“Kerrang!” – September 2006 // Chino Interviewed

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THANKS TO Aj from SharingLungs Board

Deftones singer Chino Moreno has revealed exclusively to Kerrang that making their forthcoming fifth album “Saturday Night Wrist” nearly ripped the band apart.

Moreno and his bandmates started work on the follow-up to their 2003 epnymous offering over two years ago with former Jane’s Addiction producer Bob Ezrin at the helm, but recording sessions quickly ground to a halt.

“It was the hardest record I’ve ever made in my life,” Moreno admits. “In fact, it may even be the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. Nothing was working out. I wasn’t very excited about it and I don’t think anyone else was.”

The singer blames the band’s record company Maverick, producer Ezrin and a total breakdown of communication for the difficulties.

“It felt like we had no control because the label wanted to approve each song. I’ve never had to do that before. It wasn’t creative,” he explains. “I also think I expected a lot more from Bob than I got. I thought he would be my partner and we’d have tons of ideas together. It just didn’t really happen that way.

“I had to step away from the Deftones to look at things in a different light, which is why Team Sleep [Moreno’s side project] happened,” Moreno adds. “The others didn’t like that. It was pretty much the end of the Deftones. I didn’t really care at that point either. After Team Sleep, I didn’t talk to anyone for four or five months. Then I asked them if they still wanted to do this. They asked me the same question and we both said, ‘Of course we want to do it’. It was obvious this was so special to everyone and it’s much easier to talk now.”

The bank picked up where they left off after enlisting the production skills of former Far guitarist Shaun Lopez earlier in the year, who helped them to turn their recording sessions around.

“That was when this record really started taking shape,” Moreno admits. “It felt like I had an ally at last. He was a partner who could get my vision out of me.”

HERE THEN IS CHINO MORENO’S TRACK BY TRACK GUIDE TO SATURDAY NIGHT WRIST…

HOLE IN THE EARTH

“When I wrote this I thought the band was over and I was telling the other members that I was finished. One of the lyrics is, ‘ I hate all of my friends ‘. It felt like I was alone. I wasn’t communicating with anybody and this was my only way of telling them how i felt. I don’t think they realised what I was saying until a couple of months ago when I explained it to them.”

FM

“This was written at a very confusing time. In the last few years I’ve gone through so much and I’m asking myself a lot of questions here. When you listen to it, you can tell how confused I was”

BEWARE

“This was a turning point on the record. I had just got back from doing Team Sleep, we stopped working with Bob Ezrin and went back to Sacramento to write. This was the first song we wrote together. The lyrics are a warning against the temptation of women, drugs, alcohol or any other vice. It’s quite dark.”

CHERRY WAVES

“This is a story about being in the middle of the ocean with someone saying, ‘If you were to sink underneath the waves, then I’d swim after you. Would you do the same for me?. It’s seeing how far the trust goes.”

MEIN

“This was one of the last songs that I recorded. I really liked it musically but I couldn’t find the right thing to put over it. I sent [System of a Down singer] Serj Tankian the song and said, ‘If you hear anything, then give me a call’. The next day, he sent it back to me with vocals all over it. It was great! It gave me a completely different perspective but it did sound a lot like System of a Down. I focused on one part of it which gave it a foundation that everyone really liked”.

INTERLUDE

“This was just a little piece of music we wrote while we were recording in Conneticut last winter. It really captured the sadness of that time. It was a desolate place and this song just sums that up. We very nearly forgot about it until Stephen [Carpenter, guitarist] pulled it out of the hard drive just before we mastered the record.”

~

“Often I won’t label my demos when I send them to people so that other people won’t know what they are if they get lost. I labelled this one with that weird little key on the keyboard. We wrote this in Malibu when we first started writing this record a few years ago. I actually wrote it with Rick [Verrett] who plays in Team Sleep with me. We were just working out some music on the piano in the middle of the night. I love it because it’s so simple.”

RATS

“This was one of Stephen’s songs. There’s a lot of aggression here. He spent whole weeks working on individual sections of this because the timing is really intricate. The song title is from a story I was reading about this old actress called Frances Farmer who went crazy. It was only afterwards that I realised Nirvana had also written a song about her.”

PINK CELLPHONE

“I wanted to write something that was based around a computer drum beat but then I kept adding things to it slowly. The last thing was [Giant Drag singer] Annie Hardy’s vocals. She was hanging around the studio one day so I asked her to record something. She started saying all this nonsense off the top of her head and it was hilarious!”

