Tuesday, April 24, 2012


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Smack dab in the middle of California about halfway between San Francisco and Reno, Nevada is a little town called Sacramento. Along with an unusually high crime rate, Sacto is also home to a thriving music scene led by the one, the only, The Deftones.

Formed in the late eighties playing mostly cover tunes of bands like Danzig and Metallica, the Deftones started making up some of their own stuff, with a funk metal sound similar to Primus or Danzig(Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml). They eventually developed the sound they have now; moody melodic vocals mixed with a thrashing, heavy music. The original line up included Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Abraham Cunningham, and bass player Dominic(Biography. http//sacto.cjb.net). The first Deftones line-up didnt include Chi Cheng. Dominic Garcia was their bass player. However, Abe left after about a year to play in a local band called Phallucy. So, Dominic moved to drums and Chi was recruited as the bassist. Soon though, Dominic left to join Phallucy also. John Taylor, a local musician, filled in on drums, but Abe returned after also doing a stint in a band called Drop Acid and Taylor was ousted(Deftones Facts). After a few jam sessions, Frank Delgado joined in for the ride, and the band has stayed the same ever since. Now with Chino screaming bloody murder, Frank on turntables, Abe bangin out beats, Chi rockin on the bass, and Stef ripping on the guitar; nothing can stop the Deftones from topping the charts.

According to Chino, this is how the Deftones began While we started out, I think Abe and I were about 16. We had been friends for years, even since Junior High School. And I had known Stephen also since I was 11-1 years old. But I knew Stephen from my neighborhood. And Abe from my school. I introduced him to Stephen. One day We took the Bus over there to his House. And he had a bunch of equipment in his Garage And they started playing together. It must have been maybe like three months later, I was talking to Abe at School, and he said, and Stephen wanted me to come down and try so sing. Just because we used to hang out. I didnt know how to sing or anything, but it was, just You know, maybe I was interested to try it, what ever. So I went. And it was pretty terrible in the beginning, but it was cool. We were all friends, trying to have a good time. I mean, we always had a good time doing it. Then probably about 6 months later, we got Chi in the band. And kind of started making songs. And everything was going pretty good( Deftones . Biography).

Now with a line-up in play, the Deftones just needed to find a sound, or did they? According to Chi the bass guitarist,Weve never talked about it, about finding a Deftones sound. We dont want to find a certain sound, and settling on a certain sound is not a good thing. I think thats why our albums keep progressing, because were going with what we feel is right at that moment, not what we think were supposed to do(Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml). The Sacramento based band has built a massive reputation since the release of their first album Adrenaline in 16 of being an aggressive “new” metal band( Deftones . Biography). However, their style has shifted steadily from riff-based thrasher type songs to more melodic songs that find themselves being aggressive and strangely tender at the same time. This blend is very appealing, and very listener oriented.

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The Deftones first explosive album, Adrenaline, as seen in the picture above, came on the scene in 5 and started an underground rumbling that reached its peak with the successful release of Around The Fur two years later. Adrenaline included a large number of notable, yet unrecognized tracks including 7 words. For the recording of 7 Words, Chino built a cave out of Styrofoam and fit it around the microphone so his screams had an echoed distortion to them(-DEFTONES FACTS-). Off of this album, the band recorded videos for 7 words and Bored. The video for Bored was shot inside Chinos home and includes all of his friends, as well as all the local bands jamming out to the Deftones performing(-DEFTONES FACTS-). Many wonder what the object on the cover of the Adrenaline album is. It is called an Aspirator and is used to suck out mucous from new born babies lungs and nostrils(-DEFTONES FACTS-).Producer Terry Date produces and captures the dynamics of the band in the studio without quelling the raw energy behind it, recording much of Adrenaline live(Biography. http//www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/680/biog.htm).


