WHEN Deftones released their album Diamond Eyes, they had a renewed sense of power and purpose.

Praised by fans and critics and bristling with energy, the CD marked a new era for the Californian musicians after tensions nearly split the band just years earlier.

But behind that success was turmoil and tragedy.

In November 2008, bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a serious car crash which left him in a coma.

So it was with a heavy heart that the band started to pour themselves into their work.

Frontman Chino Moreno told the Guardian: “We were all going through a lot. So to us it was healthy to put our heads into our work.

“We spent every day together making music. As a band, and as friends, we became really close and that’s where the newfound energy came from.

“We began to appreciate how precious things can be and took advantage of every day.”

Deftones’ change in musical direction was to such an extent that an album the band was working on called Eros when Chi had his accident has been ‘delayed indefinitely’.

Chino added: “We had a great time making that record but with what happened to Chi, we’d be putting energy into something we don’t want to reflect on just yet.”

Deftones are now on tour to promote their new album Koi No Yokan while Chi continues to recover.

“We had a blast making it,” said Chino, 39.

“It was kind of an extension of what we were doing with Diamond Eyes.”

Koi No Yokan is a Japanese phrase which roughly translates as ‘premonition of love’.

“It’s a neat sentiment I came across,” added Chino.

“I remember having a feeling similar to that. There’s an optimistic feeling behind it and that fits in because it’s an optimistic record.

“We’re expelling a bunch of demons rather than being in a place of despair.”

Deftones are renowned for their diverse influences but even their biggest fans might be surprised by one of the inspirations for Koi No Yokan - his 15-year-old son Jakobe.

Chino said: “I’ve been listening to a lot of piano music because my son plays piano all the time - but how that seeps into what we do, I don’t know.”

This year also marks the band’s 25th anniversary since Chino, Stephen Carpenter and Abe Cunningham got together in C.K.McClatchy High School in 1988.

That journey has seen them go from playing to their friends at parties to selling millions of records and touring the world.

“The teachers put us in the school paper,” added Chino.

“They were really supportive but they didn’t think we’d amount to much. They saw it as a little project as friends.

“There’s no way I thought I’d still be doing this now. I was just happy to be making music.

“We used to play backyard parties so it’s been a huge learning curve for us.”

Those 25 years have also offered time to reflect - and Chino told the Guardian he has been listening to old tapes from their early years.

He said: “We had so much energy and passion and, I’m only speaking for myself, but back then I was terrible singer.

“In that way we’ve come a long way.”

Above all, Deftones feel they have proved themselves after being unfairly labelled as ‘nu-metal’ which was fashionable when they were at their height.

Chino added: “We’ve never tried to fit in with the times or try to get close to a certain style.

“Bands have come and gone around us and we’ve been lumped in with these terms for years and it doesn’t really bother me anymore - but it used to a lot.

“We’ve stood the test of time.”

Deftones perform at Manchester Academy on Monday, February 18.