“National Spotlight” – November, 1998 // Abe Interviewed

Abe Interviewed by Billy Pavone (Natinal Spotlight)



After the Deftones show at the Celebrity Theater,AZ – November 6th, 1998

L: How long have you been playing drums?
A: Maybe about seventeen years now.

L: What has been your progression of styles?
A: I went through phases and s#!t like I think everybody does. I kind of taught myself
to play by listening to records. When I was little I’d listen to Beatles and s#!t and then
I started getting into s#!t I liked, Hendrix, Cream, and into Metallica.

L: How did you like the show tonight?
A: I thought it was rad. I was kind of tripping cause this is the first time we brought
production, our own sound, our own lights and our own monitors and s#!t. And I guess it
was supposed to be at Mesa Amphitheater but it got moved last minute to here. The s#!t
inside here is all house stuff.

L: Where is home?
A: Sacramento..California.

L: Is that where you are all from?
A: Yeah.

L: Did you guys all meet in high school?
A: Yeah. Well, we’ve just been friends for, even before that, I’ve known Chino (lead singer)
since I was like eleven, and him and Stephen (guitarist) grew up in the same neighborhood,
so they’ve known each other since……., WOW!, (looking up at the sky) that was a fat ass
shooting star,….beautiful. So we were friends…..(drum tech shows him a broken drum pedal).

L: For people that want to start a band, can you give any advice from the mistakes you’ve
made or anything like that?
A: Yeah. We’ve been together ten years now, and we’re learning new s#!t everyday. I think
when you stop learning s#!t is when you start falling off. You got to keep on going and keep
an open mind cause there’s so much crazy shit that can happen in this business, s#!t that I
never even expected. One thing that helps out is having a f@#king good friendship. It basically
it comes down to having a good time . . . Some people just want to get signed right off the
bat, you know? We didn’t get signed until four, five years ago, and we were around for five,
six years before that ever happened. And we didn’t feel we were ready, we were into playing
as much as we could around and just getting out of our town and playing an hour away in
San Francisco or down in LA.

L: What band’s music got you into playing a hard style of drums?
A: Well I was into the more technical shit when I was younger. I used to listen to the Rush
albums and shit, I still love that stuff but it’s like, I started to getting into metal like
Metallica and all these Bay Area bands like Death Angel. I got into Thrash…and Helmet. For
us it was more about energy. Sometimes we might have sloppy shows, but the energy would
make up for all that. We feed off all each other cause we’re homeboys.

L: Do you think you have to sell yourself to people?
A: Nah, f@!k that! All we really have is our music and we do what we do. The label wants us
touring and that’s what we want, and we’re the type of band that needs to tour so it’s cool.

“Ozzfest Interview” – 1998 // Chi

Chi – Bassist for the deftones 1998

How has the Ozzfest been so far for you?

It’s been great, it’s been amazing. I’m honored to be on the bill with all of these bands,
and a lot of these bands are old school bands, ya know, Sabbath, the oldest school band.
Let alone Slayer, Primus, stuff I grew up on. A lot of good new school acts.

How long have the deftones been together?

10 years.

10 Years?!

10 Years of boozin’ it up together. Since these guys were kids, ya know high school.
Getting grounded and not being able to make practice.

How would you describe your music?

Drunk Music.

First time I saw you live, I was blown away. You guys fucking rocked.

I appreciate it. I mean we all have different perceptions of what kind of band we are.
Which is cool, ya know? Stephen thinks he’s in a metal band. I think I’m in a punk band.
I’m not sure what Chino, Frank and Abe think, but everybody has their own perceptions of it.
We’re definitely more about having a good time, and being friends.

You and Chino in particular are mental on stage.

Yeah I am out of my mind on stage, and it makes me mellow the rest of the time, which is good.

Is there anyone you have gone out of your way to see on the tour so far?

Yeah, seriously at least half of the bands out here. Some of the new school bands,
like I don’t even listen to heavy music, I’m a blues guy.

What do you think of this seated audience stuff?

It’s different from what we’re used to, but it’s actually really cool to try and get the people
up, ya know? It’s humbling. You gotta work hard again, and I think that’s good.

Do you do any writing on the road?

