Why it’s time to revisit Gore, Deftones’ most misunderstood record

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: there’s a certain absurdity when it comes to talking about Deftones’ discography. As has been well-documented by Kerrang! over the years, and even when held up against other similarly revered bands, their exalted body of work comprises some of the most innovative, influential and important records of all time. Very much the musical back-catalogue equivalent of shark teeth, pluck one classic out, another pops up to replace it.

There’s a certain temptation to claim that if any Deftones record warrants being christened their most misunderstood it would be 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist. After all, you could say that Chino Moreno was quite blunt about it back in 2016

Saturday Night Wrist is my least favourite record,” he admitted to us. That record is so unconfident – and that’s why I hate it. I don’t feel like it’s me – it’s this unconfident version of myself that doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Here it should be stated that a) not everyone in Deftones agrees with him on its qualities and b) it contains some of their finest songs in the form of Beware, Rapture, Xerces, Cherry Waves, Combat and Kimdracula. Yep, Deftones at their most unconfident” nevertheless produced one of the best records of 2006. You could certainly argue that Saturday Night Wrist is an under-appreciated album, but one thing it is not is misunderstood. 

The inter-band squabbling. The songwriting tribulations. The excess. (“We were riding high,” grinned Frank Delgado to K! back in 2016. Very high.”) All of this is not only very well understood; it is deeply ingrained in the Deftones narrative.

No, if we’re talking their most misunderstood record, we need only travel back five years to the band’s eighth studio album, Gore. To get right to the root of why it is so excruciatingly and unfairly misunderstood, just revisit how it arrived in the public eye.

I think my proudest thing about my guitar playing on this record is just playing on the record, because I didn’t want to play on the record to begin with,” guitarist Stephen Stef’ Carpenter told Ultimate-Guitar.com.

A soundbite endlessly reproduced online, it not only made it sound like Deftones’ guitarist hated their own record, it seemed a throwback to the Saturday Night Wrist days – evoking a band at creative odds with one another. This, of course, went against the perception (and reality) of how they had so movingly reconvened for Diamond Eyes after bassist Chi Cheng suffered the horrific car crash that would, after years in a coma, claim his life. 

Principally, two things got lost in translation upon Gore’s arrival. The first is the blunt-force honesty and forthrightness that makes Stef, Stef. In a world of manicured press statements from bands, his ability to just speak his mind in the moment is – alongside his guitar playing, natch – his superpower.

People are saying, Are you mad about what Stef said?’” Chino told Kerrang! at the time. Fuck no! That’s Stephen! He says that shit to me! I understand when he says stuff like that people are going to react in a certain way. And Stephen didn’t say it to make people react, he was just being Stephen. That’s how shit is.”

The second was this: it was also out of context. 

When I gave the interview’ I was just saying in the beginning I wasn’t too inspired by what was going on,” Stef explained. But I was really elaborating specifically mostly on one song. That one song Hearts/Wires just rubbed me wrong. I was hating on it. But once I decided to stop letting it bother me and just get down to it I found myself a place in that song. And having gone through recording the record, it’s one of the songs that I like the most now. It punished me in the beginning, but at the back of it I actually enjoyed a lot.”

So, K! asked, is he happy with Gore?

Oh yeah!” he replied. I went eight records before I had any kind of issue with an album – but I’ve already lived through two records in the past where somebody else didn’t enjoy them at all. For me to finally hit a wall, I think I lasted pretty good! Cause I’ve seen other people already buckle.”

Even when Stef ­and the rest of the band set the record straight, the narrative of disharmony continued to churn in headlines. It’s perhaps easy to understand why. To an extent, every album has a narrative and some have better stories than others that help people digest or relate to the music being presented. Diamond Eyes was the triumphant, emotional return. Koi No Yokan was proof (not that any was needed, mind) that it wasn’t a one-off. 

Gore was, perhaps, a record that had everything it needed to blow people away but a narrative. Another great album!” is not exactly what clickbait is made of. Instead of the world focusing on the music, Stef’s comments became the lens through which Gore was viewed. What’s so interesting is that we understood more about this album now, in 2021, than we did at the time. It was while talking about last year’s Ohms that Chino opened up about the Gore sessions.

