Deftones’ Frank Delgado on Life on the Road

Many of your fans have been around since the band’s early days. When you do a show, how does it feel to watch the crowd grow up with you?
Oh, it feels good man. There’s a whole new generation of kids that you can see now too. It’s a good feeling because there’s those kids who were young when we started who are still there, and some of them have kids, and some of them bring their kids now. It makes you feel you’re obviously doing something right and making music that’s somewhat relevant—where it’s not just a bunch of old people coming to your shows, trying to hold on, you know?
Has the significance of touring changed over the years?
I think now it’s the foundation I guess for most bands. There was a time, say 10 years ago, when bands could sell millions of records; now I don’t think anyone’s really doing that anymore except for a handful of people. So touring and selling tickets and merchandising—that’s how bands pretty much make their money.
And you’re never tired of being on the road?
For sure. Once you’re on the road for a certain amount of time you’re kind of over it, you wanna go home. Then once you’re home you’re sort of like,
“I gotta get on the road again.” That’s life.
Most memorable touring experience?
Oh man that’s hard, there’s always something … travelling the world, you know what I mean? There’s always those crazy times and fun times and bad times, but I think just being able to do that with your fans, and to do that for a living with your friends and travel the world—that’s all one big favourite time.
Which do you prefer—festivals or standalone gigs?
Both! I like being able to balance between the two, and I think it’s cool we can do that. I think we’re one of those bands that can kind of fit in a little bit everywhere—we can do the punk rock tours, we can do the heavy metal tours, we can do our own tours with some indie bands or whatever. We can go from big festivals in Europe or wherever to small intimate club gigs, I think it keeps you well-rounded and that keeps it fun too.
Touching on the album Eros—you finished recording towards the end of 2008, around the time of bassist Chi Cheng’s terrible car accident. The album obviously means a lot to you, but it’s been on hold for over two years now.
We all agreed that the last thing we wanted to do was to hire someone to play Chi’s parts, and we were just in a different headspace creatively at the time. If there’s anything that we do know, it’s that we would all like it to be released at some point; how and when is just up in the air.
What are you looking forward to when you’re in Singapore?
Oh man, you know what? It feels good to get there and we’re really excited to see what happens. It’s always weird going somewhere you’ve never been and you get there and you see how many fans you have. It’s always a surreal experience. We’re able to get there finally and have a really good time, especially right now because we’re having a blast. We’re rocking, and having a lot of fun. It’s going to be a lot of good shows for people.
The Diamond Eyes Tour arrives Feb 16, 8pm. Fort Canning Park, 51 Canning Rise, 6332-1302. $98-110 from SISTIC.