Forming way back in 1988 Deftones have continually grown a loyal and passionate fanbase worldwide through their distinct ambient yet heavy sound. The band are headed back to Australia in November 2016 for a national headline tour. We were lucky enough to chat with Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham about the tour and their latest album Gore.

SCENEzine
Firstly how was Riot Fest Denver and are you excited for Chicago?

Abe Cunningham
Yeah so that was the last show we played a week and a half a go. We have a few more days off because we came home after that. We have a nice two week break then we start off in Chicago again. It was amazing though, great bands. It was cool to see Descendents and all these different bands. But the cool thing about Chicago is we are actually playing the same day as The Misfits and I really, really want to see that.

SCENEzine
I guess that’s a pretty awesome perk to be able to play a festival then be able to watch the reunited Misfits?

Abe Cunningham
Yeah man I think everybody was really curious about it, they actually played the day after we played last week. Seeing some of that footage they sounded amazing so it’s really cool that’ll I’ll be able to see them live.

SCENEzine
Congrats on your newest album Gore it’s an awesome album that seems to get better with each listen. Are you proud of how it turned out and does it rate highly in your opinion?

Abe Cunningham
Thank you I’m glad you dig it. It’s funny that you say that because the way it was designed we never really have some grand scheme of what we want to do we just get into a room and see what we can come up with. But that record has a lot of stuff as you said if you listen on a good set of headphones or have good speakers and immerse yourself in it there’s a lot of stuff that will come later on. I’m glad that your hearing these different things. It’s funny because it’s become a record that people either really like a lot or don’t like a lot it’s pretty strange. So far in our catalogue it’s met with love or great distain. That to me is a good thing. You can’t please everyone you certainly can try. I know that people like us for different reasons and this far along in the game it’s just us trying to make something that hopefully people do enjoy but also you want to get a reaction. It’s pretty funny that distain so far but we’ve got to keep it fresh for us.

SCENEzine
Gore actually hit number one in Australia is that pretty cool news for you guys to hear?

Abe Cunningham
It’s very cool. In Australia and New Zealand it was our first number one record anywhere in the world. It’s pretty wild news.

SCENEzine
“Prayers/Triangles” is a great track to kick off the album. There’s so much imagery and colour in the video as well. Did you enjoy putting together the video for that?

Abe Cunningham
It’s funny and I’ll tell you why. We’ve made a lot of videos over the years we’ve made like twenty or more it’s always fun. Videos for us have always been hit and miss we’ve had a couple that have been really, really good but most our videos are terrible man. It starts out with a good concept and idea but never translates. At least that’s what we think so videos are always kind of strange for us. That one was very simple because we had really nothing to do with it. We liked the idea and thought the director was great. We just played against a green screen and they did all the magic later on. It turned out really well.

SCENEzine
“Phantom Bride” features Jerry Cantrell. Was it easy getting him to play on the album?

Abe Cunningham
Yeah it’s a really proud moment for us as a band. It’s pretty funny how that came to be. That was one of the last songs that we recorded for the record. The song could of been fine without anybody’s input but it definitely needed something. We were having this big BBQ and a bunch of friends were over and we were drinking and having a great time. We sat around and said what if we got one of our friends to drop a bad ass solo in that song.

We started brainstorming and we came up with a huge list of thirty or forty people all amazing people. Unfortunately some had passed away Jimi Hendrix was on the list but he wasn’t going to be able to make it. We had this big list but at the end of the day we were like all these people would be amazing but what about Jerry. We were like oh my god yeah Jerry. Alice in Chains is a band that we’ve grown up on we have tremendous respect for him and also have became friends over the years and toured together. We called him up and the very next day he was in the studio and knocked it out he’s amazing. He’s one of those people who has an immediate tone that when he plays you know it’s him. To have us and him on a song together is absolutely amazing.

SCENEzine
Did you ever see Layne Staley live or meet him?

Abe Cunningham
I never met Layne but I saw him live many times throughout the years. Our first few records we actually recorded in Seattle back in the mid nineties. They were always around the studio coming in and out so we got to know them back then. Years later we got to tour together. Great dudes and I’ve got a lot of love and respect for those guys.

SCENEzine
You’ll soon be back in Australia. Do you have a favourite Australian touring memory?

Abe Cunningham
We’ve been down maybe eight or nine times and it’s always an amazing journey and place to be. The first time we ever went we played hotels like the corner hotel Melbourne. The second time we went down we did Warped Tour it was the coolest experience because we had these two RV type things and we were camping the whole way. We drove the whole way from Adelaide to Gold Coast. It was just such an amazing way to be able to see what was really just a fraction of Australia but we had a blast. We are thrilled to come back everytime we get a chance.

SCENEzine
Do you think it’s sad that Australia no longer has any big heavy music festivals?

Abe Cunningham
Yeah that’s a weird thing. Over the years we did Warped and we did the first Soundwave and maybe three Bid Day Out’s. To see those things disappear especially Soundwave was really sad the way that it did. With Soundwave especially the year before the last one it was a crazy line up with every single band in the world on it. It was insane and I thought that’s the way it would be forever but now to have it gone is very sad. I’m kind of speechless because both Soundwave and Big Day Out were such massive forces too and such great times and had history. I don’t know what’s going on hopefully something will work itself out in a way that both of those festivals will be able to come back.

SCENEzine
One of our favourite Deftones tracks is “My Own Summer” when you play it live do you still get a kick out of knowing your about to play that drumbeat leading into the song?

Abe Cunningham
Oh yeah. What’s funny about that is the video for that song was supposed to be shot down in Australia to get the shark footage. We had a buddy of ours a very well know director and photographer he was into great whites and went down with a team of people to get the footage. Of course on our budget we had to get stock shark footage. We play that song every night.
A lot of songs over the years we have given a rest to keep them fresh but that song always seems to be in there man. It’s just a rager it’s got a great groove.

SCENEzine
Being that next year is the twenty year anniversary of Around The Fur is there any talk of touring the album in full?

Abe Cunningham
There’s no talk as of yet. I know that’s a thing that a lot of people are doing. We actually played it outside of Montreal last year at Amnesia Fest that was the first time we had played it in its entirety even “Damone” the last hidden track was on there. It was such a blast. But I don’t know we haven’t had any discussions about that. We didn’t do anything for Adrenaline so hmm…time will tell.

SCENEzine
Thanks so much for your time. I’m sure all of your Australian Deftones fans are all excited for the tour.

Abe Cunningham
I appreciate it. All the best and we will see you in a month or two, can’t wait.

(Interview by Christian Ross)

 

deftones tour

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