We don’t really write together on the road. Everybody just parties. It’s more like everybody
individually writes, and we bring it all together later.

Are there any bands that you haven’t toured with that you would like to tour with?

Absolutely, one band in particular, and they said that next year it is definitely going to
happen and that is Tool. Which is cool. I don’t listen to heavy music, but what an unbelievable

When you get to Sabbath’s age, do you see yourself doing the same thing?

Hard to tell. I can’t tell.

If you weren’t making music, what do you think you would be doing?

You know, I love life and I love being alive, so I’d do anything.

What do you do to keep busy on the bus?

Besides drinkin. When I’m not on the bus, I meditate 2 to 3 times a day.

Is there anyone who musically inspires you?

Definitely. I love Ben Harper. Max Cavalera.


“Spin” – May, 1998 // Stef Interviewed

Stef intervied by SPIN (May,1998)

Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter is the taco the town.
An interview in five parts by Nicole DeCrescenzo.

SPIN: Do you all skate? You look like Skate Culture.

It’s weird, ’cause I don’t skate like I used to.
When I was a kid I wanted to be sponsored, and, you know,
the whole nine yards and then I got hit by a car and that
pretty much brought my skateboard culture to a screeching halt,
but I eventually picked it up when I started to walk again.

SPIN: How long were you not walking?

I was walking after two weeks. I mean, I just had pins sticking
out of my leg, I had a cast for a while, I had this and that, you know,
I have, like, a rod–I don’t know if it’s steel or titanium, what it’s
made out of but it’s right in the middle of my shin bone, basically.
I mean, I skate now, I can do whatever I want, basically. It’s probably
stronger than it ever was.

SPIN: How did the accident happen?

Drunk driver.

SPIN: Did you get money?

Yeah. I blew it. I sucked. But I never felt the accident.
To this day I never felt pain–I think I had divine intervention.
No. Not divine intervention, ’cause–I think I had a special kind
of divine intervention, I’m sure. Because I should have died–I was
blessed enough not to be shredded before my time.

SPIN: At what point did you get to quit the Job?
I got fired from my last job. I’ll tell you this story.
Me and Abe used to work at this Mexican place, and we had these meetings
about how the manager thought things were supposed to work. I showed up
to this meeting late, basically. I mean I didn’t want to act like a dick
and like I didn’t care, but I just blended in as quietly as possible,
didn’t pay any attention to him because I didn’t need to, really.
I really didn’t. I swear, I really didn’t, because I knew what he was
saying. He’s said it many times before.
So we open at 11, and the meeting ends at 10:30. So we had a half hour
to do basically everything that has to be done all morning long.
So everyone is running around like crazy and we had a huge order of a
bunch of stuff to make, right? And one of his rules was to not have
–this is going to sound so stupid–

On the grill, you know, we grill the chicken, right? And I would fill
the whole grill up. I’d leave an area to cook fish and shrimp and stuff,
right, but I would cook a ton of chicken because we went through so
much chicken, it was insane. All the time, right? You know, chicken tacos,
burritos, tostadas, et cetera. I’d have a big old container so we could
keep up with the demand, right?
Well, what he wanted was a little portion on the grill with chicken, and
just enough fish for the orders that you need. So basically I’d be behind
the whole time. His way, that he wanted, would not keep up with demand.
My way kept demand kickin’. But because they were my ways and not his ways,
he wouldn’t have it. No fucking joke. And at the time, I was pissed,
because I couldn’t believe I got fired for something so sorry.

SPIN: You’d want someone else to do your phone sex?

Well, I’d love to do it, but it wouldn’t be any good. Guys aren’t
going to call me. I could be a phone-sex operator, just not a gay
phone-sex operator. That’s what I’m saying. I would hire women to do
my phone-sex line. There’s more money there.

SPIN: Would you be like a celebrity endorsement? Would it
be Stephen Carpenter’s Phone-Sex Line?

That’d be kinda fresh. Like, “These are the hottest chicks.
I’ve hand-selected them myself.”

SPIN: Would you hand-select them?
Yeah, that’d be the easiest part.

