“Billboard” – August 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Deftones Unfazed By Long Road To New CD

August 30, 2006, 10:35 AM ET Gary Graff, Detroit

It’s been three years since the Deftones released their last album of all-new material. But guitarist Stephen Carpenter says the group wasn’t sweating the long wait for the new “Saturday Night Wrist,” which, as previously reported , arrives Oct. 31 via Warner Bros.

“There was no specific timetable at all,” Carpenter tells Billboard.com. “We know how we work. We figure we do it at our own pace — sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s definitely been slow as of late, but our agenda is no agenda, if that makes any sense. [We’re] just having a good time.”

But Carpenter acknowledges that making “Saturday Night Wrist” was arduous and involved “working with different people in different places and dealing with forces of the unknown.” The group started its fifth full-length in 2003 with Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, then worked with Bob Ezrin (who recorded most of the instrumental tracks), Terry Date and Shaun Lopez.

During the process, frontman Chino Moreno released an album and toured with his side project, Team Sleep, while Carpenter compiled the 2005 “B-Sides & Rarities” set “to put something cool out for the people who had been waiting a long time for our [new] record.”

Despite all this, Carpenter contends “it’s all great. It would be the same outcome on any other record. It was quite demanding at times throughout this process, but it’s just nice to hear the songs done.” The album’s first single, “Hole in the Earth,” is already out, the product of “just jamming around ’til we found a good idea and building on that,” according to Carpenter.

For now, the Deftones are busy on the Family Values tour, which runs until Sept. 22. Carpenter says the outing has been “really good fun” but says the band’s participation came via “an act of deception.”

“We were gonna go on tour with Korn — that’s what we were told,” he says. “We didn’t know about Family Values until after it was set up. But there have been a lot of good shows. We’re happy we’re doing it.”

“Artisan” – August 2006 // Chi Interviewed

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“LA Times” – August 2006 // Chino Interviewed

The metal family moshes on

*Korn, Deftones lead the way on the Family Values Tour.

By Steve Appleford, Special to The Times
The boy looked to be about 4 years old, a smiling little kid in spiky hair and green camouflage short-pants. And all around him were dozens of ecstatic young men, swirling in the usual violent circle, pushing, shoving, tumbling into one another in either rage or brotherly affection. A preschooler was in the mosh pit.

He was too young to pay attention to the signs posted outside the Hyundai Pavilion box office in Devore: “Enter moshing at your own risk.” He’d been led there by a shirtless, reckless father figure holding a beer in his other hand, a cigarette burning between his lips. The kid was thrilled, and he definitely didn’t belong there. Another metal generation was taking its first baby steps.

That was one interpretation of Family Values, the name of Korn’s traveling hard-rock festival, which landed Saturday at the outdoor venue for nine hours of very hard rock.

Standing outside one mosh pit, a 22-year-old man who called himself Nathan P. was picking apart bits of marijuana on a paper plate. Five minutes before, he’d been in the pit himself, feeding off the music and adrenalin of the moment. “There is so much electricity in the … air,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”

As he spoke, a tall man with shaggy dark hair fell hard to the ground and was immediately surrounded by several shirtless young men. A few kicked him where he lay. His eyes rolled back, but soon he was on his feet, stumbling out of the pit.

Nathan has been there. “Everybody gets hurt, bro,” he said. “All you can do is get up and just wipe it off and get back going, dude. It’s like life.”

Most do get back up, but not everyone. At the July 30 tour stop in Atlanta, a fan suffered a fatal brain injury after being sucker-punched during an argument. Andy Richardson, 30, died two days later. Police have since made an arrest.

It was no Altamont. Blood is spilled at metal concerts every weekend, just as there are drunken brawls at county fairs and baseball games. Even Depeche Mode fans will riot under certain conditions (and have). There’s one in every crowd. And some crowds have more than one.

Earlier in the day, singer Chino Moreno of co-headlining band the Deftones expressed real regret over Richardson’s death.

“I always make a point, when we’re playing, if I see someone fighting we’ll stop the song and tell them to chill out. Then we’ll continue with the music. The music is secondary to people’s safety.”

