While considered one of the progenitors of the nu-metal movement in the ‘90s, Deftones evolved beyond the scene and created an artistic alternative that showcases a rare balance of beauty and brutality. Alternating between screamed vocals and heavy riffs, there’s no denying Deftones has inspired a generation of musicians.
The band’s three platinum-certified early albums – Adrenaline (1995), Around the Fur (1997), and White Pony (2000) – is a testament to their massive influence and fan base. Deftones departed from mainstream-friendly song structures and pushed their sonic boundaries with Diamond Eyes (2010) and Gore (2016).
The band was formed in Sacramento, California, in 1988 when high school students Abe Cunningham, Chino Moreno, and Stephen Carpenter started jamming together. After deciding on the name Deftones, the group started playing locally. After several bass players, they found a permanent addition in Chi Cheng.
Inspired by groundbreakers like Faith No More, Tool, and Rage Against the Machine, the band decided to expand their sound in the early ‘90s. This decision resulted in a four-song demo that landed them a recording contract with Maverick, Madonna’s record label. Adrenaline, the band’s debut full-length, was released in October 1995.
While the album was not an instant success, Deftones still built a solid and loyal following by touring relentlessly and opening for more established acts like L7, Ozzy Osbourne, and Korn. Their second release, Around the Fur, was issued in October 1997. Ohms, their ninth album was released in 2020.
Around the Fur catapulted Deftones to the top of the charts with radio and MTV favorites Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) and My Own Summer (Shove It). While working on their third album, the band issued Live, a seven-track import EP released in 1999. White Pony, released in 2000, was one of the most highly anticipated releases that year.
In 2003, the band dropped Deftones, which spawned the hit single Minerva. Deftones also joined Linkin Park and Metallica on the Summer Sanitarium tour. A two-disc set of B-sides and rarities was released in October 2005 before the band issued Saturday Night Wrist, another full-length a year later.