“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/

“St Petersburg Times” – June 2006 // Abe Interviewed

 

Accentuate the positive
By Sergey Chernov

Staff Writer
For The St. Petersburg Times

Sacramento, California-based band the Deftones will perform in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

The Deftones might have been through hard times lately, but has now regained its “Posi-tones.” The California-based alternative metal/post-hardcore quintet returns to Russia to perform its first concert in St. Petersburg this week.

The Grammy-winning band has already spent two years recording its next album, and in the meantime released “B-Sides & Rarities” in October. Although Deftones previously recorded all its albums with Terry Date as producer, the as-yet unreleased new album was to be have been produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin, responsible for classic albums by Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and KISS, and, possibly most famously, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” However it was not to be, according to Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham.

“We ended up at this point where we’d done all of our records with the same person and we just wanted to change… to try something different, you know. We certainly did but I think at this point we can produce them ourselves, definitely,” said Cunningham speaking by phone from the U.K. before a Deftones concert in Glasgow.

“We started it with him and finished with, er… Pretty much ourselves, actually. But he helped with the beginning of it. [It was] a very long, long process. A lot of it has to do with just personal issues with him. A lot of inter-band fighting, you know. But it’s all good now, everyone’s happy. We’re rockin’.”

The album is basically finished, according to Cunningham.

“Actually it’s finished, it’s been all recorded and we’re finishing the final mix of it, you know, it should be out in October at least.”

With these matters now resolved, Cunningham lists a “Posi-tone” as his second instrument after his drums.

“It’s a joke,” he said.

“The past years have been not negative, but there has just been a lot of stuff going on in people’s lives, you know, so I just made a joke this time to say we are back and we have new and improved ‘Posi-tones.’ Positivity. You know, that was what it was, sort of. It was a joke.”

The Deftones formed in Sacramento in 1988, but did not release its debut album until 1995. The town which is the capital of California, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now resides, is renowned for its rich music scene.

“It’s pretty diverse, a lot of different music, from Tesla to Cake to Club Nuevo… Deftones,” said Cunningham.

“It’s a nice little town there with a lot of different stuff going on.”

The band, which also features vocalist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stef Carpenter, bassist Chi Cheng and keyboard player Frank Delgado, still spends most of its time in its home town.

In 2000, the Deftones was awarded a Grammy as the “Best Heavy Metal Band.”

“It’s kind of funny,” said Cunningham.“We’re definitely a metal-based band, you know, I mean from the get-go, from the very beginning, but I think there are certainly many, many bands that are far more metal than us and deserve that category. It’s pretty wild.”

Cunningham grew up exposed to music with his father playing bass and his stepfather being a drummer.

“Everyone in the band, we enjoy all music, all types of music,” he said. “For me I like a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Cream, the Police, The Beatles, these are the things I used to play along to. And then later on bands like Rush and Metallica, everything.”

His current favorite, however, is a New York avant-rock band called TV On The Radio.

“They’re very very cool, I couldn’t even explain it, it’s all over the board. It’s a really really cool fun, with very cool melodies and very interesting music, it’s rad and very cool.”

From St. Petersburg, the Deftones will travel to Moscow where it will play on Thursday.

Cunningham said he was deeply impressed by Moscow when the Deftones performed at an oudoor concert there in June 2001.

“It was amazing, you know, it was very surreal to from when we started landing on the airplane, coming down. It was a place I wanted to go all my life, you know. It was very weird.

“We were there maybe three or four days, I think, and played only one show in Gorky Park and it was great. I was very excited when I saw we had a chance to go back.

“Especially because we’ve only been to Moscow, so we’ll be returning there and also [going] to St. Petersburg, so I’m looking forward to it very much. It’s very amazing. A lot of history. So much history.”

“SacBee” – May 2006 // Chino Interviewed

Article by: Chris Macia
Online at: http://www.sacticket.com/music/story/14254745p-15070237c.html

Chino Moreno’s heart is with his mom

Chino Moreno, spoon in hand, settles into a chair at his mom’s kitchen table. He’s just returned to Sacramento this morning from the Deftones’ two-month Taste of Chaos tour, and the tattooed singer is hungry for a taste of home.

“Yeah, she’s hooking it up right now,” says Moreno, as his mother’s macaroni soup simmers on the stove. “I’ll take that over any restaurant.”

It’s a simple dish, not much more than boiled macaroni in tomato sauce and a little garlic salt. But the main ingredient is a mother’s love, the kind of cooking that’s like a hug.

“It’s a poor man’s meal, an end-of-the-month kind of thing,” says Moreno’s mom, Debbie Ramirez, as she serves the sopa in an Oriental bowl.

“Is it good today, Chino?”

“Yeah,” he answers, in between slurps. “It’s good.”

Moreno’s mom sometimes will browse the Tower Books newsstand and see her son on a magazine cover. Whether it’s Spin, or Metal Hammer or Alternative Press, she’ll buy the magazine, take it home and place it in a wooden trunk.

Moreno bought his mom this antique trunk now stuffed with Deftones mementos: a key to the city of Sacramento (she’s especially proud of this), backstage passes, a bathrobe with “Deftones” stitched on the back, stacks of magazine and newspaper clippings.

She also saved the Thrasher T-shirt that Moreno wore at the Deftones’ first big gig, a show at the Cattle Club on Folsom Boulevard. That was the first time Ramirez saw her son as a rock ‘n’ roll front man, jumping around the stage and into the crowd while guitar riffs jackhammered behind him.