Following up in good taste, The Deftones unleashed their second album Around The Fur. The album, pictured above, debuted at number two on the billboard chart, and remained in the top ten for 15 weeks( Deftones . Biography). This grand slam made The Deftones an undeniable force driving the nu-metal genre. Along with Tool and Will Haven, the triple threat as I like to call them, The Deftones are quickly becoming a quick favorite in a lot of youths minds. On this Album, hits such as Feiticeira, My Own Summer, Be Quiet And Drive, and Headup, drive the album to a level past superstardom. According to Chino, The song Feiticeira is about a game show I read about in Brazil. If you win, you get to drink milk from the hosts navel. Somehow it evolved into a pretend scenario about being kidnapped(Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml. 00 thedeftones.com). A notable track on the album called Headup is about the murder of Dana Wells, Chinos best friend, and how he never got to say bye to his boy. Its also a self confidence song and lashs out at the murderers of Dana(Deftones Discography). As well as a tribute, A very influential rock group named Soulfly gained their name from the breakdown section of Headup, in which Chino screams it repeatedly(-DEFTONES FACTS-). As for videos, The Deftones recorded, Be Quiet and Drive and My Own Summer. A video for the track Around The Fur was made but never released as it is supposed to be quite graphic, with nudity and loads of dark imagery(-DEFTONES FACTS-).

I see boundaries more clearly now than I used to. Im better at toying with people cerebrally than I was a few years ago. Im better at screwing with your head. - Chino Moreno(BIOGRAPHY (official)). After their second album, The Deftones went on tour with Orange mm and Downset, they had a skate area set up for them, but the person who used it most was Chino(-DEFTONES FACTS-). Skating is a very big part of The Deftones lives. Every single member is, or has at one time been a skater(-DEFTONES FACTS-). Because of this reason, a lot of young kids that look up to pro skaters like Tony Hawk also look up to The Deftones seeing that they have the same tastes and interests.

“A lot of inspiration comes from family and friends,” says Chi(Biography. http//sacto.cjb.net) The Deftones are very family oriented and have seem to show a lot of love toward human compassion and a higher power. Chino sees inspiration as a great thing, everyone needs a little, “I get letters from kids talking about how a certain song affected them or comforted them. Their idea of what it means is completely different from what I was feeling, but I would never tell them that. If something affects you at all, its good”(-DEFTONES FACTS-).


Pictured above is the third album to be released by The Deftones. Entitled “White Pony,” it has gotten the most attention, based on there previous fame. The mood on this album is a step in a different direction as compared to the last two. White Pony is very dark and poetic. Lyrics that have a resemblance to ramblings, placed on heavy drowning guitar beats make this album a winner, but in a gothic way. Tool front man Maynard James Keenan co-wrote and volleys vocals with Chino on “Passenger”(Deftones Discography). The track is about being the passenger in a car with a girl who is taking you around the world, literally, sexually, in a whirlwind of time(Deftones Discography). I can barely tell where I end and Maynard begins, says Chino about the end result of the song(Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml). About the poetic nature of the songs, Chi says, ”Whats good about listening to a song and knowing exactly -- to the word -- what the singer is talking about? Its like a good painting or a good book. I never ask Chino what something means, I want to know what it means to me”(Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml)

The Deftones are expanding. “I think that one of the best things we have going for us is our dynamics. Theres never too much of anything. Its not like theres a real heavy song and then a real soft song. Each of our songs contain many different levels,” says front man Chino Moreno(BIOGRAPHY (official)). Aside from The Deftones, members of the band are branching off and doing their own thing. Deftones side projects include Team Sleep, Phallucy, and the Kush Project(Deftones Side Projects). Team Sleep is Chino’s project but he incorporates all of his team mates into at least one of his songs, such as Abe playing percussion on a track called “Tired.” The core of Team Sleep is Chino Moreno, DJ Crook, and Chinos childhood friend, guitarist Todd Wilkenson (Deftones Side Projects). Phallucy is a group focused around Abe, the drummer, and Kush project is based off of Stef, the guitar player(Deftones Side Projects). Both bands incorporate others into their bands though.

The Deftones are on the march, and nothing can stop them now. On tour they can light up the stage and in the studio they produce hits. There sound is nothing short of a complete aural rush. Better check your pulse.

Works Cited



Dec. 00.

Deftones . Biography.


00 dutchdeftones. Dec. 00.

Biography. http//sacto.cjb.net. Dec. 00.

Biography. http//www.thedeftones.com/bio.shtml. 00 thedeftones.com. Dec. 00.

Biography. http//www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/680/biog.htm. Dec. 00.

BIOGRAPHY (official). Rolinho, Nuno. http//deftonesworld.com/bio.htm. Dec. 00.

Deftones Discography. Rolinho, Nuno. http//deftonesworld.com/disco.htm. Dec. 00.

Deftones Side Projects. Rolinho, Nuno. http//deftonesworld.com/projects.htm. Dec. 00.

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