COMBAT

“We write this one as a band and that’s what’s great about it. You can hear everybody’s input. It’s actually quite poppy. You can nod your head it it, it’s got a good buzz-saw riff and it reminds me of early Deftones.”

THE EARTH

“This is another personal song. I haven’t wanted to listen to the album much since we recorded it because a lot of these things are really close to me. It’s a document of what’s going on in my life and I feel like I’m only just getting over it.”

COMANCHE

“I wrote this in Connecticut and Bob said that he just wanted to keep it as me on guitar. I wanted to put drums n it but he said it was perfect as it was, so we agreed they’d come in later. I think that was a good thing, actually. It gives the record a chance to breathe. The song’s a story about a witch that I wrote in a drug-induced haze.”

“Live Daily” – September 2006 // Chi Interviewed

 

LiveDaily Interview: Chi Cheng of Deftones

September 06, 2006 11:56 AM
by Christina Fuoco

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng is frank about the brutal and tumultuous nature of the recording process for his band’s forthcoming album, “Saturday Night Wrist,” due out Halloween. It lived up to nearly every rock cliché: the singer “disappeared,” producer and singer clashed, songs were written at the last minute.
But, as the clock wound down, the Sacramento, CA-bred band managed to pull it together, Cheng said.

“We’re in a better place than we have been in a long time,” Cheng said.

There is even a dose of humor on “Saturday Night Wrist.” The album title refers to an “affliction” people get when they drink too much, then they fall asleep with their hand pinned funny. When they wake up, their hand is semi-paralyzed.

Currently the Deftones–which also includes vocalist/guitarist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham and turntablist/keyboardist Frank Delgado–are touring with Korn, Flyleaf, 10 Years, Dir En Grey and others on the Family Values Tour. After a European jaunt, the Deftones will return to the United States to begin a headlining run.

Cheng spoke to LiveDaily about the rough recording period, working with Bob Ezrin of Pink Floyd fame, and the joy of alt-country.

LiveDaily: How’s the Family Values Tour going?

Chi Cheng: It’s going really, really good. It’s cool to be playing with Korn again.

When was the last time you two played together?

S—, it must have been at least 10 years ago. It was a really long time ago. But it’s just like old times. It’s really, really, really cool.

Is this the first time you played Family Values? How does this tour compare to other package/festival tours you have done?

This is our first time with Family Values. This is similar to other festivals we’ve done. But it’s also really cool because I think a lot of people have been waiting to see Deftones and Korn play together, so the excitement of the crowd is very cool.

“Saturday Night Wrist” is heading to stores Oct. 31. Tell me about the production of it. I understand it was a little tumultuous.

I think everybody and their brother produced a little bit of it. Bob Ezrin produced it musically, which was a great honor. I wouldn’t say he and Chino got along so hot. So Chino finished his vocals with Shawn Lopez, who used to play guitar for Far. We recorded all over. Every Deftones album seems to be long and onerous.

Why is that?

I have no clue. We always go in with the right intentions, “All right we’re going to get it done really quick.” Never happens.

Where is the hold up? During the songwriting process? The performances? Or are you perfectionists?

We’re pretty meticulous. This time, a lot of things got in the way. I don’t know. Chino disappeared with his side project [Team Sleep] for awhile. I think he was unsure whether or not his heart was into it. He got into it, so everything’s OK.

At the Family Values Tour’s Phoenix show, I could tell there was some new-found energy up there on the stage.

Yeah, yeah, this is the best we’ve been in a long time.

Has this new-found attitude brought forth any new musical collaborations for the next album?

Oh, hell no. No. No we’re still the Deftones. We all kind of write individually so I don’t know–we’ll see. It’s amazing. I think [“Saturday Night Wrist”] some of the best stuff we’ve ever done.

How does it sit within your catalog?

It’s definitely a progression, as all the Deftones albums are. I would say it’s more, more like a “White Pony” because it’s got a lot of ups and downs. The last album was kind of dark and heavy and straight forward. This album’s a lot more melodic.

How long ago did you start writing “Saturday Night Wrist”?

Oh, I don’t know. It feels like 10 years ago. It was about two years ago. It took a really long time. We are definitely going to learn from our mistakes and not even enter the studio until an album has been written.

It seems awfully stressful to do work on deadline when there’s money involved–for example, studio costs, producer costs.

It is. It’s terrible. It’s not so hot when there’s money involved.

Your band did a cover of “Fly on the Windscreen” for a Depeche Mode tribute album. Are you guys big fans of the band?

Definitely. We’re all Depeche Mode fans. That’s one of the bands we all agree on.

