Deftones is a band I would love to write about, and perhaps sometime soon I will. They helped me branch out and explore more of the alt-metal genre than other bands I was exposed to in my youth. I’m trying to force my hand to write about things slightly off the beaten path, at least for me, and hopefully for you too! Today I will focus on the side projects of Chino Moreno of Deftones, ††† – Crosses and Team Sleep. Deftones never exploded into a huge arena rock group, but not many nu-metal bands gain that notoriety, but they were successful within their genre. I absolutely adore Deftones, but Chino’s side projects are quite amazing in their own right.
Team Sleep was started in the year 2000, on a very casual basis. I didn’t hear about them till just before I found out about †††. As a fan, I took it as Chino diversifying his musical output, showing us that he can go from his usual aggressive vocals to let you know he still can still sing well in a variety of styles. He also definitely enjoys making music with other people. His attitude towards music is very apparent in the last two Deftones albums Koi No Yokan and Gore as well as the album each that Crosses and Team Sleep have out currently. He loves it, and I hope you like them too!
Team Sleep’s music comes at you with a haunting melody, a rock sleepscape that is hard to not fall in love with. It shows that it is a sound that has been closely tinkered with and perfected. It is very relaxing music, that sets the mood, as most of Chino’s music does so well. King Diamond used to be my favorite song besides their oldest song Ever (Foreign Flag) when I originally checked them out. King Diamond is a little weird at first, but it quickly grew on me and I really enjoy the rhythm and effects that are used with the dual vocals. Ever (Foreign Flag) is one of their oldest songs, and it is a beautiful song about being in love with a moment, not necessarily a person.
Blvd. Nights is my new favorite song off the Self-titled Team Sleep album. It has the perfect slow, yet aggressive vocals to go with the very energetic yet soft tonality of the track. To me; it is a journey and the underpinnings of a complicated relationship. It’s is like a good night song to the chaos of our post-modern lives. “You’re not going to stop/I know how you are” Honestly the whole album feels like a rock lullaby.
While Team Sleep is very airy and experimental and a lullaby of sorts; Chino decided to be more electronically aggressive with Crosses – † † †. Shaun Lopez produced this album, as well as was a part of making the music with Chino and Chuck Doom. With their name and Iconography, you would take this for a Christian Group. Chino has expressed that it doesn’t have anything to do with religion. He is using it in an artistic way and trying to walk the fine line, even with what newcomers will attribute to an album titled †, from a group going by †††.
A great way to show us the style of the album is the intro track, This is a Trick. It is much more electronic and aggressive than Team Sleep. They are almost a Dichotomy of electronic Nu-Metal. Team Sleep is the quiet sleepy dragon, ††† is the in your face rage dragon. “A million tears, a trillion times / I’ve seen that glaze and glitch in your eyes.” This song greatly reminds me of a lot of the philosophy and related worldviews I’ve been researching on my own time recently. Can we trust our senses or is this all a trick?
The music video to Bitches Brew, which is the single to the album, is a reminder of how music, can alter our moods. The effects visually, as well as the lyrics, speak to losing control, and seeking comfort in another’s bed. It is a display of what to expect from the whole album, dark melodies with thoughtful lyrics over a great drum track.
It is hard to write about either of these groups without stating that a lot of the songs are expressing love in one way or another. Lots of music, in general, is about love; but of all the eclectic music I personally enjoy listening to, these are the songs I would want to dance to at a wedding if I ever had one! Even if they are not ‘Love songs’ they are about being in love with the moment, or a person sometimes not even a lover.
The Epilogue is my favorite mix of both of these types of love.