When you’ve made a lot of records with the same people, everybody has to be engaged,” reflected the vocalist.​“We’ve learned the hard way. A perfect example would be Gore, when Stef basically admitted, like,​‘I didn’t have much to do with this record.’ And that was not because we didn’t want him – my favourite ideas of Deftones songs are ones that he spearheads!”

Chino proceeded to paint a picture of the Gore sessions where he, Abe, Frank and Sergio worked up songs, and Stef jumped on later to do his thing. But, Chino insisted, the narrative that Gore is a Stef-free zone is not true. He was in fact at the heart of the record’s best song: the Jerry Cantrell assisted Phantom Bride.

He was involved in Gore, let’s not get it wrong,” said Chino.​“Phantom Bride? Aside from the lyrics and drums, he wrote that all by himself. He did have something to do with the record, he just wasn’t fully engaged, and it wasn’t because we were like,​‘Our songs are better.’ It was nothing like that. He was going through something, and after the record was done he talked to me a little bit about it, like,​‘I’m sorry I wasn’t as available as I should have been.’ I was like,​‘Dude, you’re my brother, I totally understand.’ When the record came out, I think people felt that Stef wasn’t as big a part of it and that it may have suffered in certain areas because of that, so one of the most important things is that everybody is engaged and everybody is excited.”

Ohms, Chino said, was Deftones – all of Deftones – firing on all cylinders again. It was. And who doesn’t want that? 

But what’s so impressive is that Gore turned out the way it did in these circumstances. Seriously, listen again five years on. It is an embarrassment of riches.

Everyone loves Phantom Bride and we’ve already addressed its genius, so let’s just take a scan at its tracklist’s other inhabitants. Geometric Headress is, flat out, one of Deftones’ most melodically graceful songs. Acid Hologram’s slow-motion doom rumble? Excellent, and a bit spooky. The thrashy, propulsive verses of Doomed User? Open the pit! Even the fact that a song as wonderfully atypical and arty as Prayers/Triangles was the lead single? A testament to a band still taking risks. As for Hearts/Wires – the song that was the source of so much strain – it’s a masterclass in tension.

And yet these are the songs people typically associate with Gore. Less celebrated but equally wonderful is Xenon, its frazzled, grungy intro sounding like the product of a lost session from Nirvanas In Utero. (L)MIRL is a gorgeous post-rock excursion, while the way in which the title-track’s convulsing riff competes with its glacial verses feels very much like a roof collapsing on top of you while you’re having a candle-lit bubble bath. 

Rubicon, meanwhile, continues in the great tradition of their self-titled album’s Moana by ending things pitched (perfectly) somewhere between yearning and terror.

There is just so much to admire on Deftones’ eighth outing. So many wonderful individual performances. So many beautiful details, not to mention the tapestry of recurring images in the lyrics, both within and between songs. It makes for an easy rhyme, but it also happens to be true: Gore deserved more. More praise. More attention. More respect. 

Posted on April 8th 2021, 12:00p.m.

Text source from: https://www.kerrang.com/features/why-its-time-to-revisit-gore-deftones-most-misunderstood-record/

FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES And PRIMUS Set For This Year’s ‘Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival’

FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES, PRIMUS and INCUBUS are among the artists who are scheduled to perform at the the 2021 edition of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which takes place September 2–5 on the Bonnaroo Farm, located just 60 miles southeast of Nashville in Manchester, Tennessee.

Tickets go on sale today at noon CT at www.bonnaroo.com/ticket. Options include General Admission (4-Day), GA+ (4-Day), VIP (4-Day), Platinum (4-Day), General Admission Camping & Parking, VIP Camping, Platinum Camping, and more. Once again, Bonnaroo is presenting an array of affordable options, with tickets starting at $35 down and accommodations available for as low as $99 per night. Car Camping Passes are priced at only $60 (plus fees) per car, not per person, allowing fans to both save money and reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling.

Hailed by The New York Times as the summer event that “revolutionized the modern rock festival,” Bonnaroo has drawn high-profile media attention and critical acclaim for two groundbreaking decades.

To celebrate the return of Bonnaroo and to commemorate the festival’s 20th Anniversary, Bonnaroo has created a one-of-a-kind NFT collection including a 1 of 1 special edition of the 2021 lineup poster. This is the first time a music festival has produced an NFT collection and Bonnaroo is so excited to partner with digital artist Archan Nair and premier NFT marketplace Makers Place. These digital works of art will be available exclusively on Makers Place on Saturday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Bid on both still and animated versions of the 2021 lineup poster, as well as a special edition animated artwork dedicated to Roofus.

