“Lambgoat” – March 2006 // Stef Interviewed

DJ Delgado of Deftones puts it all in the mix
By: Frank Gatto

So you’re about to embark on the two month long Taste of Chaos tour. While I know doing lengthy tours is nothing too new for you, how do you generally feel the few days prior to beginning a tour of that length?

It’s ironic, I was just thinking about that before you called. My psychic intuitive side told me that something like that was going to come up. I knew it, but I was thinking about it myself, that’s why I said it to myself. Anyway, it was ironic, I was saying to myself, “you know, it’s those three days before the tour, where you’re like, if you’re about to go on any trip or some shit like that, you’re stressing on it and making sure you’ve packed everything and all that kind of stuff. That’s all it is. I think anyone can relate to it. For me, the touring part, that’s easy. That’s fun. But I think it’s just that stress of making sure you don’t forget anything.

How long does it usually take you to pack?

Not long. I can probably pack what I need to take with me in less than an hour. I’m really just making sure I have my camera and my computer and all the right cables with me. You know, “do I need to order parts for my guitars,” or anything like that. For my personal, I don’t have much to take with me. I only roll with like, a week’s worth of clothes, and we get our laundry done every day so it’s not like I have to have a massive stash of clothes.

Yeah. Whatever I can fit into a suitcase is what I’m wearing for the next…who knows how long.

And plus, when we go out on tour, I try to take nothing with me because I always end up coming back with stuff. So, the lighter I keep it going out, the easier it is coming back.

Are there any bands on the tour that you’re already well acquainted with and looking forward to joining out on the road, or is this an entirely new scope of people for you?

Well, Thrice, we’ve actually toured with them, and I’ve met the Story Of The Year guys; those guys are pretty cool dudes. I feel like I’ve met a lot more but it’s just going to be fun to go out with a lot of bands. I think those are some of the most fun environments to play in, when there’s so many different people playing. So many different angles couldn’t cover it.

I know the openers for the dates were selected by popular vote, but how was this tour arranged and organized in general?

I’m really not in the know on that. My recent path has been all about still working on our record and finishing it up with Chino and just rehearsing the last couple of weeks to get it together.

Is there anything about this tour that you see stands out as being different rather than some of the larger tours you’ve been a part of?

Isn’t it kind of like the Warped Tour? Isn’t that the basis of it? The winter Warped Tour?

The winter Warped Tour? ?

I mean, it’s like the same scene, it’s just the Warped Tour is during the summer and the Taste of Chaos is during the winter. Isn’t that it?

Warped Tour has a lot of stages, though?

Oh yeah, it’s a miniature version of it, but that’s because it’s only the second year of it. Give it a few years, you watch it. Motocross at midnight…

Monster trucks at 2AM… ?

Right. I don’t know, mix it up, have fun. That stuff’s all cool. It’s just growing. The Warped Tour was a lot smaller when it started out compared to where it is now.

As you mentioned working on the new album, I was wondering if there’s a chance of any new material being performed on this tour?

Yeah, we’re going to play some new stuff.

Can you give any hints as to how the new material is shaping up as? I’ve already read it’s a little more aggressive, but to what extent?

I can’t apply more aggressive to any of it. I think that’s funny when people say that. I wish. Hey, I personally wish it was more aggressive.

I think that was in an interview with Chino.

Yeah well, more aggressive for him, maybe. If we busted out some blastbeats and double bass, then I’d definitely be glad to take it to the next level, but that’s asking too much right now.

Yeah, blastbeats aren’t usually the most widely accepted of all the beats out there.

Uh huh, they’re the best, though.

I tend to agree, yeah. So is there any specific intent or defining concept behind this record?

You know, we’ve never really had a concept on any of them. The way we all explain it is it’s just a part of our lives, that period of time and where we’re at. I don’t think anyone sits down with any plan in mind, it just ends up becoming what it is. It’s almost like the artist and the canvas. He might have an idea, but once he starts going, that thing can morph a million ways.

I wanted to move on to your side project, Kush. I know you guys already have a Myspace up with a few tracks, but have you announced a bassist as of yet?

No, not yet. We’re not sure about that, yet. Like I said, I’ve been busy with this, so our goal is to get something recorded with that later this year. But who knows.

How did that come together anyhow? Were you already close with the guys from Fear Factory and B-Real before?

I had met B-Real a couple times before them, but I’ve known Christian since 1995, and we’ve been talking about jamming forever. I moved to Los Angeles in December of 1999 and I wanted to get it going when we had time. We were going to be down here working on “White Pony” at that time, so, we started jamming and we pretty much jammed for a couple months every year, for the first couple of years. Then everyone’s schedules were flipping all around and stuff, so it’s just been more of a time issue at the moment, but later on this year we should have some more time to get something going. It’s a matter of it being convenient and respectful to all things going on. We have so much on our schedule and Fear Factory has got all their stuff going on, and B-Real’s always working. Either paintballing or working on his solo stuff, or even with Cypress Hill too.

My girlfriend just recently picked up a bunch of Cypress Hill, and I hadn’t really followed them past their early material, but their later stuff has changed a lot, and it’s actually really good.

I know, the thing that I love about their new stuff is that they play it as a band. They’re actually playing in it now, and it’s fucking tight.

It’s come a long way, it’s cool.

I agree.

Are there any other side projects that you have in the pipeline or other people you’ve worked with that your fans might be unaware of?

I’m doing some drum n’ bass stuff with Bobo from Cypress Hill, and then I’m going to mix it up and do some stuff by myself. But it’ll be like, metal, definitely, but it won’t be all metal. But I really like the faster stuff. It’s just something I’m doing on the side. I want to do a drum n’ bass album, but I want to play guitar as well, and I want to mix it up. Instead of having a lot of the keys being there, I’ll use guitar and the zillions of effects I have to make all those crazy sounds. What I’ll probably end up doing is hooking up the music, programming some beats, DJs, whatever, and start it from there. Then start layering some stuff up and making some crazy stuff. The hot hit tracks in the clubs.

Is that your goal? To break into the club circuit?

No, really, my goal is to be number one in the PGA.

Do you do a lot of golfing?

I started to. I started about five months ago, but I pretty much went every day.

What got you started golfing?

Um, I was the number one Tiger Woods golfer online on the Playstation.

Are you serious?

Yep.

That’s weird, I’ve been thinking about golfing lately, and I can attribute it entirely to playing Tiger Woods. I had no interest in the game at all, and now, if you turn on the TV, I’ll actually watch it.

I follow the tour all the time. The things I enjoy are golf, watching all the golf channels, all the Nascar shit, that stuff’s great, and I listen to a lot of talk radio. I’ll listen to anything on it, really.

Just as long as it’s talk radio?

Yeah. It’s just other people’s opinions. You start to see where a lot of people fall in line together and where people clash. You can learn a lot of things from it, I believe.

I blame myself for not knowing more, being that I hardly read, I should be listening to more talk radio.

[laughing] I don’t do any reading.

I feel guilty about it.

I don’t feel guilty about it. I can talk, and I can communicate as best as I can, and if I have any issues or difficulties with making those communications I’ll try to figure out another way or I’ll politely excuse myself from the situation. Be like, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand, I’ve gotta go. That one’s just above me.” You know what I mean? Why lie? Just like, “I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’m sorry.”

I wish more people would do that, but I find when you’re kind of direct with them in that way, you’d think people would appreciate the honesty behind it, but they actually don’t.

I agree totally. It’s amazing. I don’t watch a lot of TV because all I have to do is look around. Get some people around you for a couple of hours. You’ll find it equally, if not greater than, TV.

