It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the release of White Pony, the seminal album from alt-metal band Deftones. This was an album that shaped and defined the musical taste of many people. It wasn’t just some new nu-metal album. No, this was an album that pushed boundaries and challenged the ideas of what this style of music could offer.
Coming after 1997’s Around The Fur, the album reached platinum status in 2002 and is considered to be the album that revolutionized their sound, adding elements of trip-hop, shoegaze, ambient, and even some new wave splashes. It spawned two singles, “Back To School (Mini Maggit)” – which appeared on the album’s rerelease – and “Change (In The House Of Flies)”, which would become the band’s most commercially successful single.
While those two songs have their place in music history, I find myself drawn to two different tracks that have each drawn their own crowds: “Digital Bath” and “Passenger”.
Something about “Digital Bath” hit me on a level I’d never felt before. This was a mysterious track that was as beautiful as it was heavy. The air of pleading desperation has always entranced me and, to this day, it remains one of my favorite tracks from the band.
When it comes to “Passenger”, this song, at least for me, is sex incarnate. It has a pulsating rhythm, erotic lyrics, and sensually crooned vocals. And when you think it’s calmed down, it roars back forth, plunging ever deeper, taking your breath away. Plus, having Maynard from Tool lend his talents never hurts.
I recommend reading this great interview over at Rocksound where Chino and Abe discuss the album and the times surrounding its recording and release.