Categories: Interviews

Deftones Sound Off

Ugly and beautiful. That’s how singer Chino Moreno describes the music on the sonic-rock quartet Deftones’ second Maverick/Warner album, “Around the Fur” (out Oct. 28).

Take the title track, for instance.

“It’s a comment on fur,” Moreno said recently, “and how it’s a glamorous thing and beautiful, but turn it around to the other side and it’s skin. It’s a metaphor on how a lot of things are today.”

Likewise, the music created by Moreno and band mates Stephen Carpenter (guitar), Chi Cheng (bass) and Abe Cunningham (drums) is loud, aggressive and straightforward, but their songs are equally melodic and complex.

“Around the Fur” is a darker, almost sinister, but thoroughly explosive change of pace from Deftones’ 1995 debut album, “Adrenaline,” which sold more than 200,000 copies behind nearly two solid years of touring.

“We didn’t write a lick on the road; we didn’t have time,” Moreno said. “We wrote it all when we got home. Playing shows is beautiful, but writing and creating new music are the best parts of the whole thing, so I think we were all pumped just to do that. When we got home, it all came out. Right now, I can’t believe we did all that in three months.”

The success of “Adrenaline” caught the Sacramento natives by surprise, but Moreno said it never went to their heads.

“When we first made ‘Adrenaline,’ I was just happy we were able to make a record,” he said. “After a while, I thought, ‘You know, this record is good, but I know we can do a better one.’ I want to continue gradually getting better, rather than throwing ourselves out in the media and telling everybody who we are and having our pictures plastered everywhere.”

“Adrenaline,” however, did pump up their confidence.

“It’s us knowing that we can do this,” Moreno said. “But success can be weird. People think, ‘Wow, you got a record deal, you’ve made it,’ but when you get the chance, you have to prove yourselves and make a good record. We worked really hard on this one, and I think it shows.”

Deftones are ready for two more years on the road, if need be. “We’ll tour as long as they let us do it,” Moreno said.

BWF (before we forget): “Around the Fur” debuted at No. 29 on Billboard’s pop chart on Nov. 16 and has since sold more than 300,000 copies. … Get in tune with Deftones on the Web @ www.deftones.com.

Gerry Galipault

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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