Interview conducted by Drew Ailes. Published on 3/27/2006.
So you're about to embark on the two month long Taste of Chaos tour. While I know doing lengthy tours is nothing too new for you, how do you generally feel the few days prior to beginning a tour of that length?
It's ironic, I was just thinking about that before you called. My psychic intuitive side told me that something like that was going to come up. I knew it, but I was thinking about it myself, that's why I said it to myself. Anyway, it was ironic, I was saying to myself, "you know, it's those three days before the tour, where you're like, if you're about to go on any trip or some shit like that, you're stressing on it and making sure you've packed everything and all that kind of stuff. That's all it is. I think anyone can relate to it. For me, the touring part, that's easy. That's fun. But I think it's just that stress of making sure you don't forget anything.
How long does it usually take you to pack?
Not long. I can probably pack what I need to take with me in less than an hour. I'm really just making sure I have my camera and my computer and all the right cables with me. You know, "do I need to order parts for my guitars," or anything like that. For my personal, I don't have much to take with me. I only roll with like, a week's worth of clothes, and we get our laundry done every day so it's not like I have to have a massive stash of clothes.
Yeah. Whatever I can fit into a suitcase is what I'm wearing for the next...who knows how long.
And plus, when we go out on tour, I try to take nothing with me because I always end up coming back with stuff. So, the lighter I keep it going out, the easier it is coming back.
Are there any bands on the tour that you're already well acquainted with and looking forward to joining out on the road, or is this an entirely new scope of people for you?
Well, Thrice, we've actually toured with them, and I've met the Story Of The Year guys; those guys are pretty cool dudes. I feel like I've met a lot more but it's just going to be fun to go out with a lot of bands. I think those are some of the most fun environments to play in, when there's so many different people playing. So many different angles couldn't cover it.
I know the openers for the dates were selected by popular vote, but how was this tour arranged and organized in general?
I'm really not in the know on that. My recent path has been all about still working on our record and finishing it up with Chino and just rehearsing the last couple of weeks to get it together.
Is there anything about this tour that you see stands out as being different rather than some of the larger tours you've been a part of?
Isn't it kind of like the Warped Tour? Isn't that the basis of it? The winter Warped Tour?
The winter Warped Tour? ?
I mean, it's like the same scene, it's just the Warped Tour is during the summer and the Taste of Chaos is during the winter. Isn't that it?
Warped Tour has a lot of stages, though?
Oh yeah, it's a miniature version of it, but that's because it's only the second year of it. Give it a few years, you watch it. Motocross at midnight...
Monster trucks at 2AM... ?
Right. I don't know, mix it up, have fun. That stuff's all cool. It's just growing. The Warped Tour was a lot smaller when it started out compared to where it is now.
As you mentioned working on the new album, I was wondering if there's a chance of any new material being performed on this tour?
Yeah, we're going to play some new stuff.
Can you give any hints as to how the new material is shaping up as? I've already read it's a little more aggressive, but to what extent?
I can't apply more aggressive to any of it. I think that's funny when people say that. I wish. Hey, I personally wish it was more aggressive.
I think that was in an interview with Chino.
Yeah well, more aggressive for him, maybe. If we busted out some blastbeats and double bass, then I'd definitely be glad to take it to the next level, but that's asking too much right now.
Yeah, blastbeats aren't usually the most widely accepted of all the beats out there.
Uh huh, they're the best, though.
I tend to agree, yeah. So is there any specific intent or defining concept behind this record?
You know, we've never really had a concept on any of them. The way we all explain it is it's just a part of our lives, that period of time and where we're at. I don't think anyone sits down with any plan in mind, it just ends up becoming what it is. It's almost like the artist and the canvas. He might have an idea, but once he starts going, that thing can morph a million ways.
I wanted to move on to your side project, Kush. I know you guys already have a Myspace up with a few tracks, but have you announced a bassist as of yet?
No, not yet. We're not sure about that, yet. Like I said, I've been busy with this, so our goal is to get something recorded with that later this year. But who knows.
How did that come together anyhow? Were you already close with the guys from Fear Factory and B-Real before?
I had met B-Real a couple times before them, but I've known Christian since 1995, and we've been talking about jamming forever. I moved to Los Angeles in December of 1999 and I wanted to get it going when we had time. We were going to be down here working on "White Pony" at that time, so, we started jamming and we pretty much jammed for a couple months every year, for the first couple of years. Then everyone's schedules were flipping all around and stuff, so it's just been more of a time issue at the moment, but later on this year we should have some more time to get something going. It's a matter of it being convenient and respectful to all things going on. We have so much on our schedule and Fear Factory has got all their stuff going on, and B-Real's always working. Either paintballing or working on his solo stuff, or even with Cypress Hill too.