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“Nick Terry” – September, 1998 // Chino Interviewed

Chino interviewed by Nick Terry
09/1997 – www.deftonesworld.com

By any recckoning, the Deftones are this autumn’s
Big Hip New Cool Band. With their second album
‘Around The Fur’ following hot on the heels of a
completely sold-out UK tour, the Sacramento band
could be set for stardom and all its usual
pitfalls very soon. Nick Terry caught singer
Chino Moreno and drummer Abe Cunnigham on this
cusp, and dug beneath the hype to discover one of
the more unlikely contenders for Metal
Megastardom to have waltzed along in a while.
All, it turns out, is not as it seems?

Vulnerable Display Of Power

It’s a truism that when a band arrives, some of
their potential audience departs. The sound of
disgruntled undergroundists leaving the room as
the Deftones move in on the popular affections of
the Metal-loving masses is already audible.
They’d need little provocation: after all, isn’t
an unholy triumvirate of New Metal Monstrosity
now complete, with Coal Chamber sitting at the
feet of King Korn, and Deftones placed at the
right-hand side? After a long hiatus, maybe we’ll
all learn to loathe Los Angeles once more, and
hold California in contempt, just like we used to
in the nightmare days of all those hair bands.
As a reaction to the already-swelling hype that
will descend on SoCal’s heavier bands in tandem
with a hundred A&Rs, this skepticism is probably
healthy and, in part at least, well-founded.
Funnily enough, it’s also a skepticism shared by
the Deftones themselves. This Sacramento band has
taken the long route round to success on these
shores, playing out across America on countless
support and headline tours, releasing a quietly
powerful debut album, ‘Adrenaline’ to less than
immediate acclaim. Having done it the hard way in
the back of a van in their home country, they’ve
arrived, all but out of the blue, over here, to
find themselves headlining the larger clubs of
the UK tour circuit and selling them out with
effortless ease. The hype, such as it has been,
has followed their flag, rather than the other
way around. Like it or not, until recently,
Deftones have been an almost underground
phenomenon here.
So that noise you’re now hearing is the murmurs
of all those who just don’t like being blindsided
by a band who took the outside lane to what now
looks like stardom. Ignore it, for the fact
remains that, sold out tours or no, heavily
pushed and marketed second albums or no, press
hype or no, there’s more than enough of worth and
interest here for anyone. And one last thing:
none of it has anything to do with Korn.