Mom felt like she was getting slapped upside the head with sound.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, what the heck is he doing?'” remembers Ramirez. “That’s not really singing. It’s screaming. But I never really gave him an opinion, like I didn’t like it. I just wanted to be behind him 100 percent.”

But there was something that Ramirez couldn’t support at the show: Hearing her son cuss. Her face reddened when Moreno dropped the “f bombs” that pretty much make up the chorus of “7 Words,” one of the Deftones’ most aggressive tunes. Filthy language was not tolerated in the household.

“Usually we’d save (‘7 Words’) for the end because I’d be done being nervous and I’d be able to cuss and tell her ‘I’m sorry’ later,” says Moreno. “If I would think about it, I’d get really nervous about the cussing and stuff. I’d get in trouble for saying something that sounded like a bad word. For real.”

Ramirez was strict when it came to raising her kids. And when Moreno got to McClatchy High School and decided that he liked singing and skateboarding more than studying, his mom knew just how to punish him.

“I used to get grounded from the band,” says Moreno. “(My) mom and dad got called into the office one day and we had to have a meeting. (We’re) walking out of school and my mom goes, ‘All right, you know what this means: No Deftones.’ (So) I had to call (guitarist Stephen Carpenter) and tell him, ‘Dude I can’t come to practice for like a month.'”

His mom laughs.

“But how about that time Stephen was jumping out of my window because you guys were practicing at my house,” says Ramirez. “(They) knew they weren’t supposed to be there. He was trying to get out of the house and broke my windowsill.”

The Deftones sold 1 million copies of their “White Pony” album in 2002, and for that, the band received commemorative platinum records. A song from the album, “Elite,” also won a Grammy Award for metal performance.

Moreno wanted to pay his mom back somehow, for those early days when she’d drive the young Deftones to gigs in the family van, or let him vent to her on the phone when he was feeling lonely or stressed on the road.

So he presented one of those “White Pony” platinum discs to his mom, and had her name inscribed on it.

“I’m proud of (the platinum record), obviously, but I wanted to show her what I’ve done with all this,” says Moreno. “She doesn’t really get to see too much. (She) knows what I do, but when you get something like that, or a Grammy, it’s like, ‘Look it’s real.’ It’s exciting to get to be able to do that (for her).”

Because his mom remembers when the Deftones were just young homeboys with big dreams. And she still refers to the band members as “her kids,” and here they are, 15 years later with platinum records, headlining tours and black SUVs in the driveway.

“See mom, I told you!” Moreno says with a laugh.

“I’m glad I never discouraged them,” says Ramirez. “(I) think he’s going to learn that as a parent, that as long as you just stay behind your kids, whatever they do, stay close to them and guide them in certain ways. But at the same time, let them be who they are.”

And now, recharged by the macaroni, Moreno has to pick up one of his two kids from school. Moreno’s only in town for a couple of days before he heads to Los Angeles, where he’ll record vocals for the Deftones’ upcoming album and rehearse for a European tour.

But his heart will be right here, waiting for a meal with mom by his side.

“I love her more than anybody in the whole world,” says Moreno, in a booming front man voice.

Then, he softens.

“I’ve been with her since preschool, you know what I mean?” Moreno says, remembering when his mom was his preschool teacher at Fruitridge Elementary. “It’s hard to detach myself from her. I guess I’m what you’d call a ‘mama’s boy,’ to the fullest. After all the music and everything, family will always be there for you to come home to.”

Chino Moreno’s favorite macaroni

Prep time: 5 min. * Cook time: 10 min. * Serves 4 or more

Ingredients

1 package Lady Lee macaroni
2 cans tomato sauce
Water
Vegetable oil
Garlic salt to taste
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste

Instructions

“It’s so simple,” says Debbie Ramirez, Chino Moreno’s mother. “I put the macaronis in a pot with a little oil, and I stir them until the macaronis get a little toasted. Add water, about an inch over the macaronis, then add the tomato sauce. I add some seasoning, usually garlic salt. Boil the macaroni until it’s al dente, or soft, about 10 minutes. Chino loves to eat it with his favorite hot sauce (Crystal Hot Sauce).”

” MTV ” – April 2006 // Chino Interviewed

There was a point a few years back when Chino Moreno just didn’t want to make another Deftones record. Neither did the rest of the Sacramento, California, rockers.

Moreno told the rest of the band he’d be doing his own thing for a bit. That thing was Team Sleep — Moreno’s ambient, experimental side project, which released its self-titled debut in 2005.

“I wasn’t interested in making a Deftones record at the time, and we were writing songs here and there, but no one really wanted to take control of the project,” he explained. “With Team Sleep, there was just so much creativity going on, and everybody wanted to try all these weird, different things. So I just had more interest in it, and I told everyone [in Deftones] I was going to go away for a while. And Team Sleep was really fun for me. Some people enjoyed it, some people didn’t.”

As you’d imagine, Moreno’s temporary departure from the Deftones created tension within the group, and he said there were several months where he didn’t even speak to any of his bandmates. “Hole in the Earth,” the tentative first single from the Deftones’ forthcoming, still-untitled LP, addresses the internal strife that paralyzed the band for a time, as well as the feelings Moreno grappled with upon his return to the ‘Tones.

“We wrote it live, with everyone writing their part right along with each other, and it’s the best of what we do,” he said. “It’s really, really in-your-face, and yet it kind of sways and it’s pretty … but it’s aggressive and it’s sort of bleak. That’s what I like about our band, and it’s all in that song. It’s sort of ruthless and mean, but it had to be said at the time.”

