MUSIC Deftones weather rough times

The band's fifth album is due out this summer.
Just how bad did relations get between the members of California hard rock act the Deftones?
"We were watching [Metallica's documentary] 'Some Kind of Monster' and we were like, 'Damn, this is exactly like us, minus the millions of dollars in record sales,'" said Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham, calling from Houston.
If that's the case, it's some kind of miracle that the Deftones are not only still friends but also a working band, which has released numerous albums in its decade-long career. The drummer says trouble started to brew around the time the group recorded its last studio album, 2003's self-titled release.
It was at that point a breakdown in communication caused riffs within the band's dynamic. Normally on the road supporting a new album for two years, the outfit cut its touring schedule in half in hopes of recording a follow-up release. Those sessions didn't go well, with Cunningham confirming there was a time when he thought the once tight-knit group was through.
"Yeah, that's something I'd never like to acknowledge but I'm not a fool," Cunningham said. "I know everything comes to an end at some point and I actually came to terms with it and figured, well, if it is over, it's been a blast. But it didn't happen. We just decided to get back to doing what we do, enjoying each other's company and rocking."
Still going strong
The blast continues for the Deftones, which just finished recording its fifth, still untitled, album due out this summer, and is headlining the popular Taste of Chaos tour barnstorming the States. The bill, which plays Cleveland on Wednesday at the Wolstein Center at CSU, positions the Deftones members as elder statesman of alternative metal, with emo bands such as Story of the Year, Atreyu, Thrice, Thursday and As I Lay Dying as openers.
"It's been very cool," Cunningham said. "Actually, it's the winter Warped Tour, that's what they call it, so it makes sense since we did the first five years of the Warped tour. Some people are saying we're older but it's like, 'Yeah, we're older, but we're not old as dirt.'"
Cunningham is obviously having fun with the emo scene. "I just got back from the store," he laughed. "I have several new shades of mascara and a lot of lip gloss."
Joking aside, the band is already looking ahead to touring its new album, which Internet rumors have titled "Saturday Night Wrist," for the next few years. Cunningham wouldn't confirm or deny the title but he did say fans can expect to hear new material during their Taste of Chaos set.
"We wanted to play at least two new ones, and we hope to still; we're just having a difficult time trying to fit five records of material into an hour set," Cunningham said. "It's very hard."
If such trivial matters are the biggest hurdles facing the Deftones, this outfit appears to have weathered its storm. However, it remains to be seen whether the fans are still loyal. Said Cunningham, "I just want to say thank you for your patience and come have a good time with the boys."

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