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Deftones' Thrilling Abandon Returns to South Florida

No one's accusing Deftones of resting on their laurels, even though the band certainly deserves a little R&R. It's been a whopping 23 years since the sextet formed in Sacramento. And nearly all of those since the band's debut album, 1995's Adrenaline, have been spent doggedly on the road.

Each record has veered more into the fringes of heavy music, experimenting with melody and atmospherics in a way its "nü-metal" followers could never hope to accomplish. Still, it sometimes seems the group is trying to make up for lost time. Diamond Eyes was released about a year ago — but that followed a period of relative inactivity after its previous effort, 2006's Saturday Night Wrist. Of course, it was in this period that original bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a serious car accident that left him in intensive care until just earlier this year.

With replacement Sergio Vega of Quicksand, the band has soldiered on and headlined the Fillmore Miami Beach last year before heading out on a larger arena outing with Mastodon and Alice in Chains. Sunday, the band's own headlining third tour leg stops at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton.

New Times caught up with turnablist/keyboardist/all-around synth and sample guy Frank Delgado for the scoop on the current tour and possible new material.

New Times: Prior to recent tours, you weren't so active as a band. Did you choose to tour so aggressively now as a way to make up for that?

Frank Delgado: Yeah, but it's a different time than it was two years ago. For a band like us, touring is how we make a living, I guess you could say. At the same time, we're having a lot more fun. Not that we weren't having fun before — but we made things harder on us than they should have been. So we're having a lot of fun, and we're trying to get as much as we can, as far as touring, out of this record.

Right around when you joined the band and then after White Pony came out, there was a huge trend to have DJs in rock bands. And that's right when you started to turn away from that. Was that on purpose, to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack?

Yeah, I guess. It wasn't like I thought I was too cool to do what everyone was doing. It was more like this band was obviously trying to do different things, with different sounds and melodies and the dynamics between the heavy guitars and how Chino approached the singing. It was about more than just the filler of what DJs were doing in bands, like, "Oh, this is the part where a DJ would scratch."

So I looked at it like I needed to find a way to create melody and harmonies within the songs as a whole. Once I started figuring that out using gear that was hanging around, that's where something like "Change" comes about. That's me trying to stay in the song, through the song, as opposed to just "the part where the DJ comes in."

Talking about writing and considering that you've been on the road for so long behind this one record, have you gotten around to any new material?

We haven't. We're not one of those bands that really writes on the road, so what we're going to do is, we have a break between this tour and the next, with us going to Europe. I think it's about five weeks in total, and we're going to use about four of them to go hole up somewhere and write and see what happens. Then we'll go back out on the road and finish up the last leg of this album cycle, then resume writing and recording. We're just trying to stay fluid and productive rather than just going home for five weeks.

Read more of this interview at

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo

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