DEFTONES’ New Album Tenatively Due In September

DEFTONES singer Chino Moreno has offered an update on the band’s follow-up to 2016’s “Gore” album, which was recently recorded for a tentative late 2020 release. Speaking to Tim “Herb” Alexander for the PRIMUS drummer’s “Herb’s Happy Hour” show, Chino said (see video below): “We have a record that we finished maybe — I don’t know — about a month ago, we finally got all the final mixes of it. It’s supposed to come out in, I think, September. But we’re really happy with it. We worked with one of our longtime producer buddies, Terry Date, who did our first three albums. We hadn’t done a record with him in a while, and we went back in the studio with him, and it was super awesome.

“It’s kind of been weird, because we recorded everything — the music stuff — all last summer in L.A., and then we have been working on overdubs and vocals and mixing and all that stuff since then, so it’s almost been a year,” he continued. “But, obviously the last six months have kind of been doing everything remote [due to the coronavirus pandemic]… Mainly, it was just me. All the music stuff was done, so just mainly vocal stuff, and then mixing and mastering, going back and forth. But we finally finalized everything, I wanna say a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago now. It’s gonna be sweet. I’m excited about it.”

Moreno previously told Apple Music about DEFTONES‘ decision to reconnect with Date for the new album: “We’ve always wanted to go back and make records with him again… We love Terry. He’s pretty much been there since the beginning of us making records, and we just vibe with him really good. I mean, he’s super easy-going. He’s not a producer that is in there trying to push his ideas into what we’re doing other than just capture what it is that happens when we get together, as well as speaking up and telling us when stuff isn’t where it should be or whatever. So he’s just a great dude, and making this record with him was awesome. I think our main goal was to make sure that everybody in the band was involved, to an extent. I think our best records are when we’re all firing on all pistons, each one of us individually and collectively. So that was, I think, the only thing that we aim for, really.”

This past May, DEFTONES postponed their 2020 North American tour due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. The Live Nation-produced 20-date trek with GOJIRA and POPPY. was scheduled to kick off on July 27 and conclude on September 5.

DEFTONES have released eight studio albums to date and have sold over ten million albums worldwide.

DEFTONES is Moreno, drummer Abe Cunningham, programmer Frank Delgado, guitarist Stephen Carpenter and bassist Sergio Vega.

“Gore” bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2016, moving over 71,000 units first week and marking DEFTONES‘ highest chart position in 13 years. The band also curated, launched, presented and headlined its own festival, Dia De Los Deftones, in 2018. Selling out both installments to date, the eclectic lineups hosted everyone from FUTURE and CHVRCHES to GOJIRA and MEGAN THEE STALLION.

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Robb Flynn (MACHINE HEAD Frontman) performs “Change (in the House of Flies)”

Originally posted on Facebook Live on June 26th, Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn’s latest Acoustic Happy Hour features Flynn running through covers of Slipknot (“Snuff”), Pearl Jam (“Black”), Deftones (“Change”), and Staind (“Outside”), plus Machine Head tunes “Is There Anybody Out There?” and “Circle The Drain”. Check it out below.

13 Bands Who Wouldn’t Be Here Without Deftones

Sacramento’s Deftones emerged from the nu-metal scene of the mid-90s but they were always a band apart. They could do the low, down-tuned lurch with the best of them, especially on their first two albums. There was always a lot more to them than mere heaviness though and they mixed in layers of light, shade and atmosphere better than just about anyone else out there. Chino Moreno’s vocal versatility was another potent weapon in their armoury as he swooped and adapted to the ever-shifting soundscapes churned out by the band.

Throughout the years they’ve maintained impressive levels of both invention and consistency – which isn’t a combination many artists manage. They’ve passed through tragedy and adversity and, with album number nine seemingly now confirmed, they show no sign of stopping just yet. They’re one of the most influential acts around and here are just 13 others who owe them a huge debt…


We’ll start with an easy one. Fightstar have covered Minerva and My Own Summer (Shove It) – the latter for a Kerrang!’s High Voltage (A Brief History of Rock) CD. Charlie Simpson once told Kerrang! Radio: “The pinnacle moment in my life musically was when I heard Around The Fur by Deftones. I was veering into all these different styles of music and then I heard this album and it just blew my mind. It encompassed everything that I wanted out of music on one record.” Without Deftones, Fightstar almost certainly would never have existed, although we still would have had Busted.