To be fair, little of the above has probably even
entered the minds of Chino Moreno, the Deftones’
lanky vocalist, or his sidekick and the band’s
drummer Abe Cunnigham, as they sit down backstage
to chat with me before a show that will once
again see the Astoria break fire regulation
records on account of its crammed-to-capacity
crowd. It’s as if they’ve parachuted into the
midst of an ongoing controversy and been caught
up in the crossfire. For the first few minutes,
all they can do is respond to my probing with the
kind of platitudes you’ll find in other
publications. The tour’s been amazing; the
crowd’s given them a great vibe; they play for
the love of the music, not because they want to
be rockstars. Don’t get me wrong: none of it’s
faked, lipsynched or rings in any way false. It’s
just that they’re saying exactly what you’d
expect them to say. Eventually, I remind them
they’re talking to a Metal magazine, not the NME.
Things start moving from there on in.
“Oh, I’ll talk Metal to any mag,” Chino replies.
“You know, with the mainstream mags is when I
really like to talk about Metal. Cause then they
get all bent out of shape. You know what? If
they’re gonna get all bent out of shape about me
talking about Metal, that’s them thinking they’re
too good for some style of music. Especially in
the States, if you say Metal, the first thing
they think of is Poison. So it’s hard just to say
you’re Metal, but we’re definitely not ashamed to
say we’re Metal.”
So, unlike Korn, you embrace the term?
“I’d say we’re definitely influenced by Metal,”
says the singer. “Of course. If you listen to us,
you can hear it. Metal’s probably the most
alternative music that’s available right now to
kids, you know. What’s being shoved down their
throats every day on the radio is so far from
being alternative, they want an alternative to
that, so I think they choose heavy music. Plus
with heavy music, it’s just the aggression of it
all, it’s good for the youth to follow it.”
But why do you think there’s this almost
embarrassment with the term in the States now? Do
you think it might be because of the likes of
Mötley Crüe? Have they maybe turned the term into
something of a, forgive the pun, Poisoned
“That’s terrible,” Chino returns. ” But this is
it, exactly. What happened was, it got ruined
because it became a scene. There were good Metal
bands, and a flash of Metal bands came out and
just ruined it. That’s exactly what I don’t want
to happen with what you consider our New Metal or
whatever you wanna call it, bands like us and
Korn, who make heavy, Metal-influenced music
that’s just on another level, and I’m just hoping
it doesn’t go the route where Heavy Metal went in
the first place and it just got over-popularised,
with bands that were doing half-assed jobs at it
starting getting on TV all the time. Then it just
gets ruined.”
Is that why you’re suspicious of the hype going
on at the moment with Southern California or this
new wave of Metal?
“Definitely. I see it because the media’s coming
out and saying we’re sounding like [other bands],
that there’s this new sound coming out, and it’s
scary to me. I don’t want it to become a scene,
cause the minute it becomes a scene, which it
already kinda is? that’s when everyone’s going to
put their hands in?”
“?sucking it dry,” adds Abe in a stage-whisper,
getting a rare word in edgeways.
“?and they’ll ruin it,” Chino continues, “the
whole reason why we’re doing this. The reason why
we’re doing this kind of music is not because we
wanna be in a band and try to be stars, we’re
doing this kind of music because this is what we
know, this is what we grew up on. This is what
made me who I am and all of us come together in
the first place. That’s what we want to do and
that’s what we want to continue to do and the
only way we’ll be able to continue to do this is
not to be put in a scene, because a new scene is
an old scene next year, you know what I mean? I
don’t wanna be part of that. I always wanted to
be a band like, say, Sonic Youth that can just
keep making records and not really be in a scene.
The only scene you can say they’re in is maybe
indie, but you know what, though? They stand on
their own, and they keep making records and keep
making records, and I’m sure they love every lick
of guitar they play or note they sing.”

You need only listen to the first few bars of the
very first song on Deftones’ debut album
‘Adrenaline’, ‘Bored’, to know that Chino isn’t
bullshitting. Unashamedly, it steals a classic
Sepultura riff, as if to say ‘Here I am – this is
where I come from’, and THEN, the voice comes in,
all but crooning, singing not screaming, totally
offsetting the aggression and brutality of the
rhythm. That, in a nutshell, is Deftones’
relationship with Metal: an influence, yes, a
spring-board, also, but not the whole of the
story. There’s more to it than that, but first,
let’s talk a little more about this one aspect.
Both ‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Around The Fur’ were
produced by Terry Date, best known for his work
with Pantera and White Zombie, and the new album
features ex-Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera on
the track ‘Head Up’, trading off vocals with
Chino in the way only Max can. It’s thanks to
Max’s relentless championing of the band that
Deftones have, in part, got as far as they have.
When Terrorizer talked to him the other month,
the first name that came out of his mouth when
asked what he’d heard lately that rocked his
world was, you guessed it, Deftones.
So, Chino, what did you think when you heard that
Max Cavalera say that ‘Adrenaline’ had been an
influence on ‘Roots’?
“I loved ‘Roots’. That’s? I just can’t even
comprehend how that makes me feel. It’s just the
biggest compliment I could ever get. We listened
to ‘Chaos AD’ on the bus last night. We played
with his new band a couple of months ago for a
benefit show for his stepson that passed away [in
Phoenix in August – NT], and his intensity
onstage, on tape, just in person, his vibe is the
best. I love the new demos. It’s equally as heavy
if not as heavy as Sepultura. Max is an angry man
right now, and he’s got every right to be. He’s
letting out some shit. It’s powerful. It’s some
of the most powerful stuff I’ve heard in ages. If
people like Sepultura, they’ll love Max’s new
Max just laid that shit down with Sepultura, and
he still continues to do that. That’s the first
Metal band that I thought, oh my God, this has to
be the best music in the world! A band like
Sepultura took Metal I think to another level,”
Chino finishes. “They didn’t come in wanting to
talk about skulls and death, they came and talked
about their feelings.”

