“Latin MTV” – November, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

The Deftones interviewed by Latin MTV
November, 2000
Translated by: NR
————————————–

Would you like to sing some song in Spanish?

CHINO: Next month we will record a song with Cypress Hill and we are planning to sing a
little bit in Spanish. He’s gonna rap in Spanish.

STEF: I would like to see “MASCARA” in Spanish.

Why Vodka with Gatorade?

STEF: We like to invent things.

CHINO: No, it is powerful, for that reason I like. It gives you energy and it
puts you with crossed-eyes.

Since age began to smoke marijuana?

CHINO: I began when it was small, but then I stopped.
Once, I almost called my mother and tell her that.
It gaves me a kind of a heart attack and they had to take me to the hospital.
Then I stopped of smoking for 8 years. But now there is so much marijuana to my
surroundings that I cannot control.

Why did you cut your dreads?

CHINO: Because they were very dirty.

What do they think of what is happening between Metallica and Napster?
Do they believe that the internet is affecting them?

CHINO: I’m not sure if it is affecting us. I know that many people have downloaded our songs,
but our record stills being the number 3 of all records. I am fan of the internet and I don’t
want to enter in the means, but Metallica has a lot of reason in what they say, and at the same
time I think that they didn’t have to get angry because it is for their fans.
I don’t think that Napster wants to take possession of everything, but it wants to make it for
the fans. I remember that when I was a kid they didn’t have this things, and I had to look
for and to buy disks.

Have you downloaded songs from the internet?

STEF: Yes, a little. What I download more is pornography! I think that if you put more rules
to something, worse it will get in front of the rest of the world.
The internet gives us freedom, there’s no rules.

CHINO: The internet is like our link between us and our fans. Especially to our fans that
live in other countries.

Stef, tell me your plans. You’re about to move to Mexico.

STEF: Yes, I would like to go and learn more about Mexico.
I am not moving because I am Mexican.

Are your parents Mexican not?

STEF: My mother is Mexican and my father is north American.

And youre Chinese?

CHINO: My mother is half-spanish and half-chinese and my father is Mexican.

Do you know how to speak Spanish?

CHINO: I speak, but I don’t want you to laugh at me.

Many happiness for your new album White Pony. It has a lot of melody. Tell me about the melody.

CHINO: I like music that has emotion and love. Honestly, that can be in any music type.
We try to incorporate all that we have listened from small and we make this way our music.

What music type were you listening when you were recording the WP?

CHINO: Everything.

STEF: There are records that we always listen in different stages of our lives.
We listen everything. We don’t listen classic music or country, but we don’t have anything
against it.

“Antix.com” – October, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

The Deftones interviewed by Vinny Cecolini
October, 2000

<—————–>

Vinny Cecolini: The wait is finally over.

Chino Moreno: I can’t say that I was confident the whole time we were creating this masterpiece.
Once we finished mastering the record, however, I listened back to it and it changed my life.
I love it more than I love anything else now. It is an aural hug that is just waiting to get
out there and embrace people.

VC: Is it true that some of your fans criticized the band for getting too soft?

CM: When we recorded Adrenaline, everyone was upset that I wasn’t singing. They said I was
yelling. I was asked to take some of my yelling out of the songs because the record company
was afraid that people would not embrace our music. Now people are coming up to me and asking
me why Deftones have gotten soft. I just can’t win.

Frank Delgado: We can’t listen to what people say. I look at this band as if we were all in a
big car. If anyone wants to go for a ride, we’ll open the door and they can jump in. If not,
stand back. We’re on our way.

CM: I started [this controversy] by saying White Pony would not be as aggressive as our previous
records. What I meant to say is that this record would not be full of senseless aggression.

VC: When I spoke to you last summer, Chino, you were concerned about being lumped in with the
New Metal or Adidas Rock movement.

CM: I had recently read a magazine article where the writer compared us to Limp Bizkit. There
would be no Limp Bizkit if it wasn’t for Deftones and Korn. There are people who realize who we
are, but there are also kids who buy the records, who watch MTV and see videos
like [Limp Bizkit’s] “Nookie.” I was concerned that some of those kids would not be aware that
we’ve been around five years longer than bands like Limp Bizkit. When these kids hear heavy
music with a groove to it, they are going to compare it.

VC: What is the story behind the title White Pony?

CM: There really isn’t a story. I came up with the title before we started working on the
record. It is just a title that stands alone. And that is how I look at our sound; it is its
own entity. And I always loved the title [of Paul Simon’s album] One Trick Pony.

VC: Although Deftones originally stopped touring in early 1999 to begin writing material for
the new record, the band accepted an invitation to join Ozzfest, a decision it now regrets.

CM: We knew what we were getting into. After a while, it felt stagnant and dragged out. We only
enjoyed ourselves when we were on stage. It wasn’t a challenging tour. Looking back, I wish we
had continued to write music. Financially it was successful for us, but it didn’t inspire us.

Stephan Carpenter: We’re a lazy band. After we were back in the rehearsal studio, our creative
juices began to flow. There were times when I would leave practice complaining that I just
wanted to play some heavy stuff. We were all in a different mindset when we began writing this
record. That’s probably why it took so long to record this record. There was a lot of
compromising involved. But we all met at a certain spot.