Or go sit on a bench at the mall sometime. If you’re able to sit there longer than thirty minutes without losing it, at least. I had to be at the mall today for Valentine’s Day.

Wha? For what? Wha…what’d you have to do?

I bought chocolate. I’m not going to lie. I bought chocolate.

[laughing]

But, but. It’s not because I know my girlfriend would kill me if I didn’t buy her chocolate, it’s because deep down, I know she will share some of that chocolate with me.

[laughing] I hear you. It’s gotta be something you can get something too, I guess.

I mean, I’m a giving guy, I guess, but a little bit has to be selfish. To my credit, I did get her only the chocolate I know she would like.

Valentine’s Day. It’s such a racket.

Hold on, she just got home.

Nikol: Hi!

Drew: I’m doing an interview. I’m on the phone with the guy from Deftones.

Nikol: Oh. I got you some socks.

Drew: Thank you.

Nikol: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Drew: Happy Valentine’s Day.

Did you catch that?

Yeah.

She bought me some socks.

Make sure you print that.

I think the last interview I did, I had to stop the interview to watch Laguna Beach with her.

[laughing]

It got me in a lot of trouble with a lot of people except for her.

Yeah, I would have gave you some trouble too, man.

I gave myself more than enough trouble for it. Just battling if I should even…I even had to cut some of it out for what I said, because I’m sure I went on a long big rant about how guilty I felt…but instead I just wrote like, “hold on, dude! Laguna Beach is on!” Hold on, I have to explain what kind of chocolate I got her.

[laughing]

Alright, let me get back to this. Otherwise this interview will crumble before our feet. Which could be cool.

[laughing]

Okay, anyway.

Moving on.

I noticed that the B-Sides and Rarities demonstrated that there’s a lot of eclectic tastes operating within the band, but who would you say has the strangest or most abstract taste?

You know, I gotta say Frank. He’s a DJ. He’s got everything.

That’s true, he’s forced to have it all. Is there anything anyone listens to that you absolutely can’t stand?

Well…you know.

You don’t have to name names.

Oh yeah. There’s definitely times where I gotta leave the room. I think we all do that to each other, though. It’s a good way to get some privacy. Put on some music that you know no one likes. They’ll just go the opposite direction, quick. It’s a polite way of telling someone to fuck off.

You did an interview with a website back in 2001, and it’s a very strange interview, actually. You’re talking about losing your faith and tracing it back to something you saw about a metal door being found within the Egyptian pyramids. Do you remember that?

Well, I was talking about that, but I don’t think it was about losing my faith.

The interview was weird. It was like, after you said that, you were saying that there was a cover-up about it and you were “gone for good,” and then the interviewer follows it up with, “Just remember, it’s never too late to turn back, embrace Christ, and the sacrifice he made for each and every one of us.”

Hmm. I wonder if that was just edited. I’ve never really had anyone get really religious with me or anything like that.

It was an interview where you were talking about aliens building the pyramids and all that stuff.

I definitely still believe that.

Okay, good, because that leads me into two questions, which are: are things like that partially the reason why there aren’t a great deal of interviews with you out there, and number two: are you kind of a conspiracy theory reader?

No, I wouldn’t say I’m into conspiracy theory. I’m just like anyone else. I’m just trying to sift through all the bullshit that’s fed to us daily. I’m trying to make my own logical conclusions as to what lies at hand. What you can actually see and what is tangible, you know what I mean? Otherwise it’s just all hype. Have you ever looked at the sun satellite website?

No, I haven’t.

It’s a satellite that monitors the sun and it’s going 24/7.

Is that the one they took down because there was like, UFOs or something appearing on it?

Well, it’s been talked about for a long time. I haven’t looked at it for a long time because I’ve already seen enough to know what I need to know. Like, yeah, basically, there’s eight different filters on this satellite, and one filter really shows physical objects. There’s an object in space and it wasn’t a photo, but you could totally see the shit. That filter, man, every day, for as far back as you can see, there’s activity going on at the sun at an impeccable rate. Something is happening at the sun with something. They’re impervious to the effects of the sun. Completely impervious. Stuff that is just…massively huge. You’ve never seen anything that huge before. And it was in the pictures, man.

I want to see that. Are there pictures on the internet?

Hold on, I’ve got my computer right here, I’ll tell you if it’s on. Every day. Every day. I heard it on Coast To Coast, this program at night…

With Art Bell?

Yeah. They had this guy, he’s a meteorologist, but he did this other stuff on the side. This whole thing was all about every day our weather is being manipulated.

Yeah, I’ve read about it. I guess it’s with technology that Nikola Tesla came up with.

It’s the…uh…I have a picture on my computer of it. The HAARP system.

See, you are too into this stuff. I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theory buff either, but I know about all this stuff.

I’m not into the conspiracy of it, like I said, I’m just basing my opinions on what I can see for myself. So here we go, for instance. Right now, I’m looking at the sun. I’m telling you, if I had this thing counted out, I could count you out a good dozen things that you couldn’t tell me what they were. And they’re massive.

So if I pull this up right now, I can see it?

Yeah.

What’s the web address?

Just go to nasa.gov and then just do a search for Soho on their search. There’s eight different lenses and filters. There’s one where the entire picture will be blue. In the middle of that picture, you’re going to see a dark blue circle, and in the middle of that circle, you’re going to see a white circle. The white circle in the center of that blue circle is the actual sun, how big it is. That circle is roughly about a million miles wide. The sun is about a million miles wide. If you look just right above the blue circle, there’s a huge white streak there. These pictures, if you’ll actually look on there, there’s different sizes of the pictures you can look at. What you’re looking at normally, it’s zoomed out a million miles, you know what I mean? But they have the raw images on there where you can zoom in on the image. You can actually look at that shit.

Alright, I’m going to have to do this on my own free time.

Go for it. But look at that shit, you know what I mean?

Yeah, that’s very strange.

And since you’re on there, do that mpeg of that very same filter. Let it play. It’ll basically show you a sequence of all those frames over the last hour or the last day or something like that. Watch it and watch how much shit flies in and out of that picture. [laughing]

But yeah, back to what I was asking about the way the person edited that one interview, is that partially a reason why there aren’t a lot of interviews with you?

Usually there’s just not a lot because, I don’t know, I’m not really Mr. Big Interview. I’m not really…I just…you can only say so much. I’m not really a big hype person. I don’t really want to hype myself up. “Oh, go see my band, buy our record, blah, blah, blah,” you know? I’m trying to do it, I’m trying to have fun, and I’m very thankful for those who enjoy our stuff and provide a living for me. It doesn’t get more simple than that, and that’s where I live, all the time.

Kind of on a parallel line, do you ever read the messageboard on the Deftones website?

Nope. Not enough hours of the day for me to get around on all those.

It’s very strange. It’s a forum that has nothing to do with the band.

Yeah, I always hear that. I just think it’s funny. It’s just people using the web and having a good time.

Yeah, yeah, that’s what it is.

Rock on.

Much like our website. Not unlike our board, which is very immoral.

Most boards and most forums, they’re all very immoral.

They are. These are things that potentially ruin someone’s life.

[laughing]

Last night, for example, someone made a post that was about how he had just started seeing this girl and sleeping with her, but her vagina smelled. He posted her Myspace and apparently people thought she was pretty unattractive, so in turn, there’s maybe 200 comments of people making fun of this girl and making fun of this guy, and then someone has the nerve to mail this link to this girl. So…I mean, needless to say, it’s pretty much the most painful thing to watch.

The internet is cold as ice!

It is!

