At 10 am on June 17th California time, Deftones’ Abe Cunningham, Chino Moreno, and Frank Delgado were joined by a Warner label rep and a host of journalists to a panel discussion about White Pony’s twentieth anniversary. Given our current virus-infested global climate, this press conference was handled in true 2020 fashion as a Zoom call, with questions going to the band one at a time utilizing the interface.
While Cunningham, Moreno, and Delgado were advised not to reveal specific details about what is coming, they were allowed to disclose a companion album of White Pony remixes will be released under the moniker of Black Stallion. Delgado then shared a story about meeting DJ Shadow at the Cattle Club pre-White Pony and introducing himself with Chino, eager to have him remix material that was as yet unwritten over two decades ago. Delgado then confirmed DJ Shadow would do one of the remixes on Black Stallion, and laughed that it took over two decades to come to fruition.
When asked if White Pony would be revisited and remastered in the studio, Moreno and Cunningham talked about how happy they were with the original version of White Pony. Moreno said the band didn’t want to remix it as the album stands the test of time as is, before going on to sing the praises of Terry Date, along with some lovely memories working with him.
Abe Cunningham shared a story about the band’s Grammy win for “Elite.” He described being seated in the upper balcony and thinking that the group wasn’t going to win, given how far from the stage they were sitting. “Everybody that was winning was seated below, on the floor. So we’re like, ‘Oh, you know, there’s no way we’re going to win. We’re just happy to be here.’” When the band’s name got called, they had to jump over the stands and took so much time getting to the podium that they had no time to say anything. Cunningham said the Grammy still sits on a shelf in his house collecting dust.
Moreno also disclosed that White Pony would adhere to it’s initially intended tracklisting, eliminating “Back to School (Mini Maggit)” as the album’s first track. The inclusion of “Back to School (Mini Maggit)” was a label marketing strategy that he was never particularly happy with, and White Pony 20 will allow the album to be put back to the market in its artist-intended format.
There were a few questions around Maynard James Keenan’s inclusion on “Passenger.” Moreno disclosed that he was driving Maynard from Sacramento to San Francisco for an A Perfect Circle performance and that they were pulled over by police on the freeway for speeding. Keenan dropped by the studio the following day and contributing to “Passenger,” one of the last songs finished for White Pony. Moreno also said Keenan spent time in the studio with them while working on White Pony, chiming in on things as the band worked on their material.
Both Cunningham and Moreno talked about Keenean’s Tibetan music bowls and multiple champagne bottles as stimulators in the studio. Cunningham then reminisced about Foo Fighters trying out guitarists in the same studio that Deftones were recording in, wondering what the long line-up of guitarists was thinking as Maynard and Deftones members were rubbing the edges of Tibetan music bowls and sipping champagne.
White Pony officially celebrates its 20th birthday on June 20th. Expect a date for the reissue to come soon. Touring to celebrate remains to be seen.