VC: White Pony’s creation process was documented on www.Deftones.com. While the band was in the
studio, snippets of music and video footage would periodically be posted on the site.

SC: The Web site is our avenue to our fans.

CM: When I was growing up, I was often frustrated trying to find information on my favorite
bands. I was into mainstream music, but I was also into types of music that you had to go out
of your way to find; music that you just had to turn your friends onto. That is why making
those little clips for the Web gets me excited. It is not too much information. It is
just enough to wet the fans’ appetites.

VC: Some fans were frustrated by the numerous delays releasing White Pony.

CM: I didn’t know the record was done until it was mastered. I knew we weren’t going to make
wack shit, but I did not know exactly what we had accomplished until it was done.

Chi Cheng: It is the result of five different people with diverse perspectives getting together
for a year and making a record.

SC: From the first day we got together to work on this record to the day we put the finishing
touches on it, it was both the best and worst of times. We are such picky motherfuckers that it
took all of what each of us had to make this thing.

VC: If the band was able to self-edit, what did producer Terry Date bring to the table?

CM: He is able to piece it all together. He knows us all too well. When we were recording our
first album, we were considering doing a Smiths cover and he said, “If you do this, I am not
going to put my name on this record.”

CC: We have since opened his mind to a lot of things.

VC: Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan co-wrote and duets with Moreno on
“Passenger.” The two distinct vocalists compliment each other.

CM: He is a bad ass motherfucker.

CC: And he works in the complete opposite way that we work. WeÕre kicking around and drinking
beer and he is real efficient. It was great to see how he approaches things.

VC: Moreno guests on the new Soulfly record, Primitive, contributing lyrics and vocals to the
song “Pain.” It is the third song Moreno and Soulfly leader Max Cavalera have recorded in
tribute to Cavalera’s stepson Dana, who was killed by a hit and run driver a few years ago.
Cavalera recently said that the lyrics Moreno wrote “are from the heart,” because the vocalists
knew Dana.

CM: Max is a very spiritual person. “Pain” was a difficult song, because I wanted to do
something different. I had just finished recording this record and my creativity was [spent].
But Dana was a friend of ours. If anyone asks me to [make a guest appearance] I’ll do it,
because I like to work with other people, but at the time, I needed to slow down. But you can’t
say no to Max. When I went into the studio with Soulfly everything fell into place. It was fun
because [Will Haven vocalist] Grady [Avenell] was also a part of it. We didn’t do a typical
chorus where we are all together screaming at the top of our lungs. We cut the song up
rhythmically where everyone got his own syllable. It was like an old Beastie Boys song.

VC: Deftones has been accused of mellowing or growing soft, but in years to come, your sound
and style will inevitably be mimicked.

CM: I disagree. I think it would be hard to imitate what we do, because I don’t know what we’re
doing half of the time. I listen to the finished version of some of the songs on this album and
wonder how we ever came up with them. Songs like “Teenager” and “RX Queen” were spawned from
nothing. There was no agenda; no frame of reference.

VC: Do you regret not selling out and going after a New Metal hit?

CM: We’ve made a lot of hard decisions in our career. Sure, we could be bigger than we are
right now. We’ve turned down things that could have benefited us immediately, but would have
jeopardized our art and our longevity. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. We want to make
decisions where we will be able to sleep at night. We’ve had to sit around and watch bands who
came after us doing bigger and better things than we’re doing. Of course they’re different, but
it is difficult to think that we’ve turned down opportunities they’ve capitalized on. The thing
that keeps us going is knowing that we will be around for a long while.

SC: I feel successful with the last two records, but I think that this is such a good record
that twice as many people should hear it.

CM: It will not provide instant gratification. But the more you listen to it, the more you will
like it. By the time the record really kicks in, it will be the fall, which is the perfect time.
I think it is a sullen record. It is, at times, a sad record. That doesn’t mean that it is a
depressing record. For instance, the first single, “Change (In the House of Flies)” is very
somber, but by the end of the song the listener and the [narrator] are victorious. You have
your hands in the air. That is why I like bands like Sepultura and the Bad Brains. Their music
is not skeletons and death, their music is about love. It is an audio hug. And like I said
earlier, our record is a straight-up audio hug.

“KROQ” – October, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

deftones Interview held on KROQ’s Kevin & Bean show 8/10/00
TRANSCRIBED by Nick2k steaming79@aol.com)
===================================================================

K&B: We are pleased to welcome to the KROQ studio, ladies & gentlemen, the deftones.

::CLAPPING::

deftones: Helloooooo…

K&B: Welcome guys. What’s up you guys?

Chino: What’s goin’ on? K&B: It’s weird And have we’ve been doing this show since you were
little boys. And we’ve had lots and lots and lots of bands come here in the mornings.
You guys are the loosest for guys first here in the morning who are gettin’ ready to play
on the radio.

Chino: That’s because we are already drunk.

::everyone laughing::

Chino: We was drinking mimosas already since we woke up.

Stef: That’s the key right there!

K&B: Now let me ask you this…because everybody knows the deftones are one the bands that
just loves to tour. That’s kinda how you have sold a million or so records in your career.
But you really have the fanbase, the fans that come out that support you that love you. Right?

