Deftones earn praise with latest record album By Doug Elfman August 11, 2000 *** www.deftonesworld.com *** The Deftones did a crazy thing. Just when rap-metal took over contemporary rock, the Deftones tacked left and put out an intricate, melodic album full of punk, grunge and Goth rock. The Deftones are being rewarded with banner reviews for the CD, "White Pony," heavy radio play for the first single, "Change (In the House of Flies)," and good buzz for their tour, which hits the Hard Rock Hotel Sunday. Singer Chino Moreno, who still extends his vocal style from a whisper to a scream, is happy and relieved about the positive response. "Everybody's been really, really excited, especially the fans. Those are the people I was worried about, (since) it was a bit of a departure," Moreno says. Some reviewers believe the artful, multilayered record could in the coming months help bring more singing, melody and musicianship back to rock. "I hope so," Moreno, 27, says. "It's getting a little stagnant. There's a lot of just soulless rap-metal spawning all over the Earth." "To me, it's not the worst thing," he says of rap-metal. The format's just gotten oversaturated, and he unabashedly hopes his record is influential. "I'd probably describe it as a moody record. Not moody as in melancholy, but there are a lot of different moods in there, strong, aggressive, sweet and sad. There are a lot of emotions on the record. In each (song), we tried to (explore) the capacity of a certain feeling." The band spent a lot of time in the recording studio. Moreno didn't want to rush out a record with a few singles wrapped in filler. "These are the types of records if you take time, they last longer," he says. A lot of the music came from jamming in the studio, building songs around spontaneous thoughts, then cutting out the fat. "To me, it's the most generous way of recording, because it's stream of consciousness," he says. When you write a song, then wait to record it, "it might not be as strong as when you were first writing it." The Sacramento, Calif., quintet recorded the single, "Change," in the middle of the band's studio time. It became a turning point that helped the band members stay loose. "We were just jamming for a while," Moreno says, and "someone would come in with an idea, and we'd start playing together" around the melody. But Moreno's favorite song at the moment is the short, punkish "Feiticeira," which eschews traditional song structures. It doesn't go chorus, verse, chorus, verse. It builds from a single guitar riff to a crescendo of hard-core guitars, drums and synthesizers. "That structure is one of the oddest songs we've ever written. There's no chorus in the song. It starts with a harmonizing guitar and we add layers to it," he says. "By the end, it's this insane little scenario." Overall, the album is heavy, but it has quick songs to skateboard to. "Street Carp" will be used in an upcoming skateboarding video game. There's a Tool-like tune, "Passenger." And there are pent-up, down-tempo love songs that nevertheless stick to twisted metal/Goth themes. "Rx Queen" is a half-sick love ode: "I won't stop following you. Now help me pray for the death of everything new. Then we'll fly farther, 'cause you're my girl, and that's all right. If you sting me, I won't mind. We'll stop to rest on the moon, and we'll make a fire. I'll steal a carcass for you, then feed off the virus." Moreno actually did catch a virus last week. Or was it a bacterial infection of the throat? He wasn't sure, but it hurt to swallow. He worried the band might have to cancel a show for the first time since the Deftones formed a decade ago. But he soldiered on with media interviews that day, on his cell phone en route to a doctor's office. "It's scary," he says. "But it's OK -- I'm happy."
“Las Vegas Review Journal” – August 11, 2000 // Chino Interviewed
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