In the song’s lyrics, Moreno talks about wanting to leap into a hole and disappear. “I think it was healthy for me to do,” he said, regarding Team Sleep — a project he plans to revisit. “It was healthy that we all took a break. When I came back, we wanted to make the record, and we all got together and had the best time ever, just talking about what we wanted to do. We had to do other things. I had to do Team Sleep. I had to go just make music, different music with different people. I didn’t want it to get stale at all — just making a record for the sake of making a record. I wanted to make something really good and that, hopefully, 10 years from now, people will still be listening to.”

And that record, the Deftones’ fifth full-length offering, is due September 12. The band spent two years writing the album (see “Why Is The New Deftones Album Taking So Long?”), and ended up recording 17 tracks — a dozen of which will make the final cut. The Deftones worked on most of the songs with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction) at his home studio in Connecticut and then returned to the West Coast to put the finishing touches on them.

“Most of the vocals I’ve been doing with [former Far guitarist] Shaun Lopez,” Moreno said.

“He has a studio right around the corner from [where I live], and every day, I’ve just been at his house, just recording, and it’s been the most comfortable, best way of recording music ever. He knows Deftones just as well as we do. We all grew up together. He knows what he likes about our band and what we like about our band, and he wants to really bring that out. [This record] took awhile, but I think it was for the right reasons. The record is coming towards the end of two years of work, so I’m ready to just close the book on it and that’s it.”

Rich Costey (Audioslave, My Chemical Romance) has signed on to mix the record, which is a mixture of some of the Deftones’ heaviest material to date and some of their “sweetest,” Moreno said. “The heavy stuff is really, really heavy, like really aggressive, and the stuff that’s sweet and weird or whatever is sweeter and weirder. A lot of people will probably compare it to [2000’s] White Pony, because that was one of the most diverse records that we did. This one’s probably the most diverse record we’ve done.”

And there are several guests who’ll be appearing on the album, he said, including Giant Drag singer/guitarist Annie Hardy on the electronically inclined “Pink Cell Phone,” which “reminds me of a club song, but it’s Deftones, and that’s what’s awesome about it,” said Moreno. System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian appears on the song “Buffalo.”

“I’ve done a lot of stuff with a lot of people, and Serj came by and sang a little melody in this little part of this one song,” said Chino. Other tracks planned for the record include “America,” “FM” and “Beware.” “I like to use people for what it is I like about what they do, and to me, I really like — I’m not too into System of a Down, lyrically, so much as I like some of the melodies that him and [guitarist] Daron [Malakian] do. That’s what I utilized him for.”

Moreno said the ‘Tones will incorporate as much of the new material as possible into their set this summer, when they head out with Korn for the resuscitated Family Values Tour. Dates have not been announced yet, but the run’s expected to make stops in 30 cities.

— Chris Harris, with reporting by Corey Moss

“Hour – Canada” – April 2006 // Chino Interviewed

Deftones depersonalized by Dave Jaffer

Frontman Chino Moreno tires of talking about himself, both musically and on the phone 

It’s not that Chino Moreno doesn’t like doing interviews, he insists. “I just don’t like talking on the phone. Not even with my girlfriend. And sometimes you get [interviewers] who ask all these stupid questions, and you’re like, ‘What the fuck?'”

Moreno, the charismatic guitarist/lead singer for The Deftones, is in Vancouver (“My assistant saw a guy wash a needle in a puddle”) where he and his bandmates are preparing for a one-off show before starting their much-anticipated Canadian dates on the Taste of Chaos tour, which also includes the likes of Thrice, Atreyu, Thursday and As I Lay Dying.

On the topic of anticipation, Deftones fans the world over are hurriedly cancelling plans for a revolution, as the band is just about ready to unleash their latest, as-of-yet untitled album (though the prevailing rumour has it called Saturday Night Wrist ), which has been over two years in the making. “This record was the hardest one,” Moreno allows, “the record where we realized we should really take time and dissect our music a lot more, and put much more into it. [Consequently] I think the final product will be longer lasting.” And, if we’re to take him at his word, less “personal.”

“I’m really over a lot of vocalists, including myself,” he confesses. “A lot of music is ruined by people’s personal lives in their music. I want to hear the music for the music… not about a singer who had a bad childhood or a lost love. And I don’t want to come off like my life is more tragic or glorious than anyone else’s. I’m just trying to fantasize a bit more, to sing about things that have nothing to do with describing myself or my life.”

Vicious, visceral and illuminating, The Deftones’ eclectic sound has been described in a variety of ways, including progressive metal, alternative metal and art metal. To many, though, their sound is defiantly unclassifiable, and even Moreno stumbles slightly when asked if he knows where he’d slot their style. “I think the dynamic between music that’s moody and music that has energy is a good description. Even though [our music is] sometimes an onslaught of powerful sounds and rhythms, there’s a lot of the opposite – broken down, sullen, quiet, peaceful. We enjoy making music which goes through peaks and valleys.”

Though hardcore fans have reportedly been more than a little perturbed by the bands included on their current tour, Moreno contends that Taste of Chaos has been “a good way to come back in and enter the mix” after spending years conceiving, recording and tweaking the new disc. The time away from the scene, time to relax and regroup, has also afforded them the room to improve their live performances.

