back Frank Sinatra. 

Teenvoice: Why? 

Stef: Cause he's just too cool. He's done so much for so long and it's always been quality. 
He just been part of mayhem his whole life, in one form or another. 

Teenvoice: You write most of the music... 

Stef: I write all the music...here's my breakdown, I do about 85% of the music, and not because 
I'm like 'its my music' or anything like that, it’s just, me and Abe we jam a lot and I just 
come up with a lot of the riffs stuff like that. And the other 15% is really kinda if someone 
else brings an idea in or somebody changes what ideas I’ve already had, you know, and its not 
like I don't wanna hear anyone else's stuff, just, you know, no one really comes to the plate 
with a lot of stuff, so I brin g it in. Chino does all the lyrics you know, I’ve never ever, 
I never get involved with his lyrics, that would be pointless, why? I mean for me to hand him 
some words to sing when I’m not singing them...he can't say something that I feel, or 
understand only in my brain, you know what I mean, so it would make no sense for him...
so I don't even bother. And its kinda like that for every one of us, I mean Abe plays drums, 
I'm not gonna tale Abe how to play a beat. And he's a better drummer than I, so he just does 
what he does, and same thing for every one of us. They all think they can play better guitar 
than me, so they're always trying to tell me how to play a song or whatever. 
And the greatest is when they tell me I played something wrong, even though I made it up. 
Like how can I play something I made up wrong? I'm allowed to change it, it's my stuff! *laugh*  

Teenvoice: Do you think that some your fans may overlook the more subtle qualities of your music? 

Stef: No, I tell people all the time around the world, you know, when I hang out with different 
bands, friends, and stuff like that, I tell them, I said, We definetly don't have the largest 
crowd there is in the world yet, but the people that do love our band are the coolest people, 
cause they actually like music.
'Ya know? I'm sure there are people out there that like us cause we're, like, popular. 
It's inevitable. But I think the real fans out there are not fans of us because of who we are, 
but they actually love the music. They're music listeners. They enjoy listening to something 
that actually makes them feel something versus like it being some kind of popular music, 
and it just being exploited or anything like that. We're not, we're like so many kinds of 
music, but becaus e it's so loud or distorted people don't hear the different subtle things 
that we put into it. Ya know? And I know for sure..like, we said this before, when we did our 
last record, even when we start doing newer stuff, the heavier stuff's just gonna get heavier, 
and the more moody stuff'll just be more moody. But not because we're trying to be more moody, 
or more heavier, we're just gotten better at it, and know how to mess with the music more. 
I make it a little more creative. Instead of just ripping off somebody's style and being part 
of some scene, we don't want to be like any band. We love too many bands to be like any one 
band, and quite honestly, it's really weird 'cause, being a guitar player, people always ask 
me, ‘What do you listen to? What makes you play guitar?’ I don't listen to guitar bands at all. 
I listen to drum & bass all the time. That's what makes me get excited. I just happen to play 
guitar. If I'm excited, I have my guitar, then I'm having fun, that's wh at I like. 
I don't listen to what's the latest happenings of bands so I can be, like, part of that...
I'm not trying to fit in at all, none of are trying to just fit in. 
We're doing what we want to do and sometimes it's what's going on, and sometimes it's not. 
But we don't pay attention to it. I mean, we notice it...you're gonna notice it, 
just being a part of something, ya know you see it. But we didn't try to...we're not active 
participants in trying to be parts of this new scene of bands, trying to be cool.
We just wanna have fun and look back on it 40 years from now and go, ‘remember that time we did 
that show?’ Just having good memories, good life experiences is what we do. We're not trying to 
be rock stars. Rock stars is like one of our...it's not an inside joke, but, 'ya know, 
an inside joke for us, like I joke around, playing the rock star thing out to a hilt at times 
cause people want to see it. They kind of expect it from you instead of just going, just coming 
up to me and saying, ‘Hey Stef, how ya' doing?’ 'Ya know, like I was just anyone else, like, 
they just assume I'm a rock star, so I give them the rock star thing. *laugh* 

Teenvoice: Take it while you can, kind of? 

Stef: Well, no, I mean it's just for fun...We don't do anything like, ‘Well, we can only 
have green M&M's’ or anything like that. You know what I mean? It's just the antics, rock 
star antics, if you will. It's more of, we put on a show for people, not because we want to 
give a show, but we get a kick, like we don't get the same thing that our audience gets, in 
the sense that they come and watch us play and they hear the music. When we go onstage, 
we love playing the music and we have fun, but we lo ve watching the audience. In the audience, 
I don't think anyone notices themselves in the audience, but when you're onstage, you see 
everyone's face and what everyone's doing. It's like tons of different little activities going 
on, and you get to see it a ll happen. If the lights are on the crowd...usually the lights are 
on you don't see past the front of the stage its like 'be careful, don't go near the end of it 
you're falling off...’  

Teenvoice: What do you think about the current popularity of boy bands? 

Stef: I think they've always been popular, they never stopped being popular, I just think 
there's more of them now than there ever has been, that’s all. I think before, when it was 
years ago, it was more like people looked up to one boy band vs. there being a whole posse 
of them out there and everybody having MTV bombard them with nothing but hip-hop and boy 
bands and any solo girl artists and duets and just f**king crap *laugh*.
I don't even watch MTV at all, I just never turn it on cause I know what I'll see, and it's 
nothing good. It's not saying what's on there isn't good, I just don't want to see it. 
If I want to hear what the latest top 40 hip-hop/rap song is, I'll turn on MTV and see it. 
If I missed the 'dopest' new video, I'll see it the next hour. They show it all just over and 
over and over. There's no need to be sitting in it. Half the time I turn on MTV there's not 
even a video on, its some program of some sort. You now, "Real World," "Road Rules," "Road Rules 
Meets Real World," "The Old Cast Battles out the New Cast, of this show." Who cares? 

