Moreno at Rock am Ring 2016
|Camilo Wong Moreno|
June 20, 1973|
Sacramento, California, United States
|Genres||Alternative metal, alternative rock, experimental rock, post-metal, electronic rock, nu metal|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Maverick, Reprise, Ipecac, Sumerian|
|Deftones, Team Sleep, Crosses, Palms, Saudade|
Chino Moreno (born Camillo Wong Moreno; June 20, 1973) is an American musician. Moreno is best known as the lead vocalist and contributing guitarist of Deftones. He is also a member of the side-project groups Team Sleep, Crosses, Saudade, and Palms.
Moreno is well known for his distinctive screams, as well as his soothing and dramatic tenor voice while singing melodically. In 2007, he was placed at number 51 in Hit Parader's "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time".
Moreno was born in Sacramento, California, United States, the second of five children. His father is Mexican and his mother is Chinese and Mexican. His middle name was taken from his maternal grandfather, Don Wong. He grew up in the Oak Park area and attended McClatchy High School, where he met Abe Cunningham and Stephen Carpenter, with whom he founded Deftones in 1988. Before becoming a professional musician, Moreno had a day job at Tower Records' shipping department.
Circa 1988, Moreno started jamming regularly with his high-school friends Abe Cunningham and Stephen Carpenter, leading to the formation of Deftones. Within two years, the group started playing club shows. They were signed to Maverick Records after one of their representatives saw them play in Los Angeles. Their first commercially released album was Adrenaline (1995), produced by Terry Date. While the album wasn't an instant success, extensive touring, word-of-mouth, and Internet promotion built the band a dedicated fan base, as well as helping Adrenaline to sell over 220,000 copies without the singles "7 Words" and "Bored" (as well as their music videos) receiving any airplay. For 1997's Around the Fur, the band expanded its sound, spending more time with Date, and giving more thought to the album's production. The record was highly anticipated and propelled Deftones to fame in the alternative metal scene on the strength of radio and MTV airplay for the singles "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)".
White Pony was released in 2000 to critical acclaim and unprecedented commercial success. Frank Delgado had become a full-time band member, adding new elements to the band's music, while Moreno himself contributed guitar lines in addition to vocals. With influences of new wave, dream pop, and trip hop, the album is considered a turning point for the band in terms of experimentation. Singles "Change (In the House of Flies)" and "Digital Bath" supported the album's release. A single entitled "Back to School (Mini Maggit)" was released as a rap-influenced reinterpretation of White Pony's closing track, "Pink Maggit". While commercially successful and a fan favourite, the band have previously strongly objected to its publication, although it is unclear whether this is still the case.White Pony was subsequently re-released with "Back to School (Mini Maggit)" as the album's opening track. For the song "Elite", Deftones received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
In 2001, Moreno developed a throat injury due to heavy screaming and was forced to miss at least four shows. He suffered inflammation on his right vocal cord and partial paralysis of the left vocal cord. During the rest of their supporting tour, bassist Chi Cheng took over vocal duties that required screaming while Moreno sang the softer melodies of the lyrics, despite recommendations by doctors to hold off from singing to allow time for recovery as well as rumors that the band would be cancelling the remaining stretch of the tour with Godsmack and Puddle of Mudd.
The eponymous Deftones was released in 2003, and saw the band being praised for the heavy album's progression and originality in the midst of declining creativity in contemporary metal. Moreno was quoted as saying, "It's all on record. We told motherfuckers not to lump us in with nu metal because when those bands go down we aren't going to be with them." B-Sides & Rarities saw release in 2005, bringing together unreleased and obscure material accrued since 1995. 2006's Saturday Night Wrist was completed after a protracted and tumultuous recording process, nearly leading to Moreno's departure from Deftones. Later he said it had been "a seriously unhealthy experience" and he "wasn't sure if [he] was going to return" at the time the band was on a self-imposed hiatus. After eventually finishing the album in early 2006, Moreno claimed it to be more of a compromise between all of the members' influences, ranging from their brutal and brooding heavy signature seen on Adrenaline and Around the Fur to the more experimental sound heard on White Pony and Deftones. However, the band saw a significant decrease on the album's first week sales compared to their two previous releases.
