Deftones return after bassist sidelined by injury

Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:47pm EDT
 
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By Mitchell Peters

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Despite a car accident in November 2008 that left bassist Chi Cheng with a debilitating brain injury, the Deftones have returned with a new album.

The set moves away from the experimental nature of the California rock band's past three studio efforts and revisits the raw heaviness of its mid-'90s releases. The decision to carry on was difficult, but Deftones singer Chino Moreno says the tragedy has brought the group closer together.

"When something like this happens it makes you re-evaluate your whole situation," Moreno says. "It got everybody focused and in a real creative spot."

Recorded in six months with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush) and new bassist Sergio Vega, the Deftones' sixth studio album, "Diamond Eyes," will be released May 4 on Reprise/Warner Bros. Records.

1."DIAMOND EYES" HAS THE SAME AGGRESSIVE VIBE AS THE BAND'S 1997 SECOND ALBUM, "AROUND THE FUR." DID YOU TAKE A SIMILAR APPROACH WITH THE NEW RELEASE?

The comparison to "Around the Fur" is because of the immediacy. The way that record was written was very immediate. We were together in a rehearsal space playing these ideas out hundreds of times, crafting them right, and then going into the studio to track them. From that point on, with (2000's) "White Pony" and the next couple records after that, we pieced stuff together more in the studio, which isn't a bad thing. But there's something about going in with a cohesive piece of work that you're confident in performing already and then recording it. ("Diamond Eyes") has that cohesive vibe, because it was written all together and wasn't pieced together.

2. THE BAND RECRUITED BASSIST SERGIO VEGA FOR "DIAMOND EYES" FOLLOWING CHENG'S CAR ACCIDENT. HAS BRINGING IN A NEW BANDMATE CHANGED YOUR SOUND?

(Vega) definitely came and brought an inspiration. He wrote everything with us from day one on this record. Just having new blood in there is inspiring, because it brings in a different opinion and voice. Sonically, it's hard to say. (Cheng and Vega) are different people; they play bass differently. But it sounds right. It still sounds like the Deftones, and that's what we wanted to maintain.   Continued...

 
<p>The Deftones (L-R) drummer Abe Cunningham, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, keyboardist Frank Delgado, singer Chino Moreno, and bassist Chi Cheng, pose backstage before headlining X-treme Radio's "Our Big Concert 6," a day-long music festival at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 17, 2003. REUTERS/Ethan Miller</p>