“Our shows now are getting really super tight,” he tells me, his voice thick with wondrous, childlike enthusiasm. “There are times when we can be extraordinary, and times we’re just okay. We’re looking at being extraordinary every time out, and when we’re able to put out even 80 per cent of what we’re capable of, I think it’s magical. [We know now] that what we put into it is what we’re going to get out of it.”

“Yahoo – Canada” – April 2006 // Stef Interviewed

Toning up for Chaos
Hard-working band promises all-out punk/metal assault
By ALLAN WIGNEY , OTTAWA SUN

THE YEAR was 1988. And a quartet of fledgling Sacramento-based musicians caught a break of sorts, when one member of the struggling band was hit by a drunk driver.

The resulting settlement brought the teens enough cash to deck themselves out properly in equipment fit for a loud and proud metal band.

Or so the oft-told legend of The Deftones’ birth goes.

Not strictly true, guitarist Stef Carpenter says with a sigh.”I got hit by a car when I was 16 and received a settlement when I was 18,” Carpenter recounts.

“But the band came later. And by the time we started The Deftones I had already spent the money and sold whatever equipment I’d bought. We started with nothing, like any band.”

Carpenter, vocalist Chino Moreno, bassist Chi Cheng and drummer Abe Cunningham were not completely lacking in resources, however.

For one thing, they had a budding sound that combined Moreno’s fearsome vocals with Carpenter’s punishing riffs in a manner that would shortly draw comparisons to contemporaries and occasional tourmates Korn.

DETERMINATION

For another, the young band had a determination to succeed manifested in years of non-stop touring that ultimately earned the band a distinguished place on Maverick Records and multi-platinum success.

“From the start, we just played as much as we could outside Sacramento,” Carpenter says of the band’s game plan for rock stardom. “We knew that playing shows was the only way we were going to reach as many people as we wanted to.

“I think it’s easier for bands starting out today. Now, you have the Internet; we didn’t have the Internet. Add that exposure to trying to play shows everywhere you can and you can make a name for yourself a lot faster. You don’t even need a record company anymore. But it’s probably a lot more competitive, too.”

Fortunately, The Deftones are past such concerns. Eleven years after the powerful debut album Adrenaline, the adventurous five-piece (keyboardist/turntablist Frank Delgado joined the band in 1997) is in no hurry. It’s been three full years since Deftones, the band’s latest album of new material; yet, Carpenter predicts we will not see the next one until some time this fall.

“We’re coming up on 20 years together as a band,” he says with a slight tone of disbelief. “So we’re getting old and stubborn. We’re becoming grumpy old men.”

Members of The Deftones have not been idle since the release of the self-titled album, however. When not touring as a band, each Deftone has pursued a variety of side projects.

Carpenter, in fact, completed an album with his band Stef — featuring members of Cypress Hill and Fear Factory, prior to the release of Deftones. Yet, to date, there has been no sign of said CD.

“I don’t know why it’s been held up,” Carpenter says with a shrug. “I’d like to see it come out.”

There is little sense of frustration in Carpenter’s comment. After all, the priority remains The Deftones.

And as his band prepares to hit Capital City during a brief Canadian tour designed to keep the hard-working quintet’s chops in order, he promises an all-out assault that will serve as a teaser for the next chapter in the Deftones story.

“I couldn’t even describe our show,” he says.

“I’m a bad barometer for describing our music in general, really. But we’re just excited to be able to go out and play. You know, we’ve been friends since high school, and the fact that we can still do this as friends is amazing.”

Hey, it all adds to the legend.

“Lambgoat” – March 2006 // Stef Interviewed

DJ Delgado of Deftones puts it all in the mix
By: Frank Gatto

So you’re about to embark on the two month long Taste of Chaos tour. While I know doing lengthy tours is nothing too new for you, how do you generally feel the few days prior to beginning a tour of that length?

It’s ironic, I was just thinking about that before you called. My psychic intuitive side told me that something like that was going to come up. I knew it, but I was thinking about it myself, that’s why I said it to myself. Anyway, it was ironic, I was saying to myself, “you know, it’s those three days before the tour, where you’re like, if you’re about to go on any trip or some shit like that, you’re stressing on it and making sure you’ve packed everything and all that kind of stuff. That’s all it is. I think anyone can relate to it. For me, the touring part, that’s easy. That’s fun. But I think it’s just that stress of making sure you don’t forget anything.

How long does it usually take you to pack?

Not long. I can probably pack what I need to take with me in less than an hour. I’m really just making sure I have my camera and my computer and all the right cables with me. You know, “do I need to order parts for my guitars,” or anything like that. For my personal, I don’t have much to take with me. I only roll with like, a week’s worth of clothes, and we get our laundry done every day so it’s not like I have to have a massive stash of clothes.

Yeah. Whatever I can fit into a suitcase is what I’m wearing for the next…who knows how long.

And plus, when we go out on tour, I try to take nothing with me because I always end up coming back with stuff. So, the lighter I keep it going out, the easier it is coming back.

Are there any bands on the tour that you’re already well acquainted with and looking forward to joining out on the road, or is this an entirely new scope of people for you?

Well, Thrice, we’ve actually toured with them, and I’ve met the Story Of The Year guys; those guys are pretty cool dudes. I feel like I’ve met a lot more but it’s just going to be fun to go out with a lot of bands. I think those are some of the most fun environments to play in, when there’s so many different people playing. So many different angles couldn’t cover it.

I know the openers for the dates were selected by popular vote, but how was this tour arranged and organized in general?

I’m really not in the know on that. My recent path has been all about still working on our record and finishing it up with Chino and just rehearsing the last couple of weeks to get it together.

