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.”