“www.guitar.com” – July, 2000 // Chi Interviewed

Chi Cheng interviewed by "Guitar.com"
July,2000

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He may spend his evenings pumping out rib-rattling rhythms, but 
DEFTONES' bassist CHI CHENG does some of his heaviest work with 
just a pen and paper.

- After years of poetry writing and the occasional coffeehouse 
appearance, Cheng has released the compelling "Bamboo Parachute" 
a collection of 25 riveting and eclectic poems. The spoken-word 
disc is available only through Deftones official web site 
­ www.deftones.com ­ and at the band¹s live concerts.

- Says Cheng, who is currently touring with Deftones in support of 
their critically-acclaimed third Maverick disc "White Pony,":
 "I had six books¹ worth of material sitting around collecting dust. 
Although I¹d like to get published, I convinced myself that I didn¹t 
have time to deal with all those rejection notices. Instead, I decided 
to cop out and do a spoken-word album."

- "Bamboo Parachute" is priced at under eight dollars per copy 
(depending on where and how you purchase it), with half of the proceeds 
going to homeless teens and WEAVE, a Sacramento-based non-profit agency 
specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and 
victim assistance. Says Cheng: 
"I think people should be more involved within their own communities. 
In addition to WEAVE, I¹m starting a music program for homeless teens 
in Sacramento. They¹re good kids who are just trying to get by, and 
music means a lot to them."

- As Cheng tells it, he began writing poetry at age 17, encouraged by a 
high school English teacher, and later by his college professors. 
"After I left school, they¹d ask me to come in and speak to their 
advanced poetry class," he says. Surprisingly, though he likes "Kerouac¹s 
stream of consciousness and Bukowski¹s rawness," 

- Cheng admits to not reading much poetry. Says Cheng:
"Unlike music, which I choose to do, poetry is something I have to do. 
It¹s like my head gets flooded with all this crazy shit and I have to 
write it down. Music, however, is much more of a release."

- Of "Bamboo Parachute," which features poems entitled "The Small Black Box," 
"The Inside of My Pocket Knife," and "Whiter Than God," Cheng says:
 "These are my odd reflections on life, and hopefully they'll be applicable 
to everybody intrinsically. For example, everybody looks at a Matisse 
differently, but it still means something to each person."

- However, don¹t feel badly if some of the disc¹s material goes over your head. Laughs Cheng:
 "It is pretty wacky stuff. I'll read something to my wife, and she'll look at me and say, I don't know what the hell you're talking about."</noscript><script language="JavaScript">
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