It’s a digital comic book, you know what I mean? You can be anyone you want on it, you can be real or not. There’s just so much on there. It’s like anything, it’s up to you to decide what’s right, wrong, true, or not. It’s up to you to accept things the way they are or to change them for the way you want them to be. You know how it is.

It’s a sinister area of life, I guess.

It’s kind of just like, we’re all dealing with something. Everyone of us has problems, but I think just in general, the internet is an escape where you can go look at someone else’s problems, where you’re like, “ooh, look at that.”

Yeah, it’s like a soap opera where someone could end up getting killed.

It’s a big, giant, digital, bulletin board. I didn’t go to college, but I rode my bike through it all the time when I used to go down to the river, and there was this bulletin board that I used to go by. And that’s what it is to me. The modern age version of that. There’s no need for that bulletin board except for in that little community where people will be walking by, otherwise people will go to the internet for information. Who buys encyclopedias anymore? You don’t need no encyclopedia, buy the internet.

Buy yourself a google.org.net.

You’ll have it all. And then all the porn you’ve ever dreamed of.

And that’s when your life just falls into place.

The internet really is just porn. 95% porn and 5% productivity and information.

I was just thinking how far the world has come in terms of…like, when I was in high school, if I had a cell phone when I was in high school, like everyone has one now…

Kids got cell phones now, not even in high school.

Yeah, exactly. There were pagers when we were in high school, but even then…

I was in school right before the pagers came out. When I got out is when the pagers were coming out.

See, through the use of the pagers, if they were popularized as much as the cell phone, you would’ve failed out of school anyway. And that’s what would’ve happened to me if everyone had a cell phone. I just barely skated by on a mixture of charm and confusing people. That’s how I graduated, by lying to people constantly. If there were cell phones there, I would’ve been completely fucked. There would’ve been so many botched drug deals and so much other screwed up shit, that there would’ve been no way I could’ve made it through high school with all my limbs or out of jail.

It’s wild times. We live in wild times. There’s no question about it. You can really pick your topic, it doesn’t really matter, because everyone’s living to the extreme now.

Everything has gone and done The Dew.

Exactly. Everybody’s on The Dew.

It’s The Dew that’s fucking up our kids! If only it was that simple. But back to the internet porn thing. When I was ten or so, in order to watch porn, you had to sit real close to the TV and catch the scrambled channels.

You had to put it between two and three…

You had to work for it.

Yeah, you had to get that channel knob to stay right there in the middle and not flip to the next one. I don’t know what channel that was on, it wasn’t no channel that you knew of.

No, this was some sort of ethereal channel that the gods surely delivered to tease you as a young man.

Floating around in the ether.

But now it’s like, you can be five years old and you can find a video of a kid getting hit in the head with a shovel, you’ll get to watch it, but all of a sudden shit starts popping up, and then instantly, you know what boobs are.

Yeah. [laughing] It’s out of control. Everything you ever wanted on there. Everything in life that there is in life that we all know about, it’s on the internet. If we don’t know about it, as soon as we do know about it, it’ll be on the internet.

Have you heard about this Russian scientist who has developed an invisibility cloak. Have you heard about this?

Nah uh, but I wouldn’t put it past reality.

It doesn’t look very good. 

My girlfriend says it doesn’t look very good, but still, the fact that they can make anything and still refer to it as an “invisibility cloak” is mindblowing, even if it isn’t perfect.

That’s dope.

Yeah, dope indeed. Yeah, get on the internet and look up invisibility cloak when we get off the phone. Or even right now if you feel like it.

I’m just waiting for our generation to kick in and take the hardcore nano-research and take it to the public and make it all happen. Like, I know at some point I’m going to have to deal with all the years of fast food that I ate, and I’m going to need me a pill that’s going to put two-trillion little nanobots to go in and just coarse through all my veins and destroy all the enemies in my body. Okay, meanwhile, while doing so, give each cell an injection – a boost, to resuscitate it back to its youthfulness…

…while you are teleporting to your hovercar.

Exactly.

Excellent. Excellent. There could be good things in this future, although everybody is on The Dew and disaster is impending, there could be good things. And by good things, I mean hovercars.

Yeah, it’s crazy. I know one thing’s for sure, I never thought I’d ever imagine us really having to be worried about nukes blowing up. But we’re going to have to worry about that sometime soon. People is crazy.

Yeah. People is crazy. I’m going to move on now to a few questions you might not want to answer. Number one, I know there’s this huge announcement that’s being hyped that’s supposedly going to be on your website. I figure you might as well just tell it to me, because it’ll be a while until this interview gets up, you know what I’m saying?

Um…

Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?

Hah, no, I really don’t.

Damn. That’s one question thwarted.

I mean, if you really slipped me the sodium-pentothal, I still wouldn’t have an answer for you.

I believe you. Let’s see…a question that came up a few times was about rumors that were floating around a few years ago. I know you all are tied with Faith No More, being that you’re friends with the Fear Factory guys who worked with Billy Gould, or, I think Mike Patton even did some guest vocals on the Team Sleep album. But supposedly there was a Faith No More reunion around the same time that a tribute album that was being planned. Apparently, Mike Patton threw a fit over a few things; one of which having to do with Chino being drunk at a meeting between all the artists. Any truth to that?

I actually…I’m familiar with him being drunk with Patton, but it wasn’t at a meeting of the artists, it was at a show we did in Holland. They were having a drinking contest, only Patton was tossing his drinks over his shoulder while Chino was killing his.

[laughing]

Needless to say, Chino lost that battle.

Yeah, or won, depending on your mindframe. So you’re saying that rumor is not true, as far as you know.

Yeah, no, I’m not aware of that.

And this rumor: back when I was 14 or so, reading metal magazines, I read some news blurb about you guys playing a show with Type O Negative and triggered a riot, ending with Type O Negative being unable to perform, and thus, starting a fight with you guys. Any truth to that?

Yeah, that happened. It wasn’t a fight with us, it was more like, one of their members tried to jump on Chino, and I didn’t really see what happened when he did it, but there was just a big scuffle and that was it, really. There was no fight, really, there was no one really kicking anyone’s ass.

Have you since made up with the Type O Negative folk?

I never really had beef with them, hah. I think that was more generated by people around than it was with us and them.

I don’t know, I would love to see Type O Negative fight anybody, being that they’re all…very…large. And have long hair. So I can see how that rumor would get really boosted up. So I know you’re kind of the metal guy, how much do you keep up with heavy music?

I don’t really keep up with it on a day to day basis, or even month to month for that matter, but I’ve got friends who are always listening to it, and they always turn me on to some stuff, and if I like it, I’ll put it in my Itunes and I got it there to rock later on. But as far as following who’s the hottest and doing what with the sickest stage moves and all that…I don’t really know.

Are there any bands off the top of your head that give you any real hope for the future?

Yeah. I’m a devoted Meshuggah fan.

I know you’re a devoted Meshuggah fan. It’s very well established everywhere that you love Meshuggah. Are there other bands or is it just flat out Meshuggah?

Um, there are, but I don’t really know a lot of bands names. Like I said, I hear them here and there. I like Chimaira a lot. Then there’s this band that my friend Christian’s doing, they’re called Threat Signal, they’re pretty fucking good. I think they’re from Toronto or something like that. They’re fucking massive, dude, it sounded really good. I can’t think of anyone else at the moment.

I’ve heard minor gripes from your fans about how you aren’t playing a lot of your older material live very often. Is there any reason for that other than the assumption that you’re probably tired of just playing them?

Yeah, Chino always takes them out of the set-list.

Does he?