Here’s the real meeting-ground between a band
like Sepultura and Deftones – not in the musical
carapace of riffage and rhythm, but in the
attitude and emotions expressed. I said earlier
that ‘Bored’ was Deftones in a nutshell, but by
no means the whole story. Watching them at the
Astoria tonight more than bears this out. For
every downtuned battering-ram of a tune, whether
it’s ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’, taken from the
new album, or a rendition of the track they
contributed to the ‘Crow II’ soundtrack,
‘Teething’, you get other songs which take this
band’s colossal live energy in totally different
directions. Completely able to slow down as well
as speed up, Deftones sprawl: few bands have this
great a grasp of dynamics. There’s undoubtedly
those here tonight who start getting restless
when Chino’s sob ‘n sigh heralds the arrival of
yet another midpaced or dragged-out number, or
who shift in their seats when Chi Cheng bangs his
bass and Stephen Carpenter wrings the neck of his
guitar in order to extort yet more
in-between-tune feedback. F*** ’em. There’s more,
far more to Deftones’ range than a constant
barrage of scream-and-shufflebeat New Metal
“Okay, so it feels good to beat your shit,” Chino
explains. “Aggression is a total natural feeling,
accepting that you have adrenaline in your body,
and it’s a natural thing to release that, that
comes out right away, but I think it’s harder to
be vulnerable. And actually, you can mend the
two, and merge the two together, in the music, so
that you can open yourself up and say, you know
what? This is me, and I’m not the hardest guy on
earth. I probably can’t kick your ass.
“What I really like is vulnerability, is being
vulnerable,” he continues. “I don’t know, I like
to see girls when they’re vulnerable. Vulnerable
girls always attract my attention right away. I
think ever since I was a kid, I liked that for
some reason. I’ve kinda detached myself from
that, too. On this record, between all the parts
when I’m lashing out, which aren’t too much on
this record, I put myself in the vulnerable
position, lyrically.”
In Metal terms, being vulnerable is quite a
radical gesture, not to be a tank steamrollering
over everything.
“But it’s cool! That’s how I would describe our
music. I would describe it as being aggressive,
vulnerable music, which are two opposite things.
That’s one of the biggest things about the band
that we have, is that we don’t stand up and say
these are our beliefs, and throw ’em out to
people. We don’t have any message that we’re
trying to send across all the time. We don’t go,
we’re hard and we’re heavy as shit. Our music is
so much more heavier than some of that shit when
people are just going, ‘Aaaaaargggh!’. Nothing
against that kind of music, but if you let your
shield down for a minute and let your true self
out for a minute, that could be heavier than you
screaming anything. You can just say something in
complete honesty and in a nomal tone of voice and
it can be twenty times heavier than the loudest
scream than you can belt out of yourself.”
Thirty times louder than bombs, Deftones’ second
album totally bears this out. Its predecessor
came over like a cross between Sepultura and
Fugazi, or Pantera and Tool, especially towards
its closing, where the final two tracks, ‘Eingine
No. 9’ and ‘Fireal’, took the tempo down to a
sinister torpor. ‘Around The Fur’, too, has its
gloriously slow moments, not least ‘Mascara’, a
total kissing cousin to anything put out by the
likes of Slint and Rodan. And as with Slint, what
makes Deftones so great is this rise and fall,
this rollercoaster flow: a combination of
eardrum-shredding noise and almost catatonic
melancholy. Both bands, then, offer a vulnerable
display of power.
Chino goes wide-eyed when I mention Slint, and so
do I when he acknowledges the reference-point.
“Oh yeah. I love them. I can definitely see that.
I’m glad people notice it. The thing is, I’m not
saying we got that from Slint, we listened to a
lot of the same music that Slint listened to.
People will say, ‘how do you listen to this
trash?’ You know what? It’s not trash, it’s real
music, they’re not being in these bands to make
money. A lot of people know that you don’t get
into Indie music if you wanna make money. It’s
Indie for a reason. It’s making music because you
love it. I don’t know if you ever heard the band
Girls Against Boys, they’re a band we all love,
you can call them indie. I love that shit. That’s
just straight emotion going on there, powerful
shit. There’s this record by them, ‘Venus Luxure
No. 1 Baby’, to me, that record is heavier? I
don’t want to name albums, but damn, that record
is one of the heaviest records of all time,
emotionally and everything.”

