Chino Moreno Proud of ††† (Crosses) Experiment, Says Deftones 'Eager to Start Writing' Again

Raul Gonzo

With the release of its first full-length album, ††† (Crosses) is about to shift into high gear according to singer Chino Moreno.

"It feels a little more for-real to me now," the Deftones frontman, who formed ††† in 2011 with pals Shaun Lopez and Chuck Doom, tells Billboard. The self-titled album, out today (Feb. 11), combines the group's two previous EPs with five new songs, including the single "Bitches Brew." 

"We've taken the DIY sort of approach up to this point, but now I want as many people to hear it as possible because I'm very proud of it. When we finished the third EP and put everything together and sequenced it into an album format, I really listened to it from a different perspective. It made me really happy to think, 'Wow, this is a really cool project that was built over time.' This wasn't something we rushed out. It really has this cohesiveness to it -- the sequence, the vibe of the whole record. Out of all the records I've made, whatever band it was, this is one of my favorite recordings."

That's a change from the way the trio felt when Moreno joined Lopez and Doom to put melodies and lyrics to some music they were working on. Crosses has worked up 20 songs, according to Moreno, with 10 coming out on "EP 1" in 2011 and "EP 2" the following year. 

"It was an experiment and it turned out to be fun," he explains. "We didn't announce it, like, 'Hey, we have a band and it sounds like this or that.' We didn't solicit at all or hype it in any way. We just put it out there and people that wanted to find it found it. It was a very organic, slow-growing process. There wasn't anybody breathing down our shoulders or anything."

With the "†††" album here, of course, things are different. The group has filmed another video, for the track "The Epilogue," and Crosses will be part of the Soundwave Festival tour during late February and early March in Australia as well as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival during April in Indio, Calif. But Moreno says the trio is limiting its expectations for the future. 

"I think we'll just take it as it comes," he explains. "If there's demand for it, we'll do it. But we're excited about it, too."

Deftones, meanwhile, are headed for Big Day Out shows in Australia on Jan. 31 in Adelaide and Feb. 2 in Perth. The group, Moreno says, is "eager to start writing music" and is currently putting together a plan since Moreno is now living in Oregon, bassist Sergio Vega is in New York and the other band members reside in Los Angeles.

"It's not like we can show up in each other's houses anymore; We have to plan it out and get into a room," says Moreno. "We'll go lock ourselves in a room for a couple of weeks and start making some noise and see what comes out. We took that approach on the last couple of records and it seemed to work. So it's just figuring out a time frame. We'll work it out." 

Moreno says bandmates from his other groups, Team Sleep and Palms, are also working on new material, but no time frame has been set to work with those.


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