Chino: Well, our shows…basically our records are advertisements for our shows basically.
That’s how we look at it.

K&B: Now here’s my question, when you’re out on the road all the time like you guys, how do
you have time to watch ‘Survivor’?

Chino: Man, I ain’t tryin’ to watch ‘Survivor’. ::Laughing::

Chino: That’s wack! ‘Survivor’ is wack. ‘Big Brother’ is wack. They ALL wack.

K&B: You’re not on board with the ‘Survivor’?

Chino: Oh hell no. You gotta understand we watch skate videos and stuff, man. Those videos
are straight insane compared to watching ‘Survivor’ and stuff like that.

K&B: How is it, I understand that you guys said in the past & forgive me for asking you to
repeat yourselves, that kinda skateboarding is what brought you guys together right?

Chino: Pretty much. That was a common interest and all with all of us. Uhm, I knew Stephen
from my neighborhood. So we probably became friends when we like ten or eleven years old.
And from skateboarding is kinda the common interest that brought us all together. And then
Abe the same way, but I knew him from school, and it was just like a different click. But we
were all skateboarders so after school we would all congregate behind the school. And instead
of getting in trouble we’d be skating. But we’d still get into y’know. But it was more of
something that kept us from goin’ just completely crazy.

K&B: Are you used to the fact now that you’re a freakin’ band? Are you used to that yet or…

Chino: Yeah it’s cool, I think that’s one of the most unique things about us. We’ve been
friends before anything for many years. You know what I mean? I was laughing to today because
people were coming to me because I guess there was something on the internet saying we were
gonna break up. If we were gonna break up, we would’ve broke up a LONG time ago, man.

K&B: Who’s idea was for the band, you?

Chino: Uh…Stephen’s really. Yeah, Stephen at the time I was starting to hang out with Stephen
he had a bunch of band equipment in his garage, but he didn’t really have a band. Everyone from
the neighborhood would come over and just pick up and instrument and…

K&B: I bet your neighbors loved that…

Stef: Oh yeah they loved it…I saw the police every day.

K&B: They were always calling the police because you were being too loud? Stef: Yeah, I knew
the police by first name.

K&B: What is the ‘White Pony’, the name of the record, if you don’t mind me asking?

Chino: Uhm, basically it started out with the symbol itself of the white pony. And the
basically we kinda looked at it as a symbol of our individuality. Its like this white horse
that stands on its own. Y’know, we came up with the logo at first along with the name and it
kinda was something that would represent this record. It’s sorta like propaganda in a way
where we would blanket the cities with this logo. With half of the people saying, “Well, what
does that mean?”. Then give them the record and say, “That’s what that means.”.

::hahaha::

K&B: ‘White Pony’ is the CD. ‘Change In the House of Flies’, a creepy little song. Tell us
about it before you play it for us.

Chino: It’s like towards the middle of the whole writing process we came up with this song and
unlike most songs it was written out of a jam in a way as opposed to alot of other songs where
I’d come in with an idea, or Stephen would come in with an idea or whoever, this is one of the
songs where we just kinda playing it and it just came out. So its one of my favorites I think
off the record.

K&B: Cool… Alright, well let’s give it a try.

“Las Vegas Review Journal” – August 11, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

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.”

“Alternative Press” – August, 2000 // Deftones Interviewed

AP (Alternative Press) – 145 – AUGUST 2000

* www.deftonesworld.com *

“KNIFE FIGHTS. ABDUCTIONS. BREAKDOWNS.”

These are just a few of the dark theme and incidents that shaped and delayed the Deftones
anticipated new album, White Pony. Aidin Vaziri pries open this gift horse’s mouth and takes a
good look down its throught.

DEFTONES
Ride On

It’s mid-afternoon and the members of the Deftones are just crawling out of their beds at a
Petaluma motel. They have spent the last three days rehearsing for a pair of warm-up shows
in this small Northern California town in anticipation of the release of their third Maverick
full-length, White Pony. The last time all five members played together was eight months ago,
and that was just a one-off thing. Before that, it was last summer’s Ozzfest, where they only
had to perform onstage for a half an hour. Tonight’s show will be three times as long, and the
band’s nerves are starting to show.
The new album sounds dramatically different that anything they have done in the past, so it has
taken them a while to translate the new music to the live setting. For frontman Chino Moreno,
who claims to get stage fright even under the best of circumstances, this gig has been the
source of major turmoil for the past week. “I woke up this morning going, ‘Oh my God, we have
to perform tonight,’” he says. “I’m fucking tripping.”

The gap between performances is the longest the Deftones have gone without playing onstage
together in their 12-year existence. When they were starting out in nearby Sacramento, the
band used to rehearse every night in guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s garage. That is, until his
mother got sick of the racket and gave them the boot. After that they played all the local
clubs until they were courted and signed by Madonna’s Maverick label. Soon after, they started
touring, spreading the word about their 1995 debut, Adrenaline. They steadily progressed from
playing dives to guesting major festivals to headlining shows. But after their second album,
1997’s Around The Fur, kept them on the road for nearly two years, the Deftones decided to lay
low for a while. They all took separate vacations and only reconvened when they had to begin
work on the new album.

