Name: Camillo Wong Moreno
DOB: June 20th, 1970
Birth Place: Sacramento, CA
Bands: Deftones, Team Sleep
Instruments playable: Drums, Guitar
Position within Deftones: Vocals, Guitar
"I see boundaries more clearly now than I used to. I'm better at toying with people cerebrally than I was a few years ago. I'm better at fucking with your head."
Chino Moreno was born Camillo Wong Moreno, on June 20th 1970. He is of mixed ancestry, his mother being Mexican, Chinese, Irish and Native American. He was given a nickname at a young age, namely Chinito, which was the mexican word for Chinese. This is due to his striking eastern-asian features. None of his family or freinds ever used to call him by his real name, and they soon started to call him Chino for short. He does use his real name however, when giving credit to himself on his albums.
He was born in Sacramento, CA, where Chino led a stable and somewhat normal life. His family was considerably larger than most American families, being the eldest of three brothers, as well as having two sisters. Funnily enough, his greatest idol was his mother, who was also his teacher at one point. Some people would be embarrased by this, but Chino was okay with it. Ironically, he never got into trouble, always behaving himself. He was a kind of teacher's pet, but the reason is quite obvious.
His mother, Debbie, first discovered Chino's musical talents in his excellent sense of rhythm. He used to drum on pots and pans in beat with songs on the radio. He would later start to sing along with the songs, though not in the usual sense. He would normally harmonise with the backing music rather than sing along with the vocals. Chino, however, did not want to persue this natural ability, and instead chose to persue skateboarding like some many other Californian kids.
With skateboarding came a new anti-social behaviour within Chino and his friends. While he never got in trouble with the law or in school, his parents always told him off for hassling shopkeepers and such. Him and his friends used to skate around the streets instead of the skate parks, and got in trouble with the police, but was never arrested. They never did go to the skate park and kept skating around the crowded streets of Sacramento.
Surpsingly, Chino was never interested in heavy metal despite his future career. While his freinds were into Metallica and Slayer, Chino was listening to bands such as The Cure and the Culture Club, and such other new-romantic british bands. One time on Halloween, he dressed up as Boy George for fun, with full mascara, lipstick and everything. As he grew older, he got into the darker side of British rock, like bands such as Depeche Mode. When he reached his late teen years, he started to wear black as did a lot of teenagers at that time.
Later on, as this interest in music flourished, he started to experiment with instruments, his first choice being the drums because he felt there were too many guitarists and not enough drummers (besides, the guitar looked harder to play). He used to play the drums every day after school, and would practise well into the evening. His mother, while very optmisitc about Chino developing his love of music, did not like the idea of a drum kit in the garage. When Chino started to get into the heavier side of music (especially Bad Brains) he tried to develop his style so it would sound like some of those bands. But however hard he tried, he couldn't convince himself that he was a good drummer and quit.
He sold the drum kit and bought a microphone and stand. He started to sing along with the songs on the radio proper, but never considered a career in a band. His parents noticed how good his voice had developed musically, and instisted that he try it out. His chance for such a career came when his cousin was walking past a garage and saw a teenager playing guitar, who turned out to be future Deftones guitarist Steven Carpenter. His cousin met him, and told Chino about him. They went to meet each other, and there and then they formed what would soon be called The Deftones. They would later recruit Abe Cunningham as a drummer and play shows. After Steven got hit by a drunk driver, he managed to get a large cash sum to spend on the best equipment money could buy. Deftones began playing locally shortly thereafter, and going through several different bass players, before finding a permanent bassist in the form of Chi Cheng.
They were later signed to Warner Brothers Records, and they rest, as they say, is history.
Chino would later develop a talent for the guitar, one that seems to have superseded his drum talent, as he would later go on to use it on his albums.