To announce the release of the Deftones
' seventh album titled "Koi No Yokan
" (a Japanese phrase roughly translated as the imminence of falling in love), Warner Bros. Records
set up a listening and interview day at their Burbank
offices. Seated in a publicist's office, the label graciously provided pizza, salad and beer while a handful of journalists listened to the new record. Upon first listen, the songs immediately resonated with that delicate balance between the light and dark elements the band had so beautifully orchestrated on "Diamond Eyes
". Produced once again by Nick Raskulinecz
, the music alternated between huge guitar riffs provided by Stephen Carpenter
and Chino Moreno
's haunting vocal melodies while the rhythm section of bassist and relative newcomer (joining the band for "Diamond Eyes") Sergio Vega
and longtime drummer Abe Cunningham
laid down rhythmic beds ranging from the halftime dirge of "Tempest
" to the threatening heaviness of "Poltergeist
In a conference room on a lower level, Chino Moreno and Sergio Vega sat side-by-side on a couch. Everybody was introduced and we dove right into the conversation.
UG: Before we talk about "Koi No Yokan" can you fill us in on the "Covers" album you did for Record Store Day?
: Every single song on there, man, we loved. That's the hard thing about doing that because a lot of those you loved them because they're already great. It's about doing them and trying to not mess 'em up. But putting a twist on 'em and just trying to have fun doing it.
Are the songs on "Covers" tunes you performed live?
Most of 'em not because a lot of 'em were recorded in the studio where we never really performed them as a live band and they were kind of put together in the studio kind of thing. We did a couple of 'em live.
Before the Deftones were you playing in cover bands in high school and that kind of thing?
No, Deftones has been my only band I've ever been in since I was 15. Although Deftones kind of started as a cover band. Not really but the first songs we ever played together, we didn't go in there and say, "Hey, we're a band and we're gonna start writing songs together
". We played anything from Danzig songs - this is just in the garage to each other-and obviously Metallica
to Pat Benatar
and whatever. Any song we could figure out how to play just to say, "Hey, we can do a song together
". It was shortly after that and maybe a few months in that we started actually writing our own songs.
You did Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" on "Covers". Were you a fan of southern rock?
You know what's crazy is that that was one that Abe brought to the table and at that point I'd never even heard that song. So the same day I sang it was the first time I ever heard it. I mean I've heard like "Freebird
" and "Sweet Home Alabama
" and the hit songs. Maybe that song was a hit but I'd never heard it at that point. Actually that song was recorded before we even recorded "Adrenaline
So "Simple Man" was one of the earliest documents of the Deftones being recorded?
We were recording demos for "Adrenaline" and we had an idea to do a couple cover songs and that was one brought in by Abe. Abe or Stephen said we should do "Simple Man
". And I was like, "I never heard it
". So they played it for me and I listened to it about five times and then they recorded it and I went in and sang it. So that's one of the oldest recordings.
Did you actually dig on the sound of Skynyrd and the multiple guitars and stuff?
Not only that but the song itself and the lyrics and everything. It's a pretty touching song. It's funny because at that time it's before "Adrenaline" came out so that was like '94 or something like that and I didn't even have kids then. Now when I hear that song I totally connect with it because I'm a father - I have an 18-year old kid is my oldest kid and a 15-year old and a 7-year old - and the nature of the song and the lyrics is kind of a mother talking to her son or whatever. Now I'm able to even connect with it whereas when I recorded it I didn't even have any kids.
You did a version of The Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want". You were fans of The Smiths and The Cure and that sort of indie pop scene in England?
Yes, that's what I grew up on. I was heavily influenced by those groups. I didn't know much about heavy music or whatever up until I got in this band. Then again I was only 15 years old so I was still coming of age. But at that point when I got in the band, the heaviest thing I listened to was probably like Danzig
and that was only because I liked the Misfits
and some other stuff. That first Danzig record had come out and I was like, "This is such a cool sound
" and they said, "Dude, it sounds like Black Sabbath
". And I was like, "What does Black Sabbath sound like?
" I didn't even know [laughs]. Yeah, I'm a late bloomer in metal.
"Adrenaline" was a pretty heavy record. If you were listening to bands like Danzig and The Smiths and stuff, why wasn't it a bit lighter in sound?
"When I look back at things I've written now I know what I was thinking when I said that."
