Deftones are set for some aloha after canceled Thailand show

Feb. 18, 2011 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition

The Deftones return from an aborted show in Bangkok to play Aloha Tower. In 2002, MTV documented the alternative metal band's time spent on the Big Island. —Courtesy Photo

The Deftones love the islands … and Hawaii will be a welcome change, considering the band’s experience in Thailand’s capital city on Tuesday.

The band was beginning a two-date swing through Southeast Asia, but had to cancel its scheduled show in Bangkok an hour-and-a-half before stage time. CNN International reported that the alternative metal band said it was unable to perform because of problems with the sound system at the venue. A statement on the Deftones’ Facebook page stated that the cancellation was “due to local power issues that threatened the safety of the band and their fans.”

After the cancellation, police had to break up a disturbance by the displeased crowd that began with throwing water bottles, glasses and knocking down concession tents and escalated to breaking windows and setting fires.

“There’s no way in hell we wanted to cancel that show,” drummer Abe Cunningham said by phone from the Bangkok airport before departing for Singapore. “We are so excited to be here. We’ve wanted to play in Thailand like forever, but quite frankly, the promoter here didn’t have his s–t together. He didn’t have enough power to even turn on the P.A. It was terrible; it broke our hearts. We were there and ready to go, but they simply didn’t have enough electricity for the damn show. … The situation was completely out of our control.”

After a Singapore concert, the Deftones return to the U.S. and Hawaii for tonight’s show at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

DEFTONES

Where: The Waterfront, Aloha Tower Marketplace

When: 8 p.m. today

Cost: $32 general, $60 VIP

Info: 855-235-2867 or www.bampproject.com

Note: Go to www.oneloveforchi.com to make a donation for Chi Cheng’s medical care by purchasing exclusive remixes of the songs “Diamond Eyes” and “You’ve Seen the Butcher.”

Back in 2002, MTV followed the band around the Big Island, piecing together a program that was part travelogue, part acoustic performance. During that time, the band was riding high on its reputation, buoyed by its platinum-selling, Grammy-winning album “White Pony” of two years earlier.

Since then, the band has gone through some rough times, particularly when bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a 2008 car accident in Santa Clara, Calif.. Cheng, who still needs medical treatment, was replaced with Sergio Vega, who’s been with the Deftones since April 2009.

“He’s making some progress,” said Cunningham of Cheng, “but he’s still in a minimally conscious state. He’s awake during the day, and sleeps at night, but he still can’t communicate. It’s been extremely slow and frustrating.”

With a website set up to help alleviate Cheng’s medical expenses (see below), and with fans putting on benefits around the world, Cheng remains in the thoughts of Deftones fans.

THE BAND — which also includes frontman Chino Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter and keyboardist Frank Delgado — will embark on a lengthier mainland tour in April in support of its latest album, “Diamond Eyes,” named iTunes’ rock album of 2010.

“Diamond Eyes” is a strong collection of songs — probably the band’s best effort since “White Pony” — with breakout tracks including the riveting title song “Rocket Skates,” the sensual “Sextape” and the latest showcase song “You’ve Seen the Butcher,” complete with its provocative babes ‘n’ blood video.

The album is earning critical approval across the country. Los Angeles indie music magazine Filter put it this way: “the Deftones are pioneers for their slant on heavy-meets-euphoric-meets-slow-meets-beautiful, and they’ve been successful in the ability to surprise … ‘Diamond Eyes’ doesn’t disappoint when it comes to strong, powerful and unexpected material.”

Much like their brothers-in-attitude in Tool, the Deftones’ intense sound crosses genres while staying rooted in metal.

“After Chi’s accident, it would have been easy for us to make a sad record,” Moreno said in the press release for “Diamond Eyes.” “It felt like there was a cloud around us, so we aimed to make something uplifting. I think that’s why there’s a lot of fantasy stuff on the record. I tried to take it away from day-to-day life, and make it more about the abstract, about art.

“It sounds odd, but really, this is an optimistic record.”

This album follows the recording of another album, titled “Eros,” which the band decided to shelve.

“This is the best we’ve ever felt as a band, despite what happened to Chi,” Cunningham said. “We’re older guys now, and we really enjoy each other’s friendships. It’s great that we’re still able to do this after our wild rock ‘n’ roll times, and to be healthy enough now to play at a high level I think we’ve never come close to before.”

—Gary Chun / gchun@staradvertiser.com

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