Deftones were working on an upcoming album with the working title Eros, when bassist Chi Cheng was severely injured in a car accident in November 2008, remaining in a minimally conscious state and later a partially conscious state up until his death in April 2013. In 2009, the group had recruited Sergio Vega for his replacement and announced an indefinite delay of Eros, stating "... we realized that this record doesn't best encompass and represent who we are currently as people and as musicians." With Vega, the group began work on a new album, Diamond Eyes, which was released on May 4, 2010. It saw the release of the popular singles "Rocket Skates", "You've Seen the Butcher" and "Diamond Eyes". In November 2012, Deftones released their seventh studio album, titled Koi No Yokan. "Leathers", "Tempest" and "Swerve City" came out as its singles. 2016 saw the release of their eighth studio album Gore.
In March 2011, Moreno stated to be working on a new side project known as Crosses, featuring Far guitarist Shaun Lopez and Chuck Doom. Moreno described the project as "minimal and soothing, and it's sort of like the stuff I like listening to when I'm not screaming my head off." Their debut self-titled EP was released on August 2, 2011. EP 2 appeared the next year.
In April 2012 it was announced that Moreno had joined former Isis members Jeff Caxide, Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer in a side project by the name of Palms. Their first album was released on June 25, 2013.
In April 2016 Moreno teamed up with guitarist Dr. Know of Bad Brains, drummer Mackie Jayson (Bad Brains, Cro-Mags); jazz keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood; and bassist Chuck Doom (Team Sleep, Crosses) to form the supergroup Saudade. They released their first single through BitTorrent Bundle on April 28, 2016.
Moreno has also made a number of guest appearances on numerous younger groups' songs, such as "Bender" by Sevendust, "Paralytic" by Dead Poetic, "Vengeance Is Mine" by Droid, "Caviar" by Dance Gavin Dance, "Surrender Your Sons" by Norma Jean, and "Reprogrammed to Hate" by Whitechapel. In 2009, Moreno recorded a song with Thirty Seconds to Mars to appear on their album This Is War, but was not finished. On May 2, 2010, he performed "The Kill" with 30 Seconds to Mars.
Moreno's musical influences consist of a wide range of styles and genres, notably groups such as The Cure, Bad Brains, PJ Harvey, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Public Enemy, Duran Duran, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, Helmet, Jawbox, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Hum, Kool Keith, Alice in Chains, Tool, Girls Against Boys, Jane's Addiction and Weezer. For Revolver he selected five non-metal records that influenced him: The Cure's Pornography, Helium's No Guitars, Mogwai's EP+2, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and The Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. He also made a list of his thirteen favourite albums for The Quietus, containing Small Craft on a Milk Sea by Brian Eno, Sunset Mission by Bohren und der Club of Gore, Fever Ray's self-titled album, Venus Luxure No.1 Baby by Girls Against Boys, Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol, You'd Prefer An Astronaut by Hum, Saturdays = Youth by M83, Black Noise by Pantha du Prince, Love Deluxe by Sade, Talkie Walkie by Air, Born to Mack by Too Short, The Blue Moods of Spain by Spain and Standards by Tortoise.
In an August 1998 interview with Spin, Moreno stated "I was one of those kids who thought heavy metal was devil music. I can't say I'm really a metal fan or a hip hop fan, cause there's so many crappy bands out there. I just like a little bit of everything. I think other people are starting to think that way too." Regarding the influence of female artists such as PJ Harvey, Moreno also stated "I know people think I'm a fag. I really love girly stuff."
In relation to his often ambiguous yet image-heavy poetic lyrics, he quotes: "[Sometimes] my lyrics don't deal with specific topics. I write down on paper the feelings of the moment, it's not easy to explain the contents of the lyrics or give a logical sense to the words. What I write is also a reaction to the music we make, so the Deftones' sound is not pop, it doesn't communicate happy feelings. Paradoxically my favorite songs of the album talk about love, in a clearly different view." Despite this, Moreno has been known to write songs about social issues such as racism, prostitution, urban violence, and drugs. However, even these songs can be rather vague and cryptic.
Chino has two sons from his first marriage, and a daughter from his second marriage. He now resides in Bend, Oregon.