My girlfriend just recently picked up a bunch of Cypress Hill, and I hadn't really followed them past their early material, but their later stuff has changed a lot, and it's actually really good.
I know, the thing that I love about their new stuff is that they play it as a band. They're actually playing in it now, and it's fucking tight.
It's come a long way, it's cool.
Are there any other side projects that you have in the pipeline or other people you've worked with that your fans might be unaware of?
I'm doing some drum n' bass stuff with Bobo from Cypress Hill, and then I'm going to mix it up and do some stuff by myself. But it'll be like, metal, definitely, but it won't be all metal. But I really like the faster stuff. It's just something I'm doing on the side. I want to do a drum n' bass album, but I want to play guitar as well, and I want to mix it up. Instead of having a lot of the keys being there, I'll use guitar and the zillions of effects I have to make all those crazy sounds. What I'll probably end up doing is hooking up the music, programming some beats, DJs, whatever, and start it from there. Then start layering some stuff up and making some crazy stuff. The hot hit tracks in the clubs.
Is that your goal? To break into the club circuit?
No, really, my goal is to be number one in the PGA.
Do you do a lot of golfing?
I started to. I started about five months ago, but I pretty much went every day.
What got you started golfing?
Um, I was the number one Tiger Woods golfer online on the Playstation.
Are you serious?
That's weird, I've been thinking about golfing lately, and I can attribute it entirely to playing Tiger Woods. I had no interest in the game at all, and now, if you turn on the TV, I'll actually watch it.
I follow the tour all the time. The things I enjoy are golf, watching all the golf channels, all the Nascar shit, that stuff's great, and I listen to a lot of talk radio. I'll listen to anything on it, really.
Just as long as it's talk radio?
Yeah. It's just other people's opinions. You start to see where a lot of people fall in line together and where people clash. You can learn a lot of things from it, I believe.
I blame myself for not knowing more, being that I hardly read, I should be listening to more talk radio.
[laughing] I don't do any reading.
I feel guilty about it.
I don't feel guilty about it. I can talk, and I can communicate as best as I can, and if I have any issues or difficulties with making those communications I'll try to figure out another way or I'll politely excuse myself from the situation. Be like, "I'm sorry, I don't understand, I've gotta go. That one's just above me." You know what I mean? Why lie? Just like, "I don't understand what you're saying, I'm sorry."
I wish more people would do that, but I find when you're kind of direct with them in that way, you'd think people would appreciate the honesty behind it, but they actually don't.
I agree totally. It's amazing. I don't watch a lot of TV because all I have to do is look around. Get some people around you for a couple of hours. You'll find it equally, if not greater than, TV.
Or go sit on a bench at the mall sometime. If you're able to sit there longer than thirty minutes without losing it, at least. I had to be at the mall today for Valentine's Day.
Wha? For what? Wha...what'd you have to do?
I bought chocolate. I'm not going to lie. I bought chocolate.
But, but. It's not because I know my girlfriend would kill me if I didn't buy her chocolate, it's because deep down, I know she will share some of that chocolate with me.
[laughing] I hear you. It's gotta be something you can get something too, I guess.
I mean, I'm a giving guy, I guess, but a little bit has to be selfish. To my credit, I did get her only the chocolate I know she would like.
Valentine's Day. It's such a racket.
Hold on, she just got home.
Drew: I'm doing an interview. I'm on the phone with the guy from Deftones.
Nikol: Oh. I got you some socks.
Drew: Thank you.
Nikol: Happy Valentine's Day!
Drew: Happy Valentine's Day.
Did you catch that?
She bought me some socks.
Make sure you print that.
I think the last interview I did, I had to stop the interview to watch Laguna Beach with her.
It got me in a lot of trouble with a lot of people except for her.
Yeah, I would have gave you some trouble too, man.
I gave myself more than enough trouble for it. Just battling if I should even...I even had to cut some of it out for what I said, because I'm sure I went on a long big rant about how guilty I felt...but instead I just wrote like, "hold on, dude! Laguna Beach is on!" Hold on, I have to explain what kind of chocolate I got her.
Alright, let me get back to this. Otherwise this interview will crumble before our feet. Which could be cool.
I noticed that the B-Sides and Rarities demonstrated that there's a lot of eclectic tastes operating within the band, but who would you say has the strangest or most abstract taste?
You know, I gotta say Frank. He's a DJ. He's got everything.
That's true, he's forced to have it all. Is there anything anyone listens to that you absolutely can't stand?
You don't have to name names.
