Deftones’ Abe Cunningham on live feuds with Stephen Carpenter

Abe Cunningham of Deftones
Abe Cunningham in action (Image credit: Getty)

Abe Cunningham admits he makes a point of trying to piss off Deftones bandmate Stephen Carpenter on stage – because the pair disagree over approaches to playing their songs live.

But the drummer says the guitarist gives as good as he gets, and insists they’ll never fall out with each over their separate points of view.

Carpenter pushed against his colleagues over the musical direction of latest album Gore, although frontman Chino Moreno said there was never any danger of the situation getting out of control.

Cunningham tells Music Radar: “Stephen is of the frame of mind that everything must be exactly like the album, which I agree with to a certain degree.

“But I grew up on people jamming. You should be able to stretch out.

“I want to keep the songs true as possible, but I do stuff to drive him crazy. I’ll play something just to piss him off because I can – we’re brothers.

“He’ll do it to me too. He’ll speed something up. He’ll tweak the tempo out and I know he’s doing it.”

The drummer says his personal approach to playing is based on “not knowing what the hell to do,” adding: “You hear the old blues cats say, ‘Less is more.’ You fill space with your notes, and when there’s a time and a place to go wild, maybe you can throw a little fill in.

“I think it’s not knowing what to do – but having done it with these guys for so long is where we’re at. We’re just trying to do things that make us happy.”

Deftones tour Europe starting in April next year.

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Deftones Gore European tour 2017

Apr 18: Vienna Gasometer, Austria
Apr 19: Munich Zenith, Germany
Apr 20: Zurich Halle 622, Switzerland
Apr 21: Milan Fabrique, Italy
Apr 23: Offenbach Stadhalle, Germany
Apr 24: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Apr 25: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg
Apr 27: Berlin Velodrom, Germany
Apr 28: Hamburg Sporthalle, Germany
Apr 29: Meerhout Groezrock, Belgium
May 01: Cologne Palladium, Germany
May 02: Paris Olympia, France
May 05: London Alexandra Palace, UK
May 06: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK
May 07: Glasgow SECC, UK

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.