Is there anything about this tour that you see stands out as being different rather than some of the larger tours you’ve been a part of?

Isn’t it kind of like the Warped Tour? Isn’t that the basis of it? The winter Warped Tour?

The winter Warped Tour? ?

I mean, it’s like the same scene, it’s just the Warped Tour is during the summer and the Taste of Chaos is during the winter. Isn’t that it?

Warped Tour has a lot of stages, though?

Oh yeah, it’s a miniature version of it, but that’s because it’s only the second year of it. Give it a few years, you watch it. Motocross at midnight…

Monster trucks at 2AM… ?

Right. I don’t know, mix it up, have fun. That stuff’s all cool. It’s just growing. The Warped Tour was a lot smaller when it started out compared to where it is now.

As you mentioned working on the new album, I was wondering if there’s a chance of any new material being performed on this tour?

Yeah, we’re going to play some new stuff.

Can you give any hints as to how the new material is shaping up as? I’ve already read it’s a little more aggressive, but to what extent?

I can’t apply more aggressive to any of it. I think that’s funny when people say that. I wish. Hey, I personally wish it was more aggressive.

I think that was in an interview with Chino.

Yeah well, more aggressive for him, maybe. If we busted out some blastbeats and double bass, then I’d definitely be glad to take it to the next level, but that’s asking too much right now.

Yeah, blastbeats aren’t usually the most widely accepted of all the beats out there.

Uh huh, they’re the best, though.

I tend to agree, yeah. So is there any specific intent or defining concept behind this record?

You know, we’ve never really had a concept on any of them. The way we all explain it is it’s just a part of our lives, that period of time and where we’re at. I don’t think anyone sits down with any plan in mind, it just ends up becoming what it is. It’s almost like the artist and the canvas. He might have an idea, but once he starts going, that thing can morph a million ways.

I wanted to move on to your side project, Kush. I know you guys already have a Myspace up with a few tracks, but have you announced a bassist as of yet?

No, not yet. We’re not sure about that, yet. Like I said, I’ve been busy with this, so our goal is to get something recorded with that later this year. But who knows.

How did that come together anyhow? Were you already close with the guys from Fear Factory and B-Real before?

I had met B-Real a couple times before them, but I’ve known Christian since 1995, and we’ve been talking about jamming forever. I moved to Los Angeles in December of 1999 and I wanted to get it going when we had time. We were going to be down here working on “White Pony” at that time, so, we started jamming and we pretty much jammed for a couple months every year, for the first couple of years. Then everyone’s schedules were flipping all around and stuff, so it’s just been more of a time issue at the moment, but later on this year we should have some more time to get something going. It’s a matter of it being convenient and respectful to all things going on. We have so much on our schedule and Fear Factory has got all their stuff going on, and B-Real’s always working. Either paintballing or working on his solo stuff, or even with Cypress Hill too.

My girlfriend just recently picked up a bunch of Cypress Hill, and I hadn’t really followed them past their early material, but their later stuff has changed a lot, and it’s actually really good.

I know, the thing that I love about their new stuff is that they play it as a band. They’re actually playing in it now, and it’s fucking tight.

It’s come a long way, it’s cool.

I agree.

Are there any other side projects that you have in the pipeline or other people you’ve worked with that your fans might be unaware of?

I’m doing some drum n’ bass stuff with Bobo from Cypress Hill, and then I’m going to mix it up and do some stuff by myself. But it’ll be like, metal, definitely, but it won’t be all metal. But I really like the faster stuff. It’s just something I’m doing on the side. I want to do a drum n’ bass album, but I want to play guitar as well, and I want to mix it up. Instead of having a lot of the keys being there, I’ll use guitar and the zillions of effects I have to make all those crazy sounds. What I’ll probably end up doing is hooking up the music, programming some beats, DJs, whatever, and start it from there. Then start layering some stuff up and making some crazy stuff. The hot hit tracks in the clubs.

Is that your goal? To break into the club circuit?

No, really, my goal is to be number one in the PGA.

Do you do a lot of golfing?

I started to. I started about five months ago, but I pretty much went every day.

What got you started golfing?

Um, I was the number one Tiger Woods golfer online on the Playstation.

Are you serious?

Yep.

That’s weird, I’ve been thinking about golfing lately, and I can attribute it entirely to playing Tiger Woods. I had no interest in the game at all, and now, if you turn on the TV, I’ll actually watch it.

I follow the tour all the time. The things I enjoy are golf, watching all the golf channels, all the Nascar shit, that stuff’s great, and I listen to a lot of talk radio. I’ll listen to anything on it, really.

Just as long as it’s talk radio?

Yeah. It’s just other people’s opinions. You start to see where a lot of people fall in line together and where people clash. You can learn a lot of things from it, I believe.

I blame myself for not knowing more, being that I hardly read, I should be listening to more talk radio.

[laughing] I don’t do any reading.

I feel guilty about it.

I don’t feel guilty about it. I can talk, and I can communicate as best as I can, and if I have any issues or difficulties with making those communications I’ll try to figure out another way or I’ll politely excuse myself from the situation. Be like, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand, I’ve gotta go. That one’s just above me.” You know what I mean? Why lie? Just like, “I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’m sorry.”

I wish more people would do that, but I find when you’re kind of direct with them in that way, you’d think people would appreciate the honesty behind it, but they actually don’t.

I agree totally. It’s amazing. I don’t watch a lot of TV because all I have to do is look around. Get some people around you for a couple of hours. You’ll find it equally, if not greater than, TV.