Yeah.

So pin it on him?

Yeah, because he doesn’t play guitar on any of that stuff, and he wants to play guitar.

I’ve heard you have a little problem with him playing guitar so much.

Yeah, he’s terrible.

Easy enough. We can go with that.

I love him, but…

…but he’s a terrible guitarist. Okay.

He’s not terrible. I’m just saying, he needs to practice.

Last question, and this is kind of an important one, and I’m going to give you the option to jump out of it. Are you seriously able to smoke half an ounce of pot in a day?

If I had to, I probably could, but no, I don’t normally. Nor would I try to.

Somebody told me that you regularly smoke a half an ounce a day.

No, I heard that from somebody recently too, and I laughed. I was like, “are you kidding me?” I’m saying, it’s not impossible to do, I’m just saying I don’t.

It’s very difficult.

I may have done it once or twice, but it’s not a regular event by any means. That’s just plain too much.

That’s like when you hear about people who smoke four packs a day and you wonder if they quit their job to do that, or what.

If, I say…in a day maybe, two or three grams. Not a lot.

Yeah, that’s about moderate to…yeah, okay. Is there anything else you wanted to add or touch on?

No, just, it’s always the same. Just, you know, like I said, thank you very much.

“The Heights” – March 2006 // Frank Interviewed

DJ Delgado of Deftones puts it all in the mix
By: Frank Gatto

Taste of Chaos tour and playing in Z-flat Implementing a DJ in a metal band is a rocky and perilous road. Bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park have decimated the reputation of rock DJs by limiting their creativity to inconsequential scratching and sampling. Thankfully, Frank Delgado transcends this trite existence as resident mood-maker and DJ for the Deftones. With his trusty vinyls, an assortment of machinery, and a knack for aural texturing, Delgado ups the ante with each Deftones album by creating washes of noise that exponentially expand the sound of the Deftones. Background layers, foreground effects, and subliminal mood-setting are all in a day’s work for the soft-spoken DJ. Delgado’s talents have grown over time, as he explains, “I’m learning more, playing instruments on keyboards. I never really knew how to play instruments, so I’d try to find crazy records with crazy sounds to try and use. Now I create those crazy sounds. I’m more comfortable playing and writing with the guys.”

Delgado also shed some light on the Deftones highly anticipated fifth and upcoming record, which will drop late this summer and is still untitled. Luckily the vocals are finished and mixing is up next. There may be guests on the album, and Delgado leaves the fans intrigued: “We’ve been working on the record for such a long time that there are always people coming in and out, but I don’t know which songs are actually going to make it. I’m not gonna say who they are either!”

Currently the Sacramento quintet is on tour headlining the Taste of Chaos, which is essentially the winter version of the Warped Tour. Delgado reasons, “Kevin Lyman [founder of the Warped Tour] hit us up, and the timing was perfect. The tour goes ’til mid-April, and then we’ll head home for a few weeks, rehearse, and then we’ll go overseas for about six weeks. We’ll tour Europe, and we’re trying to definitely hit South America, Japan, and head back to Russia.” Good news for those of you spending your summers abroad.

As if the fifth wonder of the Deftones does not keep busy enough, Delgado even has his own side project titled “Decibel Devils.” “Me and [long-time friend] Crook, we grew up together and started up a Web site with a buddy of ours, Donk. We DJ a lot in town when we’re home, so we just started putting up mixes. It’s just a way for us to put out there what we do on the side, what we’ve always done since we were kids.”

What is to be expected next from the Deftones? Delgado claims the band will “start putting snippets out there,” and he warmly closes, “I never planned on being in this position. It’s kind of weird, and I think about that for the whole band in general. The Deftones have been together since they were kids, and for them to open up and let me in and to be creative and make noise, it’s rad, man. I can’t deny that.”

“Fender” – February 2006 // Chi Interviewed

Chi Cheng
The Deftones bassist on the upcoming album, Taste of Chaos tour and playing in Z-flat

Innovative Sacramento, Calif.-based alt-metal heroes Deftones have certainly come a long way since skateboarding together during their late ’80s high school days. Early on, Deftones first defined and then defied the nu-metal label placed on the band and its contemporaries, proceeding to embark on a multi-platinum-selling, Grammy®-winning career odyssey that saw adventurous stylistic nods to trip-hop, punk, acoustic and Brit new-wave elements on albums including Adrenaline (1995), Around the Fur (1997), White Pony (2000) and Deftones (2003).

Through it all, nimble—deft, you might as well say—bassist Chi Cheng (yes, that’s his real name) has provided first-order sonic underpinning, riffing away on his beloved Fender Precision Bass® guitar, a model of which, as we’ll soon see, he is an unabashed and ardent admirer.

Cheng, born in 1970, joined Deftones not long after the band’s inception. A graduate of the University of California, Davis, he has a B.A. in English literature and released his poetry collection, Bamboo Parachute, as a spoken-word album in 2000.

Fender News caught up with the always-articulate Cheng in January 2006, as Deftones were working on their as-yet untitled forthcoming album and preparing to embark on the Taste of Chaos tour (see related story on the tour) …

FN: First things first—have you finished tracking the new album?
CC: Yes, thank the lord! I think we have (laughs). It’s been about a year and a half on and off. And it’s been a really hard, terrible struggle. I think it’s finally turning around though, and I’m really happy about that.

FN: You stopped working with (legendary Pink Floyd producer) Bob Ezrin. Who are you working with now, and has it had any effect on the album?
CC: The album has been touched by a bunch of different producers. Ezrin did a lot of it with me, Abe (drummer Abe Cunningham) and Stephen (guitarist Stephen Carpenter). And we went back and worked with some other people. Chino (vocalist Chino Moreno) has been working with a bunch of people. I think it’s just a compilation of a bunch of different people, really. Ezrin did a lot of it. I love Ezrin and I got along with him famously. I don’t think he and Chino jived together well, and that happens.

FN: When you deal with artists, that’s what you get, for better or worse.
CC: Yeah. It’s the same thing. Bob Ezrin is also an artist. No one in the band questions how great his work is. It’s just a matter of jiving with somebody or not jiving with somebody.

FN: Does it sound like one fluid work, or does it sound more like a compilation?
CC: It’s really an amazingly good piece. I’m thrilled with it, especially now that I’m starting to hear some vocals for the first time in two years. It’s like, “Holy @#$%!”

FN: Is it more like White Pony or Deftones?
CC: It is more of a White Pony, for sure. It’s got that whole feel and depth. The other album (Deftones) was very intense and kind of dark. Everyone was going through a dark period. This album has a lot more variety and depth. People are really going to be tripped out when they hear this album.

FN: Is there a title?
CC: Hell no! This close to being finished (laughs)? No, no … we’re the Deftones, man!

FN: It’ll be out later this spring?
CC: Yeah, hopefully May or early summer.

FN: Many fans consider White Pony as your definitive album. How do you feel about that, and will the new album change that?
CC: The new album will show that the best is yet to come from the Deftones. I really think this album is going to show what’s going on with our band. We’re nowhere near being done yet.

FN: Chino and Stephen definitely offer different musical influences. Chino is more into the Cure and My Bloody Valentine; Stephen is more into heavier bands like Meshuggah. Where do you stand?
CC: I kind of float around, right in between.

FN: Like Switzerland?
CC: Exactly … I’m neutral (laughs)! Oddly enough, we’ve begun to rehearse again at night. And I’ve been listening to our past albums. Rather than playing with Stephen or Abe, I kind of float in between them.

FN: It’s your job to hold them together.
CC: Yeah, yeah … it’s cool.

