Deftones. A band native to Sacramento, formed in 1988 by a group of kids. A defining band to nü-metal, a genre viewed with contempt by many, and many more that were considered part of the movement. Luckily they quickly shed both the label and the sound that helped create it, jumping ship before it all started to sink. Since then they’ve changed their sound fluidly, evolving from one album to the next fluidly. Despite never becoming the mainstream hits that other, whiter bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit were, they’ve managed to maintain a fanbase, relevancy, and quality over 8 years and more than 30 years.
Nonconformity is choosing not to be chained by one’s origins. In another universe, Deftones could have easily fallen off with the decline of nü-metal, and we would have no idea what we would have missed. Nonconformity is found in refusing to sell out even when one is at one’s lowest, no matter how easy it may have been to lean into the commercial. It is standing by people, regardless of personal conflicts and fights. It is surviving the loss of a friend and member, and finding each other again. It is choosing not to define oneself in terms of what people will want but finding ones sound in what one loves. It is extremely clear from their broad and far-reaching takes on their own sound that Deftones create music that they want to make, even without purposefully alienating those who have love for them and their work. I for one hope that this doesn’t change.
Their most recent album, Gore, was released in 2016. It appears their upcoming ninth album will be released sometime in 2019.