Even if you try and shut out Deftones’ slower
side, you can’t ignore the fact that, as Chino
says at one point, their heavier songs go places,
too. It’s this dynamic approach – stop-start,
loud/quiet, build and destroy – that makes the
band’s current success such a delicious irony.
Rock-club fodder they may be, but we’re talking
about a band who take inspiration from Indie
music (though, it should be said, underground
Indie music) and don’t care who knows it.
Suddenly, Chino’s flopping and cavorting onstage
looks less like the work of Jonathan Davis’ kid
brother, and more like the actions of a man who
probably wants to be both Phil Anselmo and
Morrissey, all wrapped up in one. And as it turns
out, even ‘Around The Fur’s bruising opener,
‘Shove It’, fits in with this spiel.
“‘Shove It’ is a song about the sun and the
daylight,” Chino explains. “When we were doing
the record, I was just getting irritated by the
daytime. Me and him [points to Abe] shared a
room, put foil over the windows cause we wanted a
bit of solitude. So the song is somewhat like, in
my onw summer, I would prefer for there to be no
sun, you know what I mean? For there just to be
no one on the streets, somewhat like Armaggedon
or an apocalyptic kind of thing.”
Isn’t that a bit unusual for a band from Southern
Chino smirks in acknowledgement. “Yeah,
definitely. Usually in Seattle, where we
recorded, it’s rainy and dreary, and I like that.
I get off on depressing music, like I’m a big
Morrissey fan. People will wanna shoot me after
this interview! I’m not embarrassed at all,
because I love depressing music.”
So you could say that ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’
is a bit like a Metal version of ‘Everyday Is
Like Sunday’, then?
“You could! He’s talking about Armaggedon in that
song. ‘My Own Summer’ is basically something of a
take-off of that song. I love that feel, when you
put on some music and it can almost be eerie. The
actual song ‘My Own Summer’ is straightforward,
pounding. The riff’s kinda cryptic, but it’s
heavy all the time. If you read the lyrics,
you’ll understand what’s going down, and it’s
just asking the clouds to come down and please
shove the sun aside, and that’s what it’s saying.
But I’m screaming!”
Is there any kind of conclusion we can come to?
Anywhere we can fit you into?
“I would just say, you know, it’s just completely
intense,” Chino concludes. “The whole vibe of it
all. It goes through a lot of different moods,
usually always heavy but it has a lot of melody
and a lot of sorrow, a lot of emotions. It goes
through a lot of different emotions that
everybody goes through in everyday life. A lot of
people can tap into that and that’s what I think
draws them to us. Basically, it’s just emotional
Over the years, I’ve had everyone from Slint to
Sepultura and Godflesh say the exact same thing
as Chino just did. You know what? He’s right.
Just because Deftones are the Big Hip New Cool
band of this autumn, doesn’t mean they can’t be
genuine. Go figure, but more importantly, go

“Loudside” – February, 1998 // Stef and Chino Interviewed

Chino and Stef interviewed by Matteo Cipolla (loudside.com)
© February 1998


On the 10th of February 1998, the Deftones were supposed to play in a little club here in Milan,
Italy. Everybody knows they are one of the hottest bands around, and Italy was no exception
with the tickets sold out in a few days and the promoters forced to change the venue.
The band finally played in the best club of the city, the place that hosted performances by
artists like Counting Crows, Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow among the others….
Some hours before the band is due to join the stage, I have the chance to chat a little with
Chino and Steph. Our conversation doesn’t take place in a plush hotel….no, the Deftones are
too down to earth for that sort of thing. I meet them in a normal cafè, the place where you
wouldn’t expect a famous band to hang out…..

Me: You have been touring even before “Around the Fur” was released…how did the crowd react
to the new material?

Chino: I think it was still pretty good…..obviously it wasn’t as good as it is now that the
people know the music, but it was still pretty intense….

Me: A few months after the record was released, is there something you would change?

