This week, Brad and Barry are joined by Sergio Vega, bassist of Deftones and Quicksand. They discuss Vega's beginnings in the post-hardcore band Quicksand and joining Deftones in the wake of Chi Cheng's tragic passing. Vega also dives deep into his own songwriting in addition to offering some insight into Deftones' own recording process. To close the interview, Vega shares his thoughts on returning to the road with Deftones in a post-pandemic world, which includes an appearance at Bonnaroo.
Guest: Sergio Vega
Upon its release, the Bonnaroo 2020 lineup was one of the greatest we had ever seen. Then COVID happens and we wonder who will remain? Who will be added? One band that joined the fun? Deftones. Our guest today, Sergio from one of the most iconic punk bands of all time, Deftones with Barry Courter, Lord Taco, myself, Brad Steiner. This is The What Podcast. It starts right now. We have talked about almost every genre when it comes to, especially Bonnaroo over the last three years. One genre in particular never really dipped a toe in the pool of metal. Barry Courter, Lord Taco, for the first time we talk to a real, legit rock star. I am not too proud to tell you that there are a lot of bands that I think I know what they are, you know, just by name. And I think I know, and this was one of them. And no, this is not at all what I thought. Interesting. It's funny because, look, I love Deftones. And I think that one of the things that me and Russ have in common is our love of Deftones. Russ, a big fan as well. This is a big day for you, sir. Yes, sir, it is. I have a story about this. And I know what this is going to do. You guys are going to use this to just beat me up for the rest of time. Where's my pencil? By the way, Barry Courter, Lord Taco, I'm Brad Steiner. This is The What. Which bands this year that matter, one of the bands being Deftones, we'll talk to... Look, I know that Deftones have come through so many different iterations and a couple of different versions of the band. And I think that's why I like the idea of talking to the newest member of the Deftones. We'll talk to him here in a second. But I have a Deftones story to tell you. And I'm not proud of it. It all revolves around 16 year old Brad Guy. Now, you guys know who some of my artists were that I was obsessed with at 16 years old, right? Just go ahead and name them. You guys know me that well. Yeah, the one that came right to my head surprises me to be honest, which is Hootie. Hootie and the Blowfish. Yeah, that was a big one. I mean, you traveled the world, right? I did. I did. I followed him around the country. I had a very odd musical taste when I was 16. It was Hootie and the Blowfish, Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Cab for Cutie, and Deftones. And I'll tell you why I like the Deftones so much. Because when I was 16, I would hang out with my buddy and his older brother who was going off to college was a huge Deftones fan. And I wanted to be part of the Cool Kid Club and be into what the college guys were into. Well, it also helped that when you're 16, especially back in the days of going to Sam Goody, and you were looking at CDs, and you really picked your favorite CDs based on the CD cover, you're really just picking out things that really... And I always seem to, as a 16 year old, and you guys correct me if I'm wrong, when you're 16, you really only pick the albums who have hot chicks on the front of the albums. You just pick the CDs where they decided to put a half naked woman on the cover. So what happens? Deftones put out an album with a girl in a bikini on the cover. So enter my obsession with Around the Fur. So 1997, I get Around the Fur and I buy it again, not knowing really what it was, Barry, because all I knew about it was college kids like it, and hot chick on the cover. I put it on and, needless to say, knowing the kind of musical thing, the bands that I was listening to, Deftones didn't really fit. Didn't really fit. And I didn't really know what I was listening to. And it took years and years for me to finally figure it out. But somewhere along the lines, they came to DC. And as a kid that was living outside of Richmond, Virginia, we were going to DC all the time. One of the times that we were going to go to DC was going to see Deftones. Now, this was 1997 or 1998. We're getting in the car to go to DC to see Deftones. And my buddy's brother looks at me and goes, so Brad, are you ready to mosh? And I said, what's a mosh? What is, what are you talking about? Now you guys know me. How, how big in stature do you think 16, 17 year old Brad guy was? What he meant to say was, are you ready to get mushed? Yeah. I was tiny when I was 16. And so the idea of 16 year old kid getting in a mosh pit with a whole bunch of 19, 20, 25 year old dudes, how well do you think that was going to go? There are so many things about this story. I mean, I could figure five panic induced. I was panicked. I, he explained to me what a mosh pit was. And he's, and I thought to myself, this is what I am going to. I freaked out. I totally freaked out. I became scared shitless. So I promptly got out of the car and went home. I, never did went to a depth don't show until Bonnaroo this year, where we will see them probably on a late night, this tent, that tent sort of thing. Don't you think? All right. So where to start? Okay. First of all, around the fur is just such a classic teenage boy album title. I mean, can it get any more juvenile? Yeah. Well, I mean, the next album is named white pony. What do you think that has to do with, which is