Deftones' Chino Moreno and Sergio Vega on Album Leaks: "Fuck That Shit!"
Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Deftones' sold out show tonight at Terminal 5 has been canceled. (A new date, says the band's management, will be announced soon.) The California alt-metal (whatever that means) outfit drops its seventh studio album, Koi No Yokan, on November 13. Following last year's superb Diamond Eyes, it's Deftones' second release since a car accident left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma. The bassist Sergio Vega, of the New York post-hardcore band Quicksand, appears on both albums, and is currently touring with the band. On Sunday night, a few hours before Deftones crushed a 20-song-set at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, I chatted backstage with Vega and frontman Chino Moreno.
- Deftones: Here Comes the Rain - Offering a master class in outperforming a storm
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A storm is coming, but hopefully your New York show won't be canceled. Having been on the road for over 20 years now, are you used to this sort of shit happening?
Chino Moreno: Yeah. I think it makes it more interesting. It puts a bit of fire under our toes. The show is always the highlight of our day, but all the stuff around it can become very routine. A storm like this provides something uncertain, something unpredictable for us to think about and talk about.
H.R. of Bad Brains came out on stage a few days ago in Baltimore to play a song with you. Was that the first time he's done that?
Moreno: He's actually done it with us before. I got an email from one of his guys a few weeks ago asking if we wanted to do it. He asked if we were covering "Right Brigade," which we hadn't done in like 15 years. So we re-learned it real quick and did it. H.R. is one of my biggest influences; he's one of my favorite frontmen. I love the way he sings and his style and he just transcends so many different genres. His vocal delivery is very rhythmic and dynamic. He's always just doing his own thing.
H.R.'s a trip, man. The trippiest thing is hanging out with him before the show--just hanging out with him backstage, sitting on the couch, like we're doing now. He's a man of very few words, and everything he says can be taken in many different ways. A lot of times you don't know if he's mad--he wears his sunglasses and stays in this kind of meditative state all the time--so you don't know if he's praying or sleeping or what. And then all of a sudden he'll just start talking. He's definitely an interesting person to be around.
Back in high school, when you first started playing music, did you ever think you'd one day be sharing a stage with someone like H.R.?
Moreno: I actually had the chance to meet him even before our first record came out. We got a spot opening for them when they reunited for the God Of Love album. It only lasted like 10 shows because H.R. ended up getting thrown in jail in Lawrence, Kansas. So I met those guys pretty early on. The first famous people I ever met were H.R. And Madonna. I met Madonna a few months before H.R. It was the first time I went to L.A. and I got pulled into her office because she wanted to sign us. It was such a crazy thing to be sitting there talking to a woman whose posters I used to have up in my room as a kid.
Koi No Yokan is about to drop, and there's some incredibly vague information floating around on the Internet about how it's inspired by the apocalypse. Is that true?
Moreno: I think somebody made that up. But we actually do sit around and talk about post-apocalyptic type of stuff a lot. We're way into those theories and conspiracies. When we were making this record we were talking about the Mayan end of the world thing, but we would never take it so seriously that we'd make a concept album or something. We're not really capable of doing that. For me, I get too confined creatively; I can't do something that has to stay within the boundaries of a preconceived idea. I automatically turn left from that because it makes me feel trapped.
Sergio Vega: Yeah, the concept ends up taking over the music. We just want to be free to do whatever we want, and wouldn't want to be locked into a concept record.