Chris “ThunderVolt” (our buddy brom bands such as The Black Cat Bones, Boargazm and more recently PitVirus) came for a couple of drinks and we had the privilege of having a phoner with Abe Cunningham, drummer for Deftones. They had a chat about their brand new album, Gore.
Hi there Chris.
Hey Abe, how’re you doing?
I’m doing wonderful, how are you?
I’m good, man. I don’t know, you might remember me from when you guys came to South Africa? We had that barbecue out on the farm on your last day.
Dude, we talk about that all the time! How are you Chris? That was such a great time. What a great trip, but what a great way to end it. That was the best, man. Thank you so much!
Awesome, it was a great day, good food, good meat. Time to do it again.
We would love that!
The Gore album, what was the writing process like?
Pretty much the same way we always do. It’s just the 5 of us that getting into a room again. It’s a bit different now that we don’t live in the same town anymore. Back in the day we had this great separate spot, which we still have. Back here in Sacramento, not like a clubhouse really, but we were there every single day. I think when we get together each time now it’s obviously a focus on everyone coming from out of town. So when we get together, we don’t really waste time anymore, we get down to it. There’s still tons of relaxing and laughing, and fighting… But that’s what brothers do. Not much has changed in the way that we do things, it’s just become a bit more focussed. We try and waste the least amount of time, we’ve wasted a lot of time in the past.
The rhythms on the album is interesting. How did you approach it? How did you evolve? As muso when you approach an album you feel that you need to push yourself a little bit. How did you feel about this album?
There’s always some pushing to it. After all these years I’m never comfortable, I don’t think we should be as a band. We feel better about our place in the world. We have been playing for some time now. The bit of maturity, and having done it, gives you a little glimpse of being a bit more relaxed. I just wanted to make this that are a bit tricky, but never too much. The music and the beats should make you move and it should be fun. I’ll put in a nice fill here and there, and try to make it a bit ‘out there’. Ultimately the music is about having movement and making people move.
Some songs like Doomed User and Geometric Headdress have 5’s and 6’s going on. Even though they’re in odd numbers, they seem to flow. Was it a deliberate decision to make it odd?
I don’t think they were very deliberate. It’s just something that happens when we’re in a room jamming. They’re odd times, but really making those odd times feel smooth is very important. I don’t think it’s deliberate, but trying to make them feel good is high on the list. They can be awkward too, but you still want people to be able to move to it.
This album has a good flow to it.
Just the sequencing of the album is still very important. The way the album goes to the next. I think this album does that well, and the little breaks and fills also make it move forward.
How has the tour and the response been?
There’s been quite a popular response. We also piss people off from time to time. People either love it or they hate it, or maybe it takes a few listens to get into it. We always try to make ourselves happy and keep it fun for us too. If we made Adrenaline over and over, we wouldn’t be happy and we probably wouldn’t be here. Some people want you to be the same person you were 25 years ago, and I don’t want to be that person anymore. That’s the beautiful thing too, because it’s not that out there, but we still try to push the envelope a bit. It’s not like it’s the most insane/complex stuff. We’ve made a point, the people have grown. That’s all we can ask for, that’s the best thing in the world, when we grow together.
The whole design with the flamingos on Gore, what’s that all about?
The title Gore is a very intense thing. It could also mean a million things. The cover picture is a really striking, beautiful photograph. I think it’s just the juxtaposition we’ve always had. I don’t think the art needs to match anything. It’s also great to see them in flight. You usually see them stationary and hanging out in little ponds. Interesting photograph, because they are in flight.
You guys have a plan to come around here again?
We would be there in a second! And the plan is to come over again. It was the best time in the world! We never know when we’ll come back, but it’s definitely high on the list. Please say hello to everyone. Say hi to Albert (Meintjes) and to everyone. Send our love. It was such a great time!