Thursday’s churning post-hardcore always owed a lot to scene luminaries Quicksand but Deftones were another clear influence. Talking about Thursday’s mid-2000s emo tag, frontman Geoff Rickly said: “I really admire the Deftones, who came out during the height of the nu metal craze. The Deftones are to nu-metal what I hope Thursday becomes to emo — the Deftones were never really doing what everybody thought they were doing, and actually, they’re pretty interesting.”


Deftones were one of the first major bands to bring elements of shoegaze to the metal world. “When we were doing White Pony, I played (My Bloody Valentine album) Loveless for Terry [Date, producer]. I was like, ‘I want to get the record to sound like this!’,” Chino Moreno told Revolver. A decade later Nothing would take the baton and drag that droning blueprint to ever-more extreme places. Deftones certainly aren’t the only recognisable influence in Dominic Palermo’s cathartic wash of distortion and volume, but they do appear to be a major one.


Imagine being Loathe. Your new album (I Let It In And It Took Everything, released in February this year) takes a highly Deftones-inspired mix of swirling beauty and heavy distortion, albeit imbued with a metalcore kick. You’ve talked about Deftones being a huge influence – for frontman Kadeem France they were the band that took him from ’90s hip-hop like A Tribe Called Quest and opened the door to a whole new world of heavy music. Then, out of the blue, Chino Moreno shares your single Two-Way Mirror on his personal Twitter account. “I leave work, start listening to the Deftones on my route home, and when I get home and connect to the internet my phone starts blowing up and I see that Chino has shared Two-Way Mirror,” Kadeem told Revolver. “He’s screaming in my ears as I’m screaming the house down in excitement.”


When Architects were chosen to support Deftones at Wembley Arena in 2015 it must have felt like a huge bucket list moment. Frontman Sam Carter has spoken about his huge admiration for the band, and the late Tom Searle and fellow guitarist Adam Christianson singled out White Pony as one of the albums that had shaped Architects’ sound. Adam told Music Radar: “Stef Carpenter is not really a trained guitar player. Which is a really cool thing, because anything goes! As a trained musician, you might get blinded to possibilities because it’s not the right thing technically. He uses his ears rather than scales, and always plays what sounds cool, which is more interesting to me.” Alas, that particular Wembley show was not to be as the tragedy at Bataclan led to a postponement, but you can still hear Architects’ hero worship on their stonking cover of Change (In The House Of Flies), which they recorded for a Spotify Singles session.


In some ways, Deafheaven’s hulking mix of black metal aggression and post-rock atmospherics is like Deftones turned up to 11. When it comes to the elder statesmen, a lot of the focus is placed upon Chino’s acrobatic, emotive vocals and those churning guitars, but the rhythm section has also had a major impact on many of your favourite bands. As Deafheaven drummer Daniel Tracy told Revolver: “Abe Cunningham is one of my all-time favourite drummers, and his style is hugely influential for me. The way that he fits crazy tight jazzy fills into a heavy groove is forever impressive.”


Oceans are more relative newcomers channelling the Deftones into interesting new areas. Their recent debut album The Sun And The Cold features a big Deftones influence woven through big nu-metal riffs and expansive post-metal soundscapes. A prior EP Cover Me In Darkness featured four tracks from acts that had moved them to “represent Oceans in its entirety”, with one of said songs being My Own Summer (Shove It). Frontman Timo Rottem, who describes himself as the band’s ‘nu-metal guy’ told Kerrang!: “I think it’s about the raw emotion in the music and the lyrics. It’s not so much about being very technical, it’s about bringing this raw emotion out of yourself and transferring it to the listener.”


When Deftones recruited synth-pop trio CHVRCHES for their Dia De Los Deftones festival last year, the internet went into meltdown. Even Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta had a pop but Deftones themselves have always brought diverse elements into their music and refused to sit in any narrowly defined genre. Brought together for a Kerrang! feature, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry told Chino: “That was what excited me when I found your music. It had these two strains in it. It could appeal to people in that vein, but also to people outside of it, with different sensibilities. I learned to care about genre when I was a teenager. People would say, ‘You can’t listen to that.’ And you’d think, ‘I didn’t know! No-one told me!’”


When members of crunching metalcore crew A Life Once Lost teamed up with VESSL (who, to be fair, already sounded a lot like Deftones) and a number of other East Coast sluggers, something far more measured and atmospheric was born. VEXES frontman Charlie Berezansky described their sound as “the fusion of something heavy and hypnotic with these sort of ambient ethereal melodies”. Sound familiar? Take a listen to their debut album Ancient Geometry and, if you’re a Deftones fan, you’ll find a lot to love. It’s also becoming apparent that bands who really like Deftones also really like WRITING THEIR NAMES IN ALL CAPS.