“We were real sad,” said Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer of the death, reclining backstage hours before the night’s closing set. He looked up with a knowing expression and suggested that rock concerts can sometimes be like that. “It’s not the safest place to go, no matter who you are. Last night onstage I got hit in the back with a quarter, also with a cellphone. I get [stuff] thrown at me all night long.”

But the contact with fans is mostly positive. Only minutes earlier, Shaffer and the rest of Korn were greeting fans and signing autographs for a long line of contest winners. He was typically upbeat but tired, after recent tours of Europe and Asia. Family Values was the band’s second tour of the U.S. since the December release of its album “See You on the Other Side.”

Korn meets with fans at every tour stop.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to learn a lot from different people, being around the world,” Shaffer said. “Everybody has the same problems, the same four or five things that they all struggle with: relationships, finance, personal issues. It keeps me grounded, you know?”

During Korn’s 90-minute performance, the band faced a wide landscape crowded with excited fans raising up the devil’s horns salute or middle fingers at the band’s creep-show melodies and explosive slabs of guitar. The messages could be agonized, dark, confused, but what might be reasonably scary to some is a thrill to others. A fan has got to know his limitations.

Rage is easy to come by in metal, so it takes more than volume and a bad attitude to last. The best hard rock is fueled by a singular, even deviant point of view, a striking voice and persona to transform the obvious into the provocative. Korn has had that from the beginning.

During the Deftones’ set, Moreno showed himself to be – like Korn’s Jonathan Davis – one of hard rock’s most distinctive voices. His desperate groans and whispers wandered and wailed across the grinding foundation of guitarist Stephen Carpenter, outclassing much of the rest of the day.

The remainder of the bill did have its moments, from the melodic hard rock of Flyleaf and Stone Sour to the wild-eyed thrash of Japan’s Dir en Grey, which roared with hard rock stripped down and incomprehensible.

Between band performances, fans strolled amid the food merchants and booths offering jewelry, shades and bandanas. In the booth selling glass pipes for smokers, a young woman in a shirt boasting “Yes … they’re real” lifted her shirt to demonstrate. Twice.

Later in the evening, a trio of 17-year-olds from nearby Fontana slumped at a table, taking a break before the final set by Korn. This was the first concert for Matthew Macias, who had his arm around a girl in braids. He tried stepping into a mosh pit but was bounced right out. He’ll be back.

“It was awesome,” he said. “People bouncing off of each other, going off each other, just going off. It was crazy.”

Earlier, a man with a bruised face had sat near him and his friends.

“A big ol’ black eye and everything,” Macias said. “His whole face was just purple. Didn’t bother me.”

by Hefe from Romania – July 2006 // Deftones Interviewed


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“Metalrage.com” – July 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Deftones – A chat with Stef Carpenter

Interview by Shaydee
Venue: Tivoli – Utrecht

An interview with Deftones, musically one of my all time favorites. Ever since I joined Metalrage.com I had fantasized about it and on June 10th 2006 it was scheduled to take place. As I walked towards the entrance of the venue a huge guy on a chair asks me what’s up. I told him I was there for an interview. The intimidating big guy, of whom I later heard that he is ex-head of security for Metallica, went inside to arrange things. After checking the press list and some discussion about the attendance of a second Metalrage crew member, I met Stef Carpenter, the guitarist, and we sat down in a room to have a conversation.

In an interview Abe said that he read on the internet that ‘Saturday Night Wrist’ was going to be the title of the next record..

“Yeah I don’t know anything about the title of the record, none of us in the band has even spoke about it as a whole.”

Okay, because how did that come up?

“I don’t know how it came up, it was probably likely Chino. Whereas someone made it up, if it wasn’t him someone else made it up.”

Your performances on stage are always pretty intense and after all these years you still have a lot of contact with the audience, where do you draw this energy from except from the audience?

“I don’t know. It’s just what we do. We just go and do how we do it, really, there’s no recipe or guidelines for how we do it, that’s for sure. It’s just chaos at its best.”

I read it all the time that Deftones inspire other artists. For instance a few weeks ago I read this article about a string quartet that will be releasing a Deftones tribute album..