Or go sit on a bench at the mall sometime. If you’re able to sit there longer than thirty minutes without losing it, at least. I had to be at the mall today for Valentine’s Day.

Wha? For what? Wha…what’d you have to do?

I bought chocolate. I’m not going to lie. I bought chocolate.

[laughing]

But, but. It’s not because I know my girlfriend would kill me if I didn’t buy her chocolate, it’s because deep down, I know she will share some of that chocolate with me.

[laughing] I hear you. It’s gotta be something you can get something too, I guess.

I mean, I’m a giving guy, I guess, but a little bit has to be selfish. To my credit, I did get her only the chocolate I know she would like.

Valentine’s Day. It’s such a racket.

Hold on, she just got home.

Nikol: Hi!

Drew: I’m doing an interview. I’m on the phone with the guy from Deftones.

Nikol: Oh. I got you some socks.

Drew: Thank you.

Nikol: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Drew: Happy Valentine’s Day.

Did you catch that?

Yeah.

She bought me some socks.

Make sure you print that.

I think the last interview I did, I had to stop the interview to watch Laguna Beach with her.

[laughing]

It got me in a lot of trouble with a lot of people except for her.

Yeah, I would have gave you some trouble too, man.

I gave myself more than enough trouble for it. Just battling if I should even…I even had to cut some of it out for what I said, because I’m sure I went on a long big rant about how guilty I felt…but instead I just wrote like, “hold on, dude! Laguna Beach is on!” Hold on, I have to explain what kind of chocolate I got her.

[laughing]

Alright, let me get back to this. Otherwise this interview will crumble before our feet. Which could be cool.

[laughing]

Okay, anyway.

Moving on.

I noticed that the B-Sides and Rarities demonstrated that there’s a lot of eclectic tastes operating within the band, but who would you say has the strangest or most abstract taste?

You know, I gotta say Frank. He’s a DJ. He’s got everything.

That’s true, he’s forced to have it all. Is there anything anyone listens to that you absolutely can’t stand?

Well…you know.

You don’t have to name names.

Oh yeah. There’s definitely times where I gotta leave the room. I think we all do that to each other, though. It’s a good way to get some privacy. Put on some music that you know no one likes. They’ll just go the opposite direction, quick. It’s a polite way of telling someone to fuck off.

You did an interview with a website back in 2001, and it’s a very strange interview, actually. You’re talking about losing your faith and tracing it back to something you saw about a metal door being found within the Egyptian pyramids. Do you remember that?

Well, I was talking about that, but I don’t think it was about losing my faith.

The interview was weird. It was like, after you said that, you were saying that there was a cover-up about it and you were “gone for good,” and then the interviewer follows it up with, “Just remember, it’s never too late to turn back, embrace Christ, and the sacrifice he made for each and every one of us.”

Hmm. I wonder if that was just edited. I’ve never really had anyone get really religious with me or anything like that.

It was an interview where you were talking about aliens building the pyramids and all that stuff.

I definitely still believe that.

Okay, good, because that leads me into two questions, which are: are things like that partially the reason why there aren’t a great deal of interviews with you out there, and number two: are you kind of a conspiracy theory reader?

No, I wouldn’t say I’m into conspiracy theory. I’m just like anyone else. I’m just trying to sift through all the bullshit that’s fed to us daily. I’m trying to make my own logical conclusions as to what lies at hand. What you can actually see and what is tangible, you know what I mean? Otherwise it’s just all hype. Have you ever looked at the sun satellite website?

No, I haven’t.

It’s a satellite that monitors the sun and it’s going 24/7.

Is that the one they took down because there was like, UFOs or something appearing on it?

Well, it’s been talked about for a long time. I haven’t looked at it for a long time because I’ve already seen enough to know what I need to know. Like, yeah, basically, there’s eight different filters on this satellite, and one filter really shows physical objects. There’s an object in space and it wasn’t a photo, but you could totally see the shit. That filter, man, every day, for as far back as you can see, there’s activity going on at the sun at an impeccable rate. Something is happening at the sun with something. They’re impervious to the effects of the sun. Completely impervious. Stuff that is just…massively huge. You’ve never seen anything that huge before. And it was in the pictures, man.

I want to see that. Are there pictures on the internet?

Hold on, I’ve got my computer right here, I’ll tell you if it’s on. Every day. Every day. I heard it on Coast To Coast, this program at night…

With Art Bell?

Yeah. They had this guy, he’s a meteorologist, but he did this other stuff on the side. This whole thing was all about every day our weather is being manipulated.

Yeah, I’ve read about it. I guess it’s with technology that Nikola Tesla came up with.

It’s the…uh…I have a picture on my computer of it. The HAARP system.

See, you are too into this stuff. I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theory buff either, but I know about all this stuff.

I’m not into the conspiracy of it, like I said, I’m just basing my opinions on what I can see for myself. So here we go, for instance. Right now, I’m looking at the sun. I’m telling you, if I had this thing counted out, I could count you out a good dozen things that you couldn’t tell me what they were. And they’re massive.

So if I pull this up right now, I can see it?

Yeah.

What’s the web address?

Just go to nasa.gov and then just do a search for Soho on their search. There’s eight different lenses and filters. There’s one where the entire picture will be blue. In the middle of that picture, you’re going to see a dark blue circle, and in the middle of that circle, you’re going to see a white circle. The white circle in the center of that blue circle is the actual sun, how big it is. That circle is roughly about a million miles wide. The sun is about a million miles wide. If you look just right above the blue circle, there’s a huge white streak there. These pictures, if you’ll actually look on there, there’s different sizes of the pictures you can look at. What you’re looking at normally, it’s zoomed out a million miles, you know what I mean? But they have the raw images on there where you can zoom in on the image. You can actually look at that shit.