great. Number two, we should do a whole show or maybe two on, on how our older siblings influenced our musical tastes. That'd be, that's a great topic. Number three, we had a guy, I used to do a lot of record reviews for the paper, uh, back when those were a thing. And, uh, one of our reviewers, he had a, a theorem, I guess, a theory that the naked or the girl on the cover, the worse or the album. Oh, it might be true. I mean, like I'm trying to think of like the other albums that I absolutely bought because of, there was some sort of nudity on it. And I can't think of one that I really, really liked, except for maybe around the fur. And, but the other thing too was, was, you know, we were in the, that time of 1997, where we're just now seeing mid drifts, you know, you had no doubt pop. I mean, Gwen Stefani changed everything with the mid drift and then the classic, and you're gonna, you're gonna laugh, but you built, you all know it. We all know it. Herb Albert, he showed his mid drift. No, you know, the album cover, we all know that one. It's, it's classic. It's one of the top five album covers of all time, but she didn't show anything. It was just sexy. Um, but yeah, isn't that funny? You know, what's bizarre about this is that we bought things based on hot chicks on the cover of albums, but yet a decade or two decades before we were buying albums where it was legit crotch shots. You know, we bought an entire Bruce Springsteen album because it showed his ass. Yeah. Sticky fingers, sticky fingers at a zipper. Rolling stones literally bulge on the front of the album. I'll take that. I don't, I don't, what's the, what's the innuendo there? What's going to happen if I unzip that zipper? Can you tell me a show, like what's the hardest show that you think that you've been to? Ooh, uh, I saw Marilyn Manson here a couple of three years ago. Yeah. Metallica saw ACDC up in Knoxville with, uh, I don't remember who opened. I think the bullet boys was one of them and they were terrible. That's my least favorite band of all time. I've never said that, but we can do it. We can do an episode of just bands that we hate top of my list is MGMT. I absolutely love this band. And it's not because I don't like their music. I like their music. I just, I despise how lazy they are on stage, but anyway, I've told you, I've told you, I got to tell this though. Cause I mentioned reviews. Cause I think it's funny. I can't remember who I reviewed. Maybe it was Garth Brooks. I did a, when he was just coming out and I thought I did a great review. I said, this guy may be the savior of country music, but he's not a classic singer. Doesn't have a great voice. I got a hate letter. Oh, I got all kinds of hate letters, but this girl in particular said, you should quit right now. You're terrible. And then she signed it, which I totally respected. Well, about two weeks later, the bullet boys came and I hated them, hated them. And she agreed with me. And she's like, so she wrote back, which I again, respected signed it. But her last line was keep up the okay work. I still have it. Honestly. And to her credit, you really never did stop the okay work. No, I've never got past. Okay, man. That could be on my headstone when I'm done, when I'm dead and in the ground, please just say he was okay enough. Yeah, there's Barry Courter. Okay. Work. Billy Joel. Great work. It's a very easy ranking system. Let's be honest, but it cuts straight to the core taco. I mean, it's, it's great. Okay. Bad. Bad work. I think that every, if everything was that easy, we would be a lot, a lot better off. If you Barry did your quote unquote research about death tones, what was the thing that stood out the most for you? I like it. I like it a lot. It's not, it's not that throaty metal, which I don't, I mean, it's cool, but it all sounds the same. It's more of a prog rock metal. And I mean, that's my initial, I mean, Ruskin certainly correct me. No, I think you're right. It's yeah, it's a little more, uh, melodic. It's a little more thought out. I like, I like, I like melodic. I also, uh, use artistic a lot. I get into a lot of arguments about the industry now about how, you know, what we're jumping on as a format, as, as radio in general just never feels artistic enough for me. It just feels like a money grab. And, you know, death tones have a specific thing that they're trying to say. And I, I missed that a lot with what's happening in music right now. We had a decade in the nineties that was, you know, primarily defined on, you know, gobbly gook like Limp Bizkit and, and, and corn, which were never really saying something. They were never really saying things like rage against the machine. We're saying, I'm not trying to make a point. That's why I like death tones. I think they're they're literally trying to have a conversation wrapped in the type of sound that works for them. Um, yeah, a lot of times, yes, right. That is such a great point. It's very intentional. There's the, they're, they're true artists and talking to Sergio today, I'm most excited to learn about seeing because he wasn't with them from the outset, what was his view going on tour with them as an opening band? What did he see before actually becoming part of the death tones? And what were some of the things that he was right about? What was he wrong about when it came to assessing their place in the pantheon of all of this? Because I know this is, this is up for argument, but I just don't know another band in their sort of genre that have been more influential that have stood the test of time that influenced so many people