“I haven’t read that but I’ve heard about it.”

Okay, so what’s your feeling about inspiring other artists?

“I think it’s really cool. At the end of the day all musicians are inspired by other musicians. To be part of it is pretty cool. The fact that somebody can draw influence from our own stuff, that’s pretty cool.”

For the new album you chose to work with Bob Ezrin, fired him and then you hired Aaron Sprinkle. What brought you to this decision and what do you think is his influence on the sound?

“Well, Ezrin was chosen by Chino and Abe, and was also fired by Chino and Abe, because they were the two guys who had the hardest time working with him, hahaha.”

So eh, what was he like in the studio?

“Well, he’s just used to working with professionals that’s all, you know, people that have got their stuff together. We don’t ever operate like that. We deal with stuff in the moment all the time. What feels good at the time. There’s not a huge regiment of (…) responsibility, I guess that’s the ultimate word, we just go with the flow of the time and place we’re at. Sometimes it’s very productive, other times we get nothing done, hahaha.”

Is that also why the release dates get postponed all the time? I was wondering, when do you consider an album is finished?

“When it’s in the stores.”

Yeah, okay but when do you guys think ‘Okay, this is cool, this is it, we should release this!’?

“Well, the reason why people are always confused about release dates is because Chino goes off to people telling when we’re gonna do stuff. He does it with a good heart, he’s got well intentions, but he never sits down and works it out with all of us, you know what I mean? September 12th was something that seemed like a good idea, so he told people that’s what it was gonna be, and I’m like, well, I remember one time being there and he told somebody September 12th, and I’m sitting there and I am like ‘How can you tell somebody September 12th when you yourself aren’t even finished?’. Come on man use your brain!”

I also heard October third..

“Yeah, well that date is also being said and it’s official with everyone. If it doesn’t come out on that date, something else got in the way, but it won’t be because it wasn’t a group effort to decide for that date.”

I read rumors on the internet that Serj from System of a Down collaborates on the new album. Can you tell something about that?

“I heard he did stuff but I’ve never heard it. I wasn’t there when he was recording, I am not part of that. Serj is a good guy, but like I said it’s still unknown to me.”

(Frank Delgado, from the back of the room): “Supposedly it wasn’t much, he just sang a little part on a song, it wasn’t like a couplet.”

One track on your new album is rumored to be called ‘America’, that title brings up a thousand questions, what is the song about?

“I know nothing of any of our lyrics to any of our songs of any record.”

Recently you performed at the Dutch festival Pinkpop, where you did ‘Head Up’ with Max Cavelera, was it an option to do ‘Passenger’ with Maynard from Tool?

“As far as doing ‘Passenger’, ever I think to date if Chino goes and ask Maynard to come do it with us, he’ll come do it, until Chino ever asks him to come do it with us, he’s never gonna do it. He’s not gonna just show up and ask ‘Hey guys, can I play with you and play ‘Passenger’’?. It’s not Maynard’s style, he’ll never do it, we’ll never play it with him until Chino asks him.”

Is that the way it went with Max?

“Yeah well I’ve asked Max! We’re all down with Max, I didn’t invite Maynard on when we recorded the song, that was Chino’s thing. Maynard is a cool dude but his bond to our band is through Chino, so if we’re ever gonna play that song Chino should ask.”

How were the vibes during the recording of the new album?

“The vibes are always the same. When they’re not good it’s only other people saying they’re not good. We all hate and love each other just the same at all times, no matter what stuff we’ll say to each other or about each other, at the end we’re still friends. We say hard shit about each other to each other, hahaha.”

But no hard feelings whatsoever?

“Well, feelings get hurt, but that’s kinda how we do it though, you see somebody at their weak spot and you go for it…”

What would your ideal Deftones album be like?

“There is no ideal Deftones record. The whole bases of it musically is that we can do whatever we want, we’re not trying to have a boundary where we’re trying to stay in. If anyone wants to step out of the line and try something different anyone can, as long as we make sure we do it right when we do it.”

How much influence do you have on the artwork and videos?

“In a perfect world we all have an equal say in it, but lots of times Chino just throws his emotions around till he gets what he wants. A lot of things live and die by what he says.”

