Deftones bring out 'album of the year'
Deftones are one of the most innovative hard rock bands of the past 20 years. Their early albums Adrenaline, Around the Fur and White Pony went platinum in the United States and were also critical successes.
In November 2008, tragedy struck when bass player Chi Cheng was injured in a car crash in California. He has been in a coma for four years. They abandoned the next album Eros, but came back stronger with Diamond Eyes which was a return to old glories. They have followed it up with the new album Koi No Yokan which is out now. It received a five star rating in The Irish Times and was chosen by Revolver magazine as the album of the year. Ronan McGreevy speaks to Deftones lead singer Chino Moreno.
Your new album is called Koi No Yokan. Can you explain the title?
It is a Japanese term which roughly translates as love at first sight, but there is no literal English translation of it. It is a powerful term and something that a lot of people are lucky enough to experience in one way or another. It is always hard when you have to describe a record with a name or a phrase. A lot of times our titles do not mean anything, but this one has some meaning to it. The record is not a concept record at all, but the notion of it is very powerful. I think we made a very great record with a lot of very powerful emotional songs that people can relate to. We feel pretty good about it.
The first single, Tempest, is getting a lot of rave reviews. How do you feel about that song?
It is hard for me to pick favourites. It’s like children in a way. It is not my favourite song on the record, but it is great that it has got such a brilliant reaction. Now there is so much more to come for those who are interested in the record. It is a very diverse batch of songs.
I detected a hint of Mastodon about that song. You toured with them in the United States. Were you influenced by them?
Most definitely, I love them. They are great friends of ours and great musicians. There are few metal bands that stand out from the normal, straight-down-the-middle aggressive metal. They have so many different influences that they bring into their sound and I really appreciate it.
I know that people say we are a metal band, but individually and collectively, we are influenced by so many different types of music that it would be hard for us to put a wall up and say that we’re just a metal band and that’s all we are.
Luckily, my parents played a lot of music in our house as a kid and I grew up listening to the likes of John Coltrane and Miles Davis that are so disconnected from heavy metal.
Your last album Diamond Eyes was really successful. Are you hoping the new album will follow on from that?
We had a really pleasant work experience on that Diamond Eyes record where we refocused the way that we work. It was a very immediate record. It was written all together in one small room. It really captured that moment in time. We took the same sort of approach with the writing of this record. We set these hours aside in the day and we locked ourselves in a room and just played and had fun doing so. For that reason I feel we captured another moment in time. Once you get complacent it stops being interesting and fun.