Chino Moreno is a man of many bands, and in 2022, the Deftones frontman is revisiting his early 2010s outfit ††† (Crosses), but as many fans may have noticed, the group is now a duo rather than a trio. During a chat with Kerrang!, Moreno and his Crosses cohort Shaun Lopez offer some insight on the decision to return as a two-piece, pushing forward without bassist Chuck Doom.

Discussion of Doom's absence came up as Lopez was discussing working on new music without Doom, who had been part of the band's initial three EPs that were gathered for the group's 2014 self-titled full-length debut album.

Initially speaking about the creative process for the new PERMANENT.RADIANT EP, Lopez told Kerrang!, “In the back of my mind, and probably in the back of Chino’s, it was like, ‘We took one main writer out.' I wasn’t feeling very confident. If you’re making a fucking soup and you don’t have no pepper, it’s gonna be a different thing, right? It might not be as good.”

It was at that point that the two musicians then opened up about the breakdown of the working relationship with Doom. Lopez stated, “To be honest, and without being dramatic or bad mouthing people, as it went on, me and Chuck just ... He was going this way, I was going that way, and Chino was caught in the middle."

Lopez, also known for fronting the band Far, added, "I think Chuck wanted to do his solo thing and involve Chino, which kind of meant he wanted to do Crosses without me. Which is just fucking comedy. If I’m gonna get on my Liam Gallagher vibe for a minute (laughs) it’s like, ‘Come on, bro, are you kidding me?’ Anytime I would get together with Chuck to make some new tunes, something had seriously changed in the vibe." He then added, "It was a bummer because the whole reason this stopped for that many years [after the first album] is because of one person and that one person isn’t in Crosses now.”

Moreno then chimed in. “It was a really tough thing,” he explained. “It wasn’t a decision we made, like, ‘We want to do this without Chuck.’ He just really wasn’t present, he had other projects he was taking more interest in. There were two options: either we don’t do it at all, or we try it with just us two. We chose the latter."

According to Moreno, he revealed that his friendship with Doom, whom he also worked with in Team Sleep and Saudade, had suffered as a result of the decision to move forward with Crosses without him. "I love that dude," Moreno says of Doom. "I appreciate him as a musician, and as a friend. Hopefully, we work that out at some point."

Sharing his view of the working breakdown, Moreno commented, "Shaun and his relationship had been fractured for quite some time before all this. My job wasn’t just to be creative anymore. For lack of a better word, I was ‘refereeing’ the writing project. That wasn’t fun at all. I could have fun making music with Chuck, I could have fun making music with Shaun, but making music together became like pulling teeth. That’s not the reason we started doing this. That’s probably as deep as I’ll go into that. It’s pretty self-explanatory.”

After an extended break, ††† (Crosses) dropped a cover song in 2020 and issued some non-album tracks in 2021. Now PERMANENT.RADIANT is finally almost here with a planned Dec. 9 street date.

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