across so many different genres to be a part of that. And first off, watch it from afar and then be a part of it too. Um, I think is an interesting perspective from Sergio who by the way plays bass for a death tones. We didn't say that part at the beginning, but I don't know. I don't think that they get enough credit, I think at the end of the day. I agree. I totally agree. Cause like I said, they're fairly new to me and that's, uh, that's on me, not them. I was, you know, I'm older than you. So I wasn't 14 about to get my ass whipped. What did you think it was? You know, you had this, you have these bands that sort of live out in the atmosphere of your life that you don't really ever engage in. What did you think that they were? I'll be honest. I mean, it's, it's all on me. I, I thought it was more of a New Orleans type of, I mean, Cajun band just because of the name. Cajun band? Not to, okay. What is, um, who am I thinking of? You think they're doing Zydeco? You think they're doing Zydeco? They're playing the spoons and, uh, wooden sticks that they find in the yard? Maybe. I honestly, I honestly didn't know to be honest. Ma, Pa, I whipped up this guitar from a broom and, uh, let's get on the porch and play some Zydeco music. We're the death tones. Nice to meet you. I would see that. I would go to see that. That is really of all the things that you were going to describe. What do you think I was going to say? You know, I, I guess, I guess I thought that you were going to say it was going to be some sort of like electronic. The name like death tones? No, no, no. I mean, I totally based on the name. I knew nothing. That is really interesting. I'm just telling you the truth. Okay. So did you think that they had a career that spanned all the way to the early 90s when you heard the name or did you just think that they might be some sort of, you know, newfangled Cajun Zydeco act? I knew they'd been around, but I didn't know anything. I knew nothing. I'm just being honest. That's fine. I don't mind the honesty. I just, I'm of all the things that you could have described them as in your mind, that is one of the most surprising ones. That one, that one catches me off guard. I wonder if there's a band like that for me. When I hear the name, I think that I know them, but I don't think that I know them. Now I kind of want like a Zydeco remix of death tones. Taco, I know the people that could make that happen. Now we're onto something. Yeah. I think I live three blocks from the bayou. I think there's someone living in the bayou right now that can do that for you. We can get Beau Chalet to do the death tones. That's the band I was trying to think of is like Beau Chalet. That's what I thought they were sort of. I'll try to think of what mine will be. I'll see if I can harness who I have completely mistaken for years. I really want to try and dig deep on this one. This is a really exciting for me. The death tones Sergio from the death tones next on the what podcast to Barry Courter, Lord taco. I'm Brad Steiner. Thanks for joining us. Hello. There he is. There he is. I hate to take this conversation in the wrong direction, but I'm immediately jealous of your hair. I have major hair envy to be honest with you right now. You know, you want video. I have to like screw stuff. I can't, you know, I can't just, I just woke up. As you should, by the way, rockstar should not be called and be called in double digits. This is not happening. I do get up early at times, but and if you're going to, if you're going to come strong with any excuse, the hair is a good one. It's a hair, man. I accidentally, I accidentally, I'm on portrait mode, but I'm sitting in front of my, uh, my recording setup. Are you, are you in LA right now? I live in New York. Okay. New York native. All right. So what is your normal day consist of? What is your, uh, post in a post quarantine world, obviously in a post quarantine. Yeah. I think it's, uh, fairly similar to a quarantine world. I wake up, I make some coffee. I work out and, um, either kind of like catch up on emails, hang out with my wife, um, make music and, uh, cook. Okay. Very simple. And yeah. So usually the first two things are going to be coffee and exercise. Yeah. The music thing is it's something you've been able to do from home and were you always able. So that really hasn't, nothing's changed. Yeah. Years before, years before, um, the pandemic, I've had a home recording set up of some sort. So, I mean, because of this now I've, I've kind of updated it or improved it, but I've always, it's been kind of a part of my routine for a long time. Are you writing stuff at the house just for yourself? Are you writing for other people? Are you just normally just playing around? And if you have something that you really start to like, what do you do with it? It's all of the above. If, um, let's say like being in, um, deftones and being in quicksand, I don't have something and then present it to one or the other after the fact. It's usually with the intent to go to, to that. Interesting. Okay. I don't, I think that it's, I don't know, I don't know how other people work and it's not like a judgment thing, but for me, it's part of my like ethos to say like, this is intended for deftones, like a hundred percent. Before you start? Before I start. Wow. That is a great point because it may, I was gonna lead down this path at some point with this conversation because, um, I wonder how much when, okay. So Dave Grohl said something really interesting one time and he said that, uh, I wrote this song, but just wasn't Foo Fighters