DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno has spoken to Kerrang! magazine about the band's forthcoming fifth album.
The Sacramento quintet are currently holed up in a Los Angeles studio with producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, JANE'S ADDICTION) working on the follow-up to their 2003 self-titled release. After a spell working in Carriage House in Connecticut, Moreno and his bandmates decided to head back to L.A. and redo the tracks they'd done, which may have delayed the album's progress by a few months, but, as Moreno explains, has resulted in the band being more together than they've ever been and producing their "heaviest shit" yet...
Kerrang!: How are the new songs sounding?
Chino: "The songs are kind of brainy, but it's the heaviest shit we've written. On our last record we got kind of lazy by writing as few riffs as possible, but on this one we're writing more riffs. This is defeinitely the tightest we've ever been."
Kerrang!: You started in Connecticut and then went to L.A. and started over. Why did you do that?
Chino: "It was kind of weird because we recorded so much stuff there, but then we regrouped as a band when we got back to L.A. and started re-tracking everything. It gets really cold in the winter in Connecticut, and it's kind of in the middle of fucking nowhere. At first it seemed like a really serene place, but then it got really fucking depressing, and once we got home, we were all like, 'What the fuck was that?' So we've finalized everything in our home studio where we rehearse and we hang out all day long, play all night, and it's become the kind of family thing that's always made the DEFTONES breathe as artists."
Kerrang!: Weren't you hoping to finish it by the start of the year?
Chino: "We felt so out of place in Carriage House that we didn't feel like ourselves. We were out of our element. Working with Bob Ezrin was awesome, having someone come in who had a really strong opinion on how shit should be, but I think we felt like we weren't in control of our shit. So we got home, and we were like, 'We've got to play this stuff, so we have to make it our own.' We just started playing and writing the baddest shit. Just song-wise, it's like everything started filling up, and we started working like a unit again. Steph [Carpenter, guitar] and my relationship has always been really rocky creatively, but we're at the best place we've ever been."
Kerrang!: Any songtitles you can share with us?
Chino: "I don't really want to give anything away yet, but there's 'Buffalo' and 'Diamond' and they have a concept. It's not a concept record, but every song has a themed idea to it. To be honest, the titles aren't worked out yet."
Kerrang!: A rumored album title is "Saturday Night Wrist". Is that what it's going to be called?
Chino: "I'm not really sure. We're still throwing names into the hat and no one's really said anything about that one, so I think that might be their way of saying they don't like it. The last record ended up being self-titled, but I wanted to call it 'Lovers', actually. I don't think we could have two self-titled records, though, so I'm sure we'll come up with something."
Kerrang!: What has made your relationship change then?
Chino: "Our last record could have been something more but it wasn't because we were fighting all the time. But I don't want to fight anymore, so we've started really communicating and it's much better. Communication is one of the most important things in any relationship, but especially in a musical one."
<Kerrang!: How did Bob Ezrin feel about you undoing some of his work?
Chino: "He was totally cool. Before, we weren't sure what we wanted to do, so we had someone else come in, but then we realized halfway through. If we hadn't gone back and reworked some stuff, it wouldn't have been our record, it would have been Bob Ezrin's take on the DEFTONES. We wanted it to be DEFTONES, produced by Bob Ezrin."
Kerrang!: Is it true DEFTONES are putting together a B-sides and rarities album?
Chino: "Yeah, we've got so many recordings of covers and remixes and there's loads of stuff people haven't really heard. I've got boxes of VHS tapes and there's so much fucking insane footage of crazy stage shows and wild shit. So it's going to be like a timeline from the beginning up to now. There'll be an album of B-sides and rarity songs and a DVD with it, so it's going to be really cool. 'Adrenaline' came out in September 1995, so I think we're aiming to release this around our 10th anniversary."