What do you listen to?

[Hesitates] I don’t listen to anything anyone considers is cool. I listen to a lot of alternative country, like the Old 97’s. All I listen to is Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo and classical music.

The Old 97’s are a great band, especially live.

I’ve never had the chance to see them. I’m hoping I get the chance. I have a live album of theirs that I listen to a lot.

“Billboard” – August 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Deftones Unfazed By Long Road To New CD

August 30, 2006, 10:35 AM ET Gary Graff, Detroit
It’s been three years since the Deftones released their last album of all-new material. But guitarist Stephen Carpenter says the group wasn’t sweating the long wait for the new “Saturday Night Wrist,” which, as previously reported , arrives Oct. 31 via Warner Bros.

“There was no specific timetable at all,” Carpenter tells Billboard.com. “We know how we work. We figure we do it at our own pace — sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s definitely been slow as of late, but our agenda is no agenda, if that makes any sense. [We’re] just having a good time.”

But Carpenter acknowledges that making “Saturday Night Wrist” was arduous and involved “working with different people in different places and dealing with forces of the unknown.” The group started its fifth full-length in 2003 with Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, then worked with Bob Ezrin (who recorded most of the instrumental tracks), Terry Date and Shaun Lopez.

During the process, frontman Chino Moreno released an album and toured with his side project, Team Sleep, while Carpenter compiled the 2005 “B-Sides & Rarities” set “to put something cool out for the people who had been waiting a long time for our [new] record.”

Despite all this, Carpenter contends “it’s all great. It would be the same outcome on any other record. It was quite demanding at times throughout this process, but it’s just nice to hear the songs done.” The album’s first single, “Hole in the Earth,” is already out, the product of “just jamming around ’til we found a good idea and building on that,” according to Carpenter.

For now, the Deftones are busy on the Family Values tour, which runs until Sept. 22. Carpenter says the outing has been “really good fun” but says the band’s participation came via “an act of deception.”

“We were gonna go on tour with Korn — that’s what we were told,” he says. “We didn’t know about Family Values until after it was set up. But there have been a lot of good shows. We’re happy we’re doing it.”

“Artisan” – August 2006 // Chi Interviewed

“LA Times” – August 2006 // Chino Interviewed

The metal family moshes on
*Korn, Deftones lead the way on the Family Values Tour.

By Steve Appleford, Special to The Times
The boy looked to be about 4 years old, a smiling little kid in spiky hair and green camouflage short-pants. And all around him were dozens of ecstatic young men, swirling in the usual violent circle, pushing, shoving, tumbling into one another in either rage or brotherly affection. A preschooler was in the mosh pit.

He was too young to pay attention to the signs posted outside the Hyundai Pavilion box office in Devore: “Enter moshing at your own risk.” He’d been led there by a shirtless, reckless father figure holding a beer in his other hand, a cigarette burning between his lips. The kid was thrilled, and he definitely didn’t belong there. Another metal generation was taking its first baby steps.

That was one interpretation of Family Values, the name of Korn’s traveling hard-rock festival, which landed Saturday at the outdoor venue for nine hours of very hard rock.

Standing outside one mosh pit, a 22-year-old man who called himself Nathan P. was picking apart bits of marijuana on a paper plate. Five minutes before, he’d been in the pit himself, feeding off the music and adrenalin of the moment. “There is so much electricity in the … air,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”

As he spoke, a tall man with shaggy dark hair fell hard to the ground and was immediately surrounded by several shirtless young men. A few kicked him where he lay. His eyes rolled back, but soon he was on his feet, stumbling out of the pit.

Nathan has been there. “Everybody gets hurt, bro,” he said. “All you can do is get up and just wipe it off and get back going, dude. It’s like life.”

Most do get back up, but not everyone. At the July 30 tour stop in Atlanta, a fan suffered a fatal brain injury after being sucker-punched during an argument. Andy Richardson, 30, died two days later. Police have since made an arrest.

It was no Altamont. Blood is spilled at metal concerts every weekend, just as there are drunken brawls at county fairs and baseball games. Even Depeche Mode fans will riot under certain conditions (and have). There’s one in every crowd. And some crowds have more than one.

Earlier in the day, singer Chino Moreno of co-headlining band the Deftones expressed real regret over Richardson’s death.

“I always make a point, when we’re playing, if I see someone fighting we’ll stop the song and tell them to chill out. Then we’ll continue with the music. The music is secondary to people’s safety.”

