Interview: Chino Moreno of Team Sleep
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:35:07
The frontman discusses everything from Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4 and the next Team Sleep album to new Deftones, being inspired, and more
Team Sleep's return has been formally catalyzed with the release of Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4. It's been ten years since their self-titled debut, but Deftones frontman Chino Moreno taps into the same otherworldly mystique that made his band with Todd Wilkinson [guitar] Rick Verrett [guitar/keys], and CrookOne [turntables, keys, samples] so magnetic in the first place. Joined by drummer Gil Sharone and Moreno's ††† (Crosses) cohort Chuck Doom, Team Sleep cut Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4 live, adding new colors to staples from the group's debut as well as unreleased material. They're in the process of finishing up their second formal album, and everything points to another entrancing and enigmatic progression from the group. So, we talked to Moreno about all things Team Sleep, some of the deep history behind the project, Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4, the next record, new Deftones, and more.
The Team Sleep songs conjure different imagery. It could be a product of Woodstock, but there's a rustic feel, as if you're letting the environment speak through them.
Possibly, I thought about this other day too. When Team Sleep first got the idea, we started off very lo-fi in that way where it was just Crook, Todd, and myself. Everything was basically birthed from samples of my or Todd's guitar playing put through Crook's old SP-1200 drum machine—which already has sort of a rustic grimy feel to it! That was it. As you know, the first song Team Sleep song ever written was "Teenager," which ended up on Deftones' White Pony. That was the birth of it. It was a very lo-fi project. The first time we recorded, we went to this place called Bear Creek in Washington. It was outside of Seattle. Crook, Todd, and I started recorded what were going to be the initial ideas for the first Team Sleep record. There was this old barn in the middle of nowhere. We lived in it and recorded.
Going to Woodstock to record Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4, I think took us back to those early days of Team Sleep and the roots of what we were trying to do. Instead of trying to make it this really polished big band thing, we scaled things back, took it from the roots of the songs, and built it up from there. I think it really worked with this recording—having those really intimate parts and then being able to explode with the full band and utilize those dynamics. Live, in the past, I think we sort of struggled to do that. Even though that might've been our idea, to make that happen was always challenge. Whether it's time passing and us maturing as musicians or whatever, I feel like we finally got to that point, and this recording is a good example of that.