Chino Moreno is the homeboy hero of many alternative metal lovers. For fans of the Deftones, Moreno is an inspiration not just because he is a talented musician and charismatic performer, but because he is a great representation of the rock ‘n roll loving everyman. Watching the trajectory of Moreno’s career, fans can see hope for their own aspirations and see Moreno as a friend in the fight against sonic mediocrity.

And when Chi Cheng, bassist for the Deftones, was severely injured in a devastating car crash and subsequently went into a coma, it was evident what a cool friend Moreno is from a blog entry on the Deftones’ website where he said that Cheng was “one of the strongest” people he knew and that  he was “praying that his strength will get him through this.”

At the time of the accident in 2008,  the Deftones were working on an album called Eros and because Cheng was a part of the creative process of the album, the Deftones collectively decided that they needed to start from scratch instead of go forward with the songs they had.

In an interview with Rich Rubin, KROQ’s weekend and late-night Joq,  Moreno explained that there were two options for the band: finish being a band or move on with their lives. They chose to carry on but Moreno said they didn’t “want to try and rebuild something or just kind of patch up something that was almost done.”

When former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega joined the fold Moreno explained that their decision was to “start from zero and just kind of rebuild our whole foundation.”

“So we started with a whole new record,” Moreno continued to explain. “And at that point, we never really looked backwards, we only started looking forward.” Moreno acknowledged that his fans are curious to hear Eros, but that it’s something special for them, especially since it’s the “last thing that Chi played on to this point.”

“I think all our records do in a way,” Moreno said, “But I think that record really captured that time in our lives and I don’t think we’re ready to look back at that time just yet. It’s really still fresh, like a fresh wound in a way, so it’s like one day we’ll release it but right now it’s one of the most personal things that we still deal with everyday so to kind of go there at this point when we feel like we’re really trudging forward doesn’t feel right.”

Trudging forward for Moreno means the release of the Deftones’ seventh studio album, Koi No Yokan, which saw a recent street release of the song “Leathers” with the first radio single from the album to be “Tempest.” Moreno explained that the Japanese title of the album was a term that describes the premonition of love at first sight and is especially intriguing because there’s no true English translation.

“I think just the whole vibe and the sentiment, I think a lot of people, especially in the group and just people in general, I’m sure they they’ve felt something close to that before.”

Deftones’ forthcoming album Koi No Yokan will be released November 13th through Reprise Records.

–Nadia Noir, KROQ Los Angeles

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