enough. I had to put Foo Fighters on it. I hear that all the time. I wrote this. I intended to write a bluegrass or a rock song and it kept going country or whatever. What mindset do you think changes that it has to be a deftone song? What's the, what's the, is it a tonality? Is it a certain writing style? In certain ways, it's like, um, in the process of writing an album, like early on things are very ambiguous. We don't really, you know, you don't set up, you don't start off with a conscious plan, but, um, so you just kind of just start riffing ideas and just putting out ideas and, um, but what I'll do is I just say this is for deftones. And if I'm programming drums or something that I think, oh, like what would something like that would resonate with Abe? And then like when I'm laying down, cause like if I present an idea, I don't just present a bass line because I've learned over the years, they don't, people need to hear the guitar, they need to hear the vision. Or else if they hear a bass line, you, you give too much room for other people's thing and it doesn't, it's not as likely to live. So I'm protecting my, my position. I present the song and, um, what happens with that is like, you can pick that apart or not. So I send me a whole demo, but it's like, oh, this is something that I think a, you know, this is in Abe's wheelhouse. So this is something that's fun. Or I can listen to, to like deftones material and just get into like a groove of like how he plays. And I feel, when you, when you say that get into a groove, do you find yourself when you are in making a deftones, making a line for that, do you keep with the deftones thing? You just go to the next one to the next one, the next one, or when you're done, you just sort of got to shake it off and start all over again. It'll, I think, um, it just kind of, it'll be like that afternoon or that session that day. So I'm just kind of like, all right, cool. This is all fun and stuff. And then if I get like stuck on something, I can kind of, I'll switch gears and do things just for myself. And just to say like, all right, this is, uh, this is just like free play, I guess. And I'll just do whatever. And sometimes those things can, you know, like give me the opportunity to test new things, new sounds, new whatever that can go back to that. Then those things can go back to either deftones or quick sound. Like I keep my tone and my style pretty much the same for both knowing that the, when the other people get involved, they take it to completely different places. How much does it change? Does it change? It doesn't wait the way I see. Yeah. Particularly much. I think like, um, deftones, it's kind of, it's like, if I, if I, if I were to present, here's the same baseline, you know, to both bands, they would take it such different places that it wouldn't even, I kind of used to try to say, oh, well, here's a deftone style thing or a quick sound style thing. But I just do things that I think are cool now for the band and with the intent of presenting it only to that band. And if they don't like it, it doesn't go to the other band. How long, how long did this, how long did this sort of like take you to figure out? What was the, was there like a magic potion that you finally sort of said, voila, there it is. I think for me, like in being in a couple of bands, um, it just kind of, it's just the way my mind worked. I don't know. I didn't think it was like, it wasn't a process. It was just the idea that I want to give both like a hundred percent and I don't want to give like some, I don't want to give like something that was rejected to someone else. Like if I was like a producer or a standalone songwriter, you shop a song like your baby and you give it to as many people as it takes to land. But when I'm in two bands that have a history and that have a thing, it's just, oh, I'm deaf tones Sergio today. I'm just jamming in that vein. The tunings are different. So that kind of changes things a lot. I would, I wouldn't be able to say, oh, here's something a drop C for quicksand that just doesn't happen. So that helps a lot. I mean, I'm fascinated by this. I have to say I've done, you know, Yeah, we jumped right all into the nuts and bolts of this, didn't we? We jumped right in. Just before we get too crazy, Sergio, it's an honor to meet you. First of all, I'm really, really excited about this. I'm Brad. That's Barry. Yeah. And that's Lord Taco up at the top. Thank you. Lord Taco. Yes. That's his real, he is the Lord. I bought him a five foot by five foot plot of land in England that he is officially the Lord of just, you know, in case he wants to renounce his citizenship to America and live in that five foot by five foot plot of land. We're going there, okay. Lord Taco. Those are two things. To be a Lord is great and to be a Taco might even be better. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I guess let's, I know we jumped right into that and it's because, you know, you're, I mean, you're, you're amazing. That's, that's, so it's easy to jump into a conversation like that. But I wanted to like, just reset the table real quick because the deftones are such an influential part of at least my life when I was a kid and talking to somebody that is part of this history is really, really a big deal. And, and not only is it a big deal for me, but for this, this show that we do is a big deal for us. We've never dipped our toe into the quote unquote metal pool. We've just never done it. It's never been something that has been comfortable, I think, for us to talk about almost like when Barry wants me to talk about EDM music. I just can't do it. I can't talk about EDM stuff. It's very difficult, but for you guys and, and specifically for you on, we're recording this two days after the eighth, and I hate using this word anniversary of the original bass players death, but you came into the deftones from another band that had spent so much time with the deftones on the road. I've always wondered what you felt about deftones before being in the band, and then now being a part of it and part of this sort of like zeitgeist of a moment years ago. So it's like, um, I've never had an objective opinion, because I've never heard the band without knowing them, if that makes sense. Say for the first time we met on the first Warp tour, and some friends of mine were like, oh, you should check out this band deftones. They're playing on the stage, you know, and I was like, well, are they a hardcore band? Like, what's the deal? Like just coming from that world is very provincial, you know, for lack of a better term. And I was like, well, they're not hardcore, but they like bad brains and they have these influences. And that's like, oh, bad brains is great. And I went and I saw them. And at that time was, I don't know how early it was in their career, but I guess, you know, they had really reached, you know, put out a record to my knowledge. And you could, it was like a kind of root error, you know, like the adrenaline kind of that. 95. And I saw their set. And then I just went over to their to their vehicle. They were in Winnebago. And I just introduced myself and hung out with them. And we talked and stuff. And that was really it. So we were always kind of like homies. And I never, so I don't have like an objective thing. I was like, I like these guys, I like their energy. And I come from a musical background where that's what's valued. You know, so it's like you make friends with the people you make friends with, you know, your friends, the people in your audience are your friends, the people that you're playing with your friends. It's more like that kind of thing. And you just supportive and like what people are doing. Yeah. So I've always, I've always appreciated their music. I've always thought it was cool, like how they've grown and they've taken chances. And I've appreciated how they, they also are kind of in a sense, were free from the parameters of being in like a rigid type of music. Yeah. So like they're kind of, they took a left turn very early and open themselves up to a lot of pathways. And so that's always been cool, but they've always just been my homies and friends. So I'm like, just, I was like, these guys are cool. And I like that. What was it like joining the transition then you said it was, I mean, you know, you're watching a band that you know, and like, um, how, how did that go? Oh, it was easy. I mean, we're friends. I had filled in for Chi in 1999 on a tour. He injured his foot and, um, you know, so there's always been that thing. It's, it just, it doesn't, sometimes when I read people's perspective of it, you know, like if people who don't owe me or my history now they do more, but it was always be like, oh, it's plucked out of something. And I was like, maybe plucked out of a crowd or for a band that I'm like a super fan of. And I've just known them. So it's like, it's just, I don't have an objective thing. You know, it'd be different if like, let's say radio had picked me up and they're like, I'd never met them. You know, I never met them. I didn't, I never saw them. I don't know them. I've never filled in. I just, these are, it's like a cold drop into something. And that would be like, what the heck? Yeah. Cause you don't know them as people it's abstract. Well, it almost, it almost frees you up too. It almost frees you up to just the comfort level is just automatically there. And it's probably why they wanted you to be a part of the future. It was just too easy of a fit. I mean, my understanding is, you know, because they like quicksand the style fit, um, I had filled in already that worked out well. We were friends. And from my perspective, it was, they were always like, I came into something as a friend, you know, I was like, these are my friends in need and how can I help? And, um, just kind of put my best foot forward and never looked at it from any other perspective. So going back to our original thing that we were talking about, especially with the technical and the, the inside the weeds sort of writing process thing, when you bring something to the table, um, musically, are you still not bringing anything in general? Not, not bringing anything, but in general, is everything pretty much written by Chino? Is he bringing the lyrical things to the table or is there, are there other voices at this point now? As far as what, as far as what aspect is there, sorry, lyric, lyrically, lyrically. Lyrically. Yeah. That's like, that is going to be like predominantly him on the lyrics, you know, you know, overwhelmingly, like maybe a word or a line here from something, you know, like it's just someone saying something or something. But then as far as melodic structure, that's that there's more like singing in the band and singing that, like, there's a lot of opportunity for in the development of melodies to be like, Hey, here's a, some melodic shapes that we can like riff over stuff together. The reason I asked that I asked that specifically because the way that Chino is written for so long has been so about whatever is happening in the world, or he's got a perspective on a certain topic that he