“We were real sad,” said Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer of the death, reclining backstage hours before the night’s closing set. He looked up with a knowing expression and suggested that rock concerts can sometimes be like that. “It’s not the safest place to go, no matter who you are. Last night onstage I got hit in the back with a quarter, also with a cellphone. I get [stuff] thrown at me all night long.”

But the contact with fans is mostly positive. Only minutes earlier, Shaffer and the rest of Korn were greeting fans and signing autographs for a long line of contest winners. He was typically upbeat but tired, after recent tours of Europe and Asia. Family Values was the band’s second tour of the U.S. since the December release of its album “See You on the Other Side.”

Korn meets with fans at every tour stop.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to learn a lot from different people, being around the world,” Shaffer said. “Everybody has the same problems, the same four or five things that they all struggle with: relationships, finance, personal issues. It keeps me grounded, you know?”

During Korn’s 90-minute performance, the band faced a wide landscape crowded with excited fans raising up the devil’s horns salute or middle fingers at the band’s creep-show melodies and explosive slabs of guitar. The messages could be agonized, dark, confused, but what might be reasonably scary to some is a thrill to others. A fan has got to know his limitations.

Rage is easy to come by in metal, so it takes more than volume and a bad attitude to last. The best hard rock is fueled by a singular, even deviant point of view, a striking voice and persona to transform the obvious into the provocative. Korn has had that from the beginning.

During the Deftones’ set, Moreno showed himself to be – like Korn’s Jonathan Davis – one of hard rock’s most distinctive voices. His desperate groans and whispers wandered and wailed across the grinding foundation of guitarist Stephen Carpenter, outclassing much of the rest of the day.

The remainder of the bill did have its moments, from the melodic hard rock of Flyleaf and Stone Sour to the wild-eyed thrash of Japan’s Dir en Grey, which roared with hard rock stripped down and incomprehensible.

Between band performances, fans strolled amid the food merchants and booths offering jewelry, shades and bandanas. In the booth selling glass pipes for smokers, a young woman in a shirt boasting “Yes … they’re real” lifted her shirt to demonstrate. Twice.

Later in the evening, a trio of 17-year-olds from nearby Fontana slumped at a table, taking a break before the final set by Korn. This was the first concert for Matthew Macias, who had his arm around a girl in braids. He tried stepping into a mosh pit but was bounced right out. He’ll be back.

“It was awesome,” he said. “People bouncing off of each other, going off each other, just going off. It was crazy.”

Earlier, a man with a bruised face had sat near him and his friends.

“A big ol’ black eye and everything,” Macias said. “His whole face was just purple. Didn’t bother me.”

by Hefe from Romania – July 2006 // Deftones Interviewed

 

“Metalrage.com” – July 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Deftones – A chat with Stef Carpenter

Interview by Shaydee
Venue: Tivoli – Utrecht

An interview with Deftones, musically one of my all time favorites. Ever since I joined Metalrage.com I had fantasized about it and on June 10th 2006 it was scheduled to take place. As I walked towards the entrance of the venue a huge guy on a chair asks me what’s up. I told him I was there for an interview. The intimidating big guy, of whom I later heard that he is ex-head of security for Metallica, went inside to arrange things. After checking the press list and some discussion about the attendance of a second Metalrage crew member, I met Stef Carpenter, the guitarist, and we sat down in a room to have a conversation.

In an interview Abe said that he read on the internet that ‘Saturday Night Wrist’ was going to be the title of the next record..

“Yeah I don’t know anything about the title of the record, none of us in the band has even spoke about it as a whole.”

Okay, because how did that come up?

“I don’t know how it came up, it was probably likely Chino. Whereas someone made it up, if it wasn’t him someone else made it up.”

Your performances on stage are always pretty intense and after all these years you still have a lot of contact with the audience, where do you draw this energy from except from the audience?

“I don’t know. It’s just what we do. We just go and do how we do it, really, there’s no recipe or guidelines for how we do it, that’s for sure. It’s just chaos at its best.”

I read it all the time that Deftones inspire other artists. For instance a few weeks ago I read this article about a string quartet that will be releasing a Deftones tribute album..

“I haven’t read that but I’ve heard about it.”

Okay, so what’s your feeling about inspiring other artists?

“I think it’s really cool. At the end of the day all musicians are inspired by other musicians. To be part of it is pretty cool. The fact that somebody can draw influence from our own stuff, that’s pretty cool.”

For the new album you chose to work with Bob Ezrin, fired him and then you hired Aaron Sprinkle. What brought you to this decision and what do you think is his influence on the sound?

