Members: Chino Moreno, Abe Cunningham, Chi Cheng, Frank Delgado, Stephen Carpenter

Active: 1988-present


Deftones is a multi-platinum-selling, Grammy award-winning alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. Personnel are Chino Moreno (vocals, guitar), Stephen Carpenter (guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums), Chi Cheng (bass) and turntablist/keyboardist/sampler player Frank Delgado. (Incidentally, Carpenter is generally credited with "strings", although he actually only plays guitar.)

Deftones have often been praised as one of the more innovative and unique rock bands of recent years. Johnny Loftus writes, "Rock critics usually reserve a special place for Deftones above or at least away from the rest of the turn-of-the-century nu-metal movement. While they definitely share the influence of a group like Tool with peers like Korn, Deftones have always seemed more curious, more willing to incorporate traditionally revered sounds like dream pop or D.C. hardcore into their Northern California alt-metal."


The founding members of the band met while skateboarding, and their first rehearsals together took place in 1989-1990 while they were in high school; among their early songs was a cover of Danzig's "Twist Of Cain". Cheng joined after their original bassist left.

Carpenter was struck by a drunk driver; this tragedy became a benefit when Carpenter received a large insurance settlement, and was able to buy some expensive, high-quality equipment for the band.

Deftones enjoyed the early sponsorship of local favorites KoЯn, with whom they shared a fan community drawn largely from skateboarde.


They signed to Madonna's Maverick Records in 1994 and released their debut album, Adrenaline, the following year. The album sold well, and earned mostly positive reviews. "Bored" and "7 Words" were minor hits. Delgado was not yet an official member, but he performed on several songs.

One review of Adrenaline noted Cunningham's "surprisingly sophisticated drumming" and wrote that "Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Deftones are very controlled even in the midst of chaos."

About this time, Deftones stopped touring and collaborating with bands like KoЯn. This was due in part to the fact that Deftones were often lumped into the then-emerging genre sometimes dubbed nu-metal. Like many bands so categorized, Deftones disagreed with the classification. Though Deftones were only tangentially associated with nu-metal, they feared the increasingly negative use of the term and separated themselves from other such groups, both professionally and aesthetically. Their music would later evolve into a distinctive, often artsy take on heavy rock, and was often quite far removed from nu-metal.


Around the Fur was released in 1997. The album included a collaboration with singer Max Cavalera (founder and frontman of Sepultura and Soulfly) on "Headup," a tribute to Max's late step-son Dana Wells (this song actually inspired Max to create Soulfly, a band dedicated to Dana Wells). "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" were hits, the latter's music video earning significant play on MTV.

Delgado again appeared on several songs, and demonstrated his deft, inventive touch at a time when turntable scratching was in danger of becoming a nu metal clich.

An acoustic remix of "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" was performed with a friend of the band, DJ Crook, and lead singer Jonah Matranga from Far for the Little Nicky soundtrack. This mellow version with a new trip-hop-esque beat by Delgado inspired vocalist Chino Moreno to explore softer music, which eventually lead to his side project Team Sleep.

Chino commented in July of 2000 "It's one of my favorite records of all time. The time and place we were in when we made it was fluent as hell. It took two months to write it and two months to record it. You're just in this one frame of mind. No matter what you were feeling that record just captures it."

In 1999, it was certified Gold in recognition of 500,000 sales in the US. As of September 2004 it had sold 872,006 copies.


In 2000, the band's third album, White Pony, was released. It debuted at No. 3 in the US Billboard chart with sales of 177,000 copies. It is generally considered by fans to be Deftones' most mature recording.

Of White Pony, one reviewer wrote, "Moreno is exquisitely mind-blowing, but his fear is also evident" and that "Deftones went soft, but in an impressive way, to twist around its signature punk-thrash sound."

Delgado was now a full-time band member, and he added greatly to the atmospheric album. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, noting Moreno's increasing sophistication as a lyricist and singer, and the group's bold experimentalism: The fragile "Teenager", for example, incorporates elements of glitch and trip hop, with programming duties carried out by friend and Team Sleep bandmate, DJ Crook, aka, "Crookone". ("Teenager" was originally a Team Sleep song.) "Knife Prty" (sic) features a stunning, Diamanda Gal?s-like vocal performance by Rodleen, and a conceit to make Borges proud: a secret society of knife fighters. This song has a metaphoric meaning, however, using the "Knife" reference to represent the phenomenon of a human's initial response to act strong or sharp in company of those he or she does not feel comfortable with. A collaboration with singer Maynard James Keenan (of Tool) on "Passenger" is a highlight.

A limited edition print of 50,000 black and red jewel case versions of White Pony were released with a bonus 13th track: "The Boy's Republic". "It?s like a little gift to our hard-core fans," admitted Carpenter. "It?s our gift to the hard-core that are going to show up the first day." Shortly after the limited edition print, the album was rereleased with the original cover art and included a new beginning track entitled "Back to School (Mini-Maggit)".

White Pony later went on to earn multi-platinum status as well as a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance for the song "Elite".

"Change (in the house of flies)" was also featured on the soundtrack of the film The Queen of the Damned released in 2002.