So it’s mostly Chino having a major vote in that?

“It’s not mostly, it’s generally because in the end of the day nobody wants to hurt his feelings so we end up going with what he wants to do. Most of the times we all like it but there are times where I don’t really care for it. But, you know, whoever gets the most votes wins, if it even comes to a vote…”

You’re playing in a relatively small venue this evening, is that something you requested yourselves?

“I didn’t personally request it, but I’ll enjoy it.”

Will there be any special things happening?

“I wish I could tell you there was something different but no… We’ll play longer in here than at the festival stages, because it’s our own show. We’ll get to play more songs, more sweat, everyone is going to be soaking wet.”

Yeah it’s going to be great he he! Well so far for the questions, thank you!

“All right man!”

That night Deftones played a flawless set in a boiling Tivoli. What a perfect day.

source: http://www.metalrage.com/

“St Petersburg Times” – June 2006 // Abe Interviewed


Accentuate the positive
By Sergey Chernov

Staff Writer
For The St. Petersburg Times

Sacramento, California-based band the Deftones will perform in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

The Deftones might have been through hard times lately, but has now regained its “Posi-tones.” The California-based alternative metal/post-hardcore quintet returns to Russia to perform its first concert in St. Petersburg this week.

The Grammy-winning band has already spent two years recording its next album, and in the meantime released “B-Sides & Rarities” in October. Although Deftones previously recorded all its albums with Terry Date as producer, the as-yet unreleased new album was to be have been produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin, responsible for classic albums by Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and KISS, and, possibly most famously, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” However it was not to be, according to Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham.

“We ended up at this point where we’d done all of our records with the same person and we just wanted to change… to try something different, you know. We certainly did but I think at this point we can produce them ourselves, definitely,” said Cunningham speaking by phone from the U.K. before a Deftones concert in Glasgow.

“We started it with him and finished with, er… Pretty much ourselves, actually. But he helped with the beginning of it. [It was] a very long, long process. A lot of it has to do with just personal issues with him. A lot of inter-band fighting, you know. But it’s all good now, everyone’s happy. We’re rockin’.”

The album is basically finished, according to Cunningham.

“Actually it’s finished, it’s been all recorded and we’re finishing the final mix of it, you know, it should be out in October at least.”

With these matters now resolved, Cunningham lists a “Posi-tone” as his second instrument after his drums.

“It’s a joke,” he said.

“The past years have been not negative, but there has just been a lot of stuff going on in people’s lives, you know, so I just made a joke this time to say we are back and we have new and improved ‘Posi-tones.’ Positivity. You know, that was what it was, sort of. It was a joke.”

The Deftones formed in Sacramento in 1988, but did not release its debut album until 1995. The town which is the capital of California, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now resides, is renowned for its rich music scene.

“It’s pretty diverse, a lot of different music, from Tesla to Cake to Club Nuevo… Deftones,” said Cunningham.

“It’s a nice little town there with a lot of different stuff going on.”

The band, which also features vocalist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stef Carpenter, bassist Chi Cheng and keyboard player Frank Delgado, still spends most of its time in its home town.

In 2000, the Deftones was awarded a Grammy as the “Best Heavy Metal Band.”

“It’s kind of funny,” said Cunningham.“We’re definitely a metal-based band, you know, I mean from the get-go, from the very beginning, but I think there are certainly many, many bands that are far more metal than us and deserve that category. It’s pretty wild.”

Cunningham grew up exposed to music with his father playing bass and his stepfather being a drummer.

“Everyone in the band, we enjoy all music, all types of music,” he said. “For me I like a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Cream, the Police, The Beatles, these are the things I used to play along to. And then later on bands like Rush and Metallica, everything.”

His current favorite, however, is a New York avant-rock band called TV On The Radio.

“They’re very very cool, I couldn’t even explain it, it’s all over the board. It’s a really really cool fun, with very cool melodies and very interesting music, it’s rad and very cool.”

From St. Petersburg, the Deftones will travel to Moscow where it will play on Thursday.

Cunningham said he was deeply impressed by Moscow when the Deftones performed at an oudoor concert there in June 2001.

