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For DEFTONES' vocalist Chino Moreno, having one of the hottest new CDs out -- the now GOLD "White Pony" -- just isn't enough. In Moreno's spare time, he's working on a side project called TEAM SLEEP. Moreno calls the music "very nocturnal, droney, ambient. It's pretty experimental. I'm writing short, pop songs for the project, and blending organic sounds with electronic equipment. It's kind of Massive Attack-ish."

The core of Team Sleep is Moreno, DJ Crook, and Chino's childhood friend, guitarist Todd Wilkenson, but expect to see a variety of Moreno's musician buddies make contributions here and there. Melissa Auf Der Maur from Hole is singing vocals on one track. "I wanted Melissa because I wanted a vocal that sounded angelic," Moreno explains. "Frank [Delgado, Deftones' DJ] has been very involved in the music, and Abe [Cunningham, Deftones drummer] may do some drumming. Everyone in the Deftones will probably get a little piece of it," says Moreno.

"Deftones are touring a lot, and the road can be boring. I can put most of the equipment I use for this in a case, and bring it to my hotel room to work on after shows or on days off." Using guitar or keyboards, Moreno will put basic ideas down on a four-track, send the tape to Crook who transfers everything to a 16-track, then develops beats to the music using an old SP-12. Wilkenson does the same with his basic ideas. Everything goes through Crook, then he sends the tapes back to Chino who records his vocals. To date, Team Sleep has completed about four or five songs, and is looking to finish about a dozen.

The idea for Team Sleep came about when Deftones label Maverick asked for an acoustic version of the band's "Be Quiet and Drive." "I really enjoyed doing that. It was simple, I could work on the music by myself, and use my own ideas that weren't really typical Deftones-type material." The Deftones' track "Teenager" from "White Pony," originally started out as a Team Sleep song, and is the only song on that album that uses a drum machine. "I hadn't written any vocals for it," says Moreno. "I played it for the band, and they were cool with it being on the album. Then Stef [Carpenter, Deftones' guitarist] and Frank collaborated on adding extra sounds to it."

Although as this point, there's no label or release date, Moreno hopes to have the as yet untitled CD finished and out sometime this year. - Copyright 2001