My Favourite Artists :: Deftones
I First discovered … Deftones through the song Bored. The first song on their first album. To this day it’s a song that I can play on loop for hours. As is the norm I investigated further, purchasing the Adrenaline album, and it was immediately apparent that they were a cut above their contemporaries. It’s always bothered me that they ended up being lumped in with all the Nu-Metal bands, it apparently bothered Chino too …
“It’s all on record. We told motherfuckers not to lump us in with nu metal because when those bands go down we aren’t going to be with them.”
Which brings me to Deftones’ strongest asset - Chino Moreno. For me, Chino is the heavy rock equivalent of Robert Smith, a singer who’s voice is unorthodox yet beautiful. That beauty was there from the very first album, it’s in the lyrics, it’s in Chino’s delivery, they were never going to be content standing along side the Limp Bizkits of the world.
I realised I was a fan … pretty much straight away. Kinda obvious, uh? When you can play a song on repeat for hours on end it’s safe to say you’re going to end up a pretty big fan … if you’re not already. My love for Deftones has never wavered - they are the only band who’s lyrics I have had tattooed upon me - and I think that, along with The Cure, I will hold them dear until my last breath.
The high point for me as a fan … It would be easy to say White Pony, but that wouldn’t be true, that would be pandering to the critics. Although I love White Pony, I don’t think of it as their greatest moment for me as a fan, despite it being an absolutely flawless album. For Me, their high point is connected to their lowest point - Chi Cheng’s accident and subsequent coma. No one would have held it against Chino, Steph, Abe and Frank if they’d put out an average album after such an horrific event, but they didn’t, instead they brought in Sergio Vega and released Diamond Eyes. From the very first single, Rocket Skates, it was obvious that they’d given their all. Despite the circumstances, Sergio Vega has done a fantastic job stepping into some very big shoes. Reviews for the album were extremely favourable …
“Naturally, there is quite a bit of roiling darkness here — they’re Cure-loving metalheads, it’s in their blood — but there’s shade and light, control of texture, with the band deepening rather than expanding.”
“Unlike their alleged ‘peers’ (do they really have any?), Deftones learned years ago that a whisper can be more terrifying than a scream and power isn’t always about BPMs and downstrokes per minute.” / “belongs in a pantheon of amazing albums born from tragedy.”
It’s a lot harder to do what they did with Diamond Eyes than it is to record an album like White Pony. To have gone through such tragedy and keep going is one of life’s hardest challenges. Deftones met that challenge and beat it.
The low point for me as a fan … is obviously the same as any Deftones fan. What happened to Chi isn’t something I like discussing, nor do I wish to write about it, so I’ll just move onto the next section. My apologies to anyone who was hoping to read my thoughts on this one.
Best tracks :: Diamond Eyes, Fist, Bored, Be Quiet & Drive, MX, Damone, Knife Party, Lifter, Mascara, Sextape, Digital Bath, Hole In The Earth, Hexagram, Bloody Cape, Change, etc etc
Worst tracks :: Black Moon. I fuckin’ hate that song.
Best album :: It’s a tie between White Pony & Diamond Eyes, I’ve tried to decide which one’s better and I can’t do it.
Worst Album :: Deftones don’t make bad albums, if you hear anyone say Saturday Night Wrist is a bad album feel free to give them a slap.
I wish they’d work with … Sergio Vega on another album. We all know that they plan on releasing Eros one day, but for now I’d like to hear more from them with Vega in the band. I think that, as sad as it is, Chi isn’t going to be able to come back to the band … us fans need to accept that, no matter how much it hurts, and be thankful for the 5 fantastic albums Chi helped bring into this world.
Have they still got it? 100% yes. They may even be better than they’ve ever been, in the past their live shows were always hit or miss affairs, they tend to be on point for every show now. They released arguably their 2nd best album just under 2 years ago, and with Chino’s side project Crosses doing so well it’s safe to say we have many more years of great music to look forward to.
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