Deftones on new material: “There’s always a little something brewing”

Deftones’ Frank Delgado and Abe Cunningham spoke to NME backstage at Download Festival about the future of the band, the next generation of metal and 25 years of second album ‘Around The Fur’.

This weekend saw the Sacramento metal veterans play Donington Park for the fifth time – a number matched by glam-rock icons and headliners KISS. Unlike KISS though, Deftones have no plans to retire any time soon. Or, as drummer Cunningham puts it: “Fuck no! We just sat at home for three years. We’ve got tonnes of fire to keep doing this.”

In that spirit, Delgado said that the band were “still only scratching the surface” of their acclaimed 2020 album ‘Ohms’. “It feels like we’re only just getting started,” he said. “We open with a new one as well. (‘Genesis’) is a banger and we feel it deserves the attention. It’s us putting our dick on the fucking table, basically.”

The build-up to this run of shows hasn’t been entirely smooth. In March, long-term bassist Sergio Vega announced he was quitting the band, before going on to say it didn’t offer him “a sense of belonging”. Then, following a US headline tour, guitarist Stephen Carter announced he would be sitting out of this European tour. “With everything going on in the world, I’m just not ready to leave home and leave the country yet,” read a statement.

In spite of everything, Delgado did tell NME that the band were very much “enjoying themselves”. “It feels good to be back out, doing what we‘ve always done,” he added. It’s been a lot of fun and we’re all having a blast.”

Once their European tour ends in July, Deftones are heading home to “chill for a bit”, according to Cunningham. There are plans for the third annual Dia De Los Deftones festival to take place later this November in San Diego (“but maybe it will move around one day”) alongside talk of an Australian tour. “That’s it for the year basically so maybe we’ll try and jam on some new songs,” said Cunningham. “There’s always a little something brewing”.

While 2012’s ‘Koi No Yokan’ and 2016’s ‘Gore’ saw the band get experimental with synths, ‘Ohms’ was a return to the heavy fury of their earlier work. Do the band know what direction they want to head in next?

“The next one is going to be soft as hell,” replied Cunningham, joking. “Everyone’s going to weep uncontrollably for months. There’ll be a tissue shortage around the world. “No, for better or worse, there are never any rules or preconceived thought put into much of what we create. It’s mostly just jamming it out and seeing what happens.”

He went on: “When we get together and write, it’s 70 per cent about the hang. If that’s going well, shit comes out. When it’s no longer fun, that’s a problem. There have been times like that. It’s part of being around for a long, long time, so we try to keep it on the light side these days.”

Delgado added: “It’s about working through those things, which I think we’ve got really good at. We just want to get along, have fun and something usually comes out of that.”

Chino Moreno performing in Deftones in 2018 Credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Heavy music is having somewhat of a resurgence at the moment, with the likes of Code Orange, Spiritbox and Poppy breathing new life into old ideas. Rather than being scared of the new, Deftones embrace it.

“It’s always good when people are able to put their best foot forward and feel like they’re fitting in, without worrying about being part of a scene,” said Delgado. “Sometimes you need to be that thorn. We were always the thing that stuck out, because we were not the same.”

He continued: “Things go in phases, but one thing that I think I noticed is that so much music uses click tracks and backing tracks these days, so there’s so much perfection, which is a trip for me because there’s never been any of that with us.

“People are so used to seeing a perfect show, they expect things to sound exactly like the record but there’s something about a raw, visceral performance with tension that will always speak to some people. Others might say it sounds like shit but in a time when everything sounds and looks so perfect, I think some warts and all are important.”

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of Deftones’ acclaimed second album ‘Around The Fur’. Not that the band have any plans to celebrate just yet – they didn’t even know about the milestone until NME told them.

“Making that album was the most amazing time,” said Cunningham. The band had signed a two-firm record deal, meaning they were guaranteed a second album regardless of how their debut did. “With that first record, we were able to see a tiny bit of the world and we came back that much more confident and comfortable. There was just this excitement that we got to do it again.

“I can’t listen to our first record, because we just sound like a young band. We still play those songs live and we enjoy them, but ‘Around The Fur’ just sounds so much better. That 25-year-old album is a very special record. I really like it, so I will definitely give it a piece of cake and a cheers but honestly, I’d rather work on some new tunes if we can.”

