Team Sleep And Deftones’ Chino Moreno On The Dangerous Thrill Of Live Albums

Team Sleep, Deftones’ Chino Moreno’s dreamy electronic side-project, release ‘Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4’ on July 10 – their first official album in a decade. Recorded in front of a audience at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, New York, it’s a live album with a twist. We caught up with Moreno to hear about why live albums matter. Be sure to also check out a brand new song from the record, ‘Ever (Foreign Flag)’, premiered at the bottom of the page.

I love studio albums. I love the painstaking detail of great production on a great studio album, where the band have got together with a producer and sculpted all these layers of sound into something till it’s perfect. But there’s something about live albums. The rawness of them is something that I find really compelling – listening to that band in a moment, where there’s nowhere to hide. I used to have these PJ Harvey bootlegs that I obsessed over, listening over and over to how the songs evolved into these different beasts live. There’s a curiosity to them: a sense of danger, like anything could go wrong.

Because a lot of the time, things do go wrong. Sometimes it sounds amazing and everything clicks. Other times, it sounds shit. Some of my favourite music and favourite bands – they didn’t always work live. It’s how it goes. Recently I went through some old Deftones live CDs and some songs would spontaneously sound different each night we played, which was kinda cool. There’s an uncertainty to live recordings that’s exciting.

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I was really happy and relieved at how well the new Team Sleep live record turned out. The idea was kind of insane. We hadn’t played together for probably seven years but decided to give ourselves one day to rehearse, then record in front of what I guess you’d call a studio audience. It was terrifying. I’ve never released a live album before with Deftones or otherwise. I felt really nude. It could have been a catastrophe, man.

Instead, songs like ‘Your Skull Is Red’ are totally different and evolved from how they were the first time we recorded them [on Team Sleep’s 2005 debut]. It’s a cool snapshot. We got away with it!

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