FN: With tracking for the new album finished, you can focus on the upcoming Taste of Chaos tour. Will you be adding new songs to the set?
CC: Yeah, we’ll be doing two new songs.

FN: Do they have titles yet?
CC: You know … (Chino) changes the titles so much I have no clue. We haven’t even picked them yet.

FN: Any bands on the bill that you’re particularly excited to see?
CC: I’m always excited to see Dredg. I haven’t seen a lot of the other bands. I’ve seen Thrice, and they’re great!

FN: Last year, you played for the Cure on MTV® Icon™. What was that like?
CC: That was nerve-racking, to be honest. I was thrilled to honor the Cure, a band we all respect and have loved for a long time. But to actually go over there and sit down in front of them with them staring at us, I was just hoping someone else would mess up instead of me. We just played one track (“If Only Tonight We Could Sleep,” from Deftones’ B-Sides & Rarities). It was amazing. I don’t know if I could have stood to play any more songs!

FN: Do you still get nervous when you play live?
CC: Yeah, I do. I had an anxiety dream about it last night. I always have anxiety dreams before I go on the road. It was the worst. I ended up waking up at 7:00 this morning saying, “Oh god, we suck (laughs)!”

FN: You’ve played Fender Precision basses for most of your career. What led you to them and how have they affected your playing?
CC: As soon as I got hold of one, that’s all I played. I think I started playing them when I met Alex Perez (Fender artist relations manager and Custom Shop veteran) on the ’95 Warped Tour. His guitars and basses are the dopest! I was on tour with Fluf then. O (Fluf guitarist/vocalist) played Fenders. I told him that I wished I played them, so he gave me Alex’s number. Two weeks later, Alex sent me two basses. I dropped everything I had been playing, switched right over, and have never gone back! They were Precision Bass Specials, the same basses I play now. They have humbucking pickups in the front and the back, and have vintage Precision pickguards.

FN: How many basses do you take on the road with you?
CC: Just one to play, and one or two as backups. I don’t want it to look like (Van Halen bassist) Michael Anthony’s house (laughs). All respect to Michael Anthony!

FN: Well, do you have a Jack Daniel’s® bass?
CC: No, I don’t. I would probably go with a single-malt bass (laughs)!

FN: Do you play five-string basses?
CC: Yeah, I do have some five strings. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of the five-string, period. That’s more of a necessary evil for me.

FN: Do you tune down your four-string basses?
CC: Yeah, absolutely. Stephen consistently gets lower every album. I’m having to consistently follow him.

FN: Why doesn’t he just get a baritone or a bass?
CC: I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He just keeps going down lower and lower. And on a lot of the songs where he’s playing a seven-string, I’ll still be playing the four. But sometimes it doesn’t translate and I need to get that fifth string. I fought it for three albums, but then I had to give in.

FN: Do you have trouble setting up your action, or do you use much thicker strings?
CC: Yeah, they’re ridiculously thick strings. And I still tune the thing down. I think we’re in Z or Z-flat (laughs)!

FN: How has your playing developed since the Deftones took off? Do you still practice and work on your style?
CC: No. No, I’m lazy (laughs)! I think the more you listen to music, the more you play music, the more you get confident with music—you can move around better, and know yourself as a musician better, philosophically. I don’t have time to sit and practice for four hours like I did in high school. I feel like I should, but with a wife and a kid and a band, it gets to where you’re suddenly a grown-up, and time is hard to find. Young players should enjoy it while they can.

FN: Iron Maiden bassist and fellow Precision lover Steve Harris was a huge influence on you. What other bassists influence you?
CC: I’ve got to say that after my metal period I went into a new-wave period and was really into the Smiths’ bass player (Andy Rourke) and the Cure’s bass player (Simon Gallup, usually). Their playing was unreal! So I got into a small new-wave phase in my high school years. Then I got into punk. I really like a lot of the punk bass players a lot. I still think Matt Freeman from Rancid is such a monster! His playing is really tasteful and classy.

FN: Who else has inspired you?
CC: I love (Charles) Mingus. He set the standard. Jaco Pastorius is nice to listen to, but I can’t emulate it. But it’s beautiful. I love the old reggae bass playing and Studio One bass playing. I listen to that a lot more than I listen to anything else now.

FN: It sounds like there’s more of that in your playing now.
CC: It’s absolutely true. When I wrote the bass part to “Change (In the House of Flies),” Stephen was like, “Dear lord, no! Please don’t play that.” Frank (Delgado, turntables) was like, “Don’t do it!” But that’s how I play. Terry Date (producer), fortunately, was backing me. He told them to leave me alone and let me play the line I wrote.

FN: It was one of your biggest hits …
CC: It was our biggest hit. But Stephen wrote all of the leads and won a Grammy® for it. So he has the upper hand (laughs)!

FN: Now that you’re headlining festivals and inspiring future bassists, any advice for aspiring bassists?
CC: Spend as many hours as you can playing and listen to as many kinds of music as you can. Don’t shut yourself off to jazz or country. I was one of those kids. My mom paid for a month of bass lessons for me, and my instructor wanted me to check out some jazz. All I wanted to learn was (Metallica’s) “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth.” I could’ve been more open-minded (laughs)!

FN: As an avid reader and music lover, what are you listening to and reading lately?
CC: I’m such a collector. I’m reading some Camus. I love The Plague and The Stranger. I also started reading Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays. I’ve got some really rare Henry Miller that I’ve been reading—Sunday After The War. I’m kind of a book collector. It takes up a lot of my money. Unfortunately, (Charles) Bukowski is my favorite writer, followed by (Hunter S.) Thompson. So I like a lot of the derelicts (laughs)!

FN: 2006 marks Fender’s 60th anniversary. Your thoughts?
CC: Let’s have another 60 years of continuously good work. If I’m alive 60 years from now, I’ll still be playing Fender!

www.fender.com

“Billboard” – February 2006 // Abe Interviewed

Deftones Finally Finish Recording New Album

February 24, 2006, 4:00 PM ET
John Benson, Cleveland

Nearly three years removed from their last studio album, the Deftones have finally finished recording the follow-up. Drummer Abe Cunningham tells Billboard.com this is a good sign of how far the band has come through its struggles and internal acrimony, which nearly resulted in a breakup.

“I don’t want to sit here and complain because these things happen to everyone,” Cunningham says, “but if there was a VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ special on us, it would be the perfect episode with divorces and all kinds of crap. It was just lack of communication. Thankfully, we’ve been reattaching our limbs.”

While sessions started in earnest two years ago for the new project, which, depending on who you ask, could be released in early to late spring (Cunningham) or this summer (Maverick), it wasn’t until earlier this year that the Deftones completed recording their fifth album. In describing the new material, which still needs to be mixed, Cunningham looks back for a point of reference.

“Actually, if you look at our last record, I refer to it as ‘Dark Days’ because that’s basically what it was,” Cunningham says of 2003’s self-titled effort. “It’s kind of an incomplete record from my viewpoint. I think it’s a good record [with] a lot of good songs but the new album, from start to finish, is a very complete record and has all of the extremes that we like. I’d say it’s kind of hard.”

While Cunningham says Internet rumors of the effort being called “Saturday Night Wrist” were premature, he wouldn’t completely rule out the title. Among the many tracks being considered is “Beware of the Water,” which the band may drop into its headlining set on the Taste of Chaos tour. That trek stops tonight (Feb. 24) in Jacksonville, Fla.