While much noise has been made about the delays that held up the release of the White Pony,
the band claims they simply needed the time to recharge their batteries. When they did enter the
studio once again, they ended up spending four months on the making of White Pony, double the
time they spent on Around The Fur. And even with producer Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera)
back on board for the sessions, the album somehow came out sounding wildly different from the
first two discs. During their time away, the Deftones had re-invented themselves as spiritually
enlightened beings of the new century. Now they sound like no other band: They’re a psychedelic
band with an all-too-real grasp on reality. They’re a hard rock band with a vulnerable
underbelly. They’re an experimental band with heart-sinking melodies.

Today, the Deftones seem rather anxious about how this new direction is going to sit with their
fans. While Moreno works himself into a blind panic, each of the band’s members deal with the
situation in his own way. Drummer Abe Cunningham and DJ Frank Delgado get lost in quiet
contemplation. Bassist Chi Cheng turns his focus to completing work on his forthcoming
spoken-word album. And Carpenter takes it upon himself to mercilessly rile the other guys,
to ensure that they’re all in a more fragile mental state than he is come show time.
Thus far he’s successful. Everyone’s a bit fraught, so they decide to get something to eat.
A table is being held at a restaurant across the street from the motel. The band piles into
three separate cars for the 30-second drive. Upon arrival, however, Moreno declares the place
unsuitable, so the caravan sets off again across town to a local brewery. Within minutes of
the band’s arrival, Carpenter insults the sprightly waitress. Fortunately, the whole situation
is quickly ironed out and everyone gently comes back down to earth.
Moreno slouches in his eat and lets his head fall back. “People think when you’ve got a record
deal, you’ve made it,” he sighs. “But there’s a lot of shit that comes with it. You have to
make a lot of people happy, including your fans. Our fans are hardcore. I don’t want to do
anything to let them down.”

Has the album turned out the way you imagined it would?
Chino: I don’t think we so much envisioned how it was going to turn out, but in the end
we were all happy with the way it turned out. From the beginning, we honestly didn’t know
exactly what we wanted to do.

There were rumors that you were turning into perfectionists in the studio. Is there any truth
to that?
Chino: We’re just lazy. We took a long time on the album, true, but a lot of it wasn’t
recording, it was writing. Actually, it wasn’t even writing; it was trying to write.

Did you go through a dry spell?
Chino: I don’t think anybody had a block on them. In the beginning, Stephen would write
songs or I would write songs and we would plays them, but we weren’t all writing songs
together until halfway through the writing process. That’s when it started to come together.

What was the turning point?
Chino: When we wrote “Change (In The House Of Flies).” That was one of those defining songs
were we we all wrote together. It started out with Stephen and I playing guitar and Frank
doing his keyboard thing over it. Right then, everybody joined in. Nobody told anybody else
what to do, it all just came out freely. That’s when it all started to come together.

How many songs were you dealing with at any given time?
Chino: We only recorded about 13 songs, and I only put vocals on 10 of them. I had two weeks
booked for my vocals and I ended up spending two months. They scheduled it so I would do a
song a day, but I would do a song every three days. I would start one song, do a certain
amount of it and go on to another song. It just happened that way.

Was there any external pressure to get the album done quicker?
Frank: A lot of people wanted us to hurry up and get this out, but we were kind of like,
“Fuck them. We work at our own pace.”

Do you think you may have unintentionally stretched out the recording process because it
afforded you a break from the tour-and-promotion grind?
Chino: I’ll tell you one thing, by the time we started working on the record I was tired of
touring. I wanted to go in and write more music. I was excited to do that. When Ozzfest came
up, I wasn’t too happy to do that. I was ready to come home the whole time. So it was a break
from all that. In a way, it was a vacation to write a record, and that’s how we looked at it.
We just wanted to take our time.

White Pony is not like your first two albums. Do you think it better reflects your personal
tastes?
Chino: The extremes of the highs and lows just became more intensified. This one is more open.
It’s laid out a little better.

Chi: This time it all came around. We didn’t feel like we had anything to lose, so we made the
record we wanted to make.

Frank: It may sound selfish, but we just wanted to make a record that we would like, that we
would listen to. We weren’t trying to make an album for the fans. We weren’t trying to make a
record for the label. We were trying to make a record for us. So that’s what we did.

It’s a pretty diverse-sounding collection of songs.
Is there a them that ties the album together?
Chino: Not really. Lyrically, the only thing I did differently-which is kind of a big thing-is
I basically didn’t sing about myself on this record. I made up a lot of story lines and some
dialogue, even. I took myself completely out of it and wrote about other things. Once I did
that I was able to sing about anything I wanted to. As long as I can identify with what I was
writing-some thing seductive, sad or angry-I could be a lot more general.
There’s a lot of stuff on this record that people are going to question me about, and I can
just remove myself from it. It’s not me. I’m writing a story here. I’m just filling up this
space with some thought that is enjoyable.

You all have such strong personalities. How do you find a common ground with your music?
Chino: I don’t know.

Frank: Music. We don’t talk about it at all. We just get on stage and make it work. All of
us enjoy eachother’s company even though we irritate each other so much. I don’t know how to
explain it.

