Deftones fans have been waiting and waiting for the band's forthcoming LP to hit the streets. They've been hearing about it for more than a year and watched as two "anticipated" release dates have come and gone. At this point, fans know that the album is still not done — and that's about it. But perhaps no one is more anxious for the LP's release than one of the Deftones' own: drummer Abe Cunningham.

"Dude, I can't wait until it comes out," Cunningham said last week. "It's been so insane this time around. It's what you go through to get it done. It's been a very strange process. Each record has [taken] longer and [has been] a bit more difficult to make. This is taking a long time. And there's nothing wrong with taking a long time to make a record, but it's just ... it doesn't need to be that way anymore. There's so much technology available that you don't need to spend that much money. But we end up just spending more and more and more and more. We just want it to get out. God knows it's taken long enough."

It's been over a year since the Deftones left Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin's snow-swathed home studio in Connecticut for the sun-drenched sands of balmy Malibu, California (see "Deftones Blame Connecticut For Album Delay, Cover Skynyrd"), where they've since re-examined, tweaked and re-recorded the material they'd managed to put to tape before the cold got the best of them. At this stage, Deftones have 17 songs on the verge of completion. Frontman — and perfectionist — Chino Moreno is still tracking vocals for the new tunes.

Moreno's time is running out, though. The band is gearing up for the Taste of Chaos tour with Thrice, Atreyu, As I Lay Dying and Dredg, which kicks off in San Diego on February 16 and concludes April 15 in Montreal (see "Taste Of Chaos '06 Tour Dates Revealed"). Cunningham said the plan is to commence the album's mixing as soon as Chino's work is done and before the start of the jaunt known as "Winter Warped."

"He's finishing vocals on all the songs we'd recorded, just so we have more to choose from," the drummer explained. "We will begin the selection process soon," he added, explaining that the democratic process consists of a band vote. "So far I'm liking all the songs we've recorded, so it will be hard," he continued. "We'll probably have a bake-off or some kind of contest. It's going to be difficult, but we have a gut feeling on some of them already."

Cunningham expects the disc will feature a dozen tracks (including one called "America"), and that it will be in stores in late spring. The 'Tones will debut some of the newer stuff via their Taste of Chaos set.

"We'll definitely be playing some of the new stuff," he said. "In the past, it was always a concern that the songs would leak or whatever, but you can't concern yourself with that anymore. We're very excited to go and rock this stuff. But we've only got an hour set, so we're trying to fit four or five records into an hour. That's going to be difficult, but we're hoping for at least two new songs in each set. We've been voting on that, too."

As for the album's title, that's still a mystery to the entire band — and may also be subject to a vote.

"We haven't really discussed it much. We've been focusing on the songs," Cunningham said. "I looked on the Internet, and read that it was Saturday Night Wrist, and I actually kind of like the way that sounds. So I guess that's [the title] — because the Internet says so."