Up next for the Deftones is an extended European run in the spring, with an anticipated headlining Stateside jaunt this summer. For now, the band is just enjoying its Taste of Chaos experience as it reclaims its concert legs. “We’ve been off for quite a while and this is our way to just ease back into it,” Cunningham says. “And it’s going really well. It’s all good.”

“MTV” – January 2006 // Abe Interviewed

Why Is The New Deftones Album Taking So Long?

Drummer Abe Cunningham expects the long-delayed disc to surface in late spring.

Deftones fans have been waiting and waiting for the band’s forthcoming LP to hit the streets. They’ve been hearing about it for more than a year and watched as two “anticipated” release dates have come and gone. At this point fans know that the new album is still not done – and that’s about it. But perhaps no one is more anxious for the LP’s release than one of the Deftones’ own: drummer Abe Cunningham.

“Dude, I can’t wait until it comes out,” Cunningham said last week. “It’s been so insane this time around. It’s what you go through to get it done. It’s been a very strange process. Each record has [taken] longer and [has been] a bit more difficult to make. This is taking a long time. And there’s nothing wrong with taking a long time to make a record, but it’s just … it doesn’t need to be that way anymore. There’s so much technology available that you don’t need to spend that much money. But we end up just spending more and more and more and more. We just want it to get out. God knows it’s taken long enough.”

It’s been over a year since the Deftones left Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin’s snow-swathed home studio in Connecticut for the sun-drenched sands of balmy Malibu, California, where they’ve since re-examined, tweaked and re-recorded the material they’d managed to put to tape before the cold got the best of them. At this stage, Deftones have 17 songs on the verge of completion. Frontman – and perfectionist – Chino Moreno is still tracking vocals for the new tunes.

Moreno’s time is running out, though. The band is gearing up for the Taste of Chaos tour with Thrice, Atreyu, As I Lay Dying and Dredg, which kicks off in San Diego on February 16 and concludes April 15 in Montreal. Cunningham said the plan is to commence the album’s mixing as soon as Chino’s work is done and before the start of the jaunt known as “Winter Warped.”

“He’s finishing vocals on all the songs we’d recorded, just so we have more to choose from,” the drummer explained. “We will begin the selection process soon,” he added, explaining that the democratic process consists of a band vote. “So far I’m liking all the songs we’ve recorded, so it will be hard,” he continued. “We’ll probably have a bake-off or some kind of contest. It’s going to be difficult, but we have a gut feeling on some of them already.”

Cunningham expects the disc will feature a dozen tracks (including one called “America”), and that it will be in stores in late spring. The ‘Tones will debut some of the newer stuff via their Taste of Chaos set.

“We’ll definitely be playing some of the new stuff,” he said. “In the past, it was always a concern that the songs would leak or whatever, but you can’t concern yourself with that anymore. We’re very excited to go and rock this stuff. But we’ve only got an hour set, so we’re trying to fit four or five records into an hour. That’s going to be difficult, but we’re hoping for at least two new songs in each set. We’ve been voting on that, too.”

As for the album’s title, that’s still a mystery to the entire band – and may also be subject to a vote.

“We haven’t really discussed it much. We’ve been focusing on the songs,” Cunningham said. “I looked on the Internet, and read that it wasSaturday Night Wrist, and I actually kind of like the way that sounds. So I guess that’s [the title] – because the Internet says so.”

– Chris Harris

“Ultimate Guitar” – November 2005 // Stef Interviewed

In the exclusive interview conducted by UG, Deftones’ guitarist Stephen Carpenter minutely discussed the band’s latest “B-Sides And Rarities” album, talked about his bandmates, music influences and fans. All that you can find below, so don’t waste your time and read on!

  • Ultimate-Guitar.com: You’ve been compared to a lot of bands — Cure, The Smiths, Soundgarden, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera. Which one made the biggest influence on your music in your opinion?

Stephen Carpenter: For me I’d say every band you’ve mentioned and many you haven’t have all played a small part musically. Me, us, everyone takes a piece of what they hear and make it a part of themselves. Music is an influence for all.

  • Did your music taste change since the release of your first album?

    It changes every time we do a record. Except for the fact that we make music that is loud, soft and everything in between.

  • You’ve been releasing an album every three years since 1997 – 2000, 2003, 2006. Is there any marketing decisions behind it or it just takes you three years to prepare new material for an album?

    No marketing desicions, Chino takes a long time.

  • What keeps the band going for so many years? Do you get tired of each other?

    We do get tired of each other, but we’re family. Not blood related, just love each other like we are. That’s what keeps it going.

  • Inside the band, do you mostly listen to the same music or each of you has individual preferences?

    We each have our own personal pref’s for sure. Many kinds we like the same, but there are differences for sure.

  • Is there a band you would agree to be a “warming act” for?

    I’ll play with any band.

  • Can you compare the sound of “B-Sides And Rarities” to any of your previous albums?

    No and yes. No, because all the songs are just a compilation of tracks over the years. Yes, because we try to mix it up on each record.

  • Most of your fans have been disappointed you didn’t put Depeche Mode’s “To Have And To Hold” on the record. Why you didn’t and how did you choose the songs and video material for “B-sides & Rarities”? What was the main criteria?

    No specific reason for that track to not make it. As for there being any criteria for what made it, I think it was just a matter of time and place. There will be more to come in the future, can’t put it all in one package, it’s to much!

  • You say you worked with legendary producer Bob Ezrin on your last album ’cause you wanted “something different”. Seems like everybody enjoyed working with him, except Chino Moreno, who’s been blaming him in all kinds of different things. Ezrin replied, that Moreno “came unprepared, came late, missed days, didn’t show up” during their record sessions in Connecticut. After all, are you satisfied with Ezrin’s work? Moreno really didn’t like his way of working or it was more of a personal conflict?

    Bob said it all as it was. I like Bob, it’s to bad it didn’t work out.

  • The CD sleeve of “B-Sides And Rarities” look like Frank Sinatra’s “Best” album or the top of an eternity box and is very different from all your other CD art. Is it due to you being an old and respective band now or the taste of the CD art person?

    Lol. Frank’s “Best” wasn’t the the reason for it. But, Frank, the artist hooked it up!

  • What were the other versions of naming the album?

    Chi had the best title. But, it’s lost in the anals of time now.

  • Do you read forums on your fans’ web-sites? Do you keep in touch with you fans?

    I don’t read much of anything. I do keep in touch with fans as much as I can. Try imagine talking to thousands of people daily. Wow!

  • Your official website Deftones.com hasn’t been updated for quite a while. Are you planning to make a proper official website with interviews, forums, news and such? Meanwhile, what is the best source to keep up with your updates?

    Deftones.com is the main source, also Deftones MySpace is another good source. As for keeping it updated, I don’t have an answer for that.

  • In some interviews you say a couple of words about the new album next year and a tour, but nothing certain. What are your plans? Can we hope for the resuming of a band?

    We’re doing the Taste Of Chaos tour early next year. After that, we plan to head east over seas, back to the States, then back over seas, then back to the States, then down under, then a tour of the Americas, after that off to Asia, then back home, then over seas again, then the States, then Canada, then… I don’t know, you get my drift.

  • What about your side projects? What are they up to?

    Lol. Thanks Maverick!

  • Nowdays there are a lot of shitty music playing around and there are a whole lot of guys, dreaming to play in a band one day. Can you advise any good bands to listen to (besides Deftones, of course)?

    Meshuggah!

  • Thank you for your patience!

“Sacramento Bee” – October 2005 // Deftones Interviewed

Taken from the Sacramento Bee (www.sacbee,com), By Chris Macias

DECADE OF DEFTONES

A decade has passed since Sacramento homeboys the Deftones scored a major-label deal with Maverick Records. They’ve continued to live here and make Sac Town proud – nabbing a Grammy Award, selling more than 2.5 million albums and keeping heavy metal fresh with melody and moodiness.