Do you take criticism well from each other?
Chino: That’s the thing, we would take criticism if we were all cool about it, but we’re not
like that. We’re just like, “Man, that shit is fucking wack!”

Stephen: We talk so much shit. We try to hurt each other every day, all day long.

Chino: We’re all insecure. As much confidence as we have, we all have that insecure button
that we all know each of us has. Motherfuckers make a point to push that shit.

Frank: But you get us together to make some music or play a show and we’re unstoppable.

How do you get anything done?
Stephen: That’s the mystery.

Frank: That’s what this album is: It’s the whole fucking beating down process. That’s it man.

Chino: There was a few times making this record that Terry Date was like, “I’m out.”
Stephen has made him quit on every album. In fact, we both quit the same night.

Stephen: I quit, too.

How long did that last?
Stephen: About 45 minutes; [until] after the joint was lit up. Terry Date has quit on every
record. [On] the first album [after] he quit, I felt bad. I thought, “Maybe I’m a dick.”
The second record, he did it again. But he keeps coming back. This time, I’m like, “Fine,
motherfucker, go home. I’ll get someone else in here.” You can’t threaten me, because I’m
like, “Go ahead.”

Chino: You know, we still had a fun time doing this. As much drama as there was, it was all
made up. Another thing, man, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater , that shit held us up like a
motherfucker, I swear to God, we would come into the studio in the daytime and play that
thing until thee in the morning. Terry had to come out of the studio every few hours to try
to get us in there.

Frank: It brought me to tears many a day, man. I was crying.

So you were up against writer’s block, interband turmoil and video-game addiction?
Chino: Yeah, and every day was Mimosa Monday. It turned into Momosa Everyday.

Is there a dictator in the band?
Chino: We’ve got motherfuckers that want to be dictators, but none of us are.

Chi: There’s a lot of chefs in the kitchen, but everybody wants to bake the same thing.

Abe: If you try to be a dictator you get laughed at. Someone will give an order, but they’ll
get ignored.

Chino: We all know when it’s time to get something done. We get it done, but we all try to push
the envelope. We have it in us to wait until the last minute to do shit. I didn’t write any
lyrics at all until all the music was done. I would go in to sing the song. I would put my
headphones on, hear the song and put melodies to it. Then I would go out into the control
room and write the lyrics out, then I would go back in and sing it. That’s the way I like
to write. The best shit comes out like that. If I think about stuff too much, it’ll come out
all shitty.

Do you think the average rock fan gets what you are trying to put across with your lyrics?
Frank: I think if you’re just an average kid, with Chino’s lyrics, you can make them fit any
situation in your life. His lyrics aren’t as simple as a lot of other people’s, so you can
morph them into what you want. That’s what music is about.

Chino: But you have to have some intelligence. If you’re not going to use your brain at all,
you would think I’m making no sense. The way I was inspired to write lyrics was by listening
to the Cure. I don’t sound like the Cure and I don’t try to sound like the Cure, but what I
did learn from a band like that is some of that stuff is just so painted. Whether you know
what [Cure leader] Robert Smith is talking about or not, it’s just the way the song looks when
you hear it. That’s what I try to do with a lot of stuff-use a lot of imagery and never go out
and say what’s going on. Sometimes, I don’t even know what the hell they’re about, but I’ll
find ways to tie it all together. The music the band makes gives me the room to do that.

When you play festivals like Warped and Ozzfest, do you feel like you fit in with the other
acts on the bill?
Chino: I feel like we can fit in, but as far as identifying with any of these other bands,
hell no. Not because I think I’m fucking cerebrally ahead of them, but just because all that
heavy music feels like a big mush to me. I’m just burned out on it, and that’s maybe why we
made the record we made. I didn’t want to make something that sounded like anything we’ve heard
or been hearing.

Do you feel like you’ve mellowed with age?
Chino: I think I have. I’ve mellowed as far as my anger, but I think I’ve gotten more wacked
out in the way I think. I’ve gotten crazier in the way I live my life. Even back when I was
younger, when I didn’t have kids and a wife, I wasn’t mentally out there like I am now.
I think of weirder shit. As far as being mature, though, I can deal with everything that
comes to me.

Chi: we’re allowed certain idiosyncrasies as musicians, so I become a little more eccentric
by default. If I feel like wearing pajamas and bedroom slippers for a week straight,
I’ll just do it. We party every night just because we can.

So is it harder or easier to get into that space where you create these songs? Do you need to
feed off anger and depression?
Chino: Not really. If I was going to make Korn songs, I probably would have to be that way.
But, like I said, on this record, I just stepped out of character. I wrote about certain
things I would think about. I didn’t have to be there or live it. It’s fantasy.

Do you think a lot of people are going to hate this record at first just because it’s different
from your last album?
Chino: We kind of know that’s going to happen with this album, so it’s just like-bear with it.
I remember I bought the Cure’s Disintegration on the same day I bought Japanese Whispers.
I listened to those two records, and I loved the poppy one and just put Disintegration aside.
After a month, I thought Disintegration was the baddest record of all time, and I haven’t
listened to Japanese Whispers since. Those songs were all instant pleasures.
I see us progressing with every record. That’s important to the longevity of the band-to
always progress on records. Who knows it a lot of the other bands that are out today-like
Limp Bizkit and shit-will be around[for as long as we will be]? I doubt they will.

