“www.guitar.com” – July, 2000 // Chi Interviewed

Chi Cheng interviewed by “Guitar.com”


He may spend his evenings pumping out rib-rattling rhythms, but
DEFTONES’ bassist CHI CHENG does some of his heaviest work with
just a pen and paper.

– After years of poetry writing and the occasional coffeehouse
appearance, Cheng has released the compelling “Bamboo Parachute”
a collection of 25 riveting and eclectic poems. The spoken-word
disc is available only through Deftones official web site
­ www.deftones.com ­ and at the band¹s live concerts.

– Says Cheng, who is currently touring with Deftones in support of
their critically-acclaimed third Maverick disc “White Pony,”:
“I had six books¹ worth of material sitting around collecting dust.
Although I¹d like to get published, I convinced myself that I didn¹t
have time to deal with all those rejection notices. Instead, I decided
to cop out and do a spoken-word album.”

– “Bamboo Parachute” is priced at under eight dollars per copy
(depending on where and how you purchase it), with half of the proceeds
going to homeless teens and WEAVE, a Sacramento-based non-profit agency
specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and
victim assistance. Says Cheng:
“I think people should be more involved within their own communities.
In addition to WEAVE, I¹m starting a music program for homeless teens
in Sacramento. They¹re good kids who are just trying to get by, and
music means a lot to them.”

– As Cheng tells it, he began writing poetry at age 17, encouraged by a
high school English teacher, and later by his college professors.
“After I left school, they¹d ask me to come in and speak to their
advanced poetry class,” he says. Surprisingly, though he likes “Kerouac¹s
stream of consciousness and Bukowski¹s rawness,”

– Cheng admits to not reading much poetry. Says Cheng:
“Unlike music, which I choose to do, poetry is something I have to do.
It¹s like my head gets flooded with all this crazy shit and I have to
write it down. Music, however, is much more of a release.”

– Of “Bamboo Parachute,” which features poems entitled “The Small Black Box,”
“The Inside of My Pocket Knife,” and “Whiter Than God,” Cheng says:
“These are my odd reflections on life, and hopefully they’ll be applicable
to everybody intrinsically. For example, everybody looks at a Matisse
differently, but it still means something to each person.”

– However, don¹t feel badly if some of the disc¹s material goes over your head. Laughs Cheng:
“It is pretty wacky stuff. I’ll read something to my wife, and she’ll look at me and say, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”</noscript><script language=”JavaScript”>
if (navigator.appName.indexOf(“Netscape”)!=-1)