Alright, I’m going to have to do this on my own free time.

Go for it. But look at that shit, you know what I mean?

Yeah, that’s very strange.

And since you’re on there, do that mpeg of that very same filter. Let it play. It’ll basically show you a sequence of all those frames over the last hour or the last day or something like that. Watch it and watch how much shit flies in and out of that picture. [laughing]

But yeah, back to what I was asking about the way the person edited that one interview, is that partially a reason why there aren’t a lot of interviews with you?

Usually there’s just not a lot because, I don’t know, I’m not really Mr. Big Interview. I’m not really…I just…you can only say so much. I’m not really a big hype person. I don’t really want to hype myself up. “Oh, go see my band, buy our record, blah, blah, blah,” you know? I’m trying to do it, I’m trying to have fun, and I’m very thankful for those who enjoy our stuff and provide a living for me. It doesn’t get more simple than that, and that’s where I live, all the time.

Kind of on a parallel line, do you ever read the messageboard on the Deftones website?

Nope. Not enough hours of the day for me to get around on all those.

It’s very strange. It’s a forum that has nothing to do with the band.

Yeah, I always hear that. I just think it’s funny. It’s just people using the web and having a good time.

Yeah, yeah, that’s what it is.

Rock on.

Much like our website. Not unlike our board, which is very immoral.

Most boards and most forums, they’re all very immoral.

They are. These are things that potentially ruin someone’s life.

[laughing]

Last night, for example, someone made a post that was about how he had just started seeing this girl and sleeping with her, but her vagina smelled. He posted her Myspace and apparently people thought she was pretty unattractive, so in turn, there’s maybe 200 comments of people making fun of this girl and making fun of this guy, and then someone has the nerve to mail this link to this girl. So…I mean, needless to say, it’s pretty much the most painful thing to watch.

The internet is cold as ice!

It is!

It’s a digital comic book, you know what I mean? You can be anyone you want on it, you can be real or not. There’s just so much on there. It’s like anything, it’s up to you to decide what’s right, wrong, true, or not. It’s up to you to accept things the way they are or to change them for the way you want them to be. You know how it is.

It’s a sinister area of life, I guess.

It’s kind of just like, we’re all dealing with something. Everyone of us has problems, but I think just in general, the internet is an escape where you can go look at someone else’s problems, where you’re like, “ooh, look at that.”

Yeah, it’s like a soap opera where someone could end up getting killed.

It’s a big, giant, digital, bulletin board. I didn’t go to college, but I rode my bike through it all the time when I used to go down to the river, and there was this bulletin board that I used to go by. And that’s what it is to me. The modern age version of that. There’s no need for that bulletin board except for in that little community where people will be walking by, otherwise people will go to the internet for information. Who buys encyclopedias anymore? You don’t need no encyclopedia, buy the internet.

Buy yourself a google.org.net.

You’ll have it all. And then all the porn you’ve ever dreamed of.

And that’s when your life just falls into place.

The internet really is just porn. 95% porn and 5% productivity and information.

I was just thinking how far the world has come in terms of…like, when I was in high school, if I had a cell phone when I was in high school, like everyone has one now…

Kids got cell phones now, not even in high school.

Yeah, exactly. There were pagers when we were in high school, but even then…

I was in school right before the pagers came out. When I got out is when the pagers were coming out.

See, through the use of the pagers, if they were popularized as much as the cell phone, you would’ve failed out of school anyway. And that’s what would’ve happened to me if everyone had a cell phone. I just barely skated by on a mixture of charm and confusing people. That’s how I graduated, by lying to people constantly. If there were cell phones there, I would’ve been completely fucked. There would’ve been so many botched drug deals and so much other screwed up shit, that there would’ve been no way I could’ve made it through high school with all my limbs or out of jail.

It’s wild times. We live in wild times. There’s no question about it. You can really pick your topic, it doesn’t really matter, because everyone’s living to the extreme now.

Everything has gone and done The Dew.

Exactly. Everybody’s on The Dew.

It’s The Dew that’s fucking up our kids! If only it was that simple. But back to the internet porn thing. When I was ten or so, in order to watch porn, you had to sit real close to the TV and catch the scrambled channels.

You had to put it between two and three…

You had to work for it.

Yeah, you had to get that channel knob to stay right there in the middle and not flip to the next one. I don’t know what channel that was on, it wasn’t no channel that you knew of.

No, this was some sort of ethereal channel that the gods surely delivered to tease you as a young man.

Floating around in the ether.

But now it’s like, you can be five years old and you can find a video of a kid getting hit in the head with a shovel, you’ll get to watch it, but all of a sudden shit starts popping up, and then instantly, you know what boobs are.

Yeah. [laughing] It’s out of control. Everything you ever wanted on there. Everything in life that there is in life that we all know about, it’s on the internet. If we don’t know about it, as soon as we do know about it, it’ll be on the internet.

Have you heard about this Russian scientist who has developed an invisibility cloak. Have you heard about this?

Nah uh, but I wouldn’t put it past reality.

It doesn’t look very good. 

My girlfriend says it doesn’t look very good, but still, the fact that they can make anything and still refer to it as an “invisibility cloak” is mindblowing, even if it isn’t perfect.

