DEFTONES Singer CHINO MORENO: 'Expectations, To Me, Always Seem To Ruin Things'

December 24, 2022

In a new interview with, DEFTONES vocalist Chino Moreno and drummer Abe Cunningham spoke about the band's penchant for always pushing boundaries on their albums. Asked what the "secret" is to their always-evolving sound, Chino said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't know if there's a secret, other than just curiosity — wanting to be excited to some degree… And also, we don't make that many records. If you really think about it, I think we have nine records. We've been a band for 30 years almost here, so it's not really that big of an output, I guess, of music. So when we go in to make a record, we still have that mentality of making a record from start to finish. It doesn't revolve around one song or a single or anything; it's kind of just like trying to put together sort of a movie, in a way — a beginning, a middle, an end."

He continued: "I feel like towards the beginning of our career, we started, sort of, always trying to just go left or right of what is expected from us as a band. Expectations, to me, usually always seem to ruin things. Not just even music. If you expect one thing and then you get that, it's, like, 'Okay.' So it's exciting sometimes when something unexpected happens, whether it's in the creative process or whatever. That's what keeps it fun, I think, and exciting."

Added Abe: "I'm just thinking too many expectations lead to a lot of letdowns — or can. We were always a touring band too, so that's why a lot of this took a long time. Up until maybe 12, 15 years ago — around [2010's] 'Diamond Eyes' time — we actually really started figuring out how to have a better pacing of things and the way that we would work and get together to work. And that really changed our whole attitude.

"[If] you're talking about changes in the industry, it's funny because these things sort of just happened as we were going.

"I think you need to be aware of things — definitely be aware of shit — but you don't gotta dwell on it," Abe added. "But then also time allows things to fade — trends or whatever — and then if you're still doing your stuff and you feel about it, [it works out better in the long run]."

Earlier this year, DEFTONES recruited Fred Sablan as their new touring bassist following the departure of Sergio Vega. They were also joined by second guitarist Lance Jackman.

Sablan made his live debut with the DEFTONES in April at the opening concert of the band's spring 2022 U.S. tour at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon.

Sablan is best known as the former bassist for MARILYN MANSON, having toured and recorded with the shock rocker between 2010 and 2014. He has also played bass for CHELSEA WOLFE and PETER HOOK AND THE LIGHT, and is a member of the punk-rock supergroup HEAVENS BLADE alongside YOUTH CODE singer Sara Taylor, ROB ZOMBIE bassist Piggy D. (on guitar) and SUICIDE SILENCE drummer Alex Lopez.

Vega, who officially joined DEFTONES in 2009, confirmed his exit in March, just days after a new photo of the band without him emerged online on various digital service providers. At the time, he took to social media to share a video explaining his perspective on the split. In the Instagram video, Vega detailed the contractual issues that created a rift between himself and the group's core members.

Jackman is known for his work in Sacramento bands EIGHTFOURSEVEN, HORSENECK and WILL HAVEN.

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