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Deftones Drummer Abe Cunningham Reveals His Onstage ‘Beef’ With Stephen Carpenter


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Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham and guitarist Stephen Carpenter have apparently been waging a private war against each other onstage in front of us over the years and few ever noticed. As drummer Abe Cunningham recently explained to Music Radar:

“This is another beef I have with Stephen. He is of the frame of mind that everything must be exactly like the album, which I can agree with to a certain degree, but I grew up on people jamming. You should be able to stretch out. I want to keep the songs true as possible but I do stuff to drive him crazy, I’ll play something just to piss him off because I can, we’re brothers.

He’ll do it to me too. He’ll speed something up. He’s got a very steady right hand but he’ll tweak the tempo out and I know he’s doing it. Nothing is to a click, it’s all us, for better or worse.”

Earlier in the same chat he also laid out he and Carpenter don’t see eye to eye on certain elements when it comes to writing either:

“I don’t know. Stephen, our guitarist, and I have tremendous beef. Back in the day he and I would get together, jam everything out and get things going. Of course it takes the whole band to make the song but he and I would always, to the wee hours of the night, totally focus on getting stuff together.

I’m not really a metal drummer. I love metal, but I’m not really a metal drummer. I don’t really possess the skills to do a lot of the stuff that he wants which has become our beef over the years. We’re brothers, I love him more than anything, but I don’t want to play that style.

That’s what makes us us, too. He’s a rhythm player and he’s gotten more into syncopated matched-up double bass stuff and I don’t want to do that. Personally I don’t really possess those skills. But we’re all such different people, we’re tight as can be, but we all like different things.”

Of course Cunningham approaches the whole conversation from a loving standpoint, with none of the above comments to be construed as spiteful. You can read his interview in full over at Music Radar.

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