Rebirth: The Making of Diamond Eyes with Deftones

Deftones “Diamond Eyes”

Collaborating with the Deftones proved to be an exhilarating journey. Our acquaintance dated back to my time in Amen, where our connection stemmed from producer Ross Robinson. The genesis of the album “Diamond Eyes” marked a transformative phase with Nick Raskulinecz. The band found themselves entrenched in a string of unfortunate events, notably the tragic accident that left Chi, the Deftones’ bass player, in a coma right in the midst of crafting a record. The project seemed perpetually stalled, compounded by the search for a bass player to fill Chi’s absence.

Nick and Chino, going over arrangements

Nick, however, orchestrated a revival, gathering Frank, Abe, Stephan, Chino, and Sergio Vega from Quicksand to reconvene and set up in a rehearsal studio to start from scratch. Once Nick finalized and the band the arrangements, we set up at the already familiar Pass Recording Studio, harnessing the potential of their Neve 8078 console and having previously experienced  how to make sense of the control room. While Abe, Stephan, Sergio, and Franck effortlessly breezed through the tracking, Chino grappled with lyrical contemplation.

Sergio Vega holding down the grooves

I vividly recall the moment Chino, engrossed in his (back then) iPod, suddenly exclaimed, “Hey, I think I’ve got something.” At Nick’s request, I vacated the room for Chino and him to track in the control room. Two hours later, “Diamond Eyes” materialized in its entirety. It felt as though Chino had conjured the lyrics and melody out of thin air—like pulling a rabbit out of a magic hat—resulting in an explosive revelation for everyone present to experience.

Having fun with Stephan, Abe and Chino

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