Will Haven

Will Haven actually came from the same Sacramento scene as Deftones and Far, albeit closer to the hardcore end of the spectrum. While Will Haven have never enjoyed quite the same status as Deftones, the bands have remained intertwined, playing shows together and guesting on various projects. Will Haven guitarist and primary songwriter Jeff Irwin also credits the friendship with keeping his own creative fire burning. He told Revolver in 2018: “I grew up with the Deftones and Far guys way before Will Haven even existed. They’ll always be close friends of mine. It’s cool. I think that’s maybe why we continue to do it. When we’re home, I hang out with the Deftones guys all the time and hear stories from them. I’m like, ‘Wow, let’s do some more music, I want to experience that again.’ Being friends with those guys keeps us hungry to do stuff and play music.”


Before metalcore really kicked in it seemed like every other band in Australia wanted to be Deftones. You had the likes of Cog and The Butterfly Effect but the daddies remain Karnivool. Their prog-laden sound might owe as much to Tool but Deftones were very much a big early influence. As they geared up to support their heroes in Oz in 2016, guitarist Mark ‘Hoss’ Hosking told Music Feeds: “Deftones are one of those seminal bands for us that really helped us create who we wanted to be – their sound back then was awesome.”


Okay, so Slipknot would definitely still exist without Deftones. They already existed in a nascent form but were still coalescing and yet to play a gig when Deftones released their debut album Adrenaline in 1995. But the Sacramento crew did have a major impact on many of their peers and Corey Taylor recently spoke about their ongoing influence on the ‘Knot. The singer told Loaded Radio: “Deftones, with White Pony, it was night-and-day from what they had done with Around The Fur or even the first album. So it was almost like they allowed bands like us and a ton of other bands to have the freedom to explore. I think that’s how you continue to do it, and you explore the concept of longevity — by not resting on your laurels.”

Suicide Silence

While we’re pushing the envelope a little, we’ll finish with Suicide Silence and get some deathcore fans gnashing their teeth. They might have existed without Deftones but there’s a good chance their self-titled 2017 album wouldn’t. Their stylistic shift to a distinctly ‘Tones-flavoured sound had some fans so distraught that an online petition was launched to try to halt the album’s release. Late vocalist Mitch Lucker had been a big Deftones fan and told AU Review: “The bands that made me want to be in a band to begin with were groups like Korn, Deftones, Slayer, Sepultura… everything that my dad would buy and bring home to me and my brother saying ‘Hey, listen to this’.” Suicide Silence had also covered Engine #9 live with Mitch, albeit with distinctly unclean vocals.

Posted on June 29th 2020, 1:00pm

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The 20 Greatest Deftones Songs – Ranked

Forming in Sacramento, California all the way back in 1988, and releasing eight outstanding LPs over the last 25 years (with number nine on its way), Deftones have indelibly shaped the alternative metal genre while remaining a band apart. Always one step ahead, that bit smarter, sharper, more daring than even their closest peers, they rapidly outgrew the nu-metal boom from which they emerged, changed the game with third album White Pony and have proceeded to drive towards the horizon ever since.

Although the core dynamic between vocalist Chino Moreno’s art-rock fixation and guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s far heavier metal influence remains key, the collective has always been crucial, with Abe Cunningham’s pounding drums propelling the vision, electronic-specialist Frank Delgado layering it up since his arrival in 1998, while tragically-departed bassist Chi Cheng and his successor Sergio Vega add a warmth and fullness of body.

Choosing just 20 songs to represent a catalogue this complex and universally rewarding feels almost reductive, but we’ve had a crack at distilling down what has made Deftones’ journey so fascinating nonetheless. As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments…

20. Beware (Saturday Night Wrist, 2006)

Fifth album Saturday Night Wrist was the product of unprecedented tension in the Deftones camp. Moving away from long-time producer Terry Date with a view to working with Gorillaz collaborator Dan The Automator before eventually settling on legendary Pink Floyd recordist Bob Ezrin, they were in unfamiliar territory from the off. Add into that Chino’s struggle with addiction and a failing marriage – not to mention his preoccupation with (excellent) side-project Team Sleep – and they were being truly stretched. Although the resultant album remains a thrilling listen, Beware is its only standalone track to make this list. A cautionary tale from Chino against the lure of sex, drugs alcohol and any other vice that can derail the creative process, it pulsates with temptation and threat.