'Cause by the time we actually recorded that record that was like 1995 and that was a good eight years or something after we had formed as a band. What I'm saying was my introduction was right when we first got in the band and Stephen started turning me onto a lot of that stuff. At that point when we made "Adrenaline", I was heavily influenced by Pantera
. Still with my love for New Wave
music and the Smiths and stuff like that but I was just completely engulfed in Pantera world. And just like, "This is the best music
". Especially at that age too where it's like the aggression there is totally is fitting for like the young mind.
Those are the memories that come back to you when you think about "Adrenaline'?
To be fair there's some lighter moments on that record too or dynamic moments. Which was a little prelude to what was to come. You know what I mean? But overall, yes, it was more of younger just aggressive record.
Last October, you put together the Vinyl Collection of all the Deftones albums. You were vinyl junkies like the rest of us?
Still am. It was super cool. I still go into my garage at least three times a week and put on records and listen to records. I have a huge sound system connected to my computer that I just will ignore and I have my little speakers set up to my turntables and I prefer to listen to music on records sometimes. Just for the listening experience alone of putting it on and looking at it and letting it play through and listening to it. Just that pace makes me feel like I'm taking in so much more than just clicking through mp3s.
You actually reversed the typical process where analog records are dumped to digital. You took the CDs and dumped them back to vinyl. How did that sound to you?
Oh, it sounds great. I mean I think it started with "White Pony
". We pressed that to double vinyl so it was real high-quality vinyl. I remember listening to that record on vinyl and have a whole nother experience with it. Over the years I've always wanted to keep that alive within our music and I think this new record will do the same. Shoot, we've been around for a while. Speaking of cassettes, our first two records were released on cassette. You know what I mean? As well as CD but those were the early days of CDs so they were still weaning out tapes. So our first two releases are available on cassette or were available on cassette.
You had made comments that "Koi No Yokan" reminded you of the "White Pony" album. Is that an accurate statement?
I don't really remember saying that. I might have said it once and I'm not saying I didn't say it. If I did say it, I don't remember why I said it.
"White Pony" was an important album for the band - do you think "Koi No Yokan" is like the next logical step along from "White Pony"?
I would hope that this is the next logical step from our last record. I think it has more of a kinship with that record than "White Pony". "White Pony" was something that happened out of a little bit of chaos.
What was happening with the band at that time?
We knew at that time we knew we didn't want to make anything that sounded contemporary at that time. Our contemporaries at the time were more the nu metal types of acts.
Yeah, all that stuff was just coming to light and those bands were really big and getting a lot of radio play at that time. Not that we didn't like that stuff but we really wanted to distance ourselves from just being another band in the scene at that time. So to make that different we tried a different [thing] and kind of took a left turn from that. But it was really chaotic because even though we knew what we didn't want to do, we didn't know what kind of record we were gonna make. There was a lot of push and pull between me and Stephen.
What kind of record did Stephen want to make?
He wanted to just go straight metal and make a straight metal record. To me I don't think we've ever just been a straight metal band and I couldn't see us doing that. I just didn't feel natural about that. At the same time I knew we weren't just gonna make like a Cure record or something like that because we're not that either. I think him and I were both very passionate about our influences and what happened was we were constantly trying to outdo each other as far as like he'd have an idea that was great. I'd go, "Well that's great and check this out
". In doing so we were just building upon each other's greatness. I think at the end of the day without realizing it we made a great, expansive record that we didn't even really realize we were doing.
You think that "Koi No Yokan" has a closer connection to "Diamond Eyes"?
I think so as far as the energy coming off that record. I think we were reinvigorated for one because of Sergio coming in and just our work ethic changed completely. We completely got more engulfed in writing records together as a team where everybody's in the room at the same time writing off each other and being in that moment documenting our initial thoughts on our reaction to what the next guy is doing. He's doing something and my initial reaction is "This
" and the next guy's reaction is "This
". Within an hour or under an hour, we have an idea of pretty much a whole song formed. The organicness of that just of us creating a record like that really is invigorating.
That was your approach on the "Diamond Eyes" record?
"A lot of the times if the music started great and it's speaking to me, I've got tons of ideas."
I think when we were successful working that way on the "Diamond Eyes" record, I definitely feel that it built a lot of confidence in us and we decided to just keep going with that. And it worked.
What has it been like working with the band on these past two albums?
: Honestly from the first day was really awesome. I mean I say it a lot but what's basically cool to me about this group is that every one of them brings so much to the table in terms of their own creativity. But they also have this really cool quality of being super excited and supportive of other things that come from each other. The first day we got together we wrote a tune. I have never not felt a part of it and what's really cool about it is you saying that to me is complimentary to me.
Acknowledging that you are a part of the Deftones means a lot to you.
