Catching Up With Crosses Before The Band’s Live Debut

By Zachary Swickey

We’ve been keeping our eyes on Crosses – the newest side project of Deftones’ Chino Moreno, also featuring Shaun Lopez of ‘90’s alt-group Far and bassist Chuck Doom. The band is a unique departure from Moreno’s other material – sounding like a “dubby” Depeche Mode with occasional sudden shots of testosterone.

We caught up with Lopez just hours before the band’s live debut (the first of a string of only four California shows) to hear his thoughts on the band’s release methodology, how he gathered his group of musicians and what the future holds for the group.

MTV News: When you guys first came on the scene last year, you seemed hesitant to say you’d be doing any touring. So how did these shows come about?

Shaun Lopez: Just sort of made sense. You know, Chino [Moreno] had some time off – just seemed like the timing was right. The interest and demand from fans was just getting stronger and stronger. It just seemed like, “Man, let’s go do it. If we don’t do it now, we’ll probably just keep putting it off or something.” It seemed cool and it’s been fun, challenging.

MTV News: Are you happy with the outcome of self-releasing your two EP’s [online without a label]? That seems to be a growing trend.

Lopez: Yeah, totally man, especially with the latest one [Crosses’ newly-released second EP]. None of us really expected the second to do as well as it did, or as well as it’s doing. We’re very thankful.

MTV News: I was curious, how did Duff McKagan (of Guns & Roses/Velvet Revolver fame) end up on your first EP?

Lopez: You know, I kind of know him. Chino’s known him for a while. He just heard some stuff and was like, “Man, I’d love to play on that!” He’s just a f***kin’ rad guy, really super-nice. Just a cool dude – the kinda guy you want to just chill with.

MTV News: Well, you only have this handful of Cali shows and an appearance at Lollapalooza’s Chile iteration. Can we expect more shows or is it kind of up in the air at this point?

Lopez: Yeah, it’s just kind of up in the air. I’m sure we’ll do more shows, but we’re just going to go with the flow.

MTV News: Can we anticipate more EPs down the road?

Lopez: Oh yeah, totally. Most definitely.

MTV News: So how did Dino Campanella (drummer of one our faves, Dredg) enter the fold?

Lopez: It’s funny. Dino actually reached out to me after we put out the first EP and he was just like, “Hey dude, if you guys ever need a drummer or whatever, let me know.” At the time we already had Chris who was playing with us. So I had this thought, “Man, drummer-wise there is so much going on rhythmically that one guy can’t handle it alone.” And we didn’t really want to just play the tracks or anything – not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just had this thought, “Man, it might be cool to have two drummers that are just nuts.” Then I realized Dino plays keys as well and could also help in that aspect. So, it was just awesome. I’ve known Dino for a long time and have always respected him. He’s rad, a totally cool guy to work with and he just gets it. They [the two drummers] get along great. I was kind of worried that there might be some competition between the two, but there’s none of that. It’s cool; they’re rad.

MTV News: So how long have you guys been rehearsing for these shows?

Lopez: The two drummers have been rehearsing on-and-off for about a month just because they had a lot of s**t to learn and get together to hash it out. We’ve rehearsed as a full-on band for a week or two.

MTV News: Will there be any surprises tonight – material not on the EPs?

Lopez: There might be. Um, we’re sorta talkin’ about doing a few things, but I don’t know… this is all so new – we’re just trying to play it a little safe. Make sure everything works first, ya know?

MTV News: You feeling good, considering it’s your first live show? Nervous?

Lopez: Yeah man, for real. I need to make myself a drink right now, relax and get ready for the show, but yeah dude.