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Interview:
deftones stay positive in tough times
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Even though deftones’ latest album, 2010’s “Diamond Eyes,” was recorded after an auto accident left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma — where he remains today — frontman Chino Moreno says he worked hard not to succumb to the “darker time” in the California hard rockers’ career.

“I wouldn’t say they’re positive lyrics,” says Moreno, 37, “but I think the feeling over the whole record is more of an optimistic look into the galaxy. That’s what the title ‘Diamond Eyes’ represents to me — a bright-eyed look on the world.

“I like to do that. That’s the fun part about making music; it doesn’t have to reflect on your day-to-day life, really. I still think it reflects who I am and what I’m thinking, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about me, me and me. I feel like I can sing about anything.”

“Diamond Eyes,” with former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega filling in for Cheng, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 when it came out in May 2010 and was named the album of the year by Kerrang! magazine and iTunes’ Rock Album of the Year. Moreno says the one thing Cheng’s accident did for deftones was kick the group out of a malaise it had been in during recent years and made the group appreciate its career more than it had.

“I can say we were a little half-hearted in the last five or six years before (‘Diamond Eyes’),” Moreno acknowledges. “There was a lack of this fire burning in us, and we were just taking it as it came. So we decided to get really aggressive; obviously, when Chi had his accident we had to rebuild the infractructure in a way, and when we decided to do that, it changed up our work ethic and regimen.

“It totally helped us not only as musicians but as a band and the way we, as friends, communicated and the way we work. Everybody just kind of stepped their game up, and it showed. It seems a lot more focused, and it’s funner this way.”



Deftones, Dillinger Escape Plan and Funeral Party perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $45 and $27.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.



Web Site: www.livenation.com

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