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File:Deftones 331.jpg

Related Acts:

  • Sol Invicto (Carpenter)
  • Kush (Carpenter)
  • Team Sleep (Moreno)
  • Phallucy (Cunningam)
  • Decibel Devils (Delgado)
  • The Bamboo Parachute (Cheng)

Deftones is a rock band formed in 1988 in Sacramento, California. Deftones has released 6 studio albums to date. In 2008, bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Clara, California, and has remained in a minimally conscious state since that time. 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, 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. 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 Maker Korn and Trope Codifier Limp Bizkit.

Current lineup:

  • Chino Moreno (vocals, and guitar starting with White Pony)
  • Stephen Carpenter (guitar)
  • Abe Cunningham (drums)
  • Chi Cheng (bass); currently not performing
  • Sergio Vega (bass); temporary replacement for Chi Cheng
  • Frank Delgado (turntables and keyboards)

Studio albums:

  • Adrenaline, 1995
  • Around the Fur, 1997
  • White Pony, 2000
  • Deftones, 2003
  • B-Sides & Rarities, 2005
  • Saturday Night Wrist, 2006
  • Diamond Eyes, 2010
  • Upcoming seventh studio album, 2012
  • Eros, eventually

Tropes that apply to Deftones:

  • Alternative Metal / Alternative Rock - Hard to tell. Many think they aren't the latter, though.
  • Big Fun / Fat Bastard - Chino used to be a pretty skinny guy; this is what he looked like. But around the time the band's self-titled album released, he looked like this. He has since lost weight, however.
  • 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"
  • The Cover Changes the Gender - Done heavily with the B-Sides and Rarities release.
  • Cover Version - They've covered: "Savory" by Jawbox, "Wax and Wane" by the Cocteau Twins, "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Sinatra" by Helmet, "No Ordinary Love" by Sade, "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" by The Cure, "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths, "The Chauffeur" and Nightboat by Duran Duran, and "Drive" by The Cars, among others.
  • 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.
  • Everything Is an Instrument - Frank Delgado's work. Most notably used in "MX", which features... watery noises, to begin with.
  • 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.

  • Hidden Track- "Damone" off of Around the Fur.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics - The verses of "Lhabia" and some of Chino's Careful with That Axe moments
    • "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.
  • Love Nostalgia Song - "Teenager"
  • Lyrical Dissonance - Inverted with "Needles And Pins", which appears to be an extremely heavy and dark... love song.
  • Madness Mantra - The end chorus of "Pink Maggit".
  • Metal Scream - Chino pulls this off on occasion, but the track "Elite" off White Pony is nothing but a Metal Scream.
    • Speaking of White Pony, Maynard James Keenan does this on "Passenger", and Rodleen Getsic on "Knife Prty".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - Generally a 6, they can go as soft as 3/4, and their heavier stuff borders on 7.
    • They get up to an 8 or 9 with songs like "When Girls Telephone Boys", "Elite" and "Headup".
    • It's probably safe to say they don't really have any boundaries as to how soft or heavy they get, which is why many people consider them a rock band rather than a full-on metal band.
  • Murder Ballad - not really a ballad, but "Digital Bath" is about the narrator killing a woman via Electrified Bathtub.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Just look at The Other Wiki's description of their style.
  • Non-Appearing Title - Probably a majority of songs.
  • Nu-metal - Ur Example.
  • 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.
  • One-Woman Wail / One-Scene Wonder - Rodleen Getsic on "Knife Prty". It's kind of hard to miss.
  • Perishing Alt Rock Voice - Chino Moreno, when not screaming.
  • Rap Metal - "Back to School (Mini Maggit)"
    • A few songs off of Adrenaline.
  • Sanity Slippage Song - "Rats!Rats!Rats!"
  • Self-Titled Album - See above.
  • Something Completely Different - The Progressive Metal track "Passenger", off White Pony.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein - "Headup" and "7 Words" are notable members of this trope.
  • Spoken Word in Music - Occasionally, such as with "MX" (by Abe's then-wife Annalynn) and "Pink Cellphone" (by Annie Hardy)
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song - "Teenager", which contained no distorted guitars at all and was mostly based around electronics. They would release several more songs like this afterwards.
    • On the previous two albums there was "Mascara" and "Fist"
  • Take That - "7 Words" is a Take That to racist cops, with some unusually (for Chino) direct lyrics.
  • Textless Album Cover - The re-release of White Pony. The band name and title are on the inside back cover though, and thus are visible through the clear cd tray.
  • The Cameo - Max Cavalera on "Headup", Maynard James Keenan on "Passenger", Scott Weiland on "RX Queen", Rodleen Getsic on "Knife Prty", Serj Tankian on "Mein", Annalynn Cunningham on "MX", B-Real of Cypress Hill on "Black Moon", Michael Harris (Idiot Pilot) on "Teenager (Idiot version)", Annie Hardy on "Pink Cellphone".
  • The Walrus Was Paul - Chino Moreno's songwriting at times can become Mind Screw material.
  • Vaporware - 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.


  1. from "Rats!Rats!Rats!"
  2. from "Kimdracula"- there's another band called "These Arms Are Snakes"
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