“Rock Sound” – August, 2000 // Chino Interviewed

 

©ROCKSOUND (08/2000)
Interview: Rosanna Slater

<————————>

With the new album “White Pony” riding high, rocksound joins Deftones
frontman Chino Moreno to excavate the Intricacies of his mindset.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN ALIENS?

Chino: Yeah, I believe there’s other life, but I don’t necessarily believe in aliens in the
way that other people believe in them. I believe aliens could be micro-organisms, if you
know what I mean. This is just one solar system and there are so many others that we’d be
idiot to think we’re alone.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?

Chino: Numbness. A lot of times in life, day after day there’s this constant poking going
on my side. Whether it be alcohol or sleeping, it’s good to have something to take
away that constant irritation. Universal numbness.

WHAT’S YOUR IDEA OF HELL?

Chino: Interviews. Ho ho ho! Seriously though, I’m very claustrophobic. I hate being in
a situation I don’t wanna be in and when I feel that there’s no way I can get out.

WOULD YOU PREFER TO BE DEAF OR BLIND?

Chino: Probably blind because I’ve already got to see what world looks like and if I were to
close my eyes right now, I’ve still got the memories of how to picture stuff, but if I was
born blind, that would be different. I most definitely wouldn’t want to be deaf, being a
music fanatic and all that, it would really suck. Music can really move you.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST RECENT DREAM?

Chino: I had a weird dream last night, or even this morning…What was it? Oh I remember – it
was that my wife and I were having an argument. When I woke up, I was trippin’ and really
wanted to call her but I couldn’t because of the time difference. I’ve yet to phone her, to
see what it was all about and whether she had a dream that I was arguing with her.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, WHAT ERA WOULD YOU VISIT?

Chino: The 1950’s because it looked like such a fun time, really carefree teenage fun. The
youth seemed like they realised they could be bad. Every time I watch old films from the 50s,
I always think ‘man – that would have been the coolest time to be a kid’.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

Chino: The Marilyn Manson autobiography and actually I liked it, I didn’t plan on reading it,
but I picked it up and started looking at it on an aeroplane and the next thing I knew, I
was getting into it and it was prettly interesting.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?

Chino: Drowning…Plane crash…

IF YOU HAD 24 HOURS TO LIVE, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT?

Chino: Just with my wife and kids, sipping some wine…

HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD YOU HAVE TO BE OFFERED TO KILL ANOTHER PERSON?

Chino: I don’t know. I don’t think I’d kill anyone unless I was really out of mind. But then,
if I was completely out of mind – money probably wouldn’t be any good to me, anyway!

WHAT IS THE ONE MATERIAL POSSESSION YOU COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT?

Chino: Probably my belt, I don’t know why. I need a belt every day. If I have no belt – I have
no pants.

WHAT’S THE WORST CRMINAL ACTIVITY YOU’VE EVER BEEN INVOLVED?

Chino: When I was younger, I stole some explosives from this old Vietnam veteran who lived
across the street and he had this shed at the back of his property and my friends and I
broke into it. We found all these explosives from the war and were lightning them off and
shit outside the house. The fucking bomb squad and everybody came. It was really funny.
Thankfully my dad got me out of trouble somehow and I talked my way out of it.

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A GHOST OR HAD A PARANORMAL EXPERIENCE?

Chino: Yes. Recording the record I saw something at this house we were staying at in Hollywood.
It was haunted and scary as hell. One morning I woke up and I saw something floating in the
left hand corner of the room. I was like ‘Nah! That shit ain’t fuckin’ there’ – so I shut my
eyes but when I looked again – I saw the same thing but it had moved a little bit. I couldn’t
tell what it was but I could tell it was looking at me. I had this uncomfortable feeling, so I
fuckin’ stood and walked out of the room. I didn’t really tell anyone about it until Abe told
me a story about the same kinda shit. The guys from Orgy were staying at the house before us
and when they heard we’d stayed there, they were like ‘did any crazy shit happened to you?’
and they started telling us what they’d experienced.

WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING SITUATION YOU’VE EVER BEEN INVOLVED IN?

Chino: Being caught in a lie, maybe. I hate liars, I hate deceit, but sometimes I lie, but I
don’t realise I’m doing it. It’s embarrassing and it can happen to anybody.

WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL EMOTION, LOVE OR HATE?

Chino: Love, definitely. Hate is easier because love is harder to maintain. But saying that,
to me, even hate is hard to maintain.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH?

Chino: Not really. I believe in spirituality but I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation
and that I’m gonna have another life after this one.

DO YOU SURF ON THE INTERNET?

Chino: No, not too much – I don’t own a computer. I’m very computer illiterate.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Chino: The biggest cliché my parents always enforced on me was that if you put your mind to
it, you can do anything you want – and it’s true as well, I think a lot of it has to do with
confidence. Confidence is one of the most important things in your life and with it, you can
do pretty much anything you want.

WHAT WILL YOUR EPITAPH SAY?

Chino: It would probably be something funny – rather than be too serious. Ask me again when
I’m not so high!

