Deftones Drummer Abe Cunningham joined RADIO.COM's Pat Martin on Instagram today for our latest RADIO.COM Live! Check-In, filling us in on his days of social-distancing ahead of the release of his band’s ninth studio album.
California rockers Deftones are getting their latest album Ohms prepared for release on Friday, September 25 -- their first offering since 2016's release, Gore.
Abe says he, just like the rest of us, is feeling the burn of quarantine as the world is about to enter its seventh month of lockdown. In a strange way, he answered the obligatory “how are you” question perfectly saying, “I’m good, man. Like everyone else, kind of absolutely losing my mind,” with a smile. “I’m trying to keep moving forward, keep it positive, but here we are. We’re all in it together, man. So, if we can all get on the same page and get beyond this, that would be a great thing.”
While we've already gotten a taste of the band's new record; the first two singles, "Ohms" and "Genesis," were dropped over the last couple of months, we, as well as their loyal fans, just can't wait to blast the full album on repeat tomorrow.
“We’ve been busy,” says Abe. “Obviously, with the promotion of this record... It’s always an exciting time. So, there’s been a lot of flappin’, a lot of talking the past few weeks -- and then it comes out tomorrow.”
It’s not just a pandemic that has been keeping Abe on his toes. Both he and Pat are currently holed up in the Sacramento area, which has seen more than its fair share of wildfires and choking air this season.
Both of them are thrilled to see some blue skies finally open up today before their chat. “I’m just devastated for everyone who lost everything in these fires,” Abe admits. While the air quality for the region is much better today, at a crisp 50-ish, Abe reminded Pat of the days when the index pushed above 450%.
“Oh my God! That’s like smoking four packs of cigarettes just going outside,” says Pat. "At least," says Abe.
Turning back to album talk, fans have already been given a preview of the artwork for the new release, which features a pair of mysterious eyes constructed out of dots. As for whose eyes they are, Abe acknowledges there are theories abound but he doesn’t actually know.
“There’s a lot of theories for that… Some say it’s Chi’s eyes,” referring to the band’s late bassist Chi Cheng who passed in 2008 after a serious auto wreck. “Which it really could be. Someone put it up against an old picture of him and it’s pretty stunning. I would like to say they’re his… but it could be anyone’s eyes”
The band has uniquely tied in a charity with the new release, allowing fans to adopt a dot of their own on the band’s website. “There’s 12,995 dots on the cover,” Abe explains. “People can adopt a dot, for like 20 bucks I believe, and put a picture and some words on there and actually own and have a dot that will forever be theirs. But of course, the best thing is it’s for two amazing charities. One in town, UC Davis Medical Center… and the other is Live Nation Crew Nation.”
Deftones’ prior release to Ohms was 2016’s Gore, and another four years in between that and 2012’s Koi No Yokan, which Abe accepts is a long time to wait. Although, perhaps not as long of a wait as TOOL fans consistently experience.
Abe says the band decided to take a year off after touring for Gore. “That’s part of the length of time. That, of course, turned into a year and a half,” he explains. “But all the while we were actually getting together every month or two for a week or so and jam it over that time. So, a different way of doing it, but that definitely added another year, year and a half to that gap of time. Four years is a long time, but sometimes you need a break.”
After getting their start in 1988 (32 years!), we’d say that break is definitely warranted. Suggestion: Crack open one of those 20th-anniversary, limited edition White Pony IPAs -- and while you’re at it, send some our way, Abe!
Watch the full interview with Abe Cunningham and Pat Martin above, and stay tuned for more RADIO.COM Live! Check-In’s with your favorite artists.