Oh yeah. There's definitely times where I gotta leave the room. I think we all do that to each other, though. It's a good way to get some privacy. Put on some music that you know no one likes. They'll just go the opposite direction, quick. It's a polite way of telling someone to fuck off.
You did an interview with a website back in 2001, and it's a very strange interview, actually. You're talking about losing your faith and tracing it back to something you saw about a metal door being found within the Egyptian pyramids. Do you remember that?
Well, I was talking about that, but I don't think it was about losing my faith.
The interview was weird. It was like, after you said that, you were saying that there was a cover-up about it and you were "gone for good," and then the interviewer follows it up with, "Just remember, it's never too late to turn back, embrace Christ, and the sacrifice he made for each and every one of us."
Hmm. I wonder if that was just edited. I've never really had anyone get really religious with me or anything like that.
It was an interview where you were talking about aliens building the pyramids and all that stuff.
I definitely still believe that.
Okay, good, because that leads me into two questions, which are: are things like that partially the reason why there aren't a great deal of interviews with you out there, and number two: are you kind of a conspiracy theory reader?
No, I wouldn't say I'm into conspiracy theory. I'm just like anyone else. I'm just trying to sift through all the bullshit that's fed to us daily. I'm trying to make my own logical conclusions as to what lies at hand. What you can actually see and what is tangible, you know what I mean? Otherwise it's just all hype. Have you ever looked at the sun satellite website?
No, I haven't.
It's a satellite that monitors the sun and it's going 24/7.
Is that the one they took down because there was like, UFOs or something appearing on it?
Well, it's been talked about for a long time. I haven't looked at it for a long time because I've already seen enough to know what I need to know. Like, yeah, basically, there's eight different filters on this satellite, and one filter really shows physical objects. There's an object in space and it wasn't a photo, but you could totally see the shit. That filter, man, every day, for as far back as you can see, there's activity going on at the sun at an impeccable rate. Something is happening at the sun with something. They're impervious to the effects of the sun. Completely impervious. Stuff that is just...massively huge. You've never seen anything that huge before. And it was in the pictures, man.
I want to see that. Are there pictures on the internet?
Hold on, I've got my computer right here, I'll tell you if it's on. Every day. Every day. I heard it on Coast To Coast, this program at night...
With Art Bell?
Yeah. They had this guy, he's a meteorologist, but he did this other stuff on the side. This whole thing was all about every day our weather is being manipulated.
Yeah, I've read about it. I guess it's with technology that Nikola Tesla came up with.
It's the...uh...I have a picture on my computer of it. The HAARP system.
See, you are too into this stuff. I don't consider myself a conspiracy theory buff either, but I know about all this stuff.
I'm not into the conspiracy of it, like I said, I'm just basing my opinions on what I can see for myself. So here we go, for instance. Right now, I'm looking at the sun. I'm telling you, if I had this thing counted out, I could count you out a good dozen things that you couldn't tell me what they were. And they're massive.
So if I pull this up right now, I can see it?
What's the web address?
Just go to nasa.gov and then just do a search for Soho on their search. There's eight different lenses and filters. There's one where the entire picture will be blue. In the middle of that picture, you're going to see a dark blue circle, and in the middle of that circle, you're going to see a white circle. The white circle in the center of that blue circle is the actual sun, how big it is. That circle is roughly about a million miles wide. The sun is about a million miles wide. If you look just right above the blue circle, there's a huge white streak there. These pictures, if you'll actually look on there, there's different sizes of the pictures you can look at. What you're looking at normally, it's zoomed out a million miles, you know what I mean? But they have the raw images on there where you can zoom in on the image. You can actually look at that shit.
Alright, I'm going to have to do this on my own free time.
Go for it. But look at that shit, you know what I mean?
Yeah, that's very strange.
And since you're on there, do that mpeg of that very same filter. Let it play. It'll basically show you a sequence of all those frames over the last hour or the last day or something like that. Watch it and watch how much shit flies in and out of that picture. [laughing]
But yeah, back to what I was asking about the way the person edited that one interview, is that partially a reason why there aren't a lot of interviews with you?
Usually there's just not a lot because, I don't know, I'm not really Mr. Big Interview. I'm not really...I just...you can only say so much. I'm not really a big hype person. I don't really want to hype myself up. "Oh, go see my band, buy our record, blah, blah, blah," you know? I'm trying to do it, I'm trying to have fun, and I'm very thankful for those who enjoy our stuff and provide a living for me. It doesn't get more simple than that, and that's where I live, all the time.
Kind of on a parallel line, do you ever read the messageboard on the Deftones website?
Nope. Not enough hours of the day for me to get around on all those.
