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Deftones’ Chino Moreno Says He Channeled His Isolation From Moving To Oregon Into “Ohms”, Looks Forward To Doing More Side Projects


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With Deftones‘ ninth studio album “Ohms” mere days away from its September 25th release, the press cycle for the opus has reached a fever pitch. Newly published interviews with frontman Chino Moreno continue to share new insight not only into the album, but other band-related activities and releases as well.

In a recent interview with Grammy.com, Moreno spoke on how his decision to move from Los Angeles, CA to Oregon and the relative isolation that decision afforded in part impacted the album and his lifestyle. When asked if “Ohms” represents not only ‘electrical’ resistance, but also connection, responded:

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“I think that [connection] really rears its head a lot in a lot of the words of the record. For me personally, I was dealing with a lot of feelings of isolation and working through all that stuff. And that was like a physical thing of me just sort of being away from everybody for a long time. I’d spent about five or six years living out in the country, away from all my friends and all the people that I’ve made music with.

Before that, I was living in Los Angeles. I was always around music or my friends who make music and I was constantly always filling that creative void. When I went on my own, I was like, ‘Okay, well, I’m just going to sit here and I’m going to make a bunch of music and I didn’t make any music.’

I literally just—I’d go out to the mountains by myself and I’d hang out, and I liked it at first. But there was no balance there. At some point, I started to long for connection and conversations and just being a part of society again.

And so a lot of that stuff made its way into the lyrical content of the record. And like I said, the songs themselves kind of had that feeling to them. So with the title, it’s obviously hard to title, to have one thing [encompass it all] because the record is not a concept record in any way. So it’s hard to just think of a name that’s going to blanket the whole… There’s no statement there, or anything like that.

I just felt like it really made sense. I mean, there’s obviously this resistance and creating energy amongst the five of us as well. We were all sort of polarized in the way that we work. Everybody comes from a different place and I think that’s what makes Deftones.

It’s kind of a beautiful thing in a way because if we all came from the same place, I think our music would suffer from being too one-dimensional. As to where there’s a lot of push and pull involved in the songs themselves, so I think that’s kind of always been one of our strong points.”

That same interview also saw Moreno express his wishes to pursue more side projects after an uncharacteristically quiet few years:

“…Like I was saying earlier, I was, for a few years, maybe like six or seven years ago. I was really, really prolific. I was doing a lot of projects, like tons of side projects, along with Deftones, everything. And I was loving it. It was really, really fun, but it was when I lived in L.A. and I was surrounded by all my friends and musicians all the time. It was like it was just a natural thing.

Then I stopped I stopped making music for awhile. I did one Deftones record, and that’s about it really, in the last four years or so besides this Deftones record. So I’m looking forward to start doing more projects, collaborating with different people. That’s really fun for me. And that’s kind of one of the best ways I like making music is collaborating as opposed to just making music by myself. I love reacting to what someone else is playing and going back and forth, to me that’s really, really fun. So I look forward to doing more of that.”

Meanwhile, in a separate newly published interview with NME, Moreno again spoke of the fate of “Eros“, the band’s shelved final album with their late bassist Chi Cheng. The group had been working on that outing prior to Cheng‘s November 2008 car crash, which left him in a semi-comatose state until his April 2013 death.

Responding to NME of that album and whether or not it will ever see the light of day, he offered:

“We talked a little about the ‘Eros‘ stuff. Once everything shut down, the hard drives were put away. My memory of it is that we were maybe a little over halfway done. There was still a lot of work to do on it. It was still very fragmented. The question that we’re always asked is, ‘Are you ever going to put that record out?’ Honestly, it would be like making a whole other record – except I would be trying to write lyrics to songs that are over 10 years old.”

On the prospect of revisiting that material, he offered “It takes you back to then and it’s a trip. To do that with every song and then write from that place, it’s emotional. There are a lot of things tied to that album. It would be interesting to [finish] at some point, and I’ve never said that we won’t. There are times when I think that it would be an experiment that I can possibly learn from.”

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