Photo - Jason Squires / Getty Images
Interview by Riccardo Ball
Frank Delgado’s languid Californian tones are more up than usual when the operator connects me to talk about the new Deftones release Ohms. He’s excited about people finally being able to hear it, “it feels good, it’s a pity we can’t tour on it but it feels really good” he tells me before revealing just how long they had been sitting on the finished article “it was done prior to quarantine … even though we weren’t able to get out there and tour on this in the immediate future it was good for us to just move forward”.
So the relief is palpable and why wouldn’t it be - 20 years ago the Deftones created a monster called White Pony and it became the yardstick against which all of their other creations were measured. Two decades later, has the monster been slayed by another behemoth?
Delgado suggests having Terry Date (producer of the first four Deftones albums finishing with self-titled in 2003) at the helm again was key. “It was just what we thought it would be, that was kind of the decision of working with him again is that familiarity … not having to learn a new person and you know, when you start with different people you have to kind of relearn each other and feel how things work and the ebb and flow of things and with this it just felt like it always has”.
Hearing Frank talk about Terry, it’s obvious the bond that still exists between the legendary producer and the band, “Terry is family, Terry makes fuckin great records, it was just part of a process, to be like, let’s just be as comfortable as what we’re doing and that’s exactly what it was”.
“Every record since self-titled the conversation has always been should we go back to Terry” Frank tells me, revealing just how important Date is to his journey personally when we discuss the left turn the band took off the Nu-Metal route back on White Pony. “I was trying to click and stay up to par with these four other guys in the band and I don’t even have an instrument, I just have a bunch of records and some fuckin’ guitar pedals but seeing me trying to implement that in a different way Terry was able to help me figure that out”.
As a title, Ohms has an ominous sound to it. The word's meaning - resistance of an electrical nature - suggests that this could be a statement about what’s happening not just in the United States, but around the world. “You know I think we’ve always left things open to be interpreted but I think, sure, more resistance is always good you know what I mean and it’s one of those things that just feels and sounds right”.
He is a jack-of-all-trades; keyboardist, samples and DJ. Should we be adding Zoologist to that list with the track Pompeji featuring seagulls in various parts to go with the crickets that the band have previously featured? “(laughs) I dunno maybe, the seagulls are just a sample that was added to a part so maybe Abe can trigger it, we have crickets in a song and Abe triggers those so yeah”.
Omhs out September 25th and the Deftones on tour? Who knows, soon hopefully. Seagulls and all.
Listen to Deftones now.