: Getting to be a part of that and getting to contribute to that and it folding in so well to the point where it's not even noticed is really a high compliment. Everyone was very open and embracing and you just get to be part of the mix. I was like, "Wow, these guys don't need to do that
". You don't want to mess with a whole bunch of years you've built up and they all have something to say anyway. So it's a very rare group in my experience that would be so open to have me come in and stuff like that. So I was very appreciative. I just always want to put my best foot forward and just like keep jamming and just keep coming up with ideas.
That work ethic created on the "Diamond Eyes" album has continued with "Koi No Yokan"?
: With this record there's just like an expanse on that. I felt embraced and I felt like a part of it. I know that everyone challenges themselves so I had an opportunity to bring more to the table in terms of different sounds and different things and stuff. So where it's not so much about being more collaborative this time around, it's just more wanting to live up to that and help be part of cultivating and growing something. Because no one feels at peace or restful with the thing they had done before. It's always like, "We got here to go there and what do we bring to that?
" So it's like more, more and this voracious appetite for growth and to be part of that is special.
Did you feel like you wanted to expand on the musical ideas on "Diamond Eyes" with this new album?
: Honestly we don't go in with any preconceived ideas of what kind of record we're gonna make or what it's gonna sound like or what of our past records it's gonna sound like. I think we go in with just the idea of, "Let's create together and let's try to capture this moment in time
". And that's kinda what I feel like we did. I think it was like three or four months we spent writing this record and I really feel like what you hear and what people are gonna hear is a snapshot of that time in our lives.
"Tempest" is the first single from "Koi No Yokan" and has a very dark and stark feel to it. Does this reflect the overall sound on the album?
: No, we make the songs thinking that any one of them could be heard first. It just so happens the label picked that one to be the first single, which I'm fine with.
: The conscious aspect to the approach is the modality and the work ethic. We went into "Diamond Eyes" saying, "OK, we're going to go from this time to this time. We're gonna do it like this and we're gonna document and record everything. We're gonna go back and edit that and we're gonna listen and we're gonna constantly grow
". That carried over so it was all about the work ethic and the template you create for creativity. We had a good time and we were excited and whatever happens is whatever happens. You just know you're gonna put your all into it and really help cultivate these things that come out. Outside of that it's whatever happens and it's playing off each other.
: That's really the excitement of it is not knowing what it's gonna be. And even 'til this day, I don't know what we just did. I feel like maybe a year from now or maybe even less or maybe even more, I'll be able to look at this record from a different perspective. Get more perspective on it I'd guess you'd say and, "Wow, this is what we did this time
". But now we're even still in it and we're just coming out of it actually. The record isn't even mastered yet so we haven't even heard the sequence mixed and mastered and be able to really take it in. But yeah, it's kinda cool not knowing. You know what I mean? That's kind of the exciting part. I guess you could compare it to like when a boxer goes in the ring and kind of just blacks out and then he comes out and says, "Did I win?
" It's kind of that feeling of just like going in and seeing what happens.
It's an interesting phenomenon because you as the artist can never hear a record the same way your fans do.
: A personal experience creates free association so to have that thing approach them is cool. From my perspective that's always been a cool thing about the band where it's never so in your face and it's never like, "Here's what it is. I wrote a song 'cause I feel bad today
". The people will get to take that and it means something to them and it resonates with them and they fill in all the blanks. That creates that connection where someone feels like they own that song.
That has always been the most enduring quality about the Deftones is mixing the melodic and the heavier music in what you do. You've talked about liking the lusher side of what the band does?
I actually like all the parts and dynamics in general. I can't say that, "This is my part of the group and Stephen's part of the group is that
". 'Cause honestly that dude wrote a lot of the melodic stuff on this record. But mainly I embrace the dynamics of it all. Even if something is like the opposite where something is a little bit too maybe dreamy and somewhere, I feel like, "Well we need to poke 'em a little bit
". You know what I mean? To have than ying and yang type of thing is a big part of our sound and always just having it be dynamic and never just like, "Here's the mood of the song and that's what it is.
" I always feel like we need to kind of like...
: Push against it.
: Poke a little bit and then caress.
: That's where the excitement is in defying expectation and things like that. So you get into something out of your initial spark and you go there. Then maybe where logically you'd say, "Oh, well this is the thing and now we're gonna go here
". Because of that there's like this rebellion to that that comes in. It's like, "How do you make it hot without going there?
" because they're gonna know that's the expectation. So the challenge is now we wanna make it hot.