“Well, Ezrin was chosen by Chino and Abe, and was also fired by Chino and Abe, because they were the two guys who had the hardest time working with him, hahaha.”

So eh, what was he like in the studio?

“Well, he’s just used to working with professionals that’s all, you know, people that have got their stuff together. We don’t ever operate like that. We deal with stuff in the moment all the time. What feels good at the time. There’s not a huge regiment of (…) responsibility, I guess that’s the ultimate word, we just go with the flow of the time and place we’re at. Sometimes it’s very productive, other times we get nothing done, hahaha.”

Is that also why the release dates get postponed all the time? I was wondering, when do you consider an album is finished?

“When it’s in the stores.”

Yeah, okay but when do you guys think ‘Okay, this is cool, this is it, we should release this!’?

“Well, the reason why people are always confused about release dates is because Chino goes off to people telling when we’re gonna do stuff. He does it with a good heart, he’s got well intentions, but he never sits down and works it out with all of us, you know what I mean? September 12th was something that seemed like a good idea, so he told people that’s what it was gonna be, and I’m like, well, I remember one time being there and he told somebody September 12th, and I’m sitting there and I am like ‘How can you tell somebody September 12th when you yourself aren’t even finished?’. Come on man use your brain!”

I also heard October third..

“Yeah, well that date is also being said and it’s official with everyone. If it doesn’t come out on that date, something else got in the way, but it won’t be because it wasn’t a group effort to decide for that date.”

I read rumors on the internet that Serj from System of a Down collaborates on the new album. Can you tell something about that?

“I heard he did stuff but I’ve never heard it. I wasn’t there when he was recording, I am not part of that. Serj is a good guy, but like I said it’s still unknown to me.”

(Frank Delgado, from the back of the room): “Supposedly it wasn’t much, he just sang a little part on a song, it wasn’t like a couplet.”

One track on your new album is rumored to be called ‘America’, that title brings up a thousand questions, what is the song about?

“I know nothing of any of our lyrics to any of our songs of any record.”

Recently you performed at the Dutch festival Pinkpop, where you did ‘Head Up’ with Max Cavelera, was it an option to do ‘Passenger’ with Maynard from Tool?

“As far as doing ‘Passenger’, ever I think to date if Chino goes and ask Maynard to come do it with us, he’ll come do it, until Chino ever asks him to come do it with us, he’s never gonna do it. He’s not gonna just show up and ask ‘Hey guys, can I play with you and play ‘Passenger’’?. It’s not Maynard’s style, he’ll never do it, we’ll never play it with him until Chino asks him.”

Is that the way it went with Max?

“Yeah well I’ve asked Max! We’re all down with Max, I didn’t invite Maynard on when we recorded the song, that was Chino’s thing. Maynard is a cool dude but his bond to our band is through Chino, so if we’re ever gonna play that song Chino should ask.”

How were the vibes during the recording of the new album?

“The vibes are always the same. When they’re not good it’s only other people saying they’re not good. We all hate and love each other just the same at all times, no matter what stuff we’ll say to each other or about each other, at the end we’re still friends. We say hard shit about each other to each other, hahaha.”

But no hard feelings whatsoever?

“Well, feelings get hurt, but that’s kinda how we do it though, you see somebody at their weak spot and you go for it…”

What would your ideal Deftones album be like?

“There is no ideal Deftones record. The whole bases of it musically is that we can do whatever we want, we’re not trying to have a boundary where we’re trying to stay in. If anyone wants to step out of the line and try something different anyone can, as long as we make sure we do it right when we do it.”

How much influence do you have on the artwork and videos?

“In a perfect world we all have an equal say in it, but lots of times Chino just throws his emotions around till he gets what he wants. A lot of things live and die by what he says.”

So it’s mostly Chino having a major vote in that?

“It’s not mostly, it’s generally because in the end of the day nobody wants to hurt his feelings so we end up going with what he wants to do. Most of the times we all like it but there are times where I don’t really care for it. But, you know, whoever gets the most votes wins, if it even comes to a vote…”

You’re playing in a relatively small venue this evening, is that something you requested yourselves?

“I didn’t personally request it, but I’ll enjoy it.”

Will there be any special things happening?

“I wish I could tell you there was something different but no… We’ll play longer in here than at the festival stages, because it’s our own show. We’ll get to play more songs, more sweat, everyone is going to be soaking wet.”

Yeah it’s going to be great he he! Well so far for the questions, thank you!

“All right man!”

That night Deftones played a flawless set in a boiling Tivoli. What a perfect day.

source: http://www.metalrage.com/