The triumph of Deftones’ latest album, last year’s exultant and diverse Koi No Yokan, and the subsequent tour was more than slightly dampened in April with the passing of bassist Chi Cheng, who had been semi-comatose since a 2008 car accident.
The band soldiered on with Quicksand’s Sergio Vega, whose contributions to both 2010’s Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan were invaluable.
“We gave him free rein once we decided to make a record with him,” Deftones keyboardist/turntablist Frank Delgado says. “We called Sergio after Chi’s accident because we had one obligation and we thought he could fill in, but once he came to hang out with us, we wrote a song that night, which I think was the second song on Diamond Eyes. He was there from the jump and it’s been the same with Koi No Yokan; maybe now we all know each other really well as far as making music together, and we know the space we can offer each other, so it opened up like that.”
Although the album is about a year old, this leg of Deftones’ tour will remain focused on Koi No Yokan.
“We’re still in the middle of the cycle and we’re looking forward to it, honestly,” Delgado says. “We’ve been taking a little longer breaks between tours, it seems to work better with families and health-wise. It’s been awhile but we feel like we’re still right in it. I think we’re going to play a bunch of newer songs from this record. Each tour we’ve been rotating newer songs, and we’re really looking forward to playing more of Koi No Yokan, but it’s hard to squeeze seven records into an hour (opening) set.”
It’s especially difficult for a band that’s been described as “the Radiohead of Metal.” After the dynamic range of 2000’s White Pony, Deftones were free to write their own creative ticket, incorporating experimental flourishes of Alt Metal, Art Rock, Prog, Psych, Shoegaze, Post Hardcore and any number of other stylistic elements into their musical mix.
“We’re enjoying ourselves and we love that the people who are into us have given us the room to open up and try different things,” Delgado says. “Some bands are really linear with the shows they play and the records they make, but when we did White Pony, it allowed us to take chances and trust ourselves.”
DEFTONES play Sunday, Oct. 6 with Avenged Sevenfold & Ghost B.C. at U.S. Bank Arena Downtown. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.