Deftones is a metal/modern rock/experimental rock/whatever-else-they-feel-like band formed in 1988 in Sacramento, California. Deftones has released 7 studio albums to date. In 2008, bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Clara, California, and remained in a minimally conscious state since that time, sadly passing away on April 13, 2013. With a temporary replacement bassist (Sergio Vega), the band managed to complete and release their sixth studio album, Diamond Eyes; the album they were preparing as their sixth before Cheng's accident, Eros, may be released in the future.The band's distinctive musical style is often disputed by the band's fans, and trying to categorize them will result in a lot of Internet Backlash. Specifically, a lot of the band's music has a lot in common with Nu Metal (particularly their early work), including the vocalization (a mix of screams, whispers, spoken word, melodic singing and occasional rapping), the use of turntables for additional instrumentation and sound development and syncopated, riff-based instrumentation (although there is a lot of experimentation and complexity in many of their songs). However, fans argue that Deftones isn't really Nu Metal, because of the lack of angst, or claim that they're "too good" to be a Nu Metal band. Adding to the dispute is the band's diverse influences and mix of an abundance of styles, including Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Dream Pop, Shoegazing, Grunge, Hardcore Punk, Hip Hop, New Wave, Progressive Rock and Rap Metal. Their music could fall into any number of categorizations as a result.The band's magnum opus is generally considered to be either White Pony or Diamond Eyes by fans and Koi No Yokan by critics. The band is generally considered an influence on Nu Metal, even with the debate over whether or not they belong to the genre, and many bands in the genre have cited Deftones as an influence, including Trope MakerKorn and Trope CodifierLimp Bizkit.Current lineup:
Chino Moreno (vocals, and guitar starting with White Pony)
Black Sheep Hit: "Back to School (Mini Maggit)", and, to a lesser degree, "Engine No. 9". The band despised the former song from the get-go both because they hated it and because of the circumstances surrounding its inclusion on White Pony and disavowed it the minute it was recorded; as for the latter, it was never a huge hit, but it was one of the biggest non-single songs on Adrenaline, not to mention the most straightforward "jumpdafuckup" song of their career. The band doesn't like it very much at all, but they still play it live just to throw a bone to the really old fans.
Book Ends: The re-release of White Pony placed "Back To School (Mini-Maggit)" as the first track, which means that version of the album begins and ends with what are basically different versions of the same song. For an unintended examplenote See Executive Meddling below, it actually sort of works, especially because Epic Rocking closer "Pink Maggit" takes two and a half minutes to get to the part that "Back To School" was actually based around.
Careful With That Axe: Chino has had to cancel tours because of damage caused by heavy screaming. His more recent works may be more violent-sounding than when he began.
Cluster F-Bomb: Quite a few songs on Adrenaline, but particularly "7 Words" and "Engine No. 9".
Creator Backlash: The band was PISSED about the circumstances surrounding the recording and release of "Back to School (Mini Maggit)", which was a cynical attempt to shut up record execs who were badgering them about providing an easily marketable single. It achieved its goal, but the band instantly turned against it and have more or less completely disavowed it.
Creator Breakdown: The band went through this during the recording of Saturday Night Wrist, almost breaking up due to internal tensions. It was especially bad for Chino, who was also dealing with drug addiction and a collapsing marriage. The music reflects this occasionally, such as with the line I hate all of my friends, they all lack taste sometimes from "Hole in the Earth".
Several tracks on Diamond Eyes, particularly "Diamond Eyes" and "976-EVIL", are about Chino's reactions to Chi Cheng's car accident.
Dark Reprise: Around the Fur's second track, "Lhabia," is one of the slower, more alternative rock-leaning tracks on the album. Later on in the album comes "Lotion," which is one of the heaviest and fastest songs off the album and features an almost identical main riff to that of "Lhabia."
Executive Meddling: During the making of White Pony, the record label demanded a more commercial single and complained that the band had "lost their heaviness" (what, they didn't hear "Elite"?). The result was "Back to School (Mini Maggit)", which has seen significant Creator Backlash from the band.
Chino: This album right here [the White Pony re-release] is not the album that we turned into the label. As far as we're concerned, the first edition was the record. Done. Then they talked us into re-releasing it with another song on it, and it's not like I'm against the song or whatever, but I liked the sequence we had when we first turned it in. When this version came out, a little part inside all of us felt like: 'Fuck! We just totally compromised.' And I know that a lot of our fans felt bad about it too.
Groove Metal: Their material showcases significant influences from the genre, most especially the slow-mid tempo, palm muted, and heavily bent riffs that characterize the modern groove sound. They are occasionally listed as part of the genre, but that is if you don't consider them Nu Metal, Alternative Metal or Avant Gardemetal...
"Crenshaw Punch/I'll Throw Rocks at You" even has some lyrics officially written as "incomprehensible".
Intercourse with You: "Sextape", anyone? The song and subsequent video are somewhat mislabeled, as it is a lot more romantic than the title suggests. Also "Crenshaw Punch/I'll Throw Rocks at You", "Passenger", "Pink Cellphone".
"MX" is at least partially about this.
"You've Seen The Butcher"
"Needles and Pins"
Pretty much any time the word "waves" shows up in the lyrics, except in "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event".
Last Note Nightmare: "Beware" and "Diamond Eyes" both end with very violent guitar crunches that follow moments of serenity. Beware's lyrics don't help.
Don't forget "Bloody Cape" "GOD HELP ME! GOD HELP ME!"
Loudness War: Funnily enough considering their appeal lies in their incorporation of experimental, softer elements to Alternative Metal, their albums are completely fucked mastering-wise (even if they don't clip too egregiously).
Though their latest album doesn't seem as loud, and is all the better for it.
Depends on who you ask, really. Their early material certainly could qualify (especially "Engine No. 9", which was a completely straight representation of the genre), but as time went on, their increasing eclecticism and general shunning of the genre's tenets arguably disqualified them. Most people nowadays just label them as "alternative rock" or "alternative metal".
One of Us: The instrumental track on Saturday Night Wrist takes its title from the Konami Code. "976-EVIL" is named after a Robert Englund film. "This Place is Death" is named after an episode of LOST.
Vapor Ware: Kush, Steve Carpenter's side project with B-Real and a couple of the dudes from Fear Factory. We haven't heard anything on it since 2002, although they were supposedly working on an album.
Word Salad Lyrics: "Bored" in particular, but a lot of their songs have this. Chino Moreno comments on this:
[Sometimes] my lyrics don't deal with specific topics. I write down on paper the feelings of the moment, it's not easy to explain the contents of the lyrics or give a logical sense to the words.
You Make Me Sic: The back cover of White Pony and the credits spell it as "Knife Party", but the lyrics sheet calls it "Knife Prty". The latter is the actual name for the song. This is fixed in the re-release.