Chino: No, not really. There were songs that we were still writing when we finished up the
record and I wish we could have put on it but as far as the record goes, it’s fine, it’s good.
There’s a couple of little tiny things like vocals or whatever that maybe I would have…

Steph: (laughing) He’s never happy…

Chino: What would you change?

Me: Nothing, I would have just put the lyrics to the hidden song…

Chino: “Damone”?

Me: Yes

Chino: We put them on the internet….so everybody who’s interested can find them there.

Me: I heard about a collaboration between you, Chino, and Max from Soulfly.
Could you tell us more about that?

Chino: After he (Max) came in the studio and did “Head Up” with us ,he called me about a week
later and said he had such a good time working, and he’d wanted to do a project with me.
I said “okay”, and we said what we’ll do is just me and him, and we’ll bring some of our
favorites, just to collaborate…

Me: You already have some name for the project?
Chino: No…we haven’t even started making it… perhaps is what we are going to do with the
summer. In July we are planning on recording some stuff but… he has just started getting
Soulfly together, so there is really no time to record stuff. Hopefully we are going to have
some time to record next year… or later this year.

Me: You always try to promote new bands, bringing them on tour with you and talking about them
in interviews. Which are the new bands we can look forward in ’98?

Chino: I really like Will Haven, really powerful. Human Waste Poject, System of a Down….

Steph: I heard them (System of a Down) here today, we got a demo.

Chino: It was okay… Snot are cool as well…

Steph: We played with Snot… and another cool band from Sacramento are Tinfed, they are
excellent too. You can contact them at tinfed@aol.com, and they’ll send you some stuff.
They are really good, they have been around as long as we have… if I had to describe them,
they are like Nine Inch Nails… but I think better, because they write songs… it’s groovy,
but it’s a different kind. I’ ve been listening to their tape as much as Nine Inch Nails, and
not to down Nine Inch Nails, which is awesome… but I like the Tinfed tape even more… to me
it’s more songs… there is a really cool groove…

Me: Let’s talk about the meaning of the lyrics now… “Lotion” for example has some angry lines
on it. Is there any particular person you are referring to?

Chino: Yes, there is… there’s a certain person that I can’t really tell… a person who
fucked with me. It’s not about a girl though… it can be about anyone.

Me: What does the song “MX” mean?
Chino: The song was first called “Max”, because when we wrote the song, the riff was similar
to something that Max (Cavalera, Soulfly singer) would make. When we went in the studio,
Steph took out the “a”… and it’s now called “MX”…

Me: We know that your main influences, especially when you were younger, were Depeche Mode,
Duran Duran and stuff like that. Which are your “new” influences? I know you are massive
Weezer fans…

Chino: Yes. I like anything that has some kind of passion… and I think Weezer rocks.

Me: You (Steph) love them too, don’t you?

Steph: Oh man… I love them!

Me: Are you going to play some covers tonight? Like “Say it ain’t so” from Weezer?

Chino: I don’t know. Maybe…

Steph: I think we love playing it… what is hard about it now is that people expect us to play

Chino: Whenever we do covers we never plan to play them, we just do whatever we feel like.
Like last night, when we played a Bad Brains song.

Me: You’ll be busy touring Europe until March. What’s next for the band? Any chance to see
you guys playing with Korn at the “Family Values” tour or on the Ozzfest ’98 bill?
What’s next for the band?

Chino: Probably just touring back and forth and doing a lot of festivals here, and then going
back (in the U.S.A.) and doing the “Warped” tour. Many festivals, and then we’ll be going in
Japan, Australia and we’d like to go in South America as well.

Me: Mtv and radio have never been very friendly with your music, and many fans can have info
about the band, watch the videos or simply meet themselves through the Internet. What’s your
point of view on the whole “Internet” thing?

Steph: Good. I mean, it’s just another meaning like the telephone, like the TV, like the radio.
but all in one. And you can change it and dress it anyway you like it, it doesn’t have to be
in a certain way. It’s cool that people from around the world can meet themselves and talk
about everything, not only the band. I think the people that are afraid of it shouldn’t be
afraid of it ’cause there’s nothing really bad into it, it’s definitely a good thing.