Throughout its 20-year history, Bonnaroo has evolved and innovated to make each and every event more enjoyable, with the safety of its fans, artists, and staff a top priority. Bonnaroo organizers as always will be in regular communication with local health and public safety officials and will continue to abide by relevant recommendations. As it approaches, Bonnaroovians will receive regular updates with the important information needed to plan their trip to The Farm, including any changes to policies and procedures they’ll need to know before entering the festival and campgrounds. Updates will be shared at www.bonnaroo.com, through Bonnaroo‘s social media channels, and via the Bonnaroo email list.

“It’s exciting to see Tennessee stages come back to life in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this internationally acclaimed festival,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “Fans are ready to gather together and celebrate their shared love of music once again. We welcome them back for a full Bonnaroo and what is sure to be a truly unforgettable event!”

Text source from: https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/foo-fighters-deftones-and-primus-set-for-this-years-bonnaroo-music-arts-festival/

DEFTONES Announce Limited-Edition ‘Añejo Tequila’

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of DEFTONES‘ legendary platinum-certified album “White Pony”, the band has partnered with Abre Ojos Tequila to release a limited-edition Añejo Tequila.

The limited-edition Añejo was handcrafted in the town of Tequila, Jalisco. It is aged up to two years in American Oak used whiskey barrels, creating caramel, vanilla, hazelnut and chocolate notes. The buttery taste ends with a smoky, mature flavor. It is meant to sip and enjoy.

Last December, DEFTONES released “Black Stallion”, the long-awaited “White Pony” companion album featuring an eclectic cast of contributors re-imagining its songs and their far-reaching impact across the worlds of metal, hip-hop, indie, and electronic music.

DEFTONES announced their plans for a “White Pony” remix album during a virtual press conference in June. At the time, singer Chino Moreno stated: “We’re going to be releasing later in the year a reissue of [‘White Pony’] and we’re going to do sort of a split side of the record, a remixed version of it titled ‘Black Stallion’. So we have a bunch of different people on it, some that actually inspired some of the writing of the record itself, the original album. So it’s kind of come full circle.”

DJ Frank Delgado revealed that “Black Stallion” was in the works before “White Pony” even saw the light of day.

“We would talk about [‘White Pony’ before it came out], how good it was going to be, and we’d immediately jump to, ‘It’s going to be so good, we’re going to have [DJ] Shadow remix it and we’ll call it ‘Black Stallion’. I think one time we actually hit him up. He was playing here in town and I was opening DJing and me and Chino kind of cornered him.”

“White Pony (20th Anniversary)” is available in three physical formats: 2 CD + digital download; limited-edition deluxe box set (2 double LPs + 2 CDs); and a vinyl box set (2 double LPs).

DEFTONES‘ ninth album, “Ohms”, arrived in September.

Text source from: https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/deftones-announce-limited-edition-anejo-tequila/

Deftones’ on Active Rock 1992, full show now on Youtube

One of the most epic Deftones VHS tapes just leaked on Youtube. It’s their performance on a cable show called “Active Rock” way back in 1992. Youtube channel ” 3.Cameras.and.a.Microphone” uploaded the whole show saying it was ripped of “Lizz’ (the show’s host AND producer) personal tape”

With former drummer, John Taylor, the band plays: Like Linus, Hogburg Hop, Plastic, Slinky and Answers.

Deftones release free White Pony x Black Stallion online Pac-Man game

Over two decades on from its release, Deftones have launched an updated version of the PC game that came with the enhanced CD copy (remember those?) of their 2000 album White Pony.

Celebrating the White Pony x Black Stallion anniversary remix album last year, the Sacramento gang have now unveiled a Pac-Man-themed game that allows you to listen to their music while you – the stallion – are stressfully chased by members of the band. Bonus: if you win, you can get a discount code for Deftones merch and vinyl.

Read this: The story of nu-metal in 14 songs

A call back to the original White Pony game that came with our enhanced CD in 2000,” they say of the arcade game. ​Play our 20th anniversary version at deftones.com/arcade, and get the chance to receive an exclusive discount in our webstores.”