wanted to absolutely make sure that the world knew. I wonder with so much happening around us, do you guys as a band just trust him that he's going to get there? Or do you say, Hey, we should really do, George Floyd was a big deal. We should probably touch everyone's politics or touch in their personal lives and their personal accounts and things. And this is more like impressionist art. These aren't like there's never really like rarely coming into a song with a topic. It's often building up all sorts of sounds and shapes that make sense, and then finding words and things. And then after you can look back at it and analyze it. And you know, for when people hear the stuff, they often have like it, they have your association. So you're going to say, this is clearly about that, or this is clearly about this. And maybe even after the fact, you know, like you could say, Oh, this song seems like it's about this. But at the time, it's, it's more often than not, just like finding things that come together and shapes and it takes structure. And you can look back at it and see where it is. But we're not the type of band musically or lyrically to say this is going to be about this. And we're going to make a kind of record like this. It doesn't work. You're just constraining. It's unnecessarily constrained. It's so true. But man, you look back at some of these some of these songs, and you feel like it was I mean, crafted specifically for insert topic here, it's almost almost hard to believe that it grew almost organically and naturally without trying to get into that space that is kind of surprising. I mean, that's human nature. Like, how did we find shapes and stars? Because we we strive to make shape, we strive to make sense of things. That's our advantage. We're not the strongest creatures on earth. We don't live very long, we have our advantage is trying to predict things. And by nature, we try to make sense of things. And and often, by like, the confidence of ignorance, we just a ship sure that we know what's being spoken about. And I see that all the time. And the sure the conviction, the often the further away from reality it is, I've been thinking about this for months. And I don't think anybody knows yet. I'm curious to see how we come out of this last year with songwriting. I mean, are we gonna Is it gonna be, you know, gloom and doom? Is it gonna be ready to move on? Is it gonna be happy? Is it gonna be, you know, a bazillion songs about being holed up in my basement for 12 months? That's already okay. I'll tell you the answer. Whatever tests well. I think maybe. Yeah, probably. I think that I think that that's up to the artists. Like, I know people have already made quote unquote, COVID records. And it's been interesting to see, like, what that given artist, what that take is, you know, and like, without naming names of artists, mainly because I don't necessarily remember. But I remember reading an art there was like a pop singer, one of the Jonas Brothers made a record and it was like his conus, his COVID record, sorry. Yeah. And it was there were love songs because he was like, from this seat, you know, being in this situation, I, these are the things that made sense to me and blah, blah, blah. And now here's my record that's influenced by COVID and their love songs to my wife. And maybe that's like, backtrack talking, you know, because you had a body of songs we never know. We never know, you know, people are going to put things out there. And yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. It did come across a tad like PR spin. You know, how can I, how can I make this of the moment when it's a song, you know, it's a it's a horror movie soundtrack. Oh, yeah, sure. We don't know. But like, yeah, the truth is, is that it's impacted everybody in some way. And whether or not they wear it on their on their chest or they have it tucked away, you know, it's undeniable that, you know, it impacts. That's a great point. Because I think that's what's different is it has impacted everybody. I mean, worldwide, it's not just a regional thing, you know, where, you know, it happened to you, but I can still feel it. No, it happened to me too. So that in that way, it's different. The other part of it, I wonder, and, and I don't know if you guys have even thought about it. When Bonnaroo announced what you guys are on the lineup, when they announced the lineup, I mean, it's nearly sold out. And so there's this feeling of we're all ready to get out and have this explosion as a band. How excited are you guys to get back out and play live again? And what does that mean? I mean, are you talking about it? Is it a big deal? Is it you're just ready to get out? Or? I think it's like, it's kind of like all of the above in the sense that, like, let's say speaking for myself, you know, like, it's always been about doing the things to ensure the positive result to make sure that that's all that happens. You know, there's some we live in a time where things are everything is so fragile, and things are in flux, and a lot of things are in our control. And like living in New York City, I get concerned sometimes because, you know, like when things open people, there's a lot of fatigue. And rightly so. And I see people doing things that are kind of like congregating too close on top of each other and things that and I get worried that it's like, we want to get back. You know, we want things to happen. And whatever, you know, like whatever is the best course, you know, to doing that, and whatever the threshold for acceptable levels of safety is, I