Interview with Norma Jean: A Band Amongst Heroes

What was it like working with him?

It was awesome. He came out to Ross’s studio in LA. The Deftones were actually recording at the same time up north, but Chino was in LA, so he came in for two days. It was a different experience, we had a couple of riffs that we could use, but we really didn’t know what to expect about writing this song. So he came in and we all just got in a room—four of us with a guitar and Ross, and Chino just tuned his guitar up first and started playing this riff and we were like, whoa that’s awesome! And Ross loved it too, was like that’s it, we’re starting right there. So we just built the song from that, and it all happened very naturally without any kind of plan, so it was cool.

Cove Reber of Saosin sings on the record as well, how did that come about?

Right! Well, we did a tour with Saosin late last year and hit it off with those dudes—they’re really cool and we just got to be friends with Cove. They’re actually from San Diego and he was working on some stuff in LA at the time, and just happened to come and hang out in the studio every once in a while. Cory thought his voice would go really well with some back ups where he didn’t want it to be his voice backing up himself, so Cove came in and was stoked to help us out.

Did he help write any of the songs?

He actually helped write a lot of the vocal part on the song we did with Chino. After a while Chino had to go back up [for] the Deftones record, and he hadn’t done vocals yet, so we were like ok, how are we gonna do this? Is Chino gonna even be able to do it after we wrote the song with him, is he even gonna be able to be on the record now? And it was getting late in the recording process so Cory and Cove were like, you know what, we better just do this just to make sure we have it, so they sat down and wrote the lyrics and the vocal parts together for that song and loved it. Then we [sent] Chino the song where the Deftones were recording, and he put his parts on it up there, so Cove was definitely a big part of that song also.

Why did you guys choose to work with Ross Robinson again?

It was definitely a dream of ours to work with him the first time on Redeemer. We grew up loving things he had done over the years, everything from the first Korn back in the day to At The Drive-In and Glassjaw, stuff like that. So when we worked with him on Redeemer we clicked really well.

As a band we always wanted our recordings to have a live feel, not a sterile, hooked-up-to-a-tuner type feel, and he was into the exact same thing. He likes digging in deeper about what the song is about and really making it come alive. Everybody that’s playing knows exactly what the song is about, and you play different when you know what you’re playing for. We work together really well and love that vibe that he gets out of us, so we definitely wanted to work with him again for The Anti- Mother.