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“Metal-Is” – August, 2000 // Chino and Stef Interviewed

Chino and Stef interviewed by Metal-Is
August,2000

<—->

At this moment, Chino walks in and announces, “Oh man, I hate doing interviews with Stephen.”
He glances at the guitarist and barks, “Don’t look at me, fool! I’m serious, I’m gonna
fucking punch you!!”
“Don’t even ask me to hit this joint, motherfucker! I’ll burn your eye!” Stephen retorts.
Let the fun begin…

METAL-IS: I understand Stephen is the metalhead who didn’t get his own way on ‘White Pony’

Stephen: It’s not like a new side of Deftones that I represent. I’ve been representing that
since I started playing.

Chino: He’s pretty much always been straight metal. Maybe from an outlooker’s perspective,
it might look like we all kinda have a little bit of metal in us. We do, but Stephen is the
metal master. When I was little, Stephen was this kid across the street sitting with his
guitar on the porch, rocking out to Dokken or whatever the hell he was listening to. I think
Stephen has helped pioneer heavy metal to where it is at this present day. Listening to our
old records now, I think they sound modern. Our first record was written when we were 16 or
17 years old, and now those records are what popular music pretty much is: heavy, rappy,
groovy kind of tunes. Those are the songs that we hardly ever play any more. That’s what’s
hyped now. I think we’ve always been a little ahead of our time and people are catching on
to ‘Around The Fur’ now. Obviously, we could’ve went in and done another album that was
more straightforward and commercial, commercial being more rap/rock sounding. We took a
chance in making a more obscure, self-indulgent album.

METAL-IS: ‘White Pony’ isn’t the kind of album you listen to and go, “This will be the next
Limp Bizkit and sell 7 million copies.” I think your new sound has more in common with bands
like A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails, who also focus more on soundscapes, texture and
depth. .

Chino: I agree. Our goal has never been to go that (Korn/Limp Bizkit) route. We’ve always
taken the slow route. We’ve had many chances that could have gotten us more in that direction,
the ‘Party, man!’ atmosphere. Although we are some partying motherfuckers, within our music,
we’re able to go all over the place.
For us to make one silly song like ‘Nookie’, which to me is a good and silly song, we’d know
exactly what it would be: one silly song that got us on the radio. When we take pictures, we
know better than to mess around. We’ll joke around sometimes and try to take homey-style
pictures, but we know that if we joke around like that, that’s the picture they’re gonna use
in the magazine. Everybody wants that character and that image from us, but we don’t give it.
We’re pretty much humble people, and that’s the perception we’ve always tried to give people.
We’re just normal people who like to do music, and that’s what it all comes down to.

METAL-IS: It’s an interesting point you make. At the time of the release of ‘Around The Fur’…
you were lumped in with the Korn type of bands, but while that scene gathered around the
‘Family Values’ package tour, you took a different route and went on the Warped tour instead.
It seemed like you were purposely avoiding the whole Korn scene.

Chino: Yeah, it was a conscious decision. We turned down the ‘Family Values’ tour just to
stay out of that little genre. It was all because of a simply reason: I don’t want my career
span to be shortened because one of those other bands make a whack album. As the Korn and
Limp Bizkit albums get staler and staler, sooner or later people aren’t gonna care any more.
They’ve made it so much of a genre, a big thing, and people are gonna get tired of it in
a short time. It’s a phase and when they burn out, we don’t wanna go down with it.
We basically already have our shit over here running, and if we sell as many records as them
or not isn’t really important. What’s important to us is the longevity of our career.

Stephen: Added to that, we don’t want to be what you expect. As a band, it’s not exciting to
be what the audience expects you to be. When we write our material, we know what our audience
likes and we know what we like, and we’re able to take what we do and bend it in ways that
people didn’t expect. It’s not the most different shit in the world, but it’s not what we
could easily give you or what everybody puts us in a position to do. It’s like, ‘Oh, they’re
rap metal’, so people expect that when they read about it, but when they actually hear us,
they go, ‘It wasn’t anything like that.’
I was reading in this (points to the presentation of Deftones in the festival programme),
they refer to Soulfly, Limp Bizkit and Korn, and how we can make you jump up and down like
those bands. But a lot of bands do that for an audience. They just threw in those names in
there, because they’re the names that keep getting thrown around with us all the time. Why
not instead write, ‘They’re a great band and you’ll have a good time, so come check it out’?
We’re not here because we wanna be cool with all the other bands. We’re already cool with
them and we know almost every band people keep talking about with us. They are our friends
and we appreciate that, but we’re doing our own thing. If you like us, cool, let’s have a
good time together. But don’t like us because of the other guys.

METAL-IS: There’s another major difference between you and the Korn style bands. They all
act like entrepreneurs, with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit even saying that he’s a businessman
and not a musician. Once they make it big in America, they stay there and milk it for all
it’s worth, putting out a new album every year and totally ignoring Europe.