think that it's like, to me, it never hurts to lean towards being more to being, you know, better safe than sorry, do the things that it's, you know, like, you can take the chance to say, oh, if I'm just this safe, it's going to be okay. But it's it seems to me clearer that if you're if you're if you tend towards the conservative, you know, like you're insurer with less risk, a better result. So for me, I'm just like, I want to do everything possible to get back to being around people and making music, because it's it's our life's blood. It's like what we do. It's how we express every emotion we have. And it's fun. And and we don't get to do that. You know, so to that point, are you I mean, you guys with the new album, and then a tour that was put on hiatus, now going back out, how worried are you? How worried are you? I'm worried. And, and I'm worried, but my things are like, do it, you can't do with what is in your control to do. And do the things that it takes to make sure that things have a positive outcome. Yeah. So like, that's kind of the perspective I have. It's like, I am concerned because you can't really control everything. And not everyone is on the same page. But what I can control is my environment. So in the interim, you know, I work out, I keep myself healthy. I practice, I avoid situations that that could get me sick. And you got those shots? I'm halfway there. Yeah. And that was a bit for my wife and I, that was a big thing. You know, like we're cut off from our families, we're cut off from our friends, cut off from our bandmates. And, you know, I've seen these guys once in over a year. Wow. Yeah. And we talk. And it's, you know, it's, this is it's, it's our, it's our thing, you know, it's like way more than just our career. It's our, it's our life. So it sucks. But, but again, to, you know, stay positive, everyone's excited to play it. In short, everyone is super hyped for, for the ability to get back to work and play. And, and in the interim, I've noticed that like, people do the things at home to like, stay creative and to keep your, to keep your chops up. What does the schedule look like? I mean, is it Bonnaroo and then one or two other things, or is it actually, it keeps, it keeps, it's everything's always in flux. Yeah. So it's like everything's in flux. And then like, whenever sure till it's announced that even after it's announced, things can still be in flux. So I can't thank you enough for joining us on this. I, to wrap up, I did a little, Google search of Deftones just because I don't know, I haven't done it in 15 years. So I, this is one of my favorite Google also search for terms when I entered Deftones. Okay. So, you know, I, the, the Google, and then also also search for, there's a whole bunch of other stuff that you can also search for. And you just answer these questions for me if you can. See if Google got it right. Is Deftones still a band? Yes. Okay. Are Deftones good live? Mostly. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Is Deftones an emo? Is Deftones an emo? No, definitely not an emo or even just emo without the N. Yeah. And then finally, my favorite is Deftones a shoe gaze. Is Deftones a shoe gaze? I feel like no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, with influences from that far more than emo. I will say one of my favorite Chino quotes, years and years and years ago, and I'll butcher this, but he said something to the effect of somebody asked him if he was an emo singer and dude goes, I'm as good as two emo singers. I am as good as two. Put them both together. Yeah. I, I'm really, I'm really, really excited about this show. What does post COVID, what does the Deftones show look like? What's it like? Everything needs to be seen. We still have to see each other. Yeah. That's good. I guess it would be like, I think if, if the band as a whole brings a lot of energy and excitement to play normally, then with a year plus not being able to do that, then I think you just kind of magnify that a little. I mean, I asked mainly because, you know, the tour was supposed to coincide with A, a new album and the 20th anniversary of White Pony. So I wondered if there was an opportunity there playing White Pony from start to finish. You know, for myself, I always skew towards the newest, you know, I think even as a band, there starts to be a little fatigue for being stuck on in a moment because it kind of just like, I don't ever want to be like your best days are behind you. Well, see that, I guess in my mind, because of as fans, we've been talking about this so much for 16, 18 months, what it's going to be like, I guess I'm under the assumption that you guys as bandmates have been talking every week saying, I can't wait to get out. Here's what we're going to do, you know, but that's not the case. Right. I mean, the case is, I think the same as your life. It's like, how's your family doing? Who's still healthy? Who's good? Checking on your friends who's sick. How are they doing? Okay. Cool. How are we going to like make ends meet? You know, how does this happen? How does this really looking forward to a time that we can play? But I think that we're, there's a lot more to life than that. So it's a very important facet of our lives. But unfortunately, you know, these circumstances put a lot of things on your plate. That's the, that's been the theme for me from everything that I do, all the interviews that I've done for the paper is that if, if there is a theme for the last year, it's that we've all figured out what's really important. Yeah. I mean, like checking it. I