: It's not completely self-indulgent. There are certain things that we know feel good to us and it's like, "OK, well this might be where it's a little typical but it feels good. Why f---in' fight it?
" Are we that militant or we gotta be so cool and different? We just kind of go with the flow sometimes too and that's OK. At the same time we try to do that without being complacent or following a formula.
You played guitar on "Koi No Yokan"?
"Even though I'm playing bass, I don't want to hear that same tonality the entire time. I just want things to pop, change, move, and create and lift and shrink and that."
: For some reason I played almost every song on this record except one. It's just kinda like I love playing guitar and my guitar was set up in the rehearsal spot. So anytime someone was playing something I was like, "I wanna play along with that
" and just picking it up and playing along. That's really it - it was fun.
How did the guitar parts get worked out with you and Stephen?
: Really smoothly, man. Normally in the past it wasn't as easy for one reason or another. I honestly think our sounds complement each other and our tones are very different. He has a mighty sort of processed tone that he used and is sort of known for, which is a lot of the meat or the attack of our music. My guitar tone is pretty simple - I just plug right into an amp and turn it up just so it breaks up. I feel like I just kind of weave in and out of what he's doing. But at the same time not try to be anything but just complement the song or whatever and have fun doing it.
Do you compose on guitar?
: Yeah, just sittin' in a circle with everybody else.
: Yeah, we jam.
: "Jing jing, yeah, that's cool. Well what about going here? That's rad". You know what I mean? I mean it's a pretty cool environment. Maybe 10 years ago or more it wouldn't have worked but now I think with the dynamic of the band everybody is pretty open these days. I think when we were a little bit younger we were a little bit less accepting or just like, "Well let's do it this way
". Where now it's just like let's have fun and we'll decide on whatever's best for the song. It's not about my idea or your idea or whatever.
It's a real democratic approach.
: That's the cool thing with our publishing too - we split everything evenly. It's not like, "Hey, I wrote this so I get this
". So it doesn't give you the idea of trying to win any kind of battle. The only battle there is once there is no sound and creating some sound and making it the best it could be.
: It's amazing how quick everyone is to jump on. The way I view it is something may seed a song so that might be the first bit or the first riff. And you see how quickly everyone just jumps on it and it really doesn't matter who it comes from. It comes from sometimes the most unlikely sources and sometimes the source doesn't make it to the end of the song. Sometimes it's a song that inspires another song and that original song is gone. It's just a cool process and a pleasure to be part of it. It's redundant but everyone brings so much to the table that you could think where people would be defensive or protective of their lane. But it's just so not the case.
: Sometimes we swerve out of our lane.
: And everyone plays a couple of instruments and stuff so you have a lot of respect for what people bring to the table. From when I first came one someone will do something and you see the spark and it's like whoosh and you get on something and, "This is rad
Was the entire band in the studio recording live?
: No. Actually we do but we have this weird way that we did these last two records. We actually played live together but to a click track.
: Right, so we get stripes.
: Then recorded that and then give it to Abe. He has us all in his headphones and then he plays the drums to us.
That is strange.
: Which helps us out because - I don't know if it helps us out but I think it's easier for Abe because I think he feels pressure that he's gotta nail it. If we're in the room with him and we just keep playing along, maybe he feels like he's gotta nail it within a certain amount of times or otherwise we're gonna get tired of playing the f---in' song or whatever. So it takes a little bit of pressure off of him because our parts were recorded and then he can just go in and play his drums to it.
The drums are always the critical part of any recording.
: After that we actually end up going in after his drums are perfect and we'll actually do our guitars and everything again or whatever. It's more like a scratch track and we call 'em stripes. We lay down the stripes and then he goes in and lays down his thing and then we go in and do overdubs. So it seems like it would be more of a process but actually it shortened things up. He actually recorded his drums in one week this time. Previously on some records it's taken four times longer than that.
: It's kind of a fun little exercise to do 'cause by that point we've played the song so many times over as a band. Then you go in there and it's not really like a click track per se because there's not a tempo but there's a tempo map. You know it so well and to just have that thing without the drums is kinda fun. Again the songs are well rehearsed by that point so it goes down way quicker than you would imagine.
You're working once again with producer Nick Raskulinecz who did the successful "Diamond Eyes" album.
: It wasn't so much the success of that record but just like the making of it itself was such an awesome experience. To have someone in there who was so in tune or what's the word? He was really engaged in every moment of making that record where it was so cool to have someone from the outside just be that engaged. And it really took a lot of pressure off us too of having to be the ones that sit there and document everything we're doing.
