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Jesus Piece’s David Updike Insists “Deftones Are Not Nü-Metal”


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Jesus Piece guitarist David Updike and drummer Luis Aponte recently weighed in with their thoughts on whether or not multi-platinum alternative metal faction Deftones are in fact a nü-metal band.

That latter Sacramento outfit came up in the same circles of the early nü-metal movement, before intentionally stepping away from the genre with “White Pony” and their subsequent touring and aural output afterwards. The decision to do so led Deftones to enjoy a consistent level of success on their own terms, but was not without cost to the friendships they enjoyed with their peers in the aforementioned scene early on.

Updike, who was wearing a Deftones shirt at the time, was asked to shared his opinion on a recently posted episode of the Nu Pod podcast (see below.) He weighed in as follows [transcribed by theprp.com]:

Deftones are not nü-metal. I will die on that hill. I feel like, I see people… I don’t know, people have fought, like pushed back on it. [Their] first record [“Adrenaline“], I will say it’s a nü-metal record, but I don’t think they’re a nü-metal band.

‘Cause if you take “Saturday Night Wrist“, and a good majority of “White Pony” and… honestly I’m not gonna name all their records. But the point is, outside of “Adrenaline” & “Back To School“… How are you going to tell me like “Cherry Waves” sounds like Coal Chamber—I don’t know any of their songs—but I’m saying that stuff. I mean I don’t hate nü-metal, but that’s not my thing. [Luis and I] both like System Of A Down and Deftones, Slipknot… the usual suspects.

When ya kinda get down to it, even like the biggest… I mean [Korn‘s] “Freak On A Leash” or [Slipknot‘s] “Eyeless“—any of these songs. How are you gonna tell me that any Deftones song—even off of “Adrenaline“—[sound like them?]

…”Seven Words“, of course it’s nü-metal riffs. You know what I mean? “Back To School“, of course, the grooves and the rap, even half of like… [but] “Digital Bath” bro? that’s not nü-metal.”

Aponte then took over the mic to say:

“He’s a bigger Deftones fan than me, but I will say this: I agree with both sides. Because I think it’s less about calling Deftones a ‘nü-metal’ band and [more about] boxing them in as a nü-metal band. Because they’re so broad, and they have so many different types of sounds, and interesting… they’re amazing musicians. And I feel like nü-metal is very limiting sounding.”

Updike chimed in:

“I think that they’re their own band. There’s not… Other than that new band Loathe that came out, everyone’s tried to do it, but they can’t, and it’s their own thing. That’s why nü-metal to me is not the right descriptor. They have things, but overall I don’t think they’re a nü-metal band.”

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