haven't seen, like I said, I haven't seen any really, my wife and I are our, our, our germ pool. So it's the two of us, like day by day and with the rare, well, can't wait for you to be a Bonnaroo. I can't wait for you to see the germs at Bonnaroo. I can't wait. Yeah. I wouldn't know how to, I mean, when we do like outside dining and stuff, when I just walk by a crowd, I'm just kind of like, whoa. And I mean, that's my life, right? My life is being in a crowd and being, you know, in front of them, but that's just me and my wife, just rocking it on room. I'm waiting for the festival one day, just a festival to name a stage dysentery, man. You've just been so great. And I could, I mean, legitimately, I could keep you here all day because I just love you guys so much. You were set up, you're set up back there. You, what do you got plugged in? Are you, are you plugged in now? Are you about to work on something? What are you, what are you going to hammer out today? I usually, usually work late night, but I have what my setup is, is a Mac M1 mini. Okay. And Apogee Duet interface, Fractal Audio. I forgot which model is here, but I use Fractal Audio for modeling, bass and guitar, IK multimedia keyboards. I use Ableton Live and my Fender guitars are out of the frame, but I have a bunch of Fender guitars here. How many, how many have you got in the same room? How many are you working on at one time? Currently, there's a bass and two guitars here. Okay. That's a lot lighter than I thought it would be. No, I have a closet full of all my, you know, full of everything. So we have like, strangely, just because of the way things shut down, I only have one bass here, but I have four electric guitars here and three or four acoustic guitars here. The new album out now, we'll see it at Bonnaroo. And yeah, when you show up at Bonnaroo, make sure to bring whatever hair care product you have so I can share. Okay. You know what it is? Water. And sometimes just water and sometimes a little bit of conditioner. Can't do conditioner. It just gets too big. I think I can't control the conditioner. Just a little bit. You just take a little dot. Okay. Just run your fingers through it. Okay. But if you have curly hair, you can touch it after you do it. Then it goes like... Sergio, thank you so much. You're the best. Thank you. It's a good way to start the day. Good morning, by the way. Don't get this kind of information anywhere else. Thank you so much, man. Thank you guys. It's a pleasure. Thank you very much. The most amazing part of talking to Sergio from Deftones is, and I didn't want to spend too much time on it, but is worth repeating that not only he's amazing, I mean, he has every reason to be celebrated. It's just tough. Two days after the anniversary of the death of the original bass player, really one of my favorite bands of my entire childhood. Oh, we didn't... You know what we didn't do? Damn it, Taco. We didn't ask them about Deftones time as a Zydeco rocker. We totally forgot. I was waiting for that. For the Bayou Boogaloo. That was Barry Carter. I totally forgot. I know. I hung the curve ball for you and you let it go by. You just looked at it. Maybe they'll hear this episode and then surprise us with a jazzy Zydeco. You know, if I was a more skilled broadcaster, I would have asked him to pick up that guitar and perform a Zydeco number for us right then and there. I just... I failed you guys. Once again, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. All right. There you go. What do you think, Barry? Great stuff. Curious about hearing and it makes perfect sense. I mean, his answer was spot on. It was what he's been doing and what's been important. I really just think that's been the thing I've been hearing from everybody. No matter what vocation they have, we're just all figuring out what's important. I guess in my mind, the reason for my question is that these bands are just itching to get out and they're finally on a schedule. But no, they're still every bit as influx as everyone else. So that was interesting to me. Knowing their sets, the way that they're set, it's going to be the same set. I mean, once they figure it out, they're going to figure it out. But I bet they're a lot like we are. We walk out of the door every day. We're like, I don't know where I'm going to go, but I'm out. I'm out. I'm going to do some stuff and we'll see where I go. And it is early. It's early. But it's not though. I mean, you're going to turn around and you're going to look at, before you know it, we're going to look at, it's going to be Labor Day. I mean, how many days are we officially away from Bonnaroo? I mean, any moment, the Lollapalooze lineup is going to drop and we're going to be at the end of July and we're like, oh, it's Lollapalooze weekend. Before you know it, this stuff's going to creep up really, really fast. No question. But I guess what I mean is they're professionals. They do what they do. They know what they do. And they're not going to, they're not going to come out with, like you just said, something completely different. And I guess part of me is thinking somebody will, there might be a higher level of energy, but I don't see bands reinventing themselves just because they've been on hiatus for a year. I guess that's what I'm. Yeah. You don't necessarily think it'll be breaking down into Rick Astley covers. They're not going to do Bojilas. They're not going to come back as a Zydeco band just cause. I'm so happy to see you guys. It's your taco. It's Barry Courter. I'm Brad Stein with the What Podcast. We'll talk to you next week.