“It was amazing, you know, it was very surreal to from when we started landing on the airplane, coming down. It was a place I wanted to go all my life, you know. It was very weird.

“We were there maybe three or four days, I think, and played only one show in Gorky Park and it was great. I was very excited when I saw we had a chance to go back.

“Especially because we’ve only been to Moscow, so we’ll be returning there and also [going] to St. Petersburg, so I’m looking forward to it very much. It’s very amazing. A lot of history. So much history.”

“SacBee” – May 2006 // Chino Interviewed

Article by: Chris Macia
Online at: http://www.sacticket.com/music/story/14254745p-15070237c.html

Chino Moreno’s heart is with his mom

Chino Moreno, spoon in hand, settles into a chair at his mom’s kitchen table. He’s just returned to Sacramento this morning from the Deftones’ two-month Taste of Chaos tour, and the tattooed singer is hungry for a taste of home.

“Yeah, she’s hooking it up right now,” says Moreno, as his mother’s macaroni soup simmers on the stove. “I’ll take that over any restaurant.”

It’s a simple dish, not much more than boiled macaroni in tomato sauce and a little garlic salt. But the main ingredient is a mother’s love, the kind of cooking that’s like a hug.

“It’s a poor man’s meal, an end-of-the-month kind of thing,” says Moreno’s mom, Debbie Ramirez, as she serves the sopa in an Oriental bowl.

“Is it good today, Chino?”

“Yeah,” he answers, in between slurps. “It’s good.”

Moreno’s mom sometimes will browse the Tower Books newsstand and see her son on a magazine cover. Whether it’s Spin, or Metal Hammer or Alternative Press, she’ll buy the magazine, take it home and place it in a wooden trunk.

Moreno bought his mom this antique trunk now stuffed with Deftones mementos: a key to the city of Sacramento (she’s especially proud of this), backstage passes, a bathrobe with “Deftones” stitched on the back, stacks of magazine and newspaper clippings.

She also saved the Thrasher T-shirt that Moreno wore at the Deftones’ first big gig, a show at the Cattle Club on Folsom Boulevard. That was the first time Ramirez saw her son as a rock ‘n’ roll front man, jumping around the stage and into the crowd while guitar riffs jackhammered behind him.

Mom felt like she was getting slapped upside the head with sound.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, what the heck is he doing?'” remembers Ramirez. “That’s not really singing. It’s screaming. But I never really gave him an opinion, like I didn’t like it. I just wanted to be behind him 100 percent.”

But there was something that Ramirez couldn’t support at the show: Hearing her son cuss. Her face reddened when Moreno dropped the “f bombs” that pretty much make up the chorus of “7 Words,” one of the Deftones’ most aggressive tunes. Filthy language was not tolerated in the household.

“Usually we’d save (‘7 Words’) for the end because I’d be done being nervous and I’d be able to cuss and tell her ‘I’m sorry’ later,” says Moreno. “If I would think about it, I’d get really nervous about the cussing and stuff. I’d get in trouble for saying something that sounded like a bad word. For real.”

Ramirez was strict when it came to raising her kids. And when Moreno got to McClatchy High School and decided that he liked singing and skateboarding more than studying, his mom knew just how to punish him.

“I used to get grounded from the band,” says Moreno. “(My) mom and dad got called into the office one day and we had to have a meeting. (We’re) walking out of school and my mom goes, ‘All right, you know what this means: No Deftones.’ (So) I had to call (guitarist Stephen Carpenter) and tell him, ‘Dude I can’t come to practice for like a month.'”

His mom laughs.

“But how about that time Stephen was jumping out of my window because you guys were practicing at my house,” says Ramirez. “(They) knew they weren’t supposed to be there. He was trying to get out of the house and broke my windowsill.”

The Deftones sold 1 million copies of their “White Pony” album in 2002, and for that, the band received commemorative platinum records. A song from the album, “Elite,” also won a Grammy Award for metal performance.

Moreno wanted to pay his mom back somehow, for those early days when she’d drive the young Deftones to gigs in the family van, or let him vent to her on the phone when he was feeling lonely or stressed on the road.

