Deftones frontman Chino Moreno details his sensory songwriting 'gift'

Chino Moreno
Chino Moreno (Image credit: Getty)

Deftones frontman Chino Moreno suggests that his blended sensory approach is a “gift” that has long inspired his songwriting.

The singer previously said the band flirted with aesthetic when writing their latest studio effort Goredescribing the music as a “shade of purple” which is reflected in the artwork he chose for the album.

Describing a thought-process which sounds similar to the neurological phenomenon synaesthesia – in which a stimulus in one sense kindles sensation in another, such as ‘tasting’ a colour – Moreno says it’s one of his “favourite things” about how his brain works.

He tells TeamRock: “It’s just visual. When I see things, I hear music in my head. When I hear things, I see visuals in my head. I’ve always been able to marry these two things together.

“It just happens – I just see it. That’s something that, if you call it a gift, I feel is one of my favourite things about the way my brain works.”

Moreno also explains why Deftones favour using computer jargon in their song titles , such as Xerces, CMND/CTRL and Gore track LMIRL.

He adds: “Some of it is computer jargon. LMIRL – it’s an acronym, ‘Let’s Meet In Real Life.’ I’m doing research online and seeing people go on dating sites – they’ll say something like, ‘Hey, let’s meet in real life now.’

“The song itself – the underlying theme of that song is really dark. It’s lightly based around suicide. That theme was very heavy in my mind when I wrote the song.

“I correlated that term LMIRL with this existence that we have now – it’s not real. So if we take ourselves out of this, that is real life. It won’t always make sense to other people – enough for them to put that together.”

Moreno recently made history with a record-breaking performance 400-feet deep inside a volcano at the Secret Solstice Festival in Iceland last weekend.

Deftones will resume touring at the end of July in support of Gore. They’ll be joined by Refused on a run of US shows.

Deftones tour dates 2016

Jul 31: Buffalo Edgefest, NY
Aug 02: Bethlehem Sands Bethlehem Event Center, PA (with Refused)
Aug 03: Baltimore Pier Six Concert Pavilion, MD (with Refused)
Aug 05: Brooklyn Coney Island Amphitheater, NY (with Refused)
Aug 06: Philadelphia Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, PA (with Refused)
Aug 07: Uncasville Mohegan Sun Arena, CT (with Refused)
Aug 09: Boston Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, MA (with Refused)
Aug 10: Asbury Park Stone Pony Summerstage, NJ (with Refused)
Aug 12: Sterling Heights Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, MI (with Refused)
Aug 16: St Paul Myth, MN
Aug 17: Clive Seven Flags Event Center, IA
Aug 18: Tulsa Brady Theater, OK
Aug 20: Magna Saltair Resort Main Pavilion, UT
Aug 23: Fresno Woodward Park Summer Concerts, CA
Aug 24: Los Angeles Greek Theatre, CA
Aug 25: Berkeley Greek Theatre, CA
Aug 30: Las Vegas The Joint, NV
Aug 31: Mesa Mesa Amphitheatre, AZ

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Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.