The Deftones go through video directors the way some bands go through guitar strings.
Eight videos for the band's Stateside singles have used as many directors. And with the clip for "Hexagram," the Deftones have welcomed Darren Doane (AFI, Blink-182) into a club that counts Dean Karr (Dave Matthews Band, Godsmack) and Liz Friedlander (Avril Lavigne) as members.
The Deftones' cavalier approach to directors stems from an interest in seeing an array of visual interpretations of their music, but also from the fact that no one has been able to successfully re-create the live Deftones experience on video — not even the Deftones.
"Everyone tries to capture our band live, and it has never been a successful attempt to fully capture the way our band is," bassist Chi Cheng said. "So Darren is going to try to get as close as he can to capturing it. But the truth is when you're playing to playback, it's never really a full, loose, crazy rock and roll experience as if you're seeing a show. But we're gonna bring in 200 fans. We're just gonna blow out as many powerful takes as we can."
"Hexagram," the second single off the band's eponymous fourth album, is expected to surface at radio next week. The music ebbs and flows in patented Deftones form. The chorus is pure battering percussion. Melody sways through the verse as Chino Moreno punctuates every line with a hell-spawned scream. He struggles with the dichotomy of worship and play, but a fuller explanation of what he's railing against is anyone's guess. Don't bother asking Cheng, though.
"I really don't know what Chino's talking about," he said. "I think our band, oddly enough, doesn't have that type of relationship. We're like, either it's dope or it's not dope. Other than that I don't really dig into his lyrics any deeper than he digs into my poetry."
Cheng released the poetry CD The Bamboo Parachute in 2000 and occasionally performs spoken-word gigs.
An injury suffered by Moreno forced the Deftones to cancel a handful of Summer Sanitarium dates before the tour ended August 9. Although it was reported as a "groin injury," (see "Deftones Singer Suffers Groin Injury") Cheng has a much more cringe-worthy description of his singer's diagnosis.
"It actually was a very serious thing," Cheng said. "He had somehow hit himself, probably onstage, and blood was collecting behind one of his [testicles]. So it was swollen up. ... His specialists told him that he could either pee it out or have it drained. He couldn't really stand for a few days."
The rested and relieved Deftones are gearing up for a European tour with A Perfect Circle beginning next month. After that they'll embark on a headlining tour of North America in mid-October.