Deftones bring out 'album of the year'
Your drummer Abe Cunningham has said that you’ve grown up a lot and are more disciplined in your approach to recording and touring. Would you agree?
Most definitely. Being more responsible in general in life is a learning experience. It is sad that it took so long to do it. I didn’t really start being responsible until about six or seven years ago. I realised that I was only hurting myself with my lack of discipline.
You’ve said you got your mojo back after a difficult period in the mid-2000s. What do you attribute that to?
It’s just growing up. The main thing is learning some appreciation for what we do. Music is one of my biggest hobbies: creating it, listening to it and researching it. The fact that I’m able to have a job doing it is something I really appreciate. One of the catalysts, which was really sad, was when Chi (Cheng) the bass player had his accident and just life in general. It made everybody sit back and realise that those little things don’t seem to matter so much anymore. It’s just music, it is not the be all and end all, but it is a gift and we appreciate it. Everybody got into a really good head space and it made us all close together. We started to appreciate and enjoy it more.
It is a phenomenon in hard rock that so many bands have created their most successful music after tragedy ‑ AC/DC, Metallica, Mastodon and Avenged Sevenfold. Why is that?
It is nothing that anybody hopes for. It is just life in general. A lot of people deal with things that are bad. Once you’ve been through something, you grow from it and you take a lot in. You can always turn it into something positive.
Do you ever see a time when Chi might pull through?
Yes, I think so. That’s what keeps us going. It will be four years since his accident. He’s still alive, he’s still fighting, he wants to make it through this. It has happened before in a lot of cases. We do keep positive and hopeful. It helps us to carry through and keep going. It could be the case that he never wakes up, but the best thing we can do is keep a positive mental attitude about things.
Do you think he would like what you are doing right now?
Absolutely. Some of the best times in our lives have been together as friends making this music together and he’s a very big part of it. I’ve been friends with him for most of my life. I think he would appreciate what we are doing now.
Koi No Yokan is out now