“Change (In The House Of Flies)” from the Deftones' third album White Pony maybe the archetypical song for the band. It represented a shift from their primary aggressive in your face assaults to one of tortured beauty while retaining heavy elements to the song. Deftones have shed their Nu-Metal moniker many albums ago and have moved on to influencing current bands like Bloc Party who mention White Pony as a sonic touchstone.
Deftones pull from such varied influences as the extreme metal of Meshuggah to the keyboard romanticism of Depeche Mode to fuse together their unique songs. These influences will come together in the form of their seventh album, Koi No Yokan due in stores on November 13th. While some Deftones albums have taken a few years to gestate, the new album was recorded fairly quickly as the band has been on a creative roll lately which can be attributed to fairly recent addition of Sergio Vega in 2009 on bass who is filing in after their bassist Chi Cheng went into a coma after a car accident.
Lead singer Chino Moreno talks about this boost in creativity, “The last album we changed our work ethic. We would go into a rehearsal space in six hour blocks just the five of us. Our mindset was so much better. Vega has really inspired everyone to pick up their instruments and dive in deeper. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for him coming in at the time he did, I don't think we would have continued on as a band.”
When discussing the genesis of their unique sound, “My favorite part about it is that we make the music that we like to listen to. It just happens to be heavier. A lot of it happens to be that our guitar player Steph loves metal. But the contrast of what he does and what I do and what everyone does lends to it. I'm not ashamed about it all. I wouldn't start a new band tomorrow and try to be anything else.”
In terms of discussing people's music preferences Moreno elaborates, “When I was in high school, things were a lot more segregated as far as if you were a metalhead you hung out in this section of the quad. If you like Depeche Mode, you were a goth. I can't help what I like. I think you will really like the new record cause some of those extreme influences are really peaking through a little more.”
With their diverse sounds, Deftones have managed to appear on such bills as Warped Tour, Ozzfest and Lollapalooza with only Coachella seemingly missing from the docket. Moreno explains “We've always been perceived as a metal band. Some heavier bands have played like Mastodon. I really feel like we can always fit into whatever circumstance you put us in. I would love to do it. It is one of those things whether the Pitchfork crowd can handle us.”
Deftones will join Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Chevelle and Scars On Broadway at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine for the Epicenter Festival on Saturday September 22.