So he presented one of those “White Pony” platinum discs to his mom, and had her name inscribed on it.

“I’m proud of (the platinum record), obviously, but I wanted to show her what I’ve done with all this,” says Moreno. “She doesn’t really get to see too much. (She) knows what I do, but when you get something like that, or a Grammy, it’s like, ‘Look it’s real.’ It’s exciting to get to be able to do that (for her).”

Because his mom remembers when the Deftones were just young homeboys with big dreams. And she still refers to the band members as “her kids,” and here they are, 15 years later with platinum records, headlining tours and black SUVs in the driveway.

“See mom, I told you!” Moreno says with a laugh.

“I’m glad I never discouraged them,” says Ramirez. “(I) think he’s going to learn that as a parent, that as long as you just stay behind your kids, whatever they do, stay close to them and guide them in certain ways. But at the same time, let them be who they are.”

And now, recharged by the macaroni, Moreno has to pick up one of his two kids from school. Moreno’s only in town for a couple of days before he heads to Los Angeles, where he’ll record vocals for the Deftones’ upcoming album and rehearse for a European tour.

But his heart will be right here, waiting for a meal with mom by his side.

“I love her more than anybody in the whole world,” says Moreno, in a booming front man voice.

Then, he softens.

“I’ve been with her since preschool, you know what I mean?” Moreno says, remembering when his mom was his preschool teacher at Fruitridge Elementary. “It’s hard to detach myself from her. I guess I’m what you’d call a ‘mama’s boy,’ to the fullest. After all the music and everything, family will always be there for you to come home to.”

Chino Moreno’s favorite macaroni

Prep time: 5 min. * Cook time: 10 min. * Serves 4 or more


1 package Lady Lee macaroni
2 cans tomato sauce
Vegetable oil
Garlic salt to taste
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste


“It’s so simple,” says Debbie Ramirez, Chino Moreno’s mother. “I put the macaronis in a pot with a little oil, and I stir them until the macaronis get a little toasted. Add water, about an inch over the macaronis, then add the tomato sauce. I add some seasoning, usually garlic salt. Boil the macaroni until it’s al dente, or soft, about 10 minutes. Chino loves to eat it with his favorite hot sauce (Crystal Hot Sauce).”

