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Chino Moreno Says Stephen Carpenter is More “Engaged” on New Deftones Album Than on Gore


Around the time the Deftones’ most recent album, Gore, came out in 2016, there was a whole lot of hubbub about how guitarist Stephen Carpenter allegedly wasn’t happy with much of the material on the record and how he didn’t participate a whole lot in its writing. In an interview with Ultimate Guitar at the time, Carpenter said that he “wasn’t too interested” in the material the other band members brought to the table. “It wasn’t the style or the sound I was hoping we would take. It wasn’t what I was expecting or wanting,” he said. He continued, “I just really like metal and I love all the metal that’s being played now,” suggesting he was hoping the band would go a little heavier with their then-new album. Naturally the headline-hungry press (including yours truly) and the eternally-rabid-for-Heavy fans latched on to that, and it’s been a topic of discussion in interviews ever since.

In a new chat with Kerrang!, frontman Chino Moreno has shed some light on Carpenter’s involvement on the band’s next album — officially revealed today to be titled Ohms, coming out September 25 — as well as clarifying some things about what went down last time.

On Stef’s issues with, and role in contributing to, Gore, Chino said:

“When you’ve made a lot of records with the same people, everybody has to be engaged. We’ve learned the hard way. A perfect example would be ‘Gore,’ when Stef basically admitted, like, ‘I didn’t have much to do with this record.’ And that was not because we didn’t want him – my favorite ideas of Deftones songs are ones that he spearheads!

“He was involved in ‘Gore’, let’s not get it wrong. ‘Phantom Bride’? Aside from the lyrics and drums, he wrote that all by himself. He did have something to do with the record, he just wasn’t fully engaged, and it wasn’t because we were like, ‘Our songs are better.’ It was nothing like that. He was going through something, and after the record was done he talked to me a little bit about it, like, ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t as available as I should have been.’ I was like, ‘Dude, you’re my brother, I totally understand.’ When the record came out, I think people felt that Stef wasn’t as big a part of it and that it may have suffered in certain areas because of that, so one of the most important things is that everybody is engaged and everybody is excited.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Chino assures fans that Stef is very much “engaged” this time around:

“[The first single] was one of the first things written. Stephen sent a demo of the whole song three or so years ago. I love opening up my email and seeing something from him because it really feels like he’s engaged – that engages me like crazy.”

Drummer Abe Cunningham added a comment that will surely make happy those hoping for more heavy material:

“Stephen’s guitar tone is so damn thick on that. It’s hard to get the drum and everything else sounding huge when the fucking guitar’s eating up all of that prime real estate!”

We’ll find out tomorrow, Friday, August 21! Stoked.

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