THIS MEANS GORE!

AS DEFTONES RE­VEAL THE DE­TAILS BE­HIND THEIR FORTH­COM­ING AL­BUM, GORE, WE SIT DOWN WITH FRONT­MAN CHINO MORENO FOR THE EX­CLU­SIVE FIRST IN­TER­VIEW…

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FOR THE past eight years, the Deftones story seems to have been writ­ten in inky black, laden with calamity and tragedy. From the hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and even­tual pass­ing of found­ing bassist Chi Cheng in 2013, to last year’s close-shave with the Paris Bat­a­clan at­tacks and the sub­se­quently can­celled Euro­pean tour, they’ve been a band plagued.yet, with 2010’s Di­a­mond Eyes and 2012’s Koi No Yokan, they pro­duced two of the most de­fi­antly op­ti­mistic records of their ca­reer. Eighth al­bum Gore marks an artis­tic re­turn to more ex­per­i­men­tal, darkly brood­ing ter­ri­tory. Here, Chino helps us un­der­stand why…

HEY, CHINO! IS IT A RE­LIEF TO RE­LEASE THE AL­BUM DE­TAILS, FI­NALLY?

“It’s ex­cit­ing! There’s still a lit­tle bit of time to go – a few months – un­til the ac­tual re­lease, so, slowly but surely, we’ve been leak­ing out in­for­ma­tion. we’ve been done for a few months now and we’re all very sur­prised and ex­cited about how the record turned out.we can’t wait for peo­ple to hear it!”

GORE SEEMS LIKE A PROVOCA­TIVE TI­TLE… WAS THAT THE IN­TEN­TION?

“If you look at the ti­tle and the art­work it’s about a jux­ta­po­si­tion that, for me, is very beau­ti­ful. I think Deftones have al­ways flirted with dy­namic and that yin-and-yang of things that are provoca­tive and things that are beau­ti­ful. where our last two al­bum ti­tles were a lot more op­ti­mistic, I think this ti­tle is in­ten­tion­ally dif­fer­ent. this record is very dif­fer­ent. I feel like Di­a­mond Eyes and Koi No Yokan were brother-sis­ter records in a lot of ways.t hey were both recorded in the same way. And even though it was a tough few years we went through while mak­ing those records, I think it was im­por­tant to have their op­ti­mistic out­look.”

AND YOU FEEL DIF­FER­ENT NOW?

“To­day, I feel dif­fer­ent. But we also recorded this record in a dif­fer­ent way. I’m not say­ing we went in with any pre­con­ceived ideas as such, but I do think we went in know­ing that we wanted to make this record a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the last two. And I feel, def­i­nitely, like we did that. It’s still a Deftones record – we didn’t re­ally have any new in­flu­ences that changed that – but it’s an ex­pan­sion of what we were com­fort­able with. And it’s im­por­tant to get out of your com­fort zone some­times with the mu­sic – just to be ex­cited. It’s got a dif­fer­ent look. A dif­fer­ent shade of colour. I’d say some shade of pur­ple. I don’t know why, but I think it sits some­where be­tween pink, red and pur­ple. Some­times when I hear mu­sic I see colour, and when it came time to work on the art­work for this batch of songs, I knew ex­actly what I wanted.”

TELL US ABOUT THE TI­TLE-TRACK. IS IT A REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVE CEN­TRE­PIECE FOR THE RECORD?

“I don’t think so, ac­tu­ally. It’s just a ti­tle to the song. I will say that I love ev­ery sin­gle song on this record, but if I had to pick my least-favourite song on the record, Gore would be it. Is it the most im­por­tant song on the record? No. It’s a great song, but the oth­ers are even more great.”

AND IF YOU HAD TO PICK YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK?

“To­day, it’d be a song called Acid Holo­gram – the se­cond song on the record. It’s some­thing that I’ve never heard from us.the way it came to­gether for us was very Franken­stein-es­que. Pieced to­gether in the weird­est way. Son­i­cally and aes­thet­i­cally it’s some­thing re­ally neat, very large-sound­ing. No­tice I didn’t use the word heavy, but large. Big. Heavy in its own way…”

TRACK ONE, PRAYERS/TRI­AN­GLES, IS ALSO THE LEAD SIN­GLE. WAS THAT A SIM­PLE CHOICE, OR IS THERE SOME­THING MORE TO IT?

