In July at the Troubadour, alternative metal rockers Deftones debuted two songs off their newest album Koi No Yokan. The work was not released until one week ago, but thanks to performances of “Poltergeist” and “Rosemary” posted to YouTube, fans were already familiar with them. It's a sign of how much has changed since the NorCal band released their 1995 debut Adrenaline.
“It's sad sometimes to see people at shows not taking in the moment with their eyes and their ears,” Deftones frontman Chino Moreno says. “I'm a child of the '70s and '80s so I'm more of the mindset of 'let's get caught up in the moment, and experience it for what it is.' I think that gets lost today.”
One thing that has not changed is the group's ability to channel different influences into a cohesive metallic rock experience. Koi No Yokan is the perfect marriage of the massive riffage of 1997's Around The Fur and the experimentalism of their 2000 departure point record, White Pony. Heavy, hard-driving rockers like “Swerve City” and “Poltergeist” sit nicely alongside atmospheric, post-rock influenced offerings like “Entombed” and “Rosemary.”
For others, putting all of the pieces of this puzzle together can be an obsessive-compulsive's worst nightmare. The way Moreno describes it, though, there was no OCD behavior during recording.
“We just try to capture the moment we're in,” Moreno says. “There was not much overthinking in the process. It makes for a much more organic experience in writing the music. We do enjoy working our influences into our music, but we don't do anything that doesn't work organically or sounds contrived.”
Moreno maintains a positive demeanor that is infectious, no matter what he's talking about. He stresses the positivity of the Japanese phrase that serves as the album's title, explaining that it “roughly translates to 'premonition of love' or 'love at first sight.' It's not a super literal term nor does it really describe individual songs but…I do think it could encompass how I want to look towards music and life in the future. I'm very lucky to be at a place in my life that I have a sort of peace.”
However, the peace that Moreno and the band have today has a cloud hanging over it. Four years ago this month, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng nearly died after an automobile accident in Santa Clarita, remaining since then in a state of semi-consciousness. Moreno still remains positive and hopes for the best.
“Chi is still fighting through this every day. There are some small developments, but he's still unable to communicate, so he is still technically in a semi-conscious vegetative state. There is a chance he could be on his feet and talking again someday, so we just really hope for the best and try to keep as positive as possible about it. That's the best thing to do as friends and loved ones to keep that positive mentality.”
Deftones perform at the Hollywood Palladium tonight
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.