Interview: Deftones Frontman Chino Moreno on Revolver’s Album of the Year, Koi No Yokan
In the new issue of Revolver, which hits newsstands everywhere today, we list our picks for the top 20 albums of 2012. And numero uno? Deftones’s latest full-length, Koi No Yokan–our selection for the Album of the Year. You can read Senior Writer Dan Epstein’s piece about the record in the magazine, but to celebrate here online, we recently talked to Deftones frontman Chino Moreno about Koi No Yokan, and about the honor.
REVOLVER How does it feel to win Revolver’s Album of the Year?
CHINO MORENO It’s pretty great. But really, I’m excited for people to hear this record. We had a great time making it. Every since Diamond Eyes, we’ve been rebuilding our foundation. We kind of had to, given the circumstances and everything that happened with Chi. But from that point on, we’ve been charging forward and having a great time together, both as a band and also as friends. For this album, when we got off the road for Diamond Eyes, everybody was still charged up to be creative and we went into our rehearsal space pretty quickly and started writing. The whole thing took about six months for us to do, which is pretty fast considering some of our records have taken three years. [Laughs]
You had a few tough years after Chi’s accident. Does that feel like it’s all in the past?
I think so. When we had to go in and make Diamond Eyes, I think it had already been a year and a half that we had been working on Eros when Chi had his accident. It was a good time, but when that happened, there was a lot of uncertainty there. We didn’t even know if we were going to carry on as a band. So there was probably about six months where we didn’t know what was going to happen. But when Sergio [Vega, bass] came in, we started writing music that day. It was an unspoken thing. And everything has been great since then.
Have you had a chance to play the new album for Chi?
No. I haven’t seen him in about eight months. He was on the East Coast for treatment for a while and just got back to California recently. Hopefully in the next month or so we’ll see him. The last time we were together, I played him some of Diamond Eyes, as well as a bunch of other music that I know he loves, like Willie Nelson. Just to hopefully get a reaction from him. And we’ll do it again.
Is there anything on the record that you think he would really connect with?
It’s hard to say. I would hope there would be a lot of things. I mean, we spent so many years together. When I was 17, I moved out of my parents’ house and moved in with Chi, and after that, I pretty much was with him every single day of my life. So I would imagine hearing our music and hearing my voice has to be intense for him. And anytime you play him music, I’m sure it’s a highlight of his day. Because he’s awake, he’s there. He’s just not able to communicate. I think music is very therapeutic for him.
You guys are known for recording some interesting cover songs at the end of sessions for each album. Did you cut any this time?
Sadly, no. We didn’t do any. We talked a lot about it but it was such a whirlwind. We finished recording and everybody kind of broke off. Then when we got back together, we went right out on tour. But we’re talking about maybe recording some stuff out on the road. I’d love to, because doing covers is always the fun part to me. But we ran out of time.
Any songs in particular you’d like to tackle next time?
There are tons. As far as decades, we’ve done a lot of stuff from the ’80s, which makes sense. Those were our teen years. So we feel very attached to that stuff. But I really want to try to do something older. Like a song from the ’40s or ’50s. Something different for us. We put together a short list of stuff but we haven’t really decided on anything. So we’ll see what happens.
What is your own personal Album of the Year?
It would definitely have to be Lonerism by Tame Impala. The songwriting’s great, and sonically it’s just explosive. It’s fun to listen to. It definitely has a retro sound to it but to me it seems very futuristic. They’re a great band and they made a great record.