19. Diamond Eyes (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

Deftones were already working on their sixth album – tentatively named Eros – when bassist Chi Cheng was involved in the car crash that would leave him in a semi-comatose state for the next four-and-a-half years before ultimately claiming his life. That work was put on ice, no longer representative of its creators as artists or human beings in the wake of the accident. When they did return in 2010, this title-track opened the album which would define their onward journey. Devastatingly heavy yet painfully beautiful, it came on like the soundtrack to some metaphysical horror movie, with Chino declaring, ‘I am the shadow, and the smoke in your eyes / I am the ghost, that hides in the night’ as it builds towards its utterly cataclysmic climax.

18. Digital Bath (White Pony, 2000)

If the brilliance of White Pony is in its delicate balance of beauty and menace, then Digital Bath might be its purest distillation. The album was the first to feature keyboard/turntable specialist Frank Delgado as a permanent member, and his fingerprints are all over this, lending the quieter passages of its turbulent song structure both shimmering stillness and unfathomable depth, irresistibly inviting the listener to dive in. The deeper inspiration of Chino’s pseudo-sexual 5am musing on what it would be like to predatorily lure a woman into a bath, electrocute her, then dry her off and dress her back up again lends the composition another, more nightmarish dimension.

17. Prayers/Triangles (Gore, 2016)

A showcase of the perpetual motion – that churning ebb and flow – that has always pulsated at the heart of Deftones’ work, the lead single for eighth album Gore felt immediately familiar to the band’s faithful following. At the same time, it is bathed in a warmth which feels more aligned with Chino’s blissfully ambient side-project Palms. Although the ethereal lyrics (‘There’s a new strange godless demon awake, inside me / There’s a force divine terrorising the angels I keep’) are a reckoning on the light/dark, good/bad dichotomy within the human psyche and the art we create, it is the sense of tentative positivity here that wins its place on this list.

16. Romantic Dreams (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

Although seventh album Koi No Yokan might be the band’s least-compelling body of work as an overarching collection – scant criticism in the context of this back catalogue – its numerous stand-out moments are amongst their most individually bracing. Fourth and final single Romantic Dreams burns like the last embers of a hazy summer night. That album title is a Japanese term referring not to love at first sight, but the expectation of falling in love at a later point, and the concept is reflected in Chino’s strange, soaring lyrics (‘I promise to watch and raise your babies’ and ‘I wish this night wouldn’t end’). All the while Carpenter’s riffage provides an anxious, chaotic counterpoint, touching Meshuggah levels of heaviosity.

15. Minerva (Deftones, 2003)

The lead single (and by some distance, the finest track) from Deftones’ self-titled fourth album is one of their most majestic compositions, and provided the first real signpost of the dreamier sounds the band have been exploring since. Full of shoegaze influence, it layers-up its numerous textures into a crushingly heavyweight whole, indebted to Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream era and Chicagoan alt.rockers Hum. A sea of feedback swells and subsides as Chino reckons on the desensitisation of heartbreak, ‘I get all numb when she sings it’s over / Such a strange numb and it brings my knees to the earth.’ Conversely, the epic music video – shot over 22 hours in California’s Colorado Desert – is the spectacular outcome of its makers having painfully endured sandstorms and sub-zero conditions.

14. Rocket Skates (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

Another heavyweight Diamond Eyes banger, Rocket Skates is all about that bludgeoning main riff. Less the soundtrack for a trip to the skate park than for some awesomely destructive spree, its almost unrelenting aggression and that distinct screech of GUNS! RAZORS! KNIVES!’ grab the listener by the throat and refuse to let go. We could deconstruct the latent sadism and twisted mystery of Chinos lyrics, or Rocket Skates’ role in the evolution of the quiet/loud formula in the Deftones DNA, but this is less a song to be fastidiously pored-over than a visceral statement best experienced at full volume.

13. Back To School (Mini Maggit)

A re-worked version of the seven-minute (also excellent) Pink Maggit which appeared on White Pony’s original release, disdained by the band as their attempt at writing a by-numbers hit single for the inevitable reissue it may have been, but Back To School captures a pivotal moment in time, bridging the first three albums spectacularly. Merging the crunchy rap-rock of Adrenaline, Around The Fur’s coming-of-age excitement and the artsy experimentalism of White Pony, it became the gateway drug for so many Millennial nu-metallers to move on to higher-minded sounds. The Paul Hunter-directed, Grant High School-set music video is a classic of the era.

