Deftones: How they made Koi No Yokan

By Chris Schulz

Deftones' seventh record might be their best yet. Photo / Supplied
Deftones' seventh record might be their best yet. Photo / Supplied

They're known for taking their sweet time when making records, but Deftones have just made their fastest album yet.

It might also be their best.

Koi No Yokan, the Sacramento metal act's seventh record, is due out today in New Zealand. It was recorded over just four months earlier this year, just two years after 2010's Diamond Eyes.

The band's DJ Frank Delgado credits the quickfire turnaround on being "on a high" from Diamond Eyes' success, which saw them play the main stage at last year's Big Day Out.

"We were just riding the wave of just being really creative and having fun," Delgado told nzherald.co.nz.

"Basically we're still on a high from Diamond Eyes ... We're working to a more efficient time frame than before."

The fast pace obviously suits them, as Koi No Yokan might just be the best Deftones record yet, with plenty of guitar-fired adrenaline on Swerve City, Tempest, Leathers and Goon Squad. Then there's the prog-rock of Romantic Dreams and Rosemary, and lighter touches like closing ballad What Happened to You.

But Delgado said there was no strict formula to the creation of the band's brand of precision metal.

"As cliched as it sounds we just get together and try and make cool things, and when someone makes something really cool we all just try to follow that person and put cool stuff on top of it," he said.

"We just try to follow what we're feeling. That's the jist of it."

Deftones have always taken pride in the production values of their albums, which have increased markedly since 1995's debut raw-sounding Adrenaline, and Koi No Yokan is no different.

"It feels really good to still be doing this and making cool records at our age. We just want to make cool records, and records as a whole, not just a bunch of songs.

"We love the art of making records, and finding cool studios with good rooms, good places with drum sounds, places that have made great records before.

"All that goes into making a properly great record."

Also spurring the band on is the recovery of bassist Chi Cheng, who has been in a coma since a car crash in 2008 and has been replaced by Sergio Vega for the band's last two albums and accompanying tours.

Delgado said Cheng had returned home but was "pretty much in the same position he's been in".

"You'd expect there'd be a whole bunch of changes, but nothing major, he's constantly fighting infections and stuff like that. It's a real struggle. He's still there, he's not gone, he's just in a different state."

Delgado also addressed rumours of a New Zealand headlining show next year.

"I think that's the plan for now, so hopefully that comes to fruition. We're looking forward to touring for a good year and a half, two if we're lucky. That'd be good for us.

"Within all that we're trying to go everywhere we've been and new places at the same.

"We're excited, we think we have a good record and we're excited to play it."

* Koi No Yokan is out now. Read a five-star review of the record here.

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