So what does the future of Deftones look like? “Hopefully onwards and upwards, replied Cunningham. “We’re happy as hell to be here right now. We’re super stoked to be able to do this and we’re really enjoying ourselves.”

Delgado then added: “We’re having fun and looking forward to the future, without it feeling like a burden on anyone.”

Deftones play an intimate show at London’s O2 Forum Kentish town before a summer of festivals including Mad Cool, HellFest and InMusic.

Meanwhile, frontman Chino Moreno is preparing to release a slew of more singles and a new album from his art-rock side-project ††† Crosses.

The post Deftones on new material: “There’s always a little something brewing” appeared first on NME.

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Ex-DEFTONES Bassist SERGIO VEGA Says His Exit ‘Was Never About Money’: ‘It’s Purely About Belonging’

Former DEFTONES bassist Sergio Vega has opened up about his departure from the band.
The 51-year-old musician, who officially joined DEFTONES in 2009, confirmed his exit two months ago, just days after a new photo of the group without him emerged online on various digital service providers. At the t…

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DEFTONES have recruited Fred Sablan as their new touring bassist following the recent departure of Sergio Vega.

Sablan made his live debut with the DEFTONES Thursday night (April 14) at the opening concert of the band’s spring 2022 U.S. tour at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon.

Sablan is best known as the former bassist for MARILYN MANSON, having toured and recorded with the shock rocker between 2010 and 2014. He has also played bass for CHELSEA WOLFE and PETER HOOK AND THE LIGHT, and is a member of the punk-rock supergroup HEAVENS BLADE alongside YOUTH CODE singer Sara Taylor, ROB ZOMBIE bassist Piggy D. (on guitar) and SUICIDE SILENCE drummer Alex Lopez.

Vega, who officially joined DEFTONES in 2009, confirmed his exit last month, just days after a new photo of the band without him emerged online on various digital service providers. At the time, the 51-year-old musician claimed that he had been led to believe he would eventually be brought in as a full-time member, but, in 12 years’ time, that never happened. “It was clear there was no opportunity for growth for me,” he said. Vega also thanked his former DEFTONES bandmates, adding that he wished he could have spoken to them in person. “I want you to know that I appreciate all the years we spent together: writing, performing, being taken into your worlds,” he said. “I learned a lot from each one of you, when you brought me in, you created a new sense of passion for music that I will always cherish and carry with me. You truly changed my life.”

Vega cut his teeth in the New York City hardcore scene in the late 1980s before going on to play in the influential post-hardcore trio QUICKSAND. QUICKSAND released two major-label albums (“Manic Compression” and “Slip”) before calling it a day. Soon after, Vega found himself filling in with the DEFTONES and eventually joined the band as the full-time replacement for Chi Cheng.

QUICKSAND reformed in 2012 and released a comeback album, “Interiors”, in 2017, ending the band’s 22-year interval between LPs. A follow-up effort, “Distant Populations”, arrived last August.

Chi died in April 2013 at the age of 42. He had been in a semi-comatose state for more than four years after being seriously injured in a car accident in November 2008. In addition to not recovering full consciousness, Cheng had been in and out of hospitals for various infections as his family has struggled with the mounting costs of care since he had lost his health insurance a few months after the accident.

Cheng required surgery after the car accident to remove part of his brain, but his recovery was strong enough that he was taken off life support seven months later.

Over the course of the last couple of years of his life, Cheng emerged from his coma for brief intervals. He was able to open his eyes and apparently could see and hear things going on around him but could not respond verbally.

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Former Deftones bassist Sergio Vega announces new project

After celebrating two GRAMMY nominations this weekend (see below), former Deftones bassist Sergio Vega – who announced last month that he parted ways with the group – has confirmed that he’s already busy working on new projects.

According to a press release, Sergio plans to work with multiple talented and acclaimed artists’ for this new venture, which is described as a writing / production project’. But music is on the cards, too, with the musician reportedly having a few other music-related projects in the works’.

There’s no other details just yet, but when we have them, we’ll let you know…

In a statement announcing his departure from Deftones, Sergio explained that he left early last year”, after issues surrounding his contract.