It's very strange. It's a forum that has nothing to do with the band.
Yeah, I always hear that. I just think it's funny. It's just people using the web and having a good time.
Yeah, yeah, that's what it is.
Much like our website. Not unlike our board, which is very immoral.
Most boards and most forums, they're all very immoral.
They are. These are things that potentially ruin someone's life.
Last night, for example, someone made a post that was about how he had just started seeing this girl and sleeping with her, but her vagina smelled. He posted her Myspace and apparently people thought she was pretty unattractive, so in turn, there's maybe 200 comments of people making fun of this girl and making fun of this guy, and then someone has the nerve to mail this link to this girl. So...I mean, needless to say, it's pretty much the most painful thing to watch.
The internet is cold as ice!
It's a digital comic book, you know what I mean? You can be anyone you want on it, you can be real or not. There's just so much on there. It's like anything, it's up to you to decide what's right, wrong, true, or not. It's up to you to accept things the way they are or to change them for the way you want them to be. You know how it is.
It's a sinister area of life, I guess.
It's kind of just like, we're all dealing with something. Everyone of us has problems, but I think just in general, the internet is an escape where you can go look at someone else's problems, where you're like, "ooh, look at that."
Yeah, it's like a soap opera where someone could end up getting killed.
It's a big, giant, digital, bulletin board. I didn't go to college, but I rode my bike through it all the time when I used to go down to the river, and there was this bulletin board that I used to go by. And that's what it is to me. The modern age version of that. There's no need for that bulletin board except for in that little community where people will be walking by, otherwise people will go to the internet for information. Who buys encyclopedias anymore? You don't need no encyclopedia, buy the internet.
Buy yourself a google.org.net.
You'll have it all. And then all the porn you've ever dreamed of.
And that's when your life just falls into place.
The internet really is just porn. 95% porn and 5% productivity and information.
I was just thinking how far the world has come in terms of...like, when I was in high school, if I had a cell phone when I was in high school, like everyone has one now...
Kids got cell phones now, not even in high school.
Yeah, exactly. There were pagers when we were in high school, but even then...
I was in school right before the pagers came out. When I got out is when the pagers were coming out.
See, through the use of the pagers, if they were popularized as much as the cell phone, you would've failed out of school anyway. And that's what would've happened to me if everyone had a cell phone. I just barely skated by on a mixture of charm and confusing people. That's how I graduated, by lying to people constantly. If there were cell phones there, I would've been completely fucked. There would've been so many botched drug deals and so much other screwed up shit, that there would've been no way I could've made it through high school with all my limbs or out of jail.
It's wild times. We live in wild times. There's no question about it. You can really pick your topic, it doesn't really matter, because everyone's living to the extreme now.
Everything has gone and done The Dew.
Exactly. Everybody's on The Dew.
It's The Dew that's fucking up our kids! If only it was that simple. But back to the internet porn thing. When I was ten or so, in order to watch porn, you had to sit real close to the TV and catch the scrambled channels.
You had to put it between two and three...
You had to work for it.
Yeah, you had to get that channel knob to stay right there in the middle and not flip to the next one. I don't know what channel that was on, it wasn't no channel that you knew of.
No, this was some sort of ethereal channel that the gods surely delivered to tease you as a young man.
Floating around in the ether.
But now it's like, you can be five years old and you can find a video of a kid getting hit in the head with a shovel, you'll get to watch it, but all of a sudden shit starts popping up, and then instantly, you know what boobs are.
Yeah. [laughing] It's out of control. Everything you ever wanted on there. Everything in life that there is in life that we all know about, it's on the internet. If we don't know about it, as soon as we do know about it, it'll be on the internet.
Have you heard about this Russian scientist who has developed an invisibility cloak. Have you heard about this?
Nah uh, but I wouldn't put it past reality.
It doesn't look very good.
My girlfriend says it doesn't look very good, but still, the fact that they can make anything and still refer to it as an "invisibility cloak" is mindblowing, even if it isn't perfect.
Yeah, dope indeed. Yeah, get on the internet and look up invisibility cloak when we get off the phone. Or even right now if you feel like it.
I'm just waiting for our generation to kick in and take the hardcore nano-research and take it to the public and make it all happen. Like, I know at some point I'm going to have to deal with all the years of fast food that I ate, and I'm going to need me a pill that's going to put two-trillion little nanobots to go in and just coarse through all my veins and destroy all the enemies in my body. Okay, meanwhile, while doing so, give each cell an injection - a boost, to resuscitate it back to its youthfulness...
...while you are teleporting to your hovercar.