That’s dope.

Yeah, dope indeed. Yeah, get on the internet and look up invisibility cloak when we get off the phone. Or even right now if you feel like it.

I’m just waiting for our generation to kick in and take the hardcore nano-research and take it to the public and make it all happen. Like, I know at some point I’m going to have to deal with all the years of fast food that I ate, and I’m going to need me a pill that’s going to put two-trillion little nanobots to go in and just coarse through all my veins and destroy all the enemies in my body. Okay, meanwhile, while doing so, give each cell an injection – a boost, to resuscitate it back to its youthfulness…

…while you are teleporting to your hovercar.

Exactly.

Excellent. Excellent. There could be good things in this future, although everybody is on The Dew and disaster is impending, there could be good things. And by good things, I mean hovercars.

Yeah, it’s crazy. I know one thing’s for sure, I never thought I’d ever imagine us really having to be worried about nukes blowing up. But we’re going to have to worry about that sometime soon. People is crazy.

Yeah. People is crazy. I’m going to move on now to a few questions you might not want to answer. Number one, I know there’s this huge announcement that’s being hyped that’s supposedly going to be on your website. I figure you might as well just tell it to me, because it’ll be a while until this interview gets up, you know what I’m saying?

Um…

Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?

Hah, no, I really don’t.

Damn. That’s one question thwarted.

I mean, if you really slipped me the sodium-pentothal, I still wouldn’t have an answer for you.

I believe you. Let’s see…a question that came up a few times was about rumors that were floating around a few years ago. I know you all are tied with Faith No More, being that you’re friends with the Fear Factory guys who worked with Billy Gould, or, I think Mike Patton even did some guest vocals on the Team Sleep album. But supposedly there was a Faith No More reunion around the same time that a tribute album that was being planned. Apparently, Mike Patton threw a fit over a few things; one of which having to do with Chino being drunk at a meeting between all the artists. Any truth to that?

I actually…I’m familiar with him being drunk with Patton, but it wasn’t at a meeting of the artists, it was at a show we did in Holland. They were having a drinking contest, only Patton was tossing his drinks over his shoulder while Chino was killing his.

[laughing]

Needless to say, Chino lost that battle.

Yeah, or won, depending on your mindframe. So you’re saying that rumor is not true, as far as you know.

Yeah, no, I’m not aware of that.

And this rumor: back when I was 14 or so, reading metal magazines, I read some news blurb about you guys playing a show with Type O Negative and triggered a riot, ending with Type O Negative being unable to perform, and thus, starting a fight with you guys. Any truth to that?

Yeah, that happened. It wasn’t a fight with us, it was more like, one of their members tried to jump on Chino, and I didn’t really see what happened when he did it, but there was just a big scuffle and that was it, really. There was no fight, really, there was no one really kicking anyone’s ass.

Have you since made up with the Type O Negative folk?

I never really had beef with them, hah. I think that was more generated by people around than it was with us and them.

I don’t know, I would love to see Type O Negative fight anybody, being that they’re all…very…large. And have long hair. So I can see how that rumor would get really boosted up. So I know you’re kind of the metal guy, how much do you keep up with heavy music?

I don’t really keep up with it on a day to day basis, or even month to month for that matter, but I’ve got friends who are always listening to it, and they always turn me on to some stuff, and if I like it, I’ll put it in my Itunes and I got it there to rock later on. But as far as following who’s the hottest and doing what with the sickest stage moves and all that…I don’t really know.

Are there any bands off the top of your head that give you any real hope for the future?

Yeah. I’m a devoted Meshuggah fan.

I know you’re a devoted Meshuggah fan. It’s very well established everywhere that you love Meshuggah. Are there other bands or is it just flat out Meshuggah?

Um, there are, but I don’t really know a lot of bands names. Like I said, I hear them here and there. I like Chimaira a lot. Then there’s this band that my friend Christian’s doing, they’re called Threat Signal, they’re pretty fucking good. I think they’re from Toronto or something like that. They’re fucking massive, dude, it sounded really good. I can’t think of anyone else at the moment.

I’ve heard minor gripes from your fans about how you aren’t playing a lot of your older material live very often. Is there any reason for that other than the assumption that you’re probably tired of just playing them?

Yeah, Chino always takes them out of the set-list.

Does he?

Yeah.

So pin it on him?

Yeah, because he doesn’t play guitar on any of that stuff, and he wants to play guitar.

I’ve heard you have a little problem with him playing guitar so much.

Yeah, he’s terrible.

Easy enough. We can go with that.

I love him, but…

…but he’s a terrible guitarist. Okay.

He’s not terrible. I’m just saying, he needs to practice.

Last question, and this is kind of an important one, and I’m going to give you the option to jump out of it. Are you seriously able to smoke half an ounce of pot in a day?

If I had to, I probably could, but no, I don’t normally. Nor would I try to.

Somebody told me that you regularly smoke a half an ounce a day.

No, I heard that from somebody recently too, and I laughed. I was like, “are you kidding me?” I’m saying, it’s not impossible to do, I’m just saying I don’t.

It’s very difficult.

I may have done it once or twice, but it’s not a regular event by any means. That’s just plain too much.

That’s like when you hear about people who smoke four packs a day and you wonder if they quit their job to do that, or what.

If, I say…in a day maybe, two or three grams. Not a lot.

Yeah, that’s about moderate to…yeah, okay. Is there anything else you wanted to add or touch on?

No, just, it’s always the same. Just, you know, like I said, thank you very much.