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Deftones, Terry Date & More Give The Oral History Of “White Pony”


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Deftones have provided theringer.com with an extensive oral history of the band’s landmark platinum-selling 2000 album “White Pony” in honor of its impending 20th anniversary (it was originally released on June 20th, 2000). All surviving members of the band’s lineup from that time have taken part in the piece, as did producer Terry Date and various friends of the band, including members of Far and Will Haven.

In addition to discussing the album’s lengthy creation and more, they also touch upon winning a Grammy for “Elite“, the “White Pony” touring cycle and the excess they were involved in at the time—including an unhealthy addiction to ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater‘.

It’s a lengthy and informative read which you can find in full here. Should you need some more motivation though, some excerpts from it can be found below:

Chino Moreno on the band wanting to stray from nü-metal with the outing:

“I wanted to go left [of nu-metal], not because I felt we were better than these bands. I wanted our band to stand on our own two feet. Nu-metal was at its peak. It’s in the name—nu-metal—it’s going to be old in time. Eventually, it did die. My whole idea was when that ship does go down, I don’t want to be on that motherfucker. We tried to distance ourselves as much as we could, and the best way to do that was by following the path we were on.”

Abe Cunningham on meeting with producer Rick Rubin (Slayer, Johnny Cash) to potentially produce it:

“We did meet with Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads, and Rick Rubin. Rick would come out to our shows over the years, but he would just call us ‘The Tones,’ you know, because he had that whole funeral thing for the word ‘def.’ He wouldn’t say the word ‘def.'”

Moreno of his time meeting with Rubin:

“I met with Rick over breakfast, and he was like ‘What are the songs about?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ I just had a vision of what I wanted it to be on a larger spectrum than just a heavy rock record. He didn’t get it.

His process is more of you play the song on an acoustic guitar before you record it. We were never that type of band. We make some sounds, and the sounds inspire where the lyrics and everything else goes. It wasn’t really a match.”

Moreno on the label pressuring the band to add Back To School (Mini Maggit)” to the album:

“I remember Guy [Oseary, Maverick Records chairman] calling me and saying, ‘This chorus on the last song (‘Pink Maggit‘) … that’s a hit chorus. All you gotta do is write something a little more upbeat on it. Why don’t you rap on it, man?’ I was like, ‘Hell no. We just made a statement record, and you guys all loved it when we put it out a few months back.’

Going to record [‘Back To School‘], I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to show [Guy] how easy it is to make a simple, formatted, verse-chorus-rap-bridge song.’ I sent it to them as quickly as possible so they could be like, ‘Wow, they did this that quick?’ They got it, and they loved it. I thought it was so-so.”

Moreno on collaborating with Tool‘s Maynard James Keenan on “Passenger“:

“When we were in L.A., [Tool’s Maynard James Keenan] was writing and recording with A Perfect Circle. ‘Passenger‘ was probably one of the last songs I recorded vocals on, and I mentioned to him something about getting up on it. He was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’

He came by the studio, and it was just me, him, and Terry was in there at the board. We had a pad of paper, two pens, and we’d play the song. I wrote the first line, ‘Here I lay,’ then I gave him the pad. He wrote the second line, ‘Still and breathless,’ then I take the pad back … boom boom boom.

It was a pretty organic collaboration. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I wanna get the guy from Tool on the record.’ It was someone I was hanging out with a lot, sharing a lot with. We were both in the writing state then.

The way that we wrote, line by line, was a pretty rad way to collaborate, especially these days when it’s over the internet or whatever. Being in that moment, in the same room, was really something special.”

Head over to theringer.com for the rest.

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