Deftones Bassist Sergio Vega Thinks Nü-Metal Was More Of A “Construct” Than An Actual Scene


Though not the first time he’s expressed his opinions on the matter, Deftones bassist Sergio Vega has once again sought to clarify the writing dynamic of the band. It’s often thought that guitarist Stephen Carpenter brings the heavy aspect to the band, while frontman/guitarist Chino Moreno brings the new wave/melodic aspect. A newly published interview on (see below) finds Vega setting the record straight on Carpenter being the “heaviest side of the band”:

“It’s not true. I think that we all have the way that we look, and we have the things that we talk about, but the truth is that we all have a very wide palette—you know and like Abe and Frank as well. We all have things that we like that everybody likes. But then everybody has something that the other people don’t like.

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So Stephen is interesting, because he obviously has long hair, he looks like the most metal, and he always is championing younger, newer metal bands that he really likes, like bands like Periphery. You know, those are people that he brought to us.

But at the same time, he listens to everything; he listens to rap, he likes Katy Perry… He likes everything, like we all do. We all have things. But it becomes easy to see like, ‘Oh, Chino likes new wave and Stephen likes metal.’ But that’s not really what’s happening.”

Vega also weighed in on Deftones originally being lumped into the nü-metal scene:

“I think in fairness to Korn or Limp Bizkit or any of the nü-metal bands, I think that there was never really a scene. I come from a hardcore scene, that was a true scene. That where everyone… There was a sound where people were like if you don’t sound like this, you’re not hardcore. Nü-metal I think was more of a construct of bands that happened to be around at the same time.

That were all based in metal, but all reaching and drawing from different things. They were never really anything alike. And those bands, you know, certain other bands influenced, you know, you liked the other bands, you’re friends with the other bands, but everyone’s on their own thing. What I think is special about Deftones is that early on when they recognized themselves getting boxed into something, they took the chance to go left and to say hey, we’re a whole ‘nother thing.

And I think that what it did was when you don’t exist in a box like that, you’re no longer… You can’t be compared to anything. Time doesn’t matter. Nothing matters anymore. So the band took a big risk and became free from all its trappings.

We don’t have the same issues that other bands do, because they’re like ‘ahh, nu metal’s not cool, now it’s cool.’ It don’t matter, we just go [straight down the middle.] We were talking about that last night, how people have peaks and valleys and people have things where they like and they hate you.

But what you really have to do is look inside and follow your heart and just stay down the middle. Just be true to yourself and what you’re into. And don’t get caught up in too much praise and don’t get caught up in too much hate. Or don’t get caught up in anything, because if you lose your center, then you lose everything.”

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