Exclusive Features
Anniversaries, Cover Stories, Editorials,
Interviews, Lists, and Comprehensive Rankings

Deftones’ Top 20 Songs

on April 06, 2016, 11:00am
view all

05. “Beauty School”

Diamond Eyes (2010)

I’ve been on tour with bands whose sound engineers use “Beauty School” to test out and mix the sound systems at live venues across the country. There’s a simple reason for that: the song has all the highs and lows you could ever want and blends them beautifully without losing a step. It sounds like a runner chasing the wind and slowly catching it. Test out any audio equipment with it: If this song doesn’t sound good, either the sound system needs to be mixed better, or your ears are broken. –Dan Bogosian

04. “Knife Prty”

White Pony (2000)

This is Carpenter’s defining performance on a Deftones song and some of his best guitar lines. It’s also an example of the band’s penchant for “unnerving” its audience. “Knife Prty” is creepy and insinuative — “My knife, it’s sharp and chrome/ Come see inside my bones” — yet somehow alluring (and undeniably catchy). It’s a highlight on White Pony and therefore a highlight in the band’s catalog. –Jon Hadusek

03. “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”

Around the Fur (1997)

Want to know what my introduction to Deftones was? You’re not gonna like it. I was 10 years old or so and a huge Incubus fan. I saw Adam Sandler, Incubus, and Deftones perform “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”. If Adam Sandler’s version can make me love Deftones as an adolescent, imagine how good the actual song might be! It turns out it captures the feeling of needing to escape even better when the band is going heavy and Moreno is singing at full volume. –Dan Bogosian

02. “Tempest”

Koi No Yokan (2012)

Point out any riff by any band that’s heavier than “Tempest”. If you named anything just now, I will fight you to the death arguing you are wrong. The fact that the main verse part is accentuated by the bridge’s variation, a slight but twisted difference that hits like a sledgehammer, makes it all the more impressive that this epic has a chorus that we can all sing along to. Expansive textures, Shakespearian lyrics, and multiple all-time-great riffs rolled into one banger make it one of their best. But if “Tempest” isn’t the top slot, what could be? –Dan Bogosian

01. “Change (In the House of Flies)”

White Pony (2000)

I thought whittling down an ultimate No. 1 best Deftones song would be impossible, if not arbitrary, like picking the best flower in a field of golden lilys or choosing something off a brunch menu when you’re hungover. But to my surprise, Dan and I both immediately settled on a unanimous choice in White Pony’s climactic “Change (In the House of Flies)”. I would go as far as calling it a modern classic and one of the greatest alternative rock songs of all time. It is a pure and perfect distillation of why Deftones are such a captivating band. The impressionistic atmosphere, the seduction in Moreno’s voice and imagery, the riffs: It’s all here. If we could only take one Deftones song — only one — with us for the rest of our lives, let it be “Change”. –Jon Hadusek

view all