Stephen: Just yesterday we were doing an interview with some fanzine kids, and they were
asking us why it takes us so long to put an album out. It was the same things that you
just mentioned: we go to play everywhere people like our music. We’re not just going, ‘Buy
our record!’ We actually try to go everywhere where our fans are. I sometimes wonder how
long it’s gonna take us to do our next record, ‘cause we’re gonna visit all the places
we’re already been to on this past record, plus all the places we haven’t been to. We
haven’t been to South America, Mexico, Eastern Europe or Russia and we plan to go there,
too. We sell records there and we wanna play to our fans. We like the interaction with the
fans, they set us off, and we react and then they go off, ‘cause we go off. That’s what we
really like, that’s as much of the music as playing it live.

METAL-IS: Stephen, you’ve admitted that ‘White Pony’ is the result of you compromising.
You were aiming for a more full-on metal sound, where as Chino was leaning towards the
more mellow aspects of Deftones. Now that you have some perspective on it, what are your
feelings on the album?

Stephen: The compromise is just that. There was no compromise in what I played. All the stuff
we play, I would play that anyway. It’s already what I like, and it’s not like I dislike it.
I have a profound love of shit like Meshuggah and Fear Factory, and many bands of that
calibre that came before then, like Pantera and Metallica. It’s not like I just got into
it and I wanted our record to sound like that. I listen to ‘Around The Fur’ a lot and I
think I already have been given a chance to do that, I don’t feel like I’ve been slacked
on it. Goddamn, that’s some heavy shit!
It wasn’t like I didn’t wanna play the shit on the new album. We’re a band and everybody
had a lot of input on this thing. It wasn’t just me compromising, it was a lot of us
compromising on parts. It was more noticeable, ‘cause I’m so used to doing what I do. I
really like the heavy shit, so I make it vocal and I’m not afraid to say, ‘What the fuck!’
As much as I have a passion for the heavy shit, everyone else has a passion for that other
shit as well. That’s a compromise of us all being friends.

METAL-IS: Chino, since ‘White Pony’ is a more mellow record, does this mean you won’t be
doing your side-project, Team Sleep?

Chino: No, I’m still gonna work on it. On this whole touring cycle, I’m gonna be writing
and putting stuff together, so possibly within a year, I can have something out. It started
off as something really small, but a lot of the songs are coming out really good and I like
them a lot, so… it’s just another side of what the Deftones are. Stephen has his own thing
on the side, Kush, with some of the guys from Fear Factory. Everyone has their own outlet.

METAL-IS: And Deftones is where you find your common ground?

Chino: Yeah.

Stephen: No, Deftones is the battle ground! We’re not a band any more, we’re all friends.

Chino: We all win, though. We’re all fighting the same battle and once we get there, we know
we all got our way, and there was a good song there. There’s nothing more to say and no
more argument, ‘cause everybody won.

Stephen: No one walks away after we write a song and goes, ‘That sucked!’ The process sucked,
but look at that shit now.

METAL-IS: In the beginning, Stephen wrote pretty much all the music, but now you all
contribute. Do you work on material more as a unit these days?

Stephen: Well, it’s really no different. A lot of the new stuff is still mine, Chino just
happened to play guitar on a lot of the stuff he made. When he came to the table with ideas,
he came with actual guitar parts, so he was already part of what was going on, as well as
him creating it. There’s a lot of stuff on here that stems from me, and me and Abe. Even if
I came with the whole thing, it still had to go through every one of us. It’s still raw, and
I never come to the table with the perfect song. I come with a whole song and somebody takes
a riff away and they go. ‘The rest of the shit is kinda whack, but this riff is tight.’ Then
we make a song out of that riff.
The one song on our new album that came all the way from someone is ‘RX Queen’. That’s all
Chino, he made the whole motherfucking thing. We all liked it and we didn’t even have to
battle with it.

METAL-IS: Do you seek fights because you know something good will come out of it?

Stephen: No, it’s just part of our natural fucking behaviour with each other. Knowing each
other for as long as we have, our pleasure is to get the worst from each other. I don’t mean
the worst as in making a person be the worst they can, but how far can you really push
this motherfucker before they say, ‘Alright, I can’t believe I let you get like this!’?
Then we come together again. We push each other’s buttons and when you actually start
breaking down, that’s when we really start laying on you, to the point where you’re about
to break down and cry.

METAL-IS: In the case of ‘RX Queen’, did you think, ‘What’s going on? We’re not fighting,
and it’s still working’?

Stephen: No, we fought on it. At first, I didn’t wanna play on that song.

METAL-IS: Do you have any interesting plans ahead of you? Any collaborations?

Chino: I’m on the new Soulfly album, but I ain’t gonna be doing any more collaborations.
I have an idea that I wanna do, and it’s another argument in the making. I wanna put together
an album with all our covers, ‘cause we’ve done a lot of covers, especially of new wave shit.
I wanna record a couple more covers and put them all on one CD.

Stephen: Here’s the predicament: what he said is his side, and my side is the same, but
I don’t want to put out the ones we’ve already got out. I wanna make a whole record of
new covers. That’s the dispute. I believe my dispute is the better side, but time will tell.
When it’s actually been filtered through all of us, I know I will come out on top, ‘cause mine
is the better idea. The whole world got the old shit, so why do they wanna hear it again?

METAL-IS: When the pair of you talk together, you sound just like brothers.

Stephen: We are!

Chino: I’m just too high right now to argue with him.

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