Vocalist Chino Moreno performing live
|Origin||Sacramento, California, USA|
|Genres||Alternative rock, trip hop, dream pop, shoegazing|
Team Sleep's music touches on many genres, including dream pop, trip hop, post-hardcore, shoegaze, post-rock, and electronica. More so than the Deftones, many of Team Sleep's themes and lyrics are fantastical and imaginative in nature, drawing from such literary sources as Edgar Allan Poe and historical events like the Jonestown Massacre.
As of 2007, Team Sleep is composed of Moreno, guitarist Todd Wilkinson, turntablist DJ Crook, drummer Zach Hill and bass guitarist/keyboardist Rick Verrett.
The origins of Team Sleep started when Moreno and his friend Todd Wilkinson bought a cassette tape Portastudio-type four-track recorder in 1994. They continued this collaboration through the first two Deftones albums, though on a rather casual basis. Wilkinson said,
- We were never going to make a record, or start a band ... I was just sitting at home, playing guitar, and I started recording some stuff. It was never about trying to play shows, record in a studio, or anything of that sort. It was just bumming around. I had never been in a band, and I never wanted to be—we were just good friends.
DJ Crook, a long-time friend and roommate of Deftones turntablist/keyboardist Frank Delgado, added beats and turntables to "Teenager", a glitchy, trip hop-shaded song. Originally intended as a Team Sleep song, "Teenager" was ultimately included on White Pony (2000), the third Deftones album.
DJ Crook has a reoccurring DJ set called "Crucial Fix" every Friday night at a local Sacramento bar called The Golden Bear. Members of Team Sleep, Death Grips, Will Haven, Red Tape & Deftones are seen there when Crook is performing on Friday nights.
Team Sleep forms
Team Sleep performed a number of live shows on the United States' west coast in late 2001 and early 2002, with Moreno, Wilkinson, Dan Elkan (Pocket For Corduroy), Sonny Mayugba (Phallucy), Zach Hill (Hella), Rick Verrett (Tinfed), Joel Tidwell, and DJ Crook handling instrumentation. Their early live set included a loose cover of The Smashing Pumpkins' "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" among others.
Until mid-2005, the only early Team Sleep recording to have been officially released was "The Passportal", an instrumental featured on The Matrix Reloaded: The Album. A version of "The Passportal" with lyrics and vocals by Moreno has circulated on the internet under the title "Apollonia".
Recording debut album
A full album's worth of material was finished between 2002–2003, but Moreno was reportedly angered after Team Sleep songs were circulated on the internet, mostly by members of the Deftones' own official message board. This, coupled with the release and supporting tour for Deftones' fourth album, kept Team Sleep's recordings from being officially released. In 2002 there was also a Team Sleep world premiere on POWER 106 FM in Los Angeles, when "Mercedes" was played once.
Singers Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Faith No More) and Melissa Auf der Maur (ex-Hole, ex-Smashing Pumpkins) were involved in recording sessions, but their contributions were not included on the final album ("Kool-Aid Party", featuring Patton, has circulated on the internet). Singers Rob Crow (of San Diego based band Pinback) and Mary Timony (of the band Helium) were the only vocalists other than Moreno on the debut album.
Team Sleep's record was originally scheduled for a November, 2004 release, but Maverick Records were reportedly so impressed by the album they postponed the release until mid-2005 to allow for promotion. Chino supposedly commented that "[I] didn't know whether to be happy that they were impressed, or pissed that they didn't expect much [from Team Sleep] in the first place."
Rumors began to circulate in January 2005 that Team Sleep had broken up due to a falling out between Chino Moreno and DJ Crook. Many fans were distraught at the fact that the long-awaited project might never surface, but the rumors were later proved false.
The debut album has done away with almost all of the previous tracks, only carrying over five of the originals, three of those heavily revamped.
A DJ named 'C-Minus' opening at a Deftones concert at the House of Blues in West Hollywood in October, 2004 premiered the newest version of the Team Sleep song "Cambodia" to the crowd. This song's title was later changed to "Ever (Foreign Flag)".
The official Team Sleep website surfaced and included an audio/video clip of the song "Death By Plane".
Team Sleep was finally released on May 10, 2005, to mostly positive reviews. "The best part about it is having completion of something you've been working on, and having it done right," Moreno said in a statement. "It's fun, working with different people, everybody works differently. When I have time off from music, I want to make other music. That's what I do, that's what's fun, that's what makes me happy." (mtv.com)
"Ever (Foreign Flag)", co-written with producer Greg Wells, is considered to be the first single from Team Sleep. Notably absent from the completed album are "Mercedes", "Apollonia", "Iceache", "Death by Plane", "Solid Gold", "Acoustic One", and "Kool-Aid Party". The demo "Cambodia" was revamped and appeared on the album in the form of "Ever (Foreign Flag)" and "Natalie Portman" was revised into "Live from the Stage".
Following Team Sleep's first release, the band toured and began posting various demos on their MySpace page.
The second album
On July 13, 2007 the band sent out a Myspace bulletin saying that they are currently working on a new album. They said that "Formant" would, in fact, be on the new album; this is referring to the (instrumental) song "am formant" that they have previously put on their Myspace page. No information on the current band line-up was given other than the fact that Zach Hill would be playing drums. Three other songs were then posted on the band's Myspace, each instrumental, called "Headhunter", "Seablock", and "Tennisface".
In an interview (November '07) Chino stated that Team Sleep will not be releasing a full-length album until 2010. The band has said that will be releasing a series of free EPs that will likely contain the songs that have appeared on their Myspace page over the last year as well. Neither the full-length nor the free EPs have surfaced, however.
The band has debuted new songs on their winter tour, such as "New Guitar", "Fen Fen", "March" and "Crook vs. Zach".
Chino's Interview 2/3/2012
On Friday February 3 Chino was in Sacramento, CA to promote and perform in his new side project, Crosses. During an interview with 98 Rock Chino was asked briefly about Team Sleep and what future holds for them. Chino stated that "Team Sleep is still VERY MUCH alive" and that "we have not had the opportunity to make music together in a long time, but that will soon change."
- Team Sleep, Untitled-Unmastered (2002)
- Team Sleep (May 10, 2005)
- Michael Roberts: Q&A With Chino Moreno of Team Sleep and Deftones, November 28, 2007. Visited 2014-03-12.