” MTV ” – April 2006 // Chino Interviewed

There was a point a few years back when Chino Moreno just didn’t want to make another Deftones record. Neither did the rest of the Sacramento, California, rockers.
Moreno told the rest of the band he’d be doing his own thing for a bit. That thing was Team Sleep — Moreno’s ambient, experimental side project, which released its self-titled debut in 2005.
“I wasn’t interested in making a Deftones record at the time, and we were writing songs here and there, but no one really wanted to take control of the project,” he explained. “With Team Sleep, there was just so much creativity going on, and everybody wanted to try all these weird, different things. So I just had more interest in it, and I told everyone [in Deftones] I was going to go away for a while. And Team Sleep was really fun for me. Some people enjoyed it, some people didn’t.”
As you’d imagine, Moreno’s temporary departure from the Deftones created tension within the group, and he said there were several months where he didn’t even speak to any of his bandmates. “Hole in the Earth,” the tentative first single from the Deftones’ forthcoming, still-untitled LP, addresses the internal strife that paralyzed the band for a time, as well as the feelings Moreno grappled with upon his return to the ‘Tones.
“We wrote it live, with everyone writing their part right along with each other, and it’s the best of what we do,” he said. “It’s really, really in-your-face, and yet it kind of sways and it’s pretty … but it’s aggressive and it’s sort of bleak. That’s what I like about our band, and it’s all in that song. It’s sort of ruthless and mean, but it had to be said at the time.”
In the song’s lyrics, Moreno talks about wanting to leap into a hole and disappear. “I think it was healthy for me to do,” he said, regarding Team Sleep — a project he plans to revisit. “It was healthy that we all took a break. When I came back, we wanted to make the record, and we all got together and had the best time ever, just talking about what we wanted to do. We had to do other things. I had to do Team Sleep. I had to go just make music, different music with different people. I didn’t want it to get stale at all — just making a record for the sake of making a record. I wanted to make something really good and that, hopefully, 10 years from now, people will still be listening to.”
And that record, the Deftones’ fifth full-length offering, is due September 12. The band spent two years writing the album (see “Why Is The New Deftones Album Taking So Long?”), and ended up recording 17 tracks — a dozen of which will make the final cut. The Deftones worked on most of the songs with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction) at his home studio in Connecticut and then returned to the West Coast to put the finishing touches on them.
“Most of the vocals I’ve been doing with [former Far guitarist] Shaun Lopez,” Moreno said.
“He has a studio right around the corner from [where I live], and every day, I’ve just been at his house, just recording, and it’s been the most comfortable, best way of recording music ever. He knows Deftones just as well as we do. We all grew up together. He knows what he likes about our band and what we like about our band, and he wants to really bring that out. [This record] took awhile, but I think it was for the right reasons. The record is coming towards the end of two years of work, so I’m ready to just close the book on it and that’s it.”
Rich Costey (Audioslave, My Chemical Romance) has signed on to mix the record, which is a mixture of some of the Deftones’ heaviest material to date and some of their “sweetest,” Moreno said. “The heavy stuff is really, really heavy, like really aggressive, and the stuff that’s sweet and weird or whatever is sweeter and weirder. A lot of people will probably compare it to [2000’s] White Pony, because that was one of the most diverse records that we did. This one’s probably the most diverse record we’ve done.”
And there are several guests who’ll be appearing on the album, he said, including Giant Drag singer/guitarist Annie Hardy on the electronically inclined “Pink Cell Phone,” which “reminds me of a club song, but it’s Deftones, and that’s what’s awesome about it,” said Moreno. System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian appears on the song “Buffalo.”
“I’ve done a lot of stuff with a lot of people, and Serj came by and sang a little melody in this little part of this one song,” said Chino. Other tracks planned for the record include “America,” “FM” and “Beware.” “I like to use people for what it is I like about what they do, and to me, I really like — I’m not too into System of a Down, lyrically, so much as I like some of the melodies that him and [guitarist] Daron [Malakian] do. That’s what I utilized him for.”
Moreno said the ‘Tones will incorporate as much of the new material as possible into their set this summer, when they head out with Korn for the resuscitated Family Values Tour. Dates have not been announced yet, but the run’s expected to make stops in 30 cities.
— Chris Harris, with reporting by Corey Moss

“Hour – Canada” – April 2006 // Chino Interviewed

Deftones depersonalized by Dave Jaffer

Frontman Chino Moreno tires of talking about himself, both musically and on the phone 

It’s not that Chino Moreno doesn’t like doing interviews, he insists. “I just don’t like talking on the phone. Not even with my girlfriend. And sometimes you get [interviewers] who ask all these stupid questions, and you’re like, ‘What the fuck?'”

Moreno, the charismatic guitarist/lead singer for The Deftones, is in Vancouver (“My assistant saw a guy wash a needle in a puddle”) where he and his bandmates are preparing for a one-off show before starting their much-anticipated Canadian dates on the Taste of Chaos tour, which also includes the likes of Thrice, Atreyu, Thursday and As I Lay Dying.

On the topic of anticipation, Deftones fans the world over are hurriedly cancelling plans for a revolution, as the band is just about ready to unleash their latest, as-of-yet untitled album (though the prevailing rumour has it called Saturday Night Wrist ), which has been over two years in the making. “This record was the hardest one,” Moreno allows, “the record where we realized we should really take time and dissect our music a lot more, and put much more into it. [Consequently] I think the final product will be longer lasting.” And, if we’re to take him at his word, less “personal.”

“I’m really over a lot of vocalists, including myself,” he confesses. “A lot of music is ruined by people’s personal lives in their music. I want to hear the music for the music… not about a singer who had a bad childhood or a lost love. And I don’t want to come off like my life is more tragic or glorious than anyone else’s. I’m just trying to fantasize a bit more, to sing about things that have nothing to do with describing myself or my life.”