Me: Did you find any differences between European and American audiences? Like the way of
moshing…over here many people just jump up and down…

Steph: I think it’s much cooler like that. People here don’t try to hurt each other, while in
the U.S.A…. I can’t say all the people, but there’s always some dickhead in the crowd that
doesn’t even know what it’s about… and they get into the audience just to get involved in
fights. I think people are starting to realize that. When metal was really popular it was
more like of a “pit thing”, everybody was always running in circles and just being a group
kind of thing… and then you got everybody throwing each other around and stuff…

Chino: There was a kind of punk influence to it….punk and metal….and that’s when the people
started getting crazy.

Steph: I think people are starting to realize that there is no need for violence in the crowd,
do it (surfing) if you like to have a good time, but there’s no need to hurt each other,
have fun!

Me: You wrote a couple of songs for two soundtracks ( “The Crow 2” and “Escape from L.A.”),
and you even played in the Duran Duran tribute album. Have you got any new songs written for
some future soundtrack or tribute album?

Chino: We have a couple of songs that we…actually we have one song that we didn’t put on our
record and some remixes for “Be quiet and Drive” that…..maybe someone wants to hear.
But this time I think we’ll try to pick up a movie better, we want to make sure that it is a
good movie. The “Escape from L.A.” thing is pretty ridiculous… I like the song we did for
it, but i think the film it’s pretty stupid.

Me: And what about the part that you played in “The Crow 2”?

Chino: I think that was more just an experience. Our first record wasn’t even out yet, and I
think that we were just so excited that someone wanted us to be in a motion picture that we
accepted to do it. After it’s done I think it was just basically what it was…it was cool
to go in a movie theatre and watching yourself on the big screen.

Me: What does D.J. Frank do live and on the record? Is he the fifth member?

Chino: Yep… on the record he does the sounds… like in the song “My own Summer (Shove it)”,
in the middle part there is a little sound… that’s his stuff. He’s on Adrenaline as well,
like on “Minus Blindfold”…

Me: And now, the question many fans were waiting for… Chino, what do you say in “7 Words”
after “squeal like a pig…”?

Chino: That’s the question I get all the time…

Me: You always change it?

Steph: (laughing) No…

Chino: The truth is that I don’t say anything, I just kind of inhale….and I think the
only word that I know that I was saying was “fuck”….when we recorded the demo for that
song, we had only written the song about a week before recording it, and I didn’t have any
lyrics to it ,so I wrote all the lyrics in the studio and I just made noises.
When we recorded the record version of it, I just copied what I did on the demo tape,
which is basically just the same thing.. I don’t really say anything…

Steph: (laughing) We can’t tell you the truth or we’ll have to kill you….

Stephen was obviously joking, and later that night, I was standing outside of the venue
waiting for the doors to be open and to get the best seats for one of the hottest tour of ’98.
At about 8.15 pm, the sound out of the P.A. fades away, and Will Haven join the stage.
Their set is formed by songs taken mainly from their latest release, “El Diablo”, and it’s
not hard to understand what Chino means for “powerful”. Will Haven rock hard, and songs like
“Foreign Film”, “Ego’s game” or “I’ve seen my Fate” prove that they are one of the heaviest
bands you’ll see this year. When Will Haven’s performance is finished, the crowd starts
getting anxious, which sums up what the Deftones mean to all these people. At about 9.30 pm,
Chino & Co. join the stage, and kick off the show with a rocking version of “Be quiet and
Drive (Far Away)”, followed by “Lotion” and others tracks from Around the Fur. The first
highlight and sing-along of the night comes when Chino introduces the band’s current single,
“My Own Summer (Shove It)”. The place becomes hot, and when many fans join the stage and sing
with Chino, you realize how much fun the crowd is having. The concerts goes on with the band
performing gems like “7 Words”, “MX”, “Head Up” and a great version of the Weezer’s mega-hit
“Say it ain’t so”. In the end, they play a Suicidal Tendencies cover and a mighty performance
of “Engine #9”, which means the crowd went absolutely crazy….. At about 11.00 pm, the concert
is finished… the Deftones earthquake has hit Italy, and is now coming to a venue near you
very very soon. What you are going to see is one of the best shows you’ll ever see in years…
..you are warned.