COVID was a breaking point for a lot of people,” he said in a video. And I started to question my place in the band, and the future that I wanted for my career. I really started to need something stable, because at that point, my contract with them was canceled. One day I got a call from the guys about an internal band situation, and they asked me if I was solid, and that I would have to fly out to LA to help work it out. Right away. I said, Of course, I was all in, and we can handle my situation later, but I can’t go back to my old contract.’ Our respective management had a conversation to discuss a new contract, and they offered me the same deal. At that point. It was clear there was no opportunity for growth for me. So I declined the offer. And then I call the guys immediately to see where the miscommunication was to resolve it. But there was no response.

A couple of days later, I received an email from their lawyer that their offer was withdrawn, and that they wished me the best. So I left the band in early last year, and since then, I’ve been focused on my band Quicksand, as well as working as a producer and writer for other artists and projects. And I’m mentioning this because there was some speculation about me selling my gear and quitting music altogether.

Out of respect for the people who have held tickets for this tour, the past couple of years and everyone who supports the band, I felt it important to bring some clarity to the situation. Lots of love and thanks to Deftones‘ amazing fanbase for always being engaged and supportive of the band through good times and bad.

I appreciate every single one of you. All my love to the fans that have become friends, the people that have supported my other projects. It brought me so much joy to see Deftones shirts at Quicksand shows land I will cherish this forever. Lastly, thanks so much to the Tones. I wish they had the chance to tell you this in person.

I want you to know that I appreciate all the years we spent together, writing performing being taken into your worlds. I learned a lot from each one of you, when you brought me in, you created a new sense of passion for music that I will always cherish and carry with me. You truly changed my life.”

Posted on April 5th 2022, 1:05p.m.

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“Passenger” Remix by Mike Shinoda wins Grammy + Deftones interviews @ Grammy’s Red Carpet 2022

At the 64th annual Grammy Awards, Deftones, Dream Theater, Gojira, Mastodon and Rob Zombie were all nominated in the Best Metal Performance category. Deftones’s “Ohms” didn’t win a Grammy this time, instead, Linkin Park’s frontman – Mike Shinoda – took Deftones’ name again to the records by winning the Best Remixed Recording category with a remixed version of “White Pony”‘s Passenger.

The Best Rock Performance category also made history in 2021: For the first time ever, an entire rock category at the Grammys was filled with women. The winner was Fiona Apple. This year’s nominees were AC/DC, Black Pumas, Chris Cornell, Deftones and Foo Fighters who tragically lost their drummer, Taylor Hawkins, last month.

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony — which was originally set to broadcast on Jan. 31 but was rescheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — was finally set to premiere this Sunday (April 3).

2022 Rock + Metal Grammy Winners

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

“Back to Life (Booker T Kings Of Soul Satta Dub),” Booker T
“Born for Greatness (Cymek Remix),” Spencer Bastin
“Constant Craving (Fashionably Late Remix),” Tracy Young
“Inside Out (3scape Drm Remix),” 3scape Drm
“Met Him Last Night (Dave Audé Remix),” Dave Audé
WINNER – “Passenger (Mike Shinoda Remix), Mike Shinoda
“Talks (Mura Masa Remix),” Alexander Crossan

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

Deja, Bomba Estéreo
Mira Lo Que Me Hiciste Hacer (Deluxe Edition), Diamante Eléctrico
WINNER- Origen, Juanes
Calambre, Nathy Peluso
El Madrileño, C. Tangana
Sonidos De Karmática Resonancia, Zoé

Best Rock Performance

AC/DC / “Shot in the Dark”
Black Pumas / “Know You Better (Live From Capitol Studio A)”
Chris Cornell / “Nothing Compares 2 U”
Deftones / “Ohms”
WINNER – Foo Fighters / “Making a Fire”

Best Metal Performance

Deftones / “Genesis”
WINNER – Dream Theater / “The Alien”
Gojira / “Amazonia”
Mastodon / “Pushing the Tides”
Rob Zombie / “The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition)”

Best Rock Song

Weezer / “All My Favorite Songs”
Kings of Leon / “The Bandit”
Mammoth WVH / “Distance”
Paul McCartney / “Find My Way”
WINNER – Foo Fighters / “Waiting on a War”