12. Bored (Adrenaline, 1995)

Deftones’ debut LP proper (having released five extended demo tapes over the first half of the 1990s) was more about raw potential than any kind of balanced realisation of broader vision. Bored feels like a stand-out amongst the harsh, unrefined crunch elsewhere on the album, with the authenticity of Chino’s anguished wail (‘I GET BOOORED!’) and the thumping confidence of his bandmates’ composition demanding that they were talked about in the same breath as mighty Californian comrades Korn who had emerged the previous year.

11. Beauty School (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

A high-finesse sonic spectacle, Beauty School is as well-suited to pushing high end audio equipment to the limit as it is to stirring listeners’ souls. Interpretations of Chino’s characteristically arty/schlocky lyrics – ‘I like you when when you take off your face / Put away all your teeth / And take us way underneath / ’Cause you could die if you take it alone’ – have varied from the gently metaphorical (it being about embracing the beauty within) to the more playfully literal (a warning on the dangers of ingesting MDMA solo). Regardless of your reading, there’s a seductive yet insidious power that swirls throughout.

10. Lotion (Around The Fur, 1997)

One of the most powerfully tortured compositions on Around The Fur, Lotion was another prime example of Deftones’ harsh/soothing balance. The gut-punch as Chino wretches ‘I feel sick, I feel sick, I feel sick’ is countered by his conciliatory ‘It’s classical anyway / How cool are you I remember’. Crucially, rather than blending into perfunctory angst, every emotion is keenly felt. The contemptuous message to less committed contemporaries bleeding from lyrics like, ‘You’re just plain boring and you bore me to sleep’ and, ‘Hop off the train for a second and try to find your own fucking heart’ still feels relevant 23 years on.

9. Leathers (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

Leathers wasn’t officially a single off 2012’s Koi No Yokan, but it was the first music leaked out to a ravenous fanbase through the band’s official website. It felt like a guarantee that even after Chi Cheng’s accident and the subsequent upheaval (he would pass less than a month after the album was released), the band were able to continue on as powerful as they had been before. If anything, the drop from that distinctive ambient intro into one of their heaviest ever riffs – Chino seething, ‘This is your chance revolt, resist! / Open your chest, look down, reach in!’ – felt like a promise that they’d processed the pain of preceding years into some of their most inspired sounds.

8. Teething (The Crow: City Of Angels Soundtrack, 1996)

A crashing stand-alone release, it’s bewildering that Teething seems to have been lost to everyone but Deftones die-hards. Cropping up on the soundtrack to questionable The Crow sequel City Of Angels’ soundtrack alongside a host of heavyweight contemporaries like White Zombie and Korn, there are nu-metal hallmarks – the snarling, spring-loaded riffage, Abe Cunningham’s primal percussion, Chino’s furious rhymes – but the song was also a showcase for the uncompromising intelligence of a band happy to unleash their most angular attack on what was a huge commercial opportunity at the time. ‘How the fuck you gonna tell me what you don’t know,’ Chino rhymes with fitting defiance. ‘You got hair, clothes, the fashion, the cash flow / How the fuck you gonna tell me something? You’re this close to fashion, the cash flow!’

7. Tempest (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

Over the course of the Koi No Yokan cycle, struggling through a complex emotional process, the band frequently found themselves pondering on the end of the world. Although the idea of a whole album on the apocalypse was nixed, Tempest made it as the most compelling track on the album. Layering up from a murky first 60 seconds into one of their most powerful statements of foreboding, there is a breathtaking marriage of wonder and dread. When Chino says, ‘I’d like to be taken apart from the inside / Then spit through the circle right to the end’ you believe every word.

6. Knife Prty (White Pony, 2000)

Reportedly inspired by an unusual tourbus get together where everyone involved found themselves brandishing a separate blade from drummer Abe Cunningham’s knife collection, there’s a trippy, serrated power about Knife Prty. Chino expanded the scenario into the concept of an imaginary secret society where the tension between sex and violence is palpable. Actress/singer Rodleen Getsic, who was working next door to the band’s studio lends to that concept with beguiling guest vocals. On first hearing the album, the studio wanted this to be the lead single from White Pony, but Chino fought the idea because the song was too weird. Even more weirdly, popular Australian EDM duo Knife Party are named after this very song.

5. 7 Words (Adrenaline, 1995)

Written when Chino was just 16 years old, there is a seething anger about this top-of-the-class cut from debut LP Adrenaline that endures a quarter-century down the line. Lashing out at the oppression familiar to so many Latinos of a similar age in central California, the sense of subjugated rebellion is channelled into the pure mosh energy of the album title. Honed by a half-decade of live shows together up to that point rather than any real studio tinkering, there is an incendiary immediacy that strikes from the very first listen. All together now: ‘Suck, suck, suck, suck, suck it, bitch!’

