"We've never talked about it, about finding a 'Deftones sound’. We don't want to find a certain sound, and settling on a certain sound is not a good thing. I think that's why our albums keep progressing, because we're going with what we feel is right at that moment, not what we think we're supposed to do."
Deftones – from Old to New
In 1989, when high school friends Stephen Carpenter, Abe Cunningham and Chino Moreno began jamming, Deftones was born. They began playing local gigs shortly after, but they soon hit the road and built their following in Los Angeles, Reno, and the Bay Area. They built a following through extensive touring, internet promotions and word-of-mouth advertising.
Deftones and Terry Date produced Adrenaline for its 1995 release in Seattle, Washington. It sold over 220,000 copies without two of the singles, 7 Words and Bored, or their videos receiving airplay. It reached twenty-three on Billboard Heatseekers chart and was RIAA certified gold in July 1999 and platinum in 2008.
Deftones - On the Road to Platinum
Around the Fur, released in 1997, was Deftones’ second album. Their sound was expanded and they used different types of drums, unusual vocal, and various rhythm grooves throughout the album. Erlewine noted that “…Around the Fur suggests they’re about to come into their own.” The first week saw 43,000 albums sold. It entered and peaked at number twenty-nine on the Billboard 200 while spending seventeen weeks on the charts and reached RIAA gold status in 1999. A version of My Own Summer (Shove It) was featured on The Matrix soundtrack.
In 2000, with Frank Delgado as a full time member, White Pony was released. With sales of 178,000 White Pony entered the US Billboard chart at number three. This time the bands’ sound expanded still further with radical changes in the mood and style of their music. White Pony sold over 1.3 million and achieved platinum status in July 2002. The single Elite won the best Metal Performance Grammy award in 2001.
Still producing with Terry Date, self-titled, Deftones was released in 2003, and entered the Billboard 200 at number two while selling 167,000 albums the first week.
B-Sides & Rarities was released in 2005 and is self explanatory as to the contents. The DVD has videography and footage from behind-the-scenes.
Using Bob Ezrin as producer, Saturday Night Wrist, released in October, 2006, sold only 76,000 copies during its first week with a US Billboard chart number ten. The band spent the best part of 2006 and 2007 touring over much of the world to market it but as of March 2007 only 250,000 copies had been sold.
While Eros, their sixth album, was a work-in-progress Cheng was involved in a traumatic car accident and went into a coma. Moreno described Eros as weird, unorthodox, and aggressive. Feeling that the album no longer best represented them; in June 2009 it was decided not to release Eros, delaying it indefinitely. Industry rumor that the decision not to release Eros was related to Cheng’s condition was denied. Sergio Vega took over as bassist and they played without Cheng for the first time in almost 11 years.
To help with Cheng’s mounting medical bills, Brian “Head” Welch, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, Sevendust, Slipknot, and other rock bands recorded and released A Song for Chi. There was also a fund-raiser in L.A. with performances by a veritable who’s who of the Nu, Rap, Heavy, Experimental, and Alternative metal, Christian rock, Grunge, and many other genre’s of the music world.
Nick Raskulinecz is producing Deftones’ seventh and current album. It is slated for release in April 2010 and has yet to be named. Carpenter has a new group, Sol Invicto, and an as-yet unnamed debut album is set to release in 2010. Eros still has not been scheduled for release.
In the Works
Did you know that...
- ... Valentine’s Day 1999 all of their gear was stolen in a van robbery in Detroit?
- ... they took a break while recording Deftones and were fined by Maverick for missing deadlines?
- ... three videos were made from the album Deftones