No strangers to Australian festivals (having played Big Day Out numerous times and headlined the first nationally touring Soundwave Festival), alternative metal legends Deftones return to Australia to blow away audiences in less than a fortnight for 2014’s Big Day Out. Frank Delgado took the time to chat to us about their recent headline tour with letlive. and what they’re expecting this time around.
What’s happening in the Deftones camp right now? Was certainly a busy 2013.
Right now, we’ve just come off our holiday break. We’ve been off tour since right about Thanksgiving, and we’re pretty excited to start rehearsing again in a few days.
You guys did a sold out run of the country in May. How did you find those shows?
Oh man, that was a really good run. Not only did we have a blast, but we had the letlive. kids with us. They were a blast to tour with and they’re a really good band. We had a really good time, and it was something special for us. All of the shows sold out fairly quickly, so it was just a really good time.
Everyone in the music industry seems to sing the praises of letlive., both as musicians and as people. How did you find it touring with them?
They were just cool guys. A really cool young band. The whole sense of comradery was really good. I mean, in all honesty, I may not be into all the bands we tour with, but when we are, it’s something extra special, when you’re into what they do, and how they do, and then you meet them and find out that they’re actually really nice people as well. We just had a really good time hanging out with those guys.
How about Hyro Da Hero?
Very much the same. It was a good time hanging out with him. We had a really good time together.
Are there any specific shows that stick out in your memory of that tour?
Oh, my god. That’s a hard one. The Roundhouse [Sydney] was fun. That was a really good show. We’ve played that venue quite a few times now, and it’s always been lots of fun.
Just seven months later you’re coming back to Australia again for Big Day Out…
We’ve always had a really good time in Australia, and the Big Day Out plays a big part in that. It’s a really good festival, and they’ve been really good to us over the years. They’re great people to work with, and they put together some very quality line-ups. Over the years we’ve had the chance to come over and play our own shows, which have also been pretty special, but we’ve never really been able to come to Australia and New Zealand as much as we like, so we’re pretty excited to be back again.
Plus, the weather’s really cold here at the moment, and it’s Summer over there! (laughs)
Like you mentioned, you guys have played Big Day Out before – in 2011 and 2003, if my memory serves me well. What have your past experiences with the festival been like?
Oh my god, there’s so many. I think one of the first times we were there was just great. Great parties, great shows, hanging out with lots of other cool bands. I think that was the run with PJ Harvey, Queens [of the Stone Age], Kraftwerk. Again, it’s that whole comradery thing, it always adds so much to the tour.
What are you expecting to be different this time around?
I don’t actually have any expectations, honestly. I’m just looking forward to coming down, putting on a good show, and having a really good time out there, which will be easily done, so I’m looking forward to it!
You guys have been billed alongside The Hives and Beady Eye as the bands replacing Blur on the festival. Do you feel as if you may struggle to fill those shoes?
No. (laughs) I think we’ll be fine. We’re there to do our thing, and so that’s what we’re gonna do. Simple as that.
What bands are you personally excited to see on the line-up?
It’d be fun to catch Pearl Jam. It’d be pretty fun to see the Major Lazer guys. We’ve played a few festivals with them. There’s a bunch of bands really. I think the guys in Ghost are going to be there, so I’d like to see them again. We’ve just done some touring with them.
Is there anything out of the ordinary that we can expect going to see the Deftones at Big Day Out?
I don’t know, hey. Like I said, we start rehearsals in a couple of days, so if we plan anything exciting, it’ll be then.
How do you go about selecting songs for a Deftones setlist?
It’s not easy. It’s hard fitting seven records into an hour and a half set, and with something like Big Day Out, we don’t even have that long. We just kind of go with what we’re feeling at the moment. Obviously we’re gonna play all the songs that we play really well and that we really like to play. Hopefully we get to pull out something unexpected every time, which makes for a more dynamic set. If people are accustomed to a Deftones show, that’s what we’re going to give them. We don’t really have any secrets or tricks that we’re gonna pull out. It’s just a matter of us having fun, and we’ll see what comes from that.
You guys released your latest album ‘Koi No Yokan’ just over a year ago now. What’s the current progress on a follow up?
I think we’re going to get together after this Australian run and start writing and see what happens.
Is there any particular direction you’d like to take with it personally?
I think we’re getting really good at melding all of our influences, and blurring all of those lines. As long as we can continue doing that, I’ll be happy. We’ve never had to be comfortable, or to build up walls or pidgeon-hole ourselves, so as long as we can keep on doing that, I’ll be happy.
Just a few quick questions to wrap up. What were your favourite albums released in 2013?
Run The Jewels! El-P and Killer Mike! That record ruled!
Any albums you’re particularly excited for this year?
Not off the top of my head, no.
What’s the craziest thing to ever happen at a Deftones show?
I’ve seen a person in a wheelchair come all the way from the back of a festival all the way to the front, and eventually up on stage. That was insane!
Any words you’d like to finish on?
We’re really excited to see you guys, and can’t wait to be back in your country!
Deftones play Big Day Out 2014.