4. Passenger (White Pony, 2000)

Flanked by a host of other incredible tracks it may have been, but no song encapsulates the overarching, boundary-busting brilliance of White Pony better than Passenger. Welcoming aboard Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan at the height of his powers, its six minutes unfold as a showcase for two of the greatest vocalists in alternative metal going full-tilt. Ostensibly charting the experience of getting it on in a car, the song overflows with psychosexual subtext as Chino reckons, ‘Here I lie, still and breathless, just like always…’ as his counterpart slithers in the background like a voice inside his head. Maynard’s ‘Roll the windows down, this cool night air is curious’ hook is arguably a moment to match anything he’s delivered with Tool or A Perfect Circle.

3. Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) (Around The Fur, 1997)

The final single from Around The Fur was also one of the first showcases of the brilliance waiting to be unlocked with their next stop down the road. Opening with a guitar line that could’ve belonged to any number of their nu-metal brethren before unfurling as a more melancholic, textured offering than what had been seen before – the purposeful androgyny of Chino’s voice a riposte to the meat-headed machismo of so much of the rest of the scene – Be Quiet And Drive felt like a rallying cry for a band and fanbase ready to step away. Sounding at times like an evolved version of Foo Fighters’ early work, it also promised that Deftones had what it takes to be utterly huge.

2. Change (In The House Of Flies) (White Pony, 2000)

The lead single from White Pony remains Deftones’ most commercially successful. More than that, it redefined who the Sacramento quintet were at the dawn of the new millennium – an apt buzz-builder for their transmogrification from nu-metal outsiders to alt.metal messiahs. A moody, widescreen soundscape becomes the canvas onto which Chino draws his abstract lyrics, imagining the metamorphosis of a person into a fly before they’re taken home to have their wings ripped off. Delivered with psychosexual sultriness, the band have teased that the song is a metaphorical examination of the change in a person after suffering a traumatic break-up. Whatever the meaning, that woozy delivery – ‘I took you home, set you on the glass / I pulled off your wings, then I laughed’ – remains the peerless vocalist’s most unapologetically creepy-crawly.

1. My Own Summer (Shove It) (Around The Fur, 1997)

Twenty-three years down the line, the lead single from Around The Fur feels like a throwback in many ways. Powered by a Stef Carpenter riff that bites as hard as the sharks featured in its famous music video, and that simple, quiet/loud dynamism that suggested the Californians might be spiritual heirs to Nirvana, My Own Summer has little of the horizon-driving scope or layered complexity of their more recent output. Taken on its own terms, however, it remains their most effective, impactful statement. Arriving amongst the angsty bombast of nu-metal, it was living proof that intelligence, subtlety and artfulness (‘The shade is a tool, a device, a saviour,’ Chino sings. ‘See, I try and look up to the sky but my eyes burn’) were commodities with which the band could make themselves legendary. That initial excitement felt by thinking fans of heavy music at the time lives on with every pulse-quickening, crowd-surging deployment of this smasher in the live arena.

Posted on June 26th 2020, 4:30pm

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Deftones Celebrate White Pony 20th Anniversary with Listening Party and New Merch Collection

Deftones are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their White Pony album with a global listening party and a new capsule of commemorative merch.

The band’s landmark 2000 album turned 20 years old this past Saturday (June 20th), and we’ve already listed 20 reasons why we still love the stellar LP, in addition to examining the album’s enduring impact.

Today (June 22nd), fans can join the band at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT for a global listening party via Deftones’ YouTube channel (posted below), with band members taking part in an online chat as the LP plays.

In addition to soaking in songs like “Change (In the House of Flies)”, “Digital Bath”, and “Passenger” again, fans can also rep White Pony with some new apparel issued in conjunction with the album’s 20th anniversary. A new capsule on Deftones’ merch site offers t-shirts, a hoodie, a satin jacket, a baseball cap, and more.

As previously reported, Deftones recently revealed that they plan to reissue White Pony later this year with a bonus alternate LP called Black Stallion. The extra disc will fulfill the band’s longtime dream of having each song on the album remixed, with DJ Shadow among the artists offering new takes on the White Pony tracks.

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Deftones Unveil New White Pony 20th Anniversary Merch Line

With a reissue on the way and an album listening party planned for later today (June 22), Deftones are doing plenty to celebrate the 20th anniversary of White Pony. And now fans will even be able to wear their love for the Sacramento gang’s third album with a new ‘White Pony 20th Anniversary Capsule’ merch drop.

