“Weekly Dig” – November 2003 // Chi Cheng Interviewed

Whisper Sweet Nothings In Your Bleeding Ear
by Ted Kehoe

Chi Cheng battled a nasty cold in Texas to talk with me about porn, flying, and the Nuge:

TK: Do I even want to ask you about your new governor?

Chi Cheng: He’s a little alpha male for me. It’s like having a pumped-up Ted Nugent for governor.

TK: How does the band get along having such individually different musical tastes?

Chi Cheng: There can be tension and fighting. Everyone brings their own piece to a song,
but sometimes it’s hard to get someone else into something they’re just not feeling.

TK: You’ve played with some notable artists on previous records. Anyone you dream
of playing with?

Chi Cheng: Willie Nelson. He’s an amazing songwriter, guitarist and singer.

TK: How much porn is too much?

Chi Cheng: It’s intrinsic to the individual. When you affect other people negatively,
I guess, like kiddie porn. Stefan’s into this series, “There’s Something About Jack.”
Pound-for-pound he’s got the biggest cock in porn. Stefan’s got volumes 1 through 20.
I’m like, how much of this guy’s cock do you need to see? I guess that’d be a good
example of too much porn.

TK: How about one honest-to-god rock decadence story?

Chi Cheng: Not for me personally. I’m kind of a rock nerd. My brother threw a TV out
a ninth story window with Stefan’s encouragement. Stefan’s the little devil on your
shoulder. And my brother was his drunken pawn.

TK: Without naming names, Deftones called out some major metal bands. What was that all about?

Chi Cheng: Chino talked some shit to a magazine. I guess the lesson is, “if you don’t
have something nice to say . . .” In his defense, when he was talking, he was talking
as a music fan. They asked him, and you get tired of biting your lip all the time.
We’re all Metallica fans, Korn fans. I mean, we’re always expected to be like, “Oh,
I have great respect for everybody as artists. Creed’s the greatest band ever, or whatever.”

TK: What would you choose for a superpower?

Chi Cheng: I’d have to say flying. I have constant dreams of flying. That’d be pretty dope.

TK: The band, and you personally, have a literary bent. Reading anything good?

Chi Cheng: I always have couple of books going. I’ve got Saul Williams’ new book of poems,
and Chuck Palahniuk’s new book. He’s a crazy motherfucker.

TK: Why so long a break between albums?

Chi Cheng: It’s touring. You get people complaining and I’m like, “Motherfucker, we were in
your town a couple of months ago. We’re not sitting around on our asses.” And this last
album we were really meticulous about. Our idea for the next one is to put together a fast,
beautiful album like Around the Fur.

TK: What else did you dream about doing besides being a rock star?

Chi Cheng: Teaching, maybe. I’d be happy doing anything. I get tired of the whole “tortured
artist” thing. You think this gig is rough, try working at fucking Dairy Queen for a week,
then tell me what you think.