Best Rock Album

AC/DC / Power Up
Black Pumas / Capitol Cuts – Live From Studio A
Chris Cornell / No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1
WINNER – Foo Fighters / Medicine at Midnight
Paul McCartney / McCartney III

Best Alternative Music Album

Fleet Foxes / Shore
Halsey / If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
Japanese Breakfast / Jubilee
Arlo Parks / Collapsed in Sunbeams
WINNER – St. Vincent / Daddy’s Home

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Deftones cancel shows in Ukraine and Russia

Deftones' Chino Moreno

Deftones have announced that “with deep regret”, they are cancelling their scheduled tour dates in Ukraine and Russia for this July, amid the ongoing conflict between the two nations.

“We’re hoping we’ll be able to return to play soon,” the band wrote in a statement on social media yesterday (March 29). “We hope everyone is safe.”

The Sacramento alt-metal band are one of many who’ve cancelled shows in both countries since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine just over a month ago.

Tom Grennan, Green Day, Yungblud, My Chemical Romance, Biffy Clyro, Placebo and Russian rapper Oxxxymiron are among the acts who’ve announced cancellations in recent weeks, due to either safety concerns or in protest against the Russian government’s attack.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s actions have drawn widespread condemnation across the globe, with multiple countries enacting sanctions on the country. Many artists have spoken out in solidarity with Ukraine, such as Fleetwood Mac‘s Stevie Nicks, Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos, Elton John, Foals and more.

Last night (March 29), the Concert For Ukraine fundraiser took place at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. It featured performances from Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello (who performed their collaboration ‘Bam Bam’), Ukrainian Eurovision winner Jamala, Manic Street Preachers, Snow Patrol, Nile Rodgers and Chic and more.

The concert, organised by ITV, raised money for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The event, which was ticketed and also live-streamed, has reportedly raised over £12million for the campaign.

In other Deftones news, bassist Sergio Vega – who joined in 2009 following the departure of longtime member Chi Cheng – announced his exit from the band earlier this month.

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DEFTONES Frontman’s CROSSES Releases Two New Songs, ‘Initiation’ And ‘Protection’

††† (CROSSES)DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno‘s project with FAR guitarist Shaun Lopez — has released two new songs, “Initiation” and “Protection”. Check them out below.

Last December, Lopez confirmed that ††† (CROSSES) had signed a new deal with Warner Records.

Three months ago, ††† (CROSSES) dropped its cover of Q Lazzarus‘s “Goodbye Horses” as a digital single. The track was previously covered by ††† (CROSSES) back in 2014.

Prior to “Goodbye Horses”‘ digital arrival, ††† (CROSSES)‘s last release was a cover of “The Beginning Of The End” by ’90s electropop band CAUSE & EFFECT. Made available in December 2020, it was the first new music from the alternative band since its 2014-released, self-titled record.

Moreno told The Pulse Of Radio how he got involved with the group in the first place, which was started by Lopez and Chuck Doom. “Shaun and Chuck were working together for a while before I came into the picture, and I just so happened to come in one day,” he said. “These guys were, you know, writing some stuff and I heard it and I liked it right off the bat, and I sort of weaseled my way [Laughs] into the project. I think their idea was to get a bunch of different singers to, you know, just write different tracks, and… it didn’t happen.”

††† (CROSSES)’s CD included the songs from the band’s two previously released EPs along with five new tracks.

Moreno told Rolling Stone about ††† (CROSSES)’ sound: “By listening to the music, you can tell that a lot of the influences come from the new-wave era. That was basically the scene that I came up on. I just happened to wind up in a metal band when I was 15.”

Asked about ††† (CROSSES)’s heavy use of the cross in the band’s imagery and songtitles, Moreno said: “I think a lot of bands are influenced by religious symbolism and not even necessarily Christianity or Catholicism. Our band definitely doesn’t follow any of those. It’s more of the aesthetic. The art, the way it works. The initial name of the band was going to be HOLY GHOST. But at the last minute, another band came out with the name, so Shaun suggested CROSSES. It’s a very strong symbol. Three crosses is great. It’s great to look at, there’s three of us in the band.”

††† (CROSSES) made its live debut in January 2012 at The Glass House in Pomona, California.

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