DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno recently spoke to The Boston Globe about his side project TEAM SLEEP, which has just released their debut album.
"I think people are open to new stuff," Moreno said. "Radio and the media shouldn't think that people are dumb. And [industry types] have to take a chance and not worry about losing their job if they put out something different."
TEAM SLEEP features Todd Wilkinson, Moreno's boyhood friend from Sacramento, Calif. They grew up playing guitar together, though Wilkinson veered off to become a high school teacher.
"He's super-smart," Moreno said, explaining why some of TEAM SLEEP's songs carry such lofty titles as "Princeton Review" and "Tomb of Liegia". The latter is based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story that Wilkinson brought to Moreno's attention. The rest of the group includes turntablist/programmer DJ Crook, drummer Zach Hill, and bassist Rick Verrett.
"My work in the DEFTONES is fulfilling, but I like to work with all kinds of people," said Moreno. It's also quite a change from the DEFTONES. "The DEFTONES are definitely more metal and aggressive," said Moreno. "I don't scream as much in TEAM SLEEP."
Of particular interest is the eerily engaging cameo by Mary Timony on "Tomb of Liegia". Said Moreno: "I always loved Mary's voice — that droning kind of voice. I wanted her to sing on the second DEFTONES album, but I couldn't get ahold of her. But with this project, I just had to get ahold of her — and luckily, I did."
As for the DEFTONES, who were last seen on a U.S. tour in late 2004, Moreno said they've almost got a new album finished and are looking to get it out in the fall.
"I think it will be one of our biggest records," he said. "It's got the aggressive stuff that people like, but also the weird stuff that I like."