The band releases its “B-Sides and Rarities” album today. It’s a CD of outtakes, live cuts and rare nuggets featuring singer Chino Moreno, drummer Abe Cunningham, bassist Chi Cheng, guitarist Stephen Carpenter and DJ Frank Delgado. A companion DVD houses all the band’s videos and choice live moments.

Here’s Abe and Chi reminiscing with The Bee about rare moments and telling the stories behind their videos and songs.

VIDEOS

“7 Words” and “Bored,” both filmed in Sacramento (in 1995 and 1996, respectively)

Abe: They came and shot (“7 Words”) for 12 grand. It was supposed to be our electronic press kit. It turned out pretty good, so we used it as a video. (It was filmed) at the Cattle Club and all around town. It was a Sacto thing; it was cool.

“Bored” was our second video. … We actually toured around quite a bit, around the country and parts of the world at that point. We were happy to be home. That was Chino’s house, (and) Matt Erich’s (downtown rehearsal studio) where we used to rehearse when we first started. After Stephen’s mom’s garage, we went to Matt Erich’s and then throughout the years practiced there forever.

Chi: (“Bored”) was really, really cool. That was family and friends all over at Matt Erich’s, everyone having a good time. My memory isn’t so hot because I had allergies that day and I’d never taken a Benadryl. Someone gave me one … and I thought I was going to fall asleep.

“My Own Summer,” featuring the Deftones and a bunch of sharks (1998)

Abe: That was fun as hell. We were in Antarctica … nah, it looked like it. We were by Pyramid Lake. The sharks are real, there’s a lot of them. They were man-eaters, man. … (sheepishly) The sharks were mechanical sharks.

Chi: I fell off one of those shark cages and my dreads stunk for a week. (Director Dean Karr) got the good end of that deal. He’s like, “I need to get some more money to go to Australia and actually get footage of sharks.” He went down there for a week and a half and got no footage. So he got an extra trip.

The “Minerva” video, filmed during a sandstorm near the Salton Sea (2003)

Abe: It sucked. The video could’ve been so awesome, but they weren’t able to edit it because the sand got in all the time codes and all the DATs. … We had these moons that are way off in the distance, these huge spheres of light that got smashed when the winds came in. It turned into a sandstorm. It was a 22-hour shoot, and we were there the whole time.

Chi: We were out there for almost 24 hours. It was ridiculous. We got out there very early in the morning, and the wind blew sand in just about every orifice you can imagine. It was terrible. But it was a trippy video. I actually like it a lot.

The “Hexagram” video, filmed at a Southern California skate park in front of their fans (2003)

Abe: This is my favorite video of us. We’ve done quite a few videos that have never captured us fully, either we’re not comfortable or trying to make us into something – we’re hating it but still doing it. “Hexagram” was cheap as hell to make and just captured us. It’s bombastic. It was fun.

Chi: The “Hexagram” video was dope. We went completely back to our roots.

SONGS

Abe: I love Skynyrd, dude. Stephen loves Skynyrd. Chino at the time wasn’t feeling it. He knew the song and he knew who Skynyrd was. He did three passes at the vocals and that was it. We were trying to say, “It’s got to be on there. How are we going to convince or trick him, how are we going to get this fool to say ‘yes’?”

I called him up one day … and he’s like, “Dude, have you heard ‘Simple Man’?” I was like, “Yeah, we want to put it in the record.” He’s like, “Dude, I was listening to it the other day and I started crying.” We’re dads now, (so) I think it reminded him of his sons or something like that.

“If Only Tonight We Could Sleep,” a Cure cover song, recorded live for MTV’s “Icon”

Chi: That was harrowing. It was nerve-wracking. All the cover songs, you do them and record them, and you get feedback later. It was the most intimidating thing for (Cure frontman Robert Smith) to be sitting there. You can’t tell whether he likes it. Afterward, he was so cool. It was amazing.

Abe: “Around the Fur” came out and we were reading Kerrang! (magazine) and Robert Smith had his Top Five records of the year. (“Around the Fur”) was in there. We love the Cure. We all love that band.

“Around the Fur” was coming out and we were at SIR (studios) down in L.A. They were rehearsing in the next thing over. We went over there … we’re petrified, but they’re all just kicking it with beers: “What’s up, mate?” They were like the nicest people in the world.


“Chartattack” – August 2005 // Bob Ezrin Interviewed

ChartAttack Exclusive: Producer Bob Ezrin Hits Back At Deftones' Chino Moreno
Friday August 19, 2005 @ 02:00 PM

In an interview with Deftones and Team Sleep frontman Chino Moreno this week, the 
singer talked about problems with legendary Canadian producer , who was behind the 
knobs for the Deftones' upcoming LP.

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything, really," Moreno said 
in the article. "There were times when we really got along and I learned a lot of 
things from him but there were a lot of times when he's in his own world where he 
thinks he knows what's best and he doesn't know what's best, really. It just wasn't 
fun to do and it wasn't a fun record to make. The music turned out rad. It's just 
when you're making a record, especially when you're working on vocals, I've only 
worked with a couple of producers and most of the records I've done with Terry Date. 
The reason we chose Ezrin is because we wanted to do something different, but I 
learned that different isn't always good."

This wasn't the first time the singer took shots at the production of the new Deftones 
record in the press, but this one hurt a little more from Ezrin's perspective.

"The only reason I would respond was that it happened to be in Canada in a Canadian 
publication and that's my home turf and that pisses me off," the producer said over 
the phone on Thursday. "This didn't come out of the blue because he did it once before. 
When he was doing some press at the beginning of Team Sleep people said, 'Have you 
finished the album yet?' He came out and said 'No I haven't and the reason why is 
because first we tried going to Connecticut to make the record and it was just a 
fucking drag. It was a terrible place and finally we've come back [to Sacramento] and 
it's all going to be better.'

"And I was furious with that because the reality is that everybody had a great time in 
Connecticut and stuff got done, except for Chino, who came unprepared, came late, 
missed days, didn't show up. So maybe from his point of view it was a shitty place to 
be, but that wasn't the fault of the venue, it was because he wasn't ready. I called 
him and I told him, 'Watch your mouth. Don't be saying stuff like that.'"

Ezrin said that as far as he knows, the vocals for the Deftones record still aren't 
finished, since Moreno has been playing with Team Sleep since his main band finished 
laying down the tracks for their record.

The producer suggests that there might be a rift between Moreno and the rest of the 
Deftones because of the singer's commitments to Team Sleep.

"The other guys in the Deftones are patiently waiting for this album to get finished 
so they can get on with their lives and their careers," Ezrin said. "I think they're 
not happy about the fact that Chino went on the road with his side project before 
finishing his primary commitment.

"I hope that the Team Sleep tour has inspired him and that he's ready to go back and 
finish the album — with whoever makes him comfortable. One way or the other, that 
album should be finished. It's great music and the fans of the band and the other 
members of the Deftones deserve it."

Ezrin is a 2004 inductee to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and produced Pink Floyd's 
The Wall, as well as records by Alice Cooper, KISS, Nine Inch Nails, Lou Reed and 
Jane's Addiction.

He said that his experience with Moreno during the Deftones sessions was, surprisingly, 
unlike anything he'd seen previously.

