The Vine interview: Abe Cunningham of Deftones, April 2010

An interview for The Vine.

Californian hard rock band DeftonesSacramento, California hard rock band Deftones have been in the game since 1988. You might know them best through their third full-length, White Pony, which debuted at #2 on the Australian charts upon release in 2000. Widely considered the band’s finest hour, it showcased a more considered, mature songwriting approach that largely favoured a lighter touch over the bludgeoning drums and distorted guitars that had characterised their first two releases. Tool and A Perfect Circle singer Maynard James Keenan also happened to provide guest vocals on a song, which did wonders for the band’s credibility and cross-over appeal.

That was ten years ago. Since then the band released Deftones (2003) andSaturday Night Wrist (2006). The quintet’s sixth album, Diamond Eyes, is due in early May. Four years between albums, their progress has been hampered by a car accident involving bassist/backup vocalist Chi Cheng, who has remained in a minimally conscious state since November 2008. Upon picking up their instruments in the months that followed, the band decided to shelve the album they’d been working on with Cheng (tentatively titled Eros) in favour of writing and recording an entirely different product. We spoke with Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham [above, top right] ahead of the release of Diamond Eyes.

Full interview over at The Vine.

As soon as the call ended, this felt like a horrible interview, through no error or omission on either of our parts. First, we discovered that Abe couldn’t hear me when I used my speakerphone – a tactic which usually works fine – so I had to switch between handset and speakerphone settings the whole time.

Worse, our call dropped out at a crucial moment, when he was discussing the process the band went through following Chi’s accident. I hadn’t intended to directly address this topic – it seemed too obvious to me – but he brought it up voluntarily. Then the call dropped. How unfortunate, how frustrating.

So I was surprised when I read through the transcript and found I still had a bunch of workable, worthwhile stuff. Phew.

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