Check it out below, and play the game in full at deftones.com/arcade.


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A post shared by Deftones (@deftones)

In other news, frontman Chino Moreno recently guested on Trippie Redd’s new rock album Neon Shark vs. Pegasus, with the rapper even revealing that Deftones inspired the title of the Travis Barker-produced effort.

Basically, one of my favourite bands is Deftones, and they made an album called [White] Pony, so I like the fact that they used just, you know, some type of animal to symbolise what they felt on the album,” he told Shirley Ju. ​So, I made a rock album called Neon Shark. It was supposed to be its own album, but I was like, ​Fuck it, I’mma make it the deluxe for Pegasus.’ ”

Hear Chino on GERONIMO:


Text source from: https://www.kerrang.com/the-news/deftones-release-free-white-pony-x-black-stallion-online-pac-man-game/

Watch rare footage of Deftones performing on Public-Access TV in 1992

Rare footage of Deftones performing on Public-Access TV in 1992 has surfaced online – you can watch it below.

Sourced from a filmed broadcast on the Sacto Active Rock community-access TV show, the clip sees the band perform a song called ‘Answers’ during their formative years.

The pre-‘Adrenaline’ track has more of a dub/reggae vibe in comparison to the heavier alt-metal sound that they’re known for.

Shared by Deftones’ fan channel DeftonesLive, the clip sees the band with a different lineup, with John Taylor behind the drum kit in place of Abe Cunningham, who left the group in 1990 prior to rejoining in 1993.

Watch Chino Moreno and co. perform ‘Answers’ below:

In October, Deftones‘ frontman Chino Moreno said that he is open to one day finishing the band’s lost 2008 album ‘Eros’ as “an experiment’.

The band’s recent album ‘Ohms‘ saw them reunite with producer Terry Date, who worked on their first four albums and the sessions for a record in 2008 with the working title of ‘Eros’.

The album was shelved when bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a car crash that left him in a coma, and later died from cardiac arrest in 2013. Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega (who remains a full-time member today) and the band started from scratch on 2010’s acclaimed ‘Diamond Eyes’ with producer Rick Raskulinecz.

Moreno has now admitted that he’s open to the idea of one day returning to the material.

Meanwhile, Moreno recently appeared on rapper Trippie Redd‘s new song ‘GERONIMO’.

Text source from: https://www.nme.com/news/music/watch-rare-footage-of-deftones-performing-on-public-access-tv-in-1992-2890353?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=watch-rare-footage-of-deftones-performing-on-public-access-tv-in-1992

Late DEFTONES Bassist CHI CHENG: Limited-Edition Spoken-Word Album To Be Released In January

A spoken-word performance by late DEFTONES bassist Chi Cheng will be released in January 2021. Titled “The Head Up Project”, the limited-edition 24-track album was recorded at the Paris Cafe in Sacramento, California in January 2001 and can be pre-ordered at this location.

Chi passed away on in April 2013 following complications from a 2008 car accident that left him in a semi-comatose state. He was 42.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Cheng was riding in a car driven by his sister Mae that flipped three times after a collision with another vehicle on a road in Santa Clara, California. Cheng was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car.

He underwent surgery to remove part of his brain after the accident, although he was strong enough to come off life support seven months later.

Although Cheng never recovered full consciousness after his accident, he was gradually able to emerge for brief periods of time from his coma and see and hear things happening around him, although he could not respond verbally.

Cheng was also in and out of hospitals for various infections over the last four years of his life, as his family struggled with mounting medical bills. Cheng was dropped by his insurance company just months after his accident.

DEFTONES and other acts held benefit concerts to raise money for Cheng‘s medical bills, and DEFTONES continued to donate money from the band’s own tours as well.

Cheng performed on DEFTONES‘ first five albums, with his last released work being on 2006’s “Saturday Night Wrist”.

Sergio Vega stepped in to play for the band on tour after Cheng‘s accident, staying on to record 2010’s “Diamond Eyes”, 2012’s “Koi No Yokan”, 2016’s “Gore” and 2020’s “Ohms”.

The last record that Cheng worked on, an abandoned project called “Eros”, remains unreleased.

Text source from: https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/late-deftones-bassist-chi-cheng-limited-edition-spoken-word-album-to-be-released-in-january/