"To tell you the truth, I've never been through something like this before in the many, 
many years that I've been making records — I've never encountered anyone like Chino
Moreno before," Ezrin said with a laugh. "And to be clear, I really like him. I 
think he's a charming, talented, smart, well-intentioned and very artful guy, but 
he's got a problem with finishing things and he's a blamer. Basically, Chino's using
me as an excuse for running out on his band and their album."

—Noah Love

“Chartattack” – August 2005 // Chino Interviewed

Chino interviewd by Shehzaad Jiwani
chartattack.com
Wednesday August 17, 2005 @ 09:00 AM

You have a lot of different influences, like Failure and Pinback, and that 
space-rock sound comes off with Team Sleep whereas it might not with Deftones. 
Do you like that "anything goes" aspect of this band?

CM: I honestly think I can do that with Deftones as well, but in the back of my 
mind I know that there are a lot of fans that are specifically into the more 
aggressive, heavy stuff. I don't want to completely alienate fans of that stuff 
because I know a lot of our fans like us for our first couple of records which 
had a lot more of that, you know. With this project, I don't have that boundary. 
I don't really have a fan base to make happy, you know, there is no fan base yet, 
we're making one. We just make music that we like to listen to and try to keep it 
as genuine as possible.

Do you prefer that over the brainy writing process you have with Deftones?

CM: Yeah. It's not that I don't like heavy stuff, because I like heavy music just 
as well. It's just that when you're on your fifth album with a band, you don't want 
to repeat yourself and you don't want to make a record just to make other people 
happy, you want to make yourself happy, but you don't want to be too self-indulgent. 
There's a lot of things going through your mind making a record, well, that's why 
the records take so long to make. I just look at it like I want the album to sound 
good when I listen to it. I don't want it to sound dated or anything.

What was it like working with Bob Ezrin for the new Deftones record?

CM: Oh, it was, you know, whatever. I'd rather not. If you don't have anything nice 
to say, don't say anything, really. There were times when we really got along and I 
learned a lot of things from him but there were a lot of times when he's in his own 
world where he thinks he knows what's best and he doesn't know what's best, really. 
It just wasn't fun to do and it wasn't a fun record to make. The music turned out rad. 
It's just when you're making a record, especially when you're working on vocals, 
I've only worked with a couple of producers and most of the records I've done with 
Terry Date. The reason we chose Ezrin is because we wanted to do something different, 
but I learned that different isn't always good. If we want to make a different album, 
it's something that we do on our own, not something some producer comes in and says we 
should do.

Any idea what the record's going to sound like?

CM: Yeah, I heard it all, I made it, I know exactly what it's going to sound like. 
Can I explain it? Nah. [laughs] It's different. We definitely didn't want to make 
the same record, you know what I mean. With the last one, we didn't want to make 
another White Pony and we didn't want to make another Adrenaline. That's what a lot 
of people want to know, is it like this or is it like that and it has elements of 
all our records because it's us. But I think it's a broader record. There's a lot 
of other things going on. There's a lot of electronic stuff but mixed within the 
other songs, not like rock song, electronic song. The songs have a lot more parts 
and there's a lot of different things. It was written over a long period of time. 
We started it about a year and a half ago. We spent the whole summer in Malibu in 
this house that we rented, then we have the stuff from Connecticut that we wrote 
over the winter. We have a lot of different stuff. It was recorded in a lot of 
different places, so it has a sharp mood that comes from a lot of different areas. 
It makes it a bigger, huger record. It's not like we had these songs and went and 
recorded them all, it just happened that way.

Deftones have been planning a b-sides/rarities release for a while. When can we expect that?

CM: I heard it was coming out next month, but then I heard that there were a few 
things they weren't finished with for the DVD stuff. I talked to Abe yesterday and 
they're cutting all of the footage together. There's a couple songs that I haven't 
sent them yet for the b-sides collection that I'm trying to accumulate. It might be 
in the fall. I hope to get it out before summer's over, but it could be out for early 
fall, then the new record comes out early next year.

www.deftonesworld.com

“Sacbee” – July 2005 // Chi Interviewed

Deftones' bassist a poetic wordsmith

Chi Cheng will speak to the beat of his literary muse at Press Club

By Chris Macias -- Bee Pop Music Critic 

Chi Cheng thrives at 3 a.m. It's the time for the Deftones' bassist to spin Mahler 
on the stereo, uncork some wine and start scribbling poems.

  So much for the beastly bass player seen on stage. Cheng's the kind of rock star 
who likes to curl up with Carl Jung's "Man and His Symbols" on the tour bus. And 
when a tasty royalty check comes through, say for the Deftones' million-selling 
"White Pony" album, Cheng will splurge by buying Charles Bukowski's rare manuscripts.
"I'm the biggest nerd of the band," he says.

More like the Deftones' resident beatnik. Cheng will read some of his poetry Monday 
at the Press Club, adding a literary slant to a show that features alternative-rock 
from Daycare and Mark Curry.

The reading is one way for Cheng to keep busy during this bit of downtime in the 
Deftones' recording schedule. But cranking out poems has felt just as fulfilling to 
Cheng as rocking out with the band.

"These other guys I grew up playing with, like (Sonny Mayugba of Daycare) and Mark 
Curry, they were just naturally great musicians," says Cheng, in between sips of 
scotch at the Swiss Buda Bar, one of his favorite watering holes. "I always had to 
struggle to just keep up with these cats. Writing was always more natural to me. 
I've always been a poet that's been in a band, versus being a band guy that wants 
to be a poet."

Cheng started chasing his literary muse back in the late 1980s, when he was a high 
school student in Stockton. He attended California State University, Sacramento, 
to study creative writing and art, until headbanging with the Deftones became a 
full-time gig.

Cheng's poetry doesn't wax about dream fulfillment or sunny matters like winning a 
Grammy award. His poems are raw and boozy ruminations that are far too edgy to be 
reprinted in a family newspaper. The blue language and NC-17 scenarios are even too 
much for his family.

"I've sometimes had to uninvite people," he says. "My mom won't let anyone in the 
family go."

Cheng's poetry essentially deals with anxieties faced by rock stars and regular folk 
alike: love gone wrong, death, spiritual crises. One of his current poems is a 
three-part word salad called "The Ghost in the Headlights."

"The first part is about my brother's death," Cheng explains. "The second is about 
Jesus coming back to earth, and the third part is about the general eroticism in my 
life right now.

"I write about universal pain," he adds. "Tragedy is more of a muse for me than 
anything else. When I'm in a good mood, which is a lot of the time, I don't feel 
like wasting my short duration of me being in a good mood on trying to capture it 
in words."

Some of Cheng's dense and moody themes aren't too far from the Deftones' own musical 
heaviness. But Cheng doesn't operate as a wordsmith within the Deftones, nor does he 
want to. All Deftones lyrics are written solely by singer Chino Moreno.

"(Moreno's) such a good lyricist that I leave it in his court," says Cheng. "Early on, 
I wrote some of the lyrics, and it was cool. We'd write a little bit together. And then 
he just matured so much. I don't think he would feel genuine singing someone else's 
lyrics. It has to be his vision, and I respect that."

Cheng's looking forward to upping his profile on the poetry scene. He released a CD of 
spoken-word poetry in 2000 ("The Bamboo Parachute") and has two more CDs of poetry 
coming soon. Cheng also was invited recently to read at a poetry festival in the 
Netherlands.

But he sure can't beat that day job with the Deftones.

"Writing is the truest form of art because you know you can't ever succeed and make 
money at it," says Cheng. "So you just write for the sake of writing. And I love that 
about writing. That's why I'm so unapologetic in my poetry and continue to push the 
boundaries."

www.deftonesworld.com
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