Vicious, visceral and illuminating, The Deftones’ eclectic sound has been described in a variety of ways, including progressive metal, alternative metal and art metal. To many, though, their sound is defiantly unclassifiable, and even Moreno stumbles slightly when asked if he knows where he’d slot their style. “I think the dynamic between music that’s moody and music that has energy is a good description. Even though [our music is] sometimes an onslaught of powerful sounds and rhythms, there’s a lot of the opposite – broken down, sullen, quiet, peaceful. We enjoy making music which goes through peaks and valleys.”

Though hardcore fans have reportedly been more than a little perturbed by the bands included on their current tour, Moreno contends that Taste of Chaos has been “a good way to come back in and enter the mix” after spending years conceiving, recording and tweaking the new disc. The time away from the scene, time to relax and regroup, has also afforded them the room to improve their live performances.

“Our shows now are getting really super tight,” he tells me, his voice thick with wondrous, childlike enthusiasm. “There are times when we can be extraordinary, and times we’re just okay. We’re looking at being extraordinary every time out, and when we’re able to put out even 80 per cent of what we’re capable of, I think it’s magical. [We know now] that what we put into it is what we’re going to get out of it.”

“Yahoo – Canada” – April 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Toning up for Chaos
Hard-working band promises all-out punk/metal assault


THE YEAR was 1988. And a quartet of fledgling Sacramento-based musicians caught a break of sorts, when one member of the struggling band was hit by a drunk driver.

The resulting settlement brought the teens enough cash to deck themselves out properly in equipment fit for a loud and proud metal band.

Or so the oft-told legend of The Deftones’ birth goes.

Not strictly true, guitarist Stef Carpenter says with a sigh.”I got hit by a car when I was 16 and received a settlement when I was 18,” Carpenter recounts.

“But the band came later. And by the time we started The Deftones I had already spent the money and sold whatever equipment I’d bought. We started with nothing, like any band.”

Carpenter, vocalist Chino Moreno, bassist Chi Cheng and drummer Abe Cunningham were not completely lacking in resources, however.

For one thing, they had a budding sound that combined Moreno’s fearsome vocals with Carpenter’s punishing riffs in a manner that would shortly draw comparisons to contemporaries and occasional tourmates Korn.


For another, the young band had a determination to succeed manifested in years of non-stop touring that ultimately earned the band a distinguished place on Maverick Records and multi-platinum success.

“From the start, we just played as much as we could outside Sacramento,” Carpenter says of the band’s game plan for rock stardom. “We knew that playing shows was the only way we were going to reach as many people as we wanted to.

“I think it’s easier for bands starting out today. Now, you have the Internet; we didn’t have the Internet. Add that exposure to trying to play shows everywhere you can and you can make a name for yourself a lot faster. You don’t even need a record company anymore. But it’s probably a lot more competitive, too.”

Fortunately, The Deftones are past such concerns. Eleven years after the powerful debut album Adrenaline, the adventurous five-piece (keyboardist/turntablist Frank Delgado joined the band in 1997) is in no hurry. It’s been three full years since Deftones, the band’s latest album of new material; yet, Carpenter predicts we will not see the next one until some time this fall.

“We’re coming up on 20 years together as a band,” he says with a slight tone of disbelief. “So we’re getting old and stubborn. We’re becoming grumpy old men.”

Members of The Deftones have not been idle since the release of the self-titled album, however. When not touring as a band, each Deftone has pursued a variety of side projects.

Carpenter, in fact, completed an album with his band Stef — featuring members of Cypress Hill and Fear Factory, prior to the release of Deftones. Yet, to date, there has been no sign of said CD.

“I don’t know why it’s been held up,” Carpenter says with a shrug. “I’d like to see it come out.”

There is little sense of frustration in Carpenter’s comment. After all, the priority remains The Deftones.

And as his band prepares to hit Capital City during a brief Canadian tour designed to keep the hard-working quintet’s chops in order, he promises an all-out assault that will serve as a teaser for the next chapter in the Deftones story.

“I couldn’t even describe our show,” he says.

“I’m a bad barometer for describing our music in general, really. But we’re just excited to be able to go out and play. You know, we’ve been friends since high school, and the fact that we can still do this as friends is amazing.”

Hey, it all adds to the legend.