Nick was like this incredible filter for your ideas?
: Where it kind of just lets us play so we're just sitting there playing and making things up and then he's actually the guy standing there going, "Hey that was really cool what you guys did right there. Do that again
". So we're like, "Oh, OK
". As opposed to sometimes you leave us on our own and we'll just keep jammin' and it'll be like two hours later and it'll be like we don't even know where we started from. So he really helped us make sense of it all and be really efficient with our time and what we were doing.
You never thought about working with anyone else?
: Bringing him in again was just like the obvious choice. I think when we finished writing the last record, he said, "OK, I think you guys got the record
". And we're like, "What do you mean?
" He's like, "You've got enough songs
". We were in the process of writing it and he's like, "Hey you've got enough songs. I think we're ready to go into the studio
". We're like, "Oh, what?
" But at that point as soon as he said it, he was like, "I'd like to do this again
". And we said, "I'd love to, too.
" I think we kind of decided at that point that we wanted to do it again.
: I could see we learned a lot from him because on the second record a lot of that stuff would be self-motivated. Where we learned a lot so that the second time around we would be quicker to jump on things and take those kinds of approaches and bring out the progress chart and experiment with arrangements and things. He really brings a lot of excitement and a lot of cohesion.
How does a song like "Leathers" [working title: "Layers Of Ash"] evolve?
: It's all kind of a work in progress: one thing is a catalyst for the next thing. It's never like, "We have this idea for a song and it's gonna start here and then we're gonna go there
". We're not that smart [laughs] to think it out beforehand and draw it out and do it. But it's really an organic kind of event where one thing inspires the next thing.
When did the vocal melody get written?
: The vocal was the last thing written and that was actually written in the studio. It was me just listening to it and going, "Oh, I've got an idea
" and running in there real quick and singing my idea whether I had a word for it or not. And the words were the very last thing. It's just steps.
: And sometimes songs are coming up in chunks. It's not like a song is written in an assembly line. There's a gurgling up where there can be like a three-song block that's happening. In a weird way they're all kind of referencing off of each other to create these distinct kinds of entities. Because this energy or this type of thing might appear here so the opposite is happening here. But none of it is conscious or talked about. You're just all doing it and it's coming and they're all being worked together. So it could be like a five-song thing and there they are and you wouldn't necessarily think they came in that same block. But they all come in a two-day or a three-day period. Then you look around and it's like we have nothing 'cause we wrote those songs. It's like, "What's next? What do we do?
" Then the hunger is right there as if we have nothing. When a song was done that appetite came back very quickly.
At the end of the day are you the last good word on a vocal performance?
"I would hope that [''Koi No Yokan''] is the next logical step from our last record."
: Usually it's the last thing to get added to a song and we try build something musically that we all love. Then it's all about not f---in' that up with words. Really. It's kind of the scary part about it 'cause then it's like, "Oh, now it's all on me. Everybody already thinks this is great and this can only go two ways: it can be even better or I can mess it up
". To make it better, that's the challenge.
That's the hard part.
: But a lot of the times if the music started great and it's speaking to me, I've got tons of ideas. It's all about picking the one that I feel the most passionate about and pulling it off. I'm so happy that I've been able to do that. On this record I feel like everything kind of came to me. It just came. When we left the writing process, I had melodies pretty much over everything almost; I mean there was a few things that I didn't. I didn't have many lyrics so not until it came to my time to sing after all the music was recorded that I actually filled in the gaps with the words. So there's no real formula for it other than trial and error. It's a crazy process and I don't know any other way to really do it. This is the only way we've ever done it so it works.
Lyrically where do the ideas come from? Books? Movies?
: Top of my head really. When I look back at things I've written now I know what I was thinking when I said that. But a lot of times it is, it's really a stream of consciousness and it's not like I have a distinct idea of what I'm gonna make a song about. It's just like, "The vibe of the song is this
" and usually there are certain key words or something that will come in and I'll just stick with those and build around it.
"Poltergeist" was a very cool song with a heavy riff. Where did a title like that come from?
: The title came in after the lyrics. So the lyrics were already there and after listening to 'em and putting 'em in perspective, I said, "Oh, poltergeist fits f---in' great with the vibe of that song
". The song is just about being taunted but liking it a little bit you know? So "Poltergeist" to me just fit-it's an awesome word but it just fit the actions of the song.
Your fuzz bass part on "Poltergeist" was really unique.