Excellent. Excellent. There could be good things in this future, although everybody is on The Dew and disaster is impending, there could be good things. And by good things, I mean hovercars.
Yeah, it's crazy. I know one thing's for sure, I never thought I'd ever imagine us really having to be worried about nukes blowing up. But we're going to have to worry about that sometime soon. People is crazy.
Yeah. People is crazy. I'm going to move on now to a few questions you might not want to answer. Number one, I know there's this huge announcement that's being hyped that's supposedly going to be on your website. I figure you might as well just tell it to me, because it'll be a while until this interview gets up, you know what I'm saying?
Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
Hah, no, I really don't.
Damn. That's one question thwarted.
I mean, if you really slipped me the sodium-pentothal, I still wouldn't have an answer for you.
I believe you. Let's see...a question that came up a few times was about rumors that were floating around a few years ago. I know you all are tied with Faith No More, being that you're friends with the Fear Factory guys who worked with Billy Gould, or, I think Mike Patton even did some guest vocals on the Team Sleep album. But supposedly there was a Faith No More reunion around the same time that a tribute album that was being planned. Apparently, Mike Patton threw a fit over a few things; one of which having to do with Chino being drunk at a meeting between all the artists. Any truth to that?
I actually...I'm familiar with him being drunk with Patton, but it wasn't at a meeting of the artists, it was at a show we did in Holland. They were having a drinking contest, only Patton was tossing his drinks over his shoulder while Chino was killing his.
Needless to say, Chino lost that battle.
Yeah, or won, depending on your mindframe. So you're saying that rumor is not true, as far as you know.
Yeah, no, I'm not aware of that.
And this rumor: back when I was 14 or so, reading metal magazines, I read some news blurb about you guys playing a show with Type O Negative and triggered a riot, ending with Type O Negative being unable to perform, and thus, starting a fight with you guys. Any truth to that?
Yeah, that happened. It wasn't a fight with us, it was more like, one of their members tried to jump on Chino, and I didn't really see what happened when he did it, but there was just a big scuffle and that was it, really. There was no fight, really, there was no one really kicking anyone's ass.
Have you since made up with the Type O Negative folk?
I never really had beef with them, hah. I think that was more generated by people around than it was with us and them.
I don't know, I would love to see Type O Negative fight anybody, being that they're all...very...large. And have long hair. So I can see how that rumor would get really boosted up. So I know you're kind of the metal guy, how much do you keep up with heavy music?
I don't really keep up with it on a day to day basis, or even month to month for that matter, but I've got friends who are always listening to it, and they always turn me on to some stuff, and if I like it, I'll put it in my Itunes and I got it there to rock later on. But as far as following who's the hottest and doing what with the sickest stage moves and all that...I don't really know.
Are there any bands off the top of your head that give you any real hope for the future?
Yeah. I'm a devoted Meshuggah fan.
I know you're a devoted Meshuggah fan. It's very well established everywhere that you love Meshuggah. Are there other bands or is it just flat out Meshuggah?
Um, there are, but I don't really know a lot of bands names. Like I said, I hear them here and there. I like Chimaira a lot. Then there's this band that my friend Christian's doing, they're called Threat Signal, they're pretty fucking good. I think they're from Toronto or something like that. They're fucking massive, dude, it sounded really good. I can't think of anyone else at the moment.
I've heard minor gripes from your fans about how you aren't playing a lot of your older material live very often. Is there any reason for that other than the assumption that you're probably tired of just playing them?
Yeah, Chino always takes them out of the set-list.
So pin it on him?
Yeah, because he doesn't play guitar on any of that stuff, and he wants to play guitar.
I've heard you have a little problem with him playing guitar so much.
Yeah, he's terrible.
Easy enough. We can go with that.
I love him, but...
...but he's a terrible guitarist. Okay.
He's not terrible. I'm just saying, he needs to practice.
Last question, and this is kind of an important one, and I'm going to give you the option to jump out of it. Are you seriously able to smoke half an ounce of pot in a day?
If I had to, I probably could, but no, I don't normally. Nor would I try to.
Somebody told me that you regularly smoke a half an ounce a day.
No, I heard that from somebody recently too, and I laughed. I was like, "are you kidding me?" I'm saying, it's not impossible to do, I'm just saying I don't.
It's very difficult.
I may have done it once or twice, but it's not a regular event by any means. That's just plain too much.
That's like when you hear about people who smoke four packs a day and you wonder if they quit their job to do that, or what.
If, I say...in a day maybe, two or three grams. Not a lot.
Yeah, that's about moderate to...yeah, okay. Is there anything else you wanted to add or touch on?
No, just, it's always the same. Just, you know, like I said, thank you very much.