In interviews lyricist Chino Moreno has stated that some of the lyrics are misleadingly printed to cover up vulgarity. For example in the song "Street Carp", the lyric booklet states a line of lyric as "Now take it home and have fun with it", when what he actually sings is "Now take it home and fuck with it". Similarly, on "Change (in the house of flies)", the booklet reads "Give you the lung, blow me away", when he actually sings "Give you the gun, blow me away". This was in an effort to avoid parental advisory labels and thereby broaden the audience of the album.


Deftones, was released in 2003. It sold 167,000 copies in the first week and remained in the Billboard top 100 for nine weeks, supported by the first single, "Minerva", which received some radio and television airplay. Later, the band shot a video for their second single,"Hexagram", with fans watching the band play the song. The band made a video for the track "Bloody Cape", but it was never released for play on television. The video was only made available on the band's official website for one day.

Much of the material on the album was written by guitarist Carpenter, which accounts for the album's more traditionally heavy metal feel. Delgado plays synthesizer, keyboards or sampler rather than his previous turntables.

In reviewing Deftones Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes that "Hexagram," the album's opener, "hits hard ? harder than they ever have, revealing how mushy Staind is, or how toothless Linkin Park is, even if it's a bit of a shame that Chino Moreno has resorted to guttural barking for singing."

Erlewine is slightly bothered, however, noting that "Deftones feel compelled to strengthen their metallic roots" by forsaking "the very things that make them better and more interesting than the rest ? namely, their love of art rock, whether it's via the Cure or My Bloody Valentine." He closes by writing, "When they do play by the rules, they're good, but they're great when they don't follow a map."

Another review, by Rolling Stone's Greg Kot states, "Singer Chino Moreno sounds like he's conversing with a choir of voices inside his troubled skull. He's the most Dada of the new-metal screamers: sobbing, stoned and strangely sensual, when he isn't shredding his tonsils. The band brings the requisite brutality, but this album delivers chills when it creeps past the margins of modern post-Korn heavy music: the spooky spaghetti-western drones that hover like vultures over 'Death Blow,' the space-is-the-place liftoff of 'Minerva' and the ambient doomscape 'Lucky You,' which might be worth an approving smirk from the Aphex Twin."


The band has a new album, titled Saturday Night Wrist, in production, confirmed for on October 31, 2006. Tracks that are being speculated to appear on the new album are "Beware the Water" , "America", "Tilde", "Cherry Waves", "Mein", "Interlude", "Buffalo", "FM", "Pink Cell Phone", "Rats", "Hole in the Earth", "Comanche", and "Combat"

Rather than work with longtime producer Terry Date, Deftones decided to record with Bob Ezrin. Cunningham says that while the group enjoyed working with Date, "At this point, we just needed to change things up ... And this is definitely a different style. Working with him (Ezrin) is just putting us fucking upside down. He's cracking the whip."The band has since chosen not to go with Ezrin's production of their work. Instead, they stated on their official webpage: "We will be spending 4-5 days in Sacramento in late January [of 2006] to record songs with Chino, and will then head straight to Seattle to record the bulk of the album with producer Aaron Sprinkle."

As of April 7, 2006 the band is finishing recording the album with former Far guitarist Shaun Lopez as producer. Confirmed collaborations on the record include Annie Hardy from Giant Drag on the song 'Pink Cell Phone' and Serj from System of A Down on the track 'Mein'.

The First single is called "Hole in the Earth" and as of August 19, 2006 it can now be heard on the Deftones myspace page - see, or the official site. The single is scheduled to hit the radio on October 16th, 2006. On certain dates of the 2006 Family Values Tour, fans will be able to preorder the album.


1995 - Adrenaline
1997 - Around the Fur
2000 - White Pony
2003 - Deftones
2005 - B-Sides & Rarities
2006 - Saturday Night Wrist


1995 - "7 Words" - Adrenaline
1996 - "Bored" - Adrenaline
1997 - "My Own Summer (Shove It)" - Around the Fur
1998 - "Be Quiet and Drive" - Around the Fur
2000 - "Change (In the House of Flies)" - White Pony
2000 - "Back To School (Mini Maggit)" - White Pony
2001 - "Digital Bath" - White Pony
2001 - "Street Carp" - White Pony
2003 - "Minerva" - Deftones
2003 - "Hexagram" - Deftones
2006 - "Hole In The Earth"


Deftones have a number of non-album tracks that appear on other albums, such as:

"To Have And To Hold": Appears on the Depeche Mode Tribute Album.
"Can't Even Breathe": A track on the Escape From L.A. soundtrack.
"Teething": A track on The Crow: City Of Angels soundtrack.
"The Boy's Republic": Featured on the White Pony Limited Edition.
"Back To School (Mini Maggit)": Featured on the re-release of White Pony.
"Sleep Walk": A Santo & Johnny cover on the Minerva single.
"Lovers": On the Hexagram single.
"Sweetest Pefection": A Depeche Mode cover released on many bootlegs.
"God's Hands"
"Night Boat": A Duran Duran cover.
"Subliminal": A Suicidal Tendencies cover.
"Right Brigade": A Bad Brains cover.
"Say It Ain't So": A Weezer cover, played live.
"El Scorcho": A Weezer cover, played live.
"South Of Heaven": A Slayer cover, played live.
"Sinatra": A Helmet cover.

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Submitted by OptimusPrime at Wed 07 Jun, 2006 7:28 am


Last updated by OptimusPrime at Wed 07 Jun, 2006 7:28 am

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