Deftones Week – White Pony

And so onto the next chapter in the Deftones evolution. White Pony is pretty much regarded as the ‘tones finest hour, and it’s the first album that made me aware that they were gonna become one of my favourite bands. I got it for Christmas along with Metallica’s Black Album and was rocking the fuck out on xmas morning.

From the outset, it’s pretty clear the band have changed a fair bit. For a start, Chino is playing guitar now. It gives the songs on WP a chunkier feel, and lets Stef be more creative with his playing. Frank Delgado is also a full member of the band and his effects and sounds give the whole record a depth that had evaded previous albums. Kicking off with the shot of adrenaline that is Feiticeira, the band are on fire. Chino’s singing is now a lot more subdued (he barely screams throughout the album, apart from the venomous Elite) and he has gotten far better than the clunky notes he hit on Around The Fur.

The title itself is a drug reference and it’s clear throughout that Chino at least was a bit of a cokehead. It would keep spiralling for a few years until the chaos of making Saturday Night Wrist in 2006. But at this point, the band were having fun and pretty much at the top of their game live.

All of the rapping has dissipated, and this more ‘grown up’ sound is underlined by the appearance of one of metal’s most enigmatic figures, Tool’s Maynard James Keenan to sing a duet with Chino on the incredible Passenger. They also have their first slow song, with the trip-hop-esque Teenager their first real shot at the chilled version of Deftones they would perfect in later years.

The album also included the popular single Change (In The House Of Flies) and their most experimental single ever, Digital Bath. Both of these songs demonstrate the album’s breadth in terms of sound and mood. Check out these performances of these two songs at the time of White Pony’s release. Change is a huge anthem, custom made for epic festival singalongs. Digital Bath on the other hand, is a slow burning mood piece which explodes into Chino’s passionate singing. They now look like a rock band, rather than some crazy metal kids, and they sound it too. They proceeded to tour the world on the back of the album, and to take time off afterwards. Then shit got crazy. But you’ll have to wait till next week for that! I know the three people reading are PSYCHED for that!


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