“As a lead sin­gle, I think Prayers/tri­an­gles was al­ways the right choice. On White Pony, Change was the first sin­gle – prob­a­bly the big­gest song of our ca­reer. Huge sound­ing, but still mid-tempo.and I’d say there are songs on this record that are sim­i­lar to that, but we didn’t want that this time. Prayers/tri­an­gles is very much ‘in the middle’ with that dy­namic that best rep­re­sents us, while still be­ing a de­par­ture from our last record.”

SO, WHAT CAN PEO­PLE EX­PECT FROM THE OTHER TRACKS?

“I think this is one of our most eclec­tic al­bums. It’s where we are in our ca­reers and in our lives.we’ve had a lot of time to try dif­fer­ent things. But we

didn’t write tons and tons of songs; maybe only 16, and there are 11 on the record.we weren’t sec­ondguess­ing our­selves, and we took our time be­ing as ex­pan­sive as we could with those ideas.”

WHAT WERE YOUR AM­BI­TIONS GO­ING INTO THE AL­BUM?

“The am­bi­tion was as sim­ple as us just want­ing to cre­ate some­thing. we’ve made it a thing not to over­anal­yse be­fore [we be­gin]. I think that puts up walls. When we came to record­ing, I’d been out of Cal­i­for­nia for a while do­ing stuff with Crosses, and get­ting back to­gether brought that ex­cite­ment. Just think­ing, ‘I get to play mu­sic with my friends again!’”

AND WAS GET­TING TO WORK IN YOUR HOME STU­DIO A CHANGE OF PACE?

“None of the stuff I recorded in my home stu­dio ac­tu­ally ended up get­ting onto the record! I did demo all of my vo­cals at the house. But I learned that while work­ing at home is nice, it’s good to get away. I love hav­ing my fam­ily and my dogs run­ning around, but when I’d just be wak­ing up and go­ing into my stu­dio in my py­ja­mas I ac­tu­ally wasn’t get­ting as much work done. [For fi­nal record­ing] I’d drive to this stu­dio about 10 miles from my house, it’d be like, ‘Boom, boom, boom!’ just get­ting work done ev­ery day.”

TWO DECADES INTO YOUR CA­REER, DO YOU FEEL THE SAME ANX­I­ETY ABOUT NEW MU­SIC THAT YOU DID AS A YOUNGER BAND?

“Al­ways. Maybe even more now. when we were younger – es­pe­cially with [1995’s] Adrenaline – I didn’t think any­body would like the record. I didn’t even re­ally like that record. Nowa­days, there are a lot more ex­pec­ta­tions put on us from the peo­ple who’ve been fol­low­ing us for 20 years that it’ll be good, you know? I do still trust my in­stincts, though. I know that this is good. I lis­ten to this record al­most ev­ery day, still. As frag­mented as it is, it’s a very co­he­sive piece of work from start to fin­ish.we planned it that way, and it worked. that’s re­ally ful­fill­ing.”

YOUÕVE SPO­KEN AT LENGTH ABOUT THIS BE­ING THE FIRST RECORD SINCE CHIÕS PASS­ING. DO YOU FEEL THIS AN AL­BUM HEÕD HAVE BEEN PROUD OF?

“I def­i­nitely think so. He was a very big part of this band for many a year. He still is, in a big way. I def­i­nitely still feel his pres­ence when we’re mak­ing mu­sic and when we’re play­ing live mu­sic.”

WHAT DO YOU WANT PEO­PLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE RECORD?

“A great lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I don’t like to dic­tate to peo­ple what emo­tion they should be feel­ing when they lis­ten to our mu­sic, I just hope it speaks to them. I want peo­ple to have an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. I feel that this record is a tool to have that.”

“I STILL FEEL CHI’S PRES­ENCE WHEN WE’RE MAK­ING MU­SIC”

CHINO MORENO

Chino’s in­vis­i­ble stool act was a hit

Gore’s al­bum art­work: not very gory at all

Deftones (L – R): Ser­gio Vega (bass), Stef Car­pen­ter (gui­tar), Chino Moreno (vo­cals), Abe Cun­ning­ham (drums) and Frank Del­gado (keys/turnta­bles)

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