Download Festival Australia is 100% downloaded into our calendars and 99% incoming to Melbourne and Sydney with a HUGE file of talent ready to infect our servers. Bigger than the Limewire shut down of 2010, our gothic hearts weren’t prepared for the announcement of My Chemical Romance reuniting and returning down under for special headline appearances at the festival, nor were we ready for the sweetness of Jimmy Eat World, the full-throttle of Clutch, the magic of Ministry (lame Harry Potter joke – sorry!) and the heat of In Flames.
But there is one act we are prepared for; one act that we adore and trust on our festival lineup like no other – Sacramento soldiers Deftones. From Soundwave to Big Day Out and now Download Festival, Deftones are festival favourites who consistently bring bigger and better shows to our shores every time.
“It seems like Australia has always has great festivals ever since we’ve been going there since the Big Day Out days. There is something about the rock shows out there! There are great rock fans out there obviously,” agrees turntablist, Frank Delgado.
They’re no strangers to the Download Festival line-up either with a monster set in UK in 2016 and have just been announced for the epic 2020 line-up on the same circuit.
“It’s crazy, it just one of those festivals that has history and it’s always been great. We’re always excited to play Download – I think most bands are,” he says.
To jet them into a full year of touring, and as part of the Australian leg, the boys will be jumping in on some sideshow action for Brisbane and Adelaide, taking with them Georgian metal heads and former State tour buddies, Baroness.
“Great band, amazing records and really cool guys to tour with so we’re really stoked that that’s going to happen out there,” Delgado says.
“I think we’re just excited for a good festival season and a good summer of rock shows. We’ve pretty much been off for the last couple of years besides some one-off shows, festivals and writing a record basically but I think we’re all pretty excited to be back on the grind, honestly.”
Yes, you read that right – the reason for Deftones stage absence has been due to album writing and recording which Delgado confirms is fast approaching our ears.
“We’ve been pretty much working on that for the last couple of years and it’s basically done. I think we need to tie up a few things here and there to fix it but I think that’s coming in the real near future – I know it is,” he laughs.
“It’s a Deftones record which I know that sounds cliché or cheesy but we’ve never put up any walls and we’ve always gotten together and see what happens and as long as everyone is together and happy and in good shape, we’re good and there was a lot of that. We don’t really chase any sound or try and be a certain way. We just try to get better at what we do and put a whole package together where it sounds sonically amazing and that’s where we’re at right now and we’re pretty fucking excited for it!”
This upcoming album will be released almost exactly 20 years after the band’s seminal album, White Pony, an album that changed the heavy landscape with its melting pot of genre influence, and offered the courageous ‘Change (In The House of Flies)’. This was also the first album where Delgado appeared as an official member of Deftones.
“It feels good to work with not only your best friends but to learn to trust yourself and your instincts. I think White Pony was a big deal and a big part of that because at the time there was a popular thing happening in the States with rock music and heavy metal and we could have easily rode some wave but we trusted our instincts of what we thought we should be doing and that was a pretty big success at the time.”
He continues, “At the time we were young and taking advantage of our creativity and our brotherhood and it just seemed to really all work and I think all bands are chasing that at some point but I don’t think we were ever chasing that. I don’t think we’re always trying to make a White Pony but we’re always trying to please ourselves at the end of the day.”
Could there potentially be anniversary celebrations on top of a new album release?
“I’m sure we might do a few things here or there but I know we haven’t really talked about, and I don’t think we’ve ever really done that either, but I think that record is really seminal for us that it might need the attention!”
Be sure to catch Deftones at Download for an undoubtedly defining set!
It all goes down at Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday, March 20. Tickets at downloadfestival.com.au
Written by Tammy Walters