“Igetconnected” – January 2005 // Chi and Frank Interviewed

DEFTONES Interviewd bt igetconnected

January 2005

The music of the Deftones appeals to many tribes: metalheads, rock fans, and
indie geeks alike. We hired a spy to follow them in the studio to film them
recording their new album, but the clever group spotted our operative’s hidden
camera. Luckily, they agreed to embrace technology and give us a peek into their
world with video footage taken with their trusty Nokia 6230 phones. We also had
a brief chat with Deftones bassist Chi Cheng and turntablist Frank Delgado on the
experiences of making their new record — look for it later this summer — and
learned that not only are they great at rocking and screaming, but they can be
grade-A smart-alecks too!

Get Connected: What can a listener expect to hear on the new record? Is there
anything on the new record that you think will surprise long-time listeners?

Frank: Good ol’ Deftones mixed bag of tricks.

Chi: The Hall & Oates guest appearance.

GC: You’re working with Bob Ezrin, who produced amazing classic albums with Kiss,
Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. What is it like working with such an esteemed

Frank: Working with Bob has been a great experience. We feel honored and are happy
to have him involved with this record.

Chi: It’s nice to push around such an esteemed producer. Don’t forget [that] he did
Air Supply, too.

GC: He is definitely of the old guard. Is it different working with such a venerable

Frank: It’s always different when working with someone else, whether it’s other
musicians, producers etc. The beauty of it is seeing how others work and learning
from it.

GC: You’ve recorded all your albums so far with Terry Date. What made you decide to
go with Ezrin this time?

Frank: We had all decided to work with someone new for this record. After meeting
with a list of producers, we chose Bob. We just clicked and all had the same vision
of what we wanted to accomplish.

Chi: Age.

GC: I’ve read that a lot of the new record was written in Malibu, which seems an odd
setting as it contrasts so much with your music. How did this setting affect your writing?

Frank: I think living together and being able to write when we wanted was more or
less the setting we were going for.

Chi: It’s now surf rock.

GC: Has the conception of this album been difficult or relatively easy? Please
describe its gestation.

Frank: Making records has never really been an easy process for us. We’ve never been
one of those bands that write 30 songs and pick the best 10,11 tracks to use. We
tend to edit ourselves along the way [and] usually only end up with a little over
an album’s worth of material. In turn making things longer and harder on ourselves.

Chi: Typical Deftones pain-in-the-ass album.

GC: How was the band’s headspace going into this record as opposed to the last?

Frank: Living together during the writing of this record created the perfect headspace.

Chi: A lot more sober. Glimpses of sobriety.

GC: You have just finished a mini-tour. Did you test out some of the new songs on
the road?

Frank: We actually never played any new songs. Shucking and jiving the bootleggers
is hard work. Ha!

Chi: We played no new songs ‘cause we suck.

GC: I’ve read that your musical tastes don’t necessarily reflect the music you play.
Can you name some artists that you love, that you think your fans should know about?


Chi: Bryan Adams and Mark Curry.

GC: You just went to Mexico City to play a show. What inclined you to put recording
on hold for the moment to go down and play?

Frank: We haven’t played in Mexico as much as we would like to, so any opportunity
is a good one.

Chi: We Love Mexico City.

GC: Judging by the footage shot, it looks like you played to a huge amount of kids
in Mexico. Do you prefer playing a huge show like that, or smaller club shows like
on your most recent tour?

Frank: We like being able to mix it up. Big, small doesn’t matter. As long as it

Chi: We like them both.


“Rolling Stone” – January 2005 // Abe Interviewed


ROLLING STONE – January 2005

Deftones Go Upside Down

California rockers exploring new sounds with Ezrin

To break down musical walls, the Deftones have joined forces with the man who
helped build the most famous one of all. And Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham
says working with legendary producer Bob Ezrin — whose credit list includes the
Pink Floyd opus The Wall — has been exactly the spark the veteran Sacramento
hard-rock band needed.
“At this point, we just needed to change things up,” says Cunningham from his
California home during a holiday break in recording. “And this is definitely a
different style. Working with him is just putting us fucking upside down. He’s
cracking the whip.”

The Deftones’ first four albums were produced by Terry Date, whom the band idolized
because of his work with Pantera.

“We love him with all our heart, and I would do another record with Terry in a
hot second,” Cunningham says, “but this is just what we needed now. Bob has made
some amazing records — Pink Floyd is one of my all-time favorite groups — and
he’s worked with such a wide variety of people.”

The band chose the more hands-on Ezrin — who’s also overseen albums by Lou Reed,
Alice Cooper and Kiss — after considering several other producers, and entered
Ezrin’s Connecticut studio last November, following a five-week club tour that
Cunningham says was “basically an excuse to get from California to Connecticut.”

A dozen songs for the untitled album have already been tracked, and Cunningham says
the band hopes to write at least a couple more.

As for what the new material sounds like, fans have seized on a description vocalist
Chino Moreno gave last fall, calling the band’s current approach “more Rush than Tool.”
Especially considering Ezrin’s skills as a musician and arranger, some took that to
mean the new album will have more in common with the Deftones’ 2000 breakthrough White
Pony, with its ambitious art-rock tendencies, than the more back-to-basics,
self-titled 2003 follow-up.

“I hadn’t heard that Chino said that . . . but yeah, I think it could be more like
White Pony,” says Cunningham. “It’s hard to answer that when you’re up inside of it.
It’s kind of an amoeba right now . . . [but] there’s some fairly complicated stuff.
There’s this one song that has, like, five different tempo changes.”

What has definitely changed, Cunningham says, is the atmosphere surrounding the band.
The making of The Deftones was “a whole period we just call ‘the dark days’ now,” he
says. “During that time, there were two divorces. We were real burnt-out, not
communicating that much. Things were just really fucked up.”

Cunningham says it’s possible he may turn up on a track or two of the long-awaited
album from Moreno’s side project, Team Sleep. That disc is slated for a May release,
and if things go according to plan, Cunningham adds, a new Deftones album shouldn’t
be far behind.

“We’ll have new flowers blossoming, new birds chirping and all that shit,” he says
with a laugh, “and, hopefully, new Deftones music too.”