“RollingStone.com” – March 2002 // Chi Cheng Interviewed



“We definitely want to put out a very energetic, very upbeat, fast album,” says Deftones
bassist Chi Cheng, speaking about the band’s fourth effort, Lovers. “We’ve proven that we
can musically go in any direction we want, and we want to get kind of heavy on this one.”
The Deftones members recently put aside their many side projects in order to start writing
for the fall Maverick Records release, produced once again by Terry Date (Limp Bizkit, Incubus).

“We spent three or four months, each of us, working on our little solo projects and now we’re
all kind of like, ‘These fucking side projects! We need to wrap them up and get back to our
main focus, which is the Deftones.’ Chino’s [Moreno, vocalist] is trying to finish Team Sleep
[his electronic-minded project]. I don’t know how many bands Stephen’s [Carpenter, guitarist]
got on the side now — I can’t even keep track. Everyone’s trying to get their personal life
in order before we jump into the whole mess of an album cycle and touring and everything else.”

Getting back on track included vocal schooling for Moreno, whose career was threatened due to
throat problems he encountered on the Deftones summer 2001 co-headlining tour with Godsmack.
“He had paralyzed one of his vocal chords and the other one was barely moving at all,” says
Cheng. “We were scared he might not be able to sing again. He took some really good vocal
classes from a really good trainer, and he’s just been a little more aware of his voice and
taking care of it as an instrument.”

The Deftones plan to hit the road again this fall, but first they will finish up the record
in their newly built studio in their hometown of Sacramento, California. “Now we’re more
drunk and stoned and everything like that, but we’re like ‘Oh fuck it, it’s our studio,'”
Cheng says, laughing. “It’s great to have that freedom, but then I’m like, ‘Shit! We need
to start getting a little more stringent with ourselves.'”

(March 27, 2002)