Teenvoice: I heard a rumor that you weren't going to make any more videos... 

Stef: Well we stopped making them for the last record yeah. 

Teenvoice: But for the next record? 

Stef: Actually, I'm really into multimedia stuff, I do lots of graphics and I'm just now 
getting into video-editing and all that. I'm probably gonna do our home video this year. 
When we get home I'm starting. I got myself, my personal self, I got at least 100 tapes of 
things to go through. And Abe's got probably a good 60 tapes to go through. And we're 
talking like 90 min. tapes, 120 min. tapes. I'm not gonna have a life when I go home if I 
do this video, I'm gonna be browsing, gonna pray, gonna hope I can do it fast and still be 
learning the software at the same time. I'm gonna have no life, I'm gonna be a complete dork 
when I'm done this year.  

Teenvoice: So tell us about your involvement in Subharmonic Interface? 

Stef: In the what? 

Teenvoice: Subharmonic Interphase... 

Stef: Where'd you get that from? 

Teenvoice: Isn't that your side project? 

Stef: Yeah, that’s mine, but how'd you hear about that? Cause I don't ever be talking about 
it...it's just like Chino's Team Sleep, it's more talk than existence right now. 
Me and my friend Chris, he used to be in Horace Nine,now he's in Helmet or he was in 
Helmet and now he's doing his own thing. We've been talking about jamming together for 
the last 4 years. But with our scheduling, his scheduling, we’ve never been able to hook up. 
So when we go home to do this, that’s another thing I want to do when I go home. So I'm just 
gonna be like busy busy busy busy....I'll never stop, this will be like the busiest year I've 
ever had in my entire life. 

Teenvoice: What plans do the Deftones have for the future? 

Stef: Well, lots of stuff. I mean, we're gonna do the record this year, and we're gonna try 
and get the home video out. We're gonna...we'll do videos for the next record out, like no 
question, that I'm sure we will. I don't think they'll be anything like the ones we've done 
before, but those were kinda like, we put fait h in our record label and they picked people 
out. It's not like, nothing against them, but those videos, the videos we have done have got 
nothing to do with us or what we want. And it's like we just want, it's gonna be our way or 
the highway on the videos . We're either gonna do them the way we wanna do them, or we're just 
not gonna do them. They're a huge waste of money. Cause they just...There's no way our videos 
are gonna get played, so what's the point of spending half a million dollars on a video? 
Just give me half a million dollars, lemme go buy a house, and I'll tour for the next 
5 years straight. I mean, I'd much rather do that than pay for a video that's never gonna 
get played but maybe a handful of times. It's just not that important to me. 
We're not selling...we don't sell albums from video play. We don't sell albums from being on 
the radio. Those places are like where we're at a minimum right now. It doesn't have no big 
impact that I feel we go out there..... 
(break in tape) 
...cause you really don't know what's gonna happen at the show. We don't even know! 
It's like a circus. It's not planned out.

“National Spotlight” – November, 1998 // Abe Interviewed

Abe Interviewed by Billy Pavone (Natinal Spotlight)



After the Deftones show at the Celebrity Theater,AZ - November 6th, 1998

L: How long have you been playing drums?
A: Maybe about seventeen years now.

L: What has been your progression of styles?
A: I went through phases and s#!t like I think everybody does. I kind of taught myself 
to play by listening to records. When I was little I'd listen to Beatles and s#!t and then 
I started getting into s#!t I liked, Hendrix, Cream, and into Metallica. 

L: How did you like the show tonight?
A: I thought it was rad. I was kind of tripping cause this is the first time we brought 
production, our own sound, our own lights and our own monitors and s#!t. And I guess it 
was supposed to be at Mesa Amphitheater but it got moved last minute to here. The s#!t 
inside here is all house stuff.

L: Where is home?
A: Sacramento..California.

L: Is that where you are all from?
A: Yeah.

L: Did you guys all meet in high school?
A: Yeah. Well, we've just been friends for, even before that, I've known Chino (lead singer) 
since I was like eleven, and him and Stephen (guitarist) grew up in the same neighborhood, 
so they've known each other since……., WOW!, (looking up at the sky) that was a fat ass 
shooting star,….beautiful. So we were friends…..(drum tech shows him a broken drum pedal).

L: For people that want to start a band, can you give any advice from the mistakes you've 
made or anything like that?
A: Yeah. We've been together ten years now, and we're learning new s#!t everyday. I think 
when you stop learning s#!t is when you start falling off. You got to keep on going and keep 
an open mind cause there's so much crazy shit that can happen in this business, s#!t that I 
never even expected. One thing that helps out is having a f@#king good friendship. It basically 
it comes down to having a good time . . . Some people just want to get signed right off the 
bat, you know? We didn't get signed until four, five years ago, and we were around for five, 
six years before that ever happened. And we didn't feel we were ready, we were into playing 
as much as we could around and just getting out of our town and playing an hour away in 
San Francisco or down in LA.

L: What band's music got you into playing a hard style of drums?
A: Well I was into the more technical shit when I was younger. I used to listen to the Rush 
albums and shit, I still love that stuff but it's like, I started to getting into metal like 
Metallica and all these Bay Area bands like Death Angel. I got into Thrash…and Helmet. For 
us it was more about energy. Sometimes we might have sloppy shows, but the energy would 
make up for all that. We feed off all each other cause we're homeboys.

L: Do you think you have to sell yourself to people?
A: Nah, f@!k that! All we really have is our music and we do what we do. The label wants us 
touring and that's what we want, and we're the type of band that needs to tour so it's cool.