One of the most anticipated releases of the fall is the new album from Deftones, Ohms. We've already heard the title track and it has us salivating for more. While we wait, frontman Chino Moreno is out doing some publicity for the album. In an interesting new feature for Uproxx, Moreno reviewed every previous album the band released, and even renewed their upcoming album. Here are some highlights:
For Deftones' debut record, Adrenaline, Chino says of his writing "As a songwriter, I didn’t know how to write lyrics. I would just make stuff up and then he would keep it. If I ever had to go back on something, it would be different every time. That’s probably why some of the record makes me cringe a little bit."
But overall, he gives Adrenaline a favorable review, saying "I think it came out okay. Maybe good. It’s probably one of my least favorite records of ours. My confidence as a vocalist, it hadn’t really blossomed at all. Sometimes there’s beauty in that, when you don’t know what you’re doing. There are some moments in there that are pretty special. But yeah, I hear our youth in that record."
For their breakthrough 1997 album, Around The Fur, Chino says "We were all pretty much in our early 20s, and just full of energy. More than anything, confidence, I think, when you hear that record, that’s the one thing that stands out. That probably is one of my favorite records of ours, because of that reason."
For their smash 2000 album, White Pony, Chino writes "At that time, I was listening to more electronic, breakbeat stuff, like DJ Shadow records, UNKLE records, trip-hop. More drum-forward music. We all were, actually. I think we wanted to dive into that a little bit, and see how we can really bring some of these sonics into our sound. When we were done with the record, I remember us being proud of it. But I also remember a lot of our fans not liking it, or maybe not getting it. They were just like, “Where are the old Deftones at? Where’s the screaming?” It was a slow grower and there was a lot more to take in." He concludes "I knew that we liked it. But I didn’t know where it was going to fit in in the times. To be honest, it really didn’t fit in. We didn’t really get much radio play."
For the 2003 self-titled, Chino writes "I was a little out of my mind, with drugs or whatever, and just sort of in a dark place. That record is really heavy in that way. It’s probably one of our only records that when I listen to it, I get a weird feeling. Some of the stuff’s not comfortable for me to listen to."
For 2006's Saturday Night Wrist, Chino writes "Everybody was sort of in their own realm. We rarely were even in the room together when we wrote it." Overall, it wasn't his favorite writing process, and says he feels it's the least connected the band had ever been. "At the very end, I picked the best of what I thought was there and built the record out of it, and just put lyrics over it in the last minute. The record really sounds like that to me when I listen to it. Maybe it doesn’t to everybody else, but I think me, because I know that, the record has that feel to it."
For their big 2010 comeback album, Diamond Eyes, Chino writes that they abandoned writing Eros after bassist Chi Cheng's horrific accident, and they started from scratch with what would become Diamond Eyes. "That ended up being our fastest record we ever produced. We wrote it in a month and recorded it in a month. I really felt like we captured lightning in a bottle. At that point we were probably the closest we’d ever been as a band. Obviously when something like that happens tragically to one of your best friends who you grew up with, that really puts things in perspective."
Their 2012 release, Koi No Yokan, feels like they kept going with where they started on the last record. "To me I feel like it’s a reprise of Diamond Eyes in a way. They seem very similar to me. Both those records I think compliment each other.
For 2016's Gore, Chino writes "One of the biggest things that happened was Stephen sort of checked out for a lot of the writing process. Though he was there, physically, he was not showing much interest in jamming along with it. Later towards the end of the process, he took me aside and said, “Hey, I’m sorry that I wasn’t really there mentally.” Obviously he was going through something, and his head just wasn’t in it. I get it. I’ve been in that place before. It’s not like I was mad at him for it. But at the same time, it’s not like we were going to start all over again and make another record. The record kind of was finished, and it is what it was. But the biggest thing is, I think in the end, his presence wasn’t felt as strongly as we all wished it would’ve in that record."
And finally, for their new record, Ohms, Chino says "“Heavy” is kind of subjective, you know? The last thing I ever want to do is be quoted saying, “This is our heaviest record!” The first thing that’s going to happen is some dude’s going to be like, “No way dude! This is …” You know what I mean? It’s kind of subjective. But I do feel like it’s got a little more energy. I think that is attributed to everybody being engaged completely. Everybody firing on all cylinders. There’s not one of us individually that was sort of sitting back just going along. Everybody was very present physically and emotionally, ready to work and to put the work in."