All posts tagged deftones

  • The Vine interview: Chino Moreno of Deftones, January 2011

    An interview with Chino Moreno of Deftones, for The Vine. Excerpt below.

    Interview – Deftones

    January 2011 is an interesting time for Australian fans to be witnessing Californian hard rock act Deftones. Here in the country for their first tour since 2007 – they headlined the Soundwave Festival that year – it’s been eight months since the five-piece released their sixth album, Diamond Eyes, to extensive critical acclaim (TheVine included). They’ve been on the road for most of that time, seemingly becoming comfortable with splicing new material amongst enough tracks from their big-sellers – second album Around The Fur (1997), and follow-up White Pony(2000) – to keep the long-term fans happy. 

    Diamond Eyes holds some of the heaviest tracks the band have ever committed to tape. Built around Stephen Carpenter’s Meshuggah-like downtuned guitars and Abe Cunningham’s punishing percussion, the album’s 11 tracks marry beauty and brutality in a way that Deftones had never – up until this point – fully realised. Despite the melancholy the band had been confronted with in the last few years – an underwhelming fifth album in 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist; drug addiction; and bassist Chi Cheng’s car accident in 2008, resulting in a severe head trauma that has kept him in a semi-conscious state ever since – Diamond Eyes, against the odds, is arguably the band’s most uplifting and optimistic release in their 23-year history.

    In the middle of the national Big Day Out tour, The Vine connects with singer – and occasional live guitarist – Chino Moreno on Friday 28 January, the eve of their first BDO sideshow at the University of NSW Roundhouse.

    Andrew: I’m interested to know what an average day as part of the Big Day Out tour looks like.

    Chino: It’s pretty mellow. We play semi-early, in the middle of the day, and I’ve not yet adjusted to the time change here, so I’ve been waking up every single morning at like 5 or 6am. So I’m up super early. I go out, I get coffee. I usually go for a run or something, and cruise around. I don’t get there until a little after noon. I get to the venue, and there’s usually a little bit of press or something like that, and then I get ready to play. We’ve been averaging to go on stage between 4 or 5pm. We play our set, and then hang out, and check out some of the other bands. There’s a few good groups who I’m into who’re on the lineup this year. So I cruise around and see some good stuff.

    I saw a video interview with a New Zealand website from last week, where you mentioned that you’re digging a band called The Naked and Famous.

    Yeah, I actually met them on the first night of the tour. They gave me one of their records, and I’ve listened to it, and I’m digging it. It’s similar to a lot of the stuff that I listen to, when I’m not listening to very loud music [laughs].

    Have you made any other musical discoveries while here on tour, so far?

    I wouldn’t say ‘discoveries’, so much. I got to see some bands live that I’ve never seen, like Crystal Castles. I got to see them perform live, which I was really into. I really like the records, so it was good to be able to see them live. Tool, as well; a lot of the time, I get to see them.

    Has Rammstein’s stage production convinced you to look into including pyrotechnics in your set?

    [Laughs] I don’t know, man. I don’t know if that’d work for us. I don’t know if we have the finances for that. They have, like, flames that go off every three minutes. That’s gotta be pretty pricey. But no, it’s cool; I always enjoy watching them play, because it’s very theatrical. They’re great dudes; they’re super nice. When you watch them on stage, you think they’re these huge beasts. But they’re very humble.

    For the full interview, visit The Vine. For more Deftones, visit their website. The music video for their song ‘You’ve Seen The Butcher‘ embedded below.

    Elsewhere: an interview with Abe Cunningham, Deftones’ drummer, for The Vine in April 2010

  • 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.