Deftones’ Frank Delgado Chats Justin Bieber Collabs, Touring Australia & Life After The Paris Attacks

After the cancellation of Soundwave 2016 and Deftones‘ corresponding Aussie tour dates earlier this year left fans heartbroken, the alt-metal legends are restoring some joy with the imminent release of their 8th studio LP, Gore.

And that’s not the only good news. A replacement Australian tour is also in the works, and Deftones’ resident turntable wizard Frank Delgado called us on our cellphones to chat about the band’s mysterious new album and plans to replace their cancelled Soundwave dates, as well as everything from potential Justin Bieber collaborations, weird tattoos and life after the terror attacks on Eagles Of Death Metal’s show at Paris’s Bataclan Theatre, which his bandmates were very nearly a part of.

Check out our interview with Frank below, and stay tuned for Gore, which is due to drop on April 8th.

Listen: Deftones – Prayers/Triangles

MF: Let’s kick things off by talking about the big news – the new album Gore. Chino [Moreno, frontman] called it “One of the greatest albums… not the greatest, just one of”. Was that just a playful dig at Kanye West or is the album really that awesome?

FD: I think that was a total remark about Kanye’s remark about his record, if I’m not mistaken.

MF: Do you reckon it’s one of the greatest Deftones albums so far?

FD: Yeah, I mean, I say that about every new record. It’s a process we go through and we try to make the best thing possible at the time. I think any band feels that about their newest release? I’m really proud of this record, I know the rest of the guys are, and we’re really excited for everyone to hear it. And we’re really excited to play the songs, so it’s just a good feeling all round.

MF: And I heard you guys tapped [Alice In Chains guitarist] Jerry Cantrell for a song… Are their any other surprise collaborations on the new record? I’m guessing probably not Kanye?

FD: No, no there isn’t. Yeah, just Jerry. I mean, we don’t really go out of our way to have guests – it just kind of happens while we’re in the process of making a record. And this was no different. I think when we were tracking the certain song [Phantom Bride], there was a part that we thought it would have been cool to have someone, and one of us – I forget who it was – mentioned Jerry and he’s an old friend and I think we just rang him up and he was excited to be there. I think it’s always best when it works organically like that, as opposed to kind of constructing songs for someone or, you know, pre-planning it. Most of our guests – if not all of ’em – have always happened in some sort of organic way, and this one was no different.

MF: So if I asked you if there’s anyone specific you’d like to work with in the future, would you be able to answer that? Or would it all depend on – like you said – things happening organically with a song that called for a particular artist?

FD: Yeah, that’s kind of a hard one. There’s a lot of different people – anyone we’d be willing to work with. I think it’s just a matter of if it fits, you know? I think what’s cool about us is that we never really know how it’s gonna happen or who it’s going to be even if it does happen. And I think that’s what makes good songs and good albums is when those little things happen organically. But it’s always fun to learn from different people and different artists – how they work, stuff like that so I don’t think we’ll ever not want to work with certain people. But yeah, if it happens, it happens.

MF: What about someone like Justin Bieber? We hear Chino’s a big fan, would you guys be open to collaborating with someone like Bieber?

FD: (Laughs) Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past Chino to work with Bieber. Yeah. We’ve never been afraid to work with anyone, I mean we’re not afraid to try different things, cover different songs, different artists, you know? We’re that band that – we can try and morph into whatever and try and make it Deftones. Again, like I said, we’re not the type of band that’s been going out of our way to work with everyone. It’s just kind of those fun things that happen.

MF: Now I have to ask you this basic question because we haven’t heard you guys talk about this anywhere else yet – what’s the relevance of the name Gore to the record itself? 

FD: You know, I think it was a title to one of the songs, and we just kind of used it as the album title. It’s juxtaposed with the images which are really pretty and serene, you know it’s the yin and yang of the ugly word “gore” and what it represents and how it looks against the pretty imagery. I mean, that’s what Gore is, the yin and yang and the quiet and loud and the soft and hard and the pretty and ugly.

MF: Now the big thing that Aussie fans want to know – because you guys were supposed to be touring here in January for Soundwave, but of course that got cancelled – will you be touring the new album here in Australia?

FD: Most definitely, yes. I don’t have specific dates, but yeah, I think there’s not an album cycle that would go by where we would not visit Australia. So hopefully sooner than later. But yeah, we’ll most definitely make our way there.

MF: Awesome to hear. Now even though you don’t have any specific dates do you know whether you’d be looking at doing a headline tour or something else to replace the Soundwave dates… like another festival?

FD: Oh yeah, I mean we’d love to do both – and all – you know, whatever presents itself. Like I said, I don’t have anything defining that says what it is but I think it’s just a matter of the routing of where we are in the states and how it pans out to make it fair. It sounds boring as hell but that’s usually what it is.

MF: And going back to the whole situation with Soundwave – did it come as a surprise to you guys when you heard that the festival had been cancelled? 

FD: I guess so, yeah. I mean, I just knew that we had it on the books and then it was gone (laughs) shit like that happens in this business so we just recoup and go to plan B basically, you know.

MF: Now I wanted to ask you as well, because I know you guys were caught up the tragic events in Paris last year. Is it true that some of you were at the Bataclan Theatre the night of the Eagles Of Death Metal concert, before the attacks happened?

FD: Right, Stephen our guitarist was there and our assistant Juan was there with him and I think they went and only caught a few songs and then left. I forget what the reason was but they left maybe 15 minutes before any of that stuff happened. Lucky enough. And yeah, we were blocks away, the rest of us were out doing things in the city. But yeah, it’s a sad situation and it sucks that it’s becoming a recurring one. But you know, you can’t let people change what you do or how you feel.

MF: And now that a bit of time has passed, how do you feel when you look back on the events of that night and I guess how close you guys came to being directly impacted by it?

FD: Yeah, it’s a scary situation, but it’s also nothing new. I mean, things like that have been happening for many years. It’s just sad that it’s happening to – the type of areas that I do business in, or anything – it’s sad that it’s happening in airports, but my whole take is that you can’t be stricken with fear and change how you go about your life because of that. It’s the world we live in.

MF: Very powerful words. But let’s lighten things up a bit. You guys have some of the world’s most dedicated fans – including my roommate who has a White Pony tattoo on his neck – what’s the weirdest Deftones-themed tatt you’ve ever seen?

FD: Um, personally? I guess… my face on someone’s back. That was a little strange. Well not just my face – all of our faces on someone’s back. But you know, whatever floats people’s boats.

MF: Cheers for taking the time to chat with us today Frank, is there any last message you’d like to leave your Aussie fans with?

FD: Just looking forward to making it back to Australia, we always have a really good time and great shows so we’re looking forward to it.


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