Deftones Members' Side Projects Blossoming

Chino Moreno's Team Sleep nearly done with debut album.

Chino Moreno's Team Sleep project is nearing completion of a debut album, and it appears that he's not the only Deftones member who's been playing around on the side.

Team Sleep — whose core consists of Moreno, his friend DJ Crook and childhood pal guitarist Todd Wilkenson — are close to wrapping up their as-yet-untitled disc, which they've been recording in Seattle with Terry Date, who produced all three Deftones LPs: 1995's Adrenaline,1997's Around the Fur and last year's White Pony. Maverick Recordings, home to Deftones, plans to release the Team Sleep album early next year, according to a Deftones spokesperson.

Moreno's Deftones bandmates Abe Cunningham (drums), Stephen Carpenter (guitar) and Frank Delgado (turntables) make appearances on a handful of the album's tracks. In September, Moreno expressed an interest in having former Smashing Pumpkins/Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur lend her vocals to the project (see "Auf Der Maur Joins Deftones' Moreno For Team Sleep"), but information about all non-Deftones members is being kept under wraps for the time being, the group's publicist said.

Songs on Team Sleep's debut include the tentatively titled "Kool-Aid Party," inspired by the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, in which 913 people died in a mass suicide; the instrumental "King Diamond," which features a harpsichord sample; and "Ligeia" named for an Edgar Allan Poe tale.

The Team Sleep project began early last year (see "Deftones Eye Incubus Tour As Chino Toils On Side Project"), when Moreno, Crook and Wilkenson began individually adding their musical ideas to a single tape before passing it along to the next member, according to the publicist.

Carpenter, meanwhile, is involved with Fear Factory's bassist and drummer, Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera, and Cypress Hill frontman B-Real in a project called Kush, which could become Dr. Kush if that name is already taken. Carpenter, Wolbers and Herrera have batted the idea around for seven years, but it only began to take shape once B-Real entered the fold in January. Since then, the rap-metal quartet has hit the studio whenever the members' schedules permitted, with the results expected in stores next year.

Cunningham, on the other hand, is looking to his past for what lies ahead of him. In the early '90s, he temporarily left Deftones, who had yet to break out of their Sacramento scene, for Phallucy, a band that seemed to have more promise. Now, after a proper mixing by Cunningham and Phallucy's Dave Garcia (vocals) and Sonny Mayugba (guitar), about 1,000 copies of the band's never-released debut will be available this summer via Deftones' Web site.

Delgado, DJ Crook and Sacramento's DJ Epik have been using what little free time each had to infrequently contribute to a project called the Co-Defendants, a hip-hop-flavored, beat-driven collective that hopes to release an album next year.

Unlike his bandmates, bassist Chi Cheng isn't pursuing any extracurricular activities at the moment. He's excused, however, since his 25-track spoken-word LP, Bamboo Parachute, was the first outside project released by a Deftones member. Cheng's bizarre musings are still available on the Deftones Web site and at shows.

Fans can catch the sum of the band's parts in action when Deftones' tour with Godsmack kicks off July 12 in Spokane, Washington (see "Godsmack, Deftones Kicking Off Summer Tour In July"), or at the second annual Rolling Rock Town Fair on August 4 (see "STP, Live To Headline Rolling Rock Town Fair").