Team Sleep Not Just Moreno's Side Project

Wednesday August 10, 2005 @ 03:30 PM

For almost five years, Deftones frontman Chino Moreno has kept us waiting for his side project, Team Sleep. Over this period there have been several changed release dates, an internet leak that resulted in the band re-recording most of their material, not to mention the endless speculation on behalf of the fans.

All that is at an end, however, as the group's self-titled debut is finally in stores. Now that it's here, Team Sleep have proved they're more than just Moreno's experimental muse or a one-off break from the Deftones.

"We're excited about it," Moreno says of the album's long-delayed release. "I don't think we were ever feeling like, ‘We gotta get this record out!' We all did it at our own pace and that's what sort of kept it... not a job, kept it fun, you know. We're happy that it's out now, though."

Though he's busy working on the next Deftones record, Team Sleep are not to be regarded as a simple "side project," but a separate entity altogether.

"It's hard to put that stuff into perspective, you know," guitarist Todd Wilkinson says. "Right now it's a full-time thing. We're definitely going to put as much energy into it as we can, then when we get back from this tour, Chino's going to finish up the Deftones record and go on tour with that, I'm gonna continue working on this stuff and we're all gonna be writing more music. So hopefully they'll become Team Sleep songs but if not we're just doing it for the fun of it. It's weird looking at it and try to classify it as a side-project or whatever."

As the rest of the band (rounded out by sampler/programmer DJ Crook, bassist Rick Verretta and drummer Zach Hill) were writing new songs for Team Sleep, Moreno was hard at work with Deftones on their as-yet-untitled fifth album, currently slated for release early next year. But his focus right now is clearly not on the other band.

"Every song on the record came about in a different way," Wilkinson says. "Crook would write a beat, I would write guitar parts over it, and we'd show it to everybody and then we'd mess around with it. Or if I had a guitar part, I'd go over to Zach's house and record his drums and then write guitar parts over that. But Rick writes songs, Chino writes songs, Crook writes songs that I'm not even playing on. So we didn't really make a lot of sense when we made this record."

The band claim to have around 15 songs already written for the next Team Sleep record.

"We hope to have another record out next year," Moreno claims. "We have the material for it, it's just all about recording and putting it on tape and getting my vocals done."

Does that mean another five-year wait?

"I'm not making any promises," jokes Wilkinson. "But we just do what we feel like doing, you know. We made this process up, it's not like we're Metallica where we sit in our garage and make songs. We don't do shit like normal people do stuff. We do it the way that we do it, and we sort of invented the process and now we just want to carry it on."

—Shehzaad Jiwani