Featuring a couple of T-shirts, a baseball tee, a longsleeve, a hoodie, jacket, shorts and even a White Pony flag, Deftones’ new anniversary collection is clearly a must-have for fans of Chino Moreno and co.’s iconic LP, with the ‘Shut up and take my money’ GIF instantly coming to mind when scanning the collection…

Read this: Deftones: An oral history of White Pony

As well as releasing a whole load of White Pony merch, Chino confirmed last week that an upcoming reissue of the record will also come with a full remix album.

“We’re going to do a sort of flipside entitled Black Stallion,” he said. “A lot of people are on it – some that inspired the writing on the original record itself. We had that idea pretty much 20 years ago, even before we started writing White Pony. It’s something we always joked about, and now it’s actually come to life.”

The reissue will also feature the ‘definitive’ White Pony tracklist, amending the fact that, when the LP appeared on streaming services, single Back To School (Mini Maggit) was track one, when in fact White Pony was originally supposed to begin with the song Feiticeira.

“I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to correct the order on streaming,” pondered Chino. “But at this point in time it kinda is what it is. I still think it’s a great record, but when we do the reissue we’re definitely going with the original version, mainly because that’s what it was intended to be.”

Check out Deftones’ new White Pony merch below:

Posted on June 22nd 2020, 2:11pm

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Deftones: An Oral History Of White Pony

The new millennium was less than a week old when Deftones decamped to a Hollywood mansion to begin work on their third album.

They were already in imperious form: their two previous albums – 1995’s Adrenaline and 1997’s Around The Fur – established them as one of the most acclaimed, innovative and incendiary bands to emerge in the ’90s. And a lot of bands (not to mention labels) were getting rich by peddling a brain cell-deficient strain of their musical DNA. But while Deftones – alongside Korn – were hailed as the founding fathers of the ascendant nu-metal scene, that very notion rankled with them. Instead of pride, they felt constricted – prisoners of association to a scene they never intended to create.

What was needed, then, was a defining artistic statement – a clinical, inarguable separation from the endless procession of baggy-jeaned angst reciters they had left in their wake. White Pony would eventually prove to be just that: a grandstanding realisation of their bid for individuation.

Between indulging in rock’n’roll excess and frequent spells on Tony Hawks on the PS1, together frontman/guitarist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, bassist Chi Cheng, drummer Abe Cunningham and turntablist Frank Delgado found a way of re-forging their signature sound. Applying a rich sense of ambience and atmosphere to their music, Deftones tempered their innate ferocity without diluting. With Terry Date on production and some magnificent guest vocals from Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on Passenger and Rodleen Getsic on Knife Party, the outcome was an 11-track body of work that continues to beguile listeners to this day.

Part of the enduring appeal of White Pony is its marriage of music that hits immediately with oblique lyrics that often defy direct interpretation. Then again, you don’t need to understand what Chino means when he sings ‘I taste you much better off teeth taste’ on Korea – you just feel it. What’s more, for all the poetic abstraction on offer, there remains a vivid cinematic quality to the narratives of songs like Change (In The House Of Flies), Digital Bath and Passenger. Abductions. Drug-induced hazes. Sexual fantasies. Doomed teenage romances. Murder via kitchen appliance and bathwater. Religious visions. In many ways White Pony is an album just waiting to be turned into a David Lynch film.

Released 20 years ago on June 20, it debuted at Number Three in the United States – catapulting the band onto the same shiny MTV shows and countdowns that typically featured Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Here, then, is an album that belongs in a rarefied fraternity of classic albums such as Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral, Soundgarden’s Superunknown, Tool’s Lateralus and Nirvana’s In Utero – a defiantly dark, scrupulously artistic and profoundly anti-commercial record that somehow tapped into an audience of millions worldwide.

Naturally, as with Adrenaline and Around The Fur, bands tried to imitate it, but this new blueprint was too complex to mimic (insert your own Shite Pony examples here). Bands could approximate the energy of Deftones’ music, but not the nuances, the musical intelligence and the lyrical abstraction. The Sacramento band had reached a summit even their most accomplished of peers could not.

Here, to mark the 20th anniversary of this classic album, what follows are collated observations and reflections given to Kerrang! over the years by Chino Moreno and Abe Cunningham on the classic album that left indelible hoofprints on modern rock music…

It All Started With The Artwork

Chino Moreno (vocals/guitar): “White Pony was definitely the only record up to that point where the art came before the music. I said I wanted to call it White Pony – there’s an old ’80s song [by Danish duo Laid Back] that has this line in it: ‘If you want to ride, ride the white pony.’ It’s a total drug reference. I looked on clipart for a free art outline of a pony and said I wanted that to be our thing. We were going to call the record White Pony before any song was written. That was the only time we ever did it, and it’s crazy how iconic it is now.”

