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Deftones: Buy Me A Pony.

13 January 2003 | 1:00 am | Peter Madsen
Originally Appeared In

Tone On The Range.

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Deftones play the Big Day Out at the Gold Coast Parklands on January 19.

With their last record, White Pony, Deftones put together an album, which their bio calls as ‘erotic as it is brutal’. So it seems a fair move that by naming their soon to be released fourth long player Lovers, that we’re in for an even set to take each to further extremes.

With it’s release slated for February 2003, Aussie audiences will get a chance to preview some of the band’s newer tracks when they hit our stages for the Big Day Out the month prior.

“We’re in the final stages of putting together the new record,” the band’s DJ Frank explains from a Seattle recording studio, where they’ve been holed up for the last two months. “We’re going to have it done by mid December so we can start mixing it and get all the vocals done by the beginning of January.”

“Once we get out of here we’re straight into rehearsals for the Big Day Out, so we’re not going to get much of a break other than the holidays.”

After the recording of White Pony, did the band take a step back and think about where you were going to go with the new record? Does White Pony give some indication of what the band are feeling this time around?

“I don’t know that we really got a chance to. There wasn’t much writing being done on the road. We really needed to just hang out with out families and relax. We basically just had to get into the studio and start working on it. It’s definitely Deftones dynamic wise, it’s still there. I don’t think we really had a conscious thought of what we wanted to do. It was more about knowing what we didn’t want to do.”

Do you tend to spend a lot of time together when you’re not on the road?

“Yeah, we do. Stephan doesn’t live in Sacramento anymore, but he comes up a lot. We’re always hanging at each other’s houses, having a few beers. It’s a real family environment.”

Do you think that’s an important element in what’s kept the Deftones together and sounding fresh over the years?

“You know, I would think so. I don’t really know how other bands work. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but if it was all hunky dory then I don’t think what we did would be pleasing to our ears.”

For what do you think encapsulates the Deftones sound when you’re writing. How do you know when something is right for the band?

“It’s pretty much just a case of us all enjoying it and smiling, you know? We’re a bunch of different guys with a bunch of different influences, and usually if we keep coming back to something it’s a song that’s going to stay. If we don’t go back to something it gets dropped. It’s kind of a difficult process for us to write songs. Not so much difficult, but we’re not the kind of band that goes into the studio with like 35 songs. It takes a lot to get it down to the songs we’re going to use.”

 I notice you’re all working with active side projects outside of the Deftones. Are you fairly prolific with your writing even if it isn’t going to be material that makes it onto a Deftones record?

“I think there’s lots of things we haven’t explored. That’s just a process of being creative. With the side projects, people have their own space for things. People like jamming with their other friends and playing some music that might not be right for this band, or vice versa. Most of the people we’ve done other projects with a pretty much in our same circle of friends. It’s just keeping things fun, basically.”

Do you still get the opportunity to play as a DJ outside the band?

“Definitely. When I’m at home and I’ve got some time I get out and spin with my buddy. We DJ out together. When I was home a couple of months ago we played with DJ Shadow. It’s hard to find time to get things like that done, but we always try to. I play everything. I play a lot of breaks and funk and soul. I play hip-hop; I love a lot of electronic music. I love it all.”

There’s a lot of bootleg Deftones material available on the net, what’s your policy on taping shows?

“It’s not really an issue. It’s always going to happen. People want music. If anything we’re more worried about people leaking copies of the album before it out. When it’s out it’s cool, you can share it with your friends or whatever. Usually the kind of stuff that gets leaked is out-takes, un-mastered stuff. This is out art, we want to present it in a certain way.”