Where To Start With... Deftones
Though they came up at the same time as nu-metal heavyweights Korn and Limp Bizkit and had the same penchant for oversized jeans and mixing the sounds of a turntable alongside heavy guitars, Deftones have never really fitted in alongside so much of that genre.
It's true to say that in bringing together the hip-hop they'd grown up listening to alongside the hardcore sonics of Bad Brains and dark power of Depeche Mode, the band attempted to meld the same genres as Korn and Limp Bizkit, and the same genres the likes of Linkin Park, Slipknot and Incubus would go on to do, but the Deftones always stood apart. Even in their earliest days.
Formed in Sacramento, California in the late 1980s, the band brought together high school friends Steph Carpenter, Abe Cunningham and Chino Moreno, who were joined by bassist Chi Cheng a couple of years later.
After establishing a firm following in their home state, the band were picked up by Maverick Records and put into the studio with up and coming producer Terry Date to record their debut album, Adrenaline.
The album did not blow up upon release in 1995, but after solid touring the band were granted a second go and reunited with Date to record Around The Fur, which was released in 1997. This time things did begin to move, propelled by MTV favourite 'My Own Summer (Shove It)' and single 'Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)'.
Frank Delgado, a long-time friend of the band who had contributed electronics and the sonics of a turntable on five of the tracks on Around The Fur, was soon made a permanent member of the band and helped established Deftones' sound, a blend of crushing metal and ambient electronics that wound them a huge and very loyal fanbase.
While they never hit the heights in terms of sales of the likes of Korn or Limp Bizkit, the band have always enjoyed critical acclaim and a fanbase that has kept them in arenas and at the top of festival bills. They have prided themselves on being an island in so many ways.
The spiteful words and teenage angst that drove much of nu-metal was never found in the Deftones. Frontman Chino Moreno's words have always been clothed in metaphor, and, while their contemporaries were brash in their demeanour, flashy in the way they dressed and the way they made their videos, Deftones have favoured a low key approach.
Always consistently good, the band have also maintained the same line-up since their early days, with one exception.
Cheng was seriously injured in a car crash in 2008 and spent the next five years in and out of intensive care. Sadly, after five years of treatment and significant progress in recovery, Cheng died in 2013.
The band performed a series of benefit shows for their bandmate's medical expenses, recruiting famous friends to help out, and, former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, who stood in with the band during those shows, was eventually drafted in as a full-time replacement.
Over the course of their career, the band have recorded nine studio albums, the latest of which is Ohms, which arrives today.
Produced by Date, the first time he's worked with the band since 2008's Eros, an album the band abandoned as it featured work from Cheng, which he was not able to finish, the LP finds the band in top form, as you can hear on new single 'Genesis'...
With Ohms now on shelves in hmv stores, we thought we'd have a dig back through the band's back catalogue and offer up five highlights from their career so far...
‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’
The vicious opening salvo from the band’s 1997 second LP Around The Fur still roars more than 20 years on. Built around a driving riff with Moreno showcasing his searing scream and melodic overtones, it’s still a fearsome part of their live set. Hopefully, we’ll get to see it again soon…
It’s difficult to choose one moment from 2000’s White Pony. The album is an incredible piece of work. It is the perfect distillation of everything the band have made their trademark throughout their career. It lurches from serenity and ambience to outrageous heaviness and back again. Totally captivating.
As well as White Pony, 2010's Diamond Eyes is another glorious album, which showcases everything the band do so well. Its highlight is 'Rocket Skates', a power punch metal anthem.
A swirling, transformative epic. This is one of the highlights of the band’s self-titled record, with its crushing guitars, sweeping feel and gorgeous production.
This bouncy opener to 2012’s Koi No Yokan reminded everybody that no matter how old the band get, they can still produce bangers with steel-platted riffs and driving melodies. A highlight of every Deftones live show now.