: Thank you kindly. Starting off it's a high-pass filter and again there's are the things that kind of float our boat. It's about the moment and about pushing yourself and experimenting and playing with things. I'm a big gear nerd and these guys are too and super big into sounds and, "What can I bring to the table with this or with that?
" I used to DJ a lot and a lot of approaches and getting into things and how like sometimes you cut the bass.
You tried to bring outside elements to the bass?
: Even though I'm playing bass, I don't want to hear that same tonality the entire time. I just want things to pop, change, move, and create and lift and shrink and that. It was just fun and I remember jamming with Stephen and everybody was just like having his bits and then like applying the filter to that. It's just like, "Alright this is tight and exciting
" 'cause when it comes in it creates the width. It's just fun and a lot of it for me is wanting to be a good component. It's really rad to be playing with these cats who I think are fantastic so I'm just trying to put my best foot forward and challenge things and bring something fresh to the table.
A band like the Deftones lends itself to different bass sounds and techniques.
: We all come from that thing of listening to so many genres and not being concerned with being genre-specific. Also there's the common thing of not being caught in too much preconception of saying, "We have to do this now
". It's all about the spirit and the excitement of the moment. So whatever comes out and lives through all of us, it always has that spark in every facet of its creation.
When you think about the different facets of "Koi No Yokan", are you happy with everything?
: It never feels like I have a whole lot to say but this is what came out. I'm very happy with what came out.
Do you have that same kind of feeling about the "Adrenaline" record? You were a pretty angry young man on a song like "7 Words".
: I think it's typical at that time when it's like fuck authority and everybody's out to get you kind of sh-t. All you wanna do is your thing and someone's always telling you this and that and whatever. It's like typical kid's sh-t. I have a 15-year old kid now and I'm watching him and it's like the same sh-t. I'm sure everybody goes through it. That part of my life just happened to be documented through a record.
You can hear the songwriting expanding on "Around the Fur". What the music on the second album a precursor of what was coming on "White Pony"?
: I think so, yeah. I think in "Adrenaline" and we talked about this a little bit earlier but I think there are even aspects of different sounds other than just aggression. There is a lot of aggression on "Adrenaline" but there is a little bit of [different stuff] in there but I think a lot more in "Around The Fur". Even to this day and I'll be honest with you about "Adrenaline", I felt like it was a cool record but I never felt like it was that great of a record. I was so happy that people liked it but I didn't even think like it was that great of a record. When it was successful I felt like, "Wow. If people love that then now I really think we can expand and do tons more
" and I was so excited.
That was your thought process on "Around The Fur"?
: So we made "Around The Fur" and we wrote and recorded that record in four months. That was the fastest record we ever did and ever recorded and I don't even remember it. It was so fun and such a great time in our lives that I remember the time but I don't even remember like creating it. It just happened and I really feel like we captured the essence of that time in our lives. The songwriting and everything I felt like we could just try whatever and it worked. I'm really proud of that record - I love that record probably more than any of our other records. I mean that's my favorite Deftones record.
You added Frank Delgado on sampling and electronics on the "White Pony" album. Why?
"I really feel like what you hear and what people are gonna hear is a snapshot of that time in our lives."
: It was still expanding. Even though I loved "Around The Fur", I still felt like, "Wow, let's expand even more
". I mentioned earlier our contemporaries at that time were - and what was becoming Top 40 music - bands like Linkin Park
and Limp Bizkit
and things like that. I kind of felt like taking a left turn from that too and in doing so we created that record.
"White Pony" became your biggest selling album ever. What do you think Deftones fans connected with in that music that made the record so popular?
: I think it was refreshing at the time. I don't think people expected that record from us too. I think people expected more of the same thing. I don't wanna say we were ahead of our time or whatever but I always felt like a few years after that record would be out then people would start catching onto it. At that time people were catching onto "Adrenaline" and everybody loved "Adrenaline" and stuff like that. I was so removed from that and when we made that record I think people didn't expect that from us. That was something that just happened for a lot of reasons - you know what I mean? I'm still really proud of that record because we took a chance and we were successful with it.
What was it like trying to follow up "White Pony" with the Deftones album in 2003?
: That was pretty crazy because we were so successful on "White Pony" with just going left of center. We kind of fell into a thing where, "Wow, we can just do anything now and it'll work
". That was a lesson that we learned. Even though I think the record turned out good, it took us a little over a year to make that record. As opposed to a couple records back too us four months, that took us a whole year. So there was a lot of taking it as it came. Although like I said the record was good, we learned a lesson that the more you put into something the more you're gonna get out of it.
Interview by Steven Rosen