Beyond Nu Metal: How Deftones Created White Pony

Deftones may have come up during the nu metal explosion of the later 90s, but they always stood apart. “My Own Summer” and “Be Quiet and Drive” contrasted with Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie” or “Last Resort” by Papa Roach. While they loved Faith No More and Primus as much as their contemporaries, their sound was just as indebted to the Smashing Pumpkins, Jawbox and even The Smiths. Alongside this was a fierce intelligence and experimental streak that further separated them from the pack. And this came fully to the fore with their third album, 2000’s White Pony. Led by the album’s only true single “Change (in the House of Flies)”, followed up by “Back to School” and “Digital Bath,” it took heavy music and Deftones into wholly new territory. Though their fanbase didn’t get it straight away, it would be their defining work. But how did Deftones go beyond nu metal? This is the story of White Pony.