White Ponycover

They Knew They Had To Change Things Up

Chino: “When we went into it we didn’t have an idea of what kind of record we wanted to make, but we knew we wanted to do something different, a little bit left of centre. At that time, especially after Around The Fur, a lot of bands were coming out and the nu-metal stigma was starting to brew and we were getting tossed in with that whole category of music. White Pony was our answer to it, just to get experimental and try different things and not follow any formulas that we had stumbled upon before.”

Abe Cunningham (drums): “It was our stand against everything that was going on at the time. I just think of it as a beautiful white horse running free – and at the time that white horse running free was us! In the scheme of things at that time, all the stuff that was going on musically – trends and whatnot – it was very important to us to go somewhere different. We took a hard left and went the other way and carved our own path, which we’d been doing the whole time anyway, but that was intentional.”

There Were Some Creative Tensions Simmering In The Studio

Chino: “We went through a whole lot of shit trying to [record] it; it was probably the hardest record to make at the time. For one, when I started playing guitar that caused friction between me and Stephen. My intention when I started to play guitar wasn’t to take the band in a different direction, I was just in a very creative space and just writing music and coming up with stuff. Stephen didn’t mind at first, and I think the first song we wrote together was Change (In The House Of Flies), which was the big single off that record. We wrote that together, and were like, ‘Wow! We did this!’ I know that he wasn’t too happy about me playing guitar, but he couldn’t deny the fact that we wrote a great song. What eventually happened was that he and I, without making it apparent, were trying to outdo each other. He would write a song like, say, Elite and I was like, ‘That’s an awesome, heavy tune,’ and then I’d say, ‘Look at this!’ and I’d written Digital Bath. We kept trying to outdo each other and in the meantime we were building a big tower of music, and songs that were great. It actually ended up working out in the long run.”

They May Have Enjoyed The Odd Party Or Two While Recording

Chino: “We did put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it, but we kind of lived wild when we made it. We all moved into this big house in the Hollywood hills right after New Year’s, on January 2, 2000. It was a wild time. I didn’t have, and never really do have, a definitive idea of what I’m going to sing about or what I’m going to write about lyrically. But everything I was writing about at the time, to a certain extent, I was kind of living. It was five guys living in this mansion, sleeping very little, and with our heads buried in music… We were all living like there was no tomorrow, and there’s a lot of stuff in there, lyrically, that I was singing about that was going on from Knife Party and Digital Bath – a lot of psychedelic, drug-induced songs. That was actually what was going on at the time.”

Abe: “We were loud, young men having a blast! We had a pretty large recording budget, whereas our previous records were done pretty cheap. Going into these sessions we had budget – and we spent it! We worked really hard, but there was a lot of excess…”

It Taught Them Some Lessons About The Music Business

Chino: “I felt its success was well-deserved. I was extra-cocky, too, because White Pony was not a nu-metal record. At that time in the charts, higher than us were bands that were spawned from what we started but were doing it intensified by 100. Limp Bizkit was an intensified version of Adrenaline. I knew why people liked it, but my instinct was, ‘Fuck that, I want to do something completely different,’ which we did. When we were successful with that, it made me believe in myself and to follow my heart in doing what we do… I do wish the record had never got re-released [with Back To School as the first track], that was like an 11th hour [decision]. The label told us how great the record was, and after the press and fans did too, and it was selling, it was like, ‘You can get more out of this!’ It was a lesson learned in greed, you know what I mean? Because that’s what it was, it was a greedy move by the record company and, by default, us.”

It Did A Lot To Ensure Their Legacy

Abe: “It’s our best attempt at trying to meld all the sounds we love into one thing, and I actually think we really pulled it off on that. People obviously like us for different reasons, some like the harder stuff, some like the softer stuff, and that record just encompasses everything at once. It’s a pivotal cornerstone in our existence and a favourite of many people who dig our music. I have nothing but good things to say about this White Pony now it’s an older horse. We branched out, and that’s probably why we’re still around today.”

Chino: “I’m really proud of it. It’s a really dynamic record, it goes through a lot of peaks and valleys, and that’s what, to me, makes an album really interesting: you don’t just hear the first couple of songs and you’ve heard the whole thing. Every song goes somewhere else, and comes back full-circle. I love it.”

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Posted on June 20th 2020, 9:00am

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