Deftones has created many hit singles as one of the most popular nu-metal bands ever. Though they’ve lost members along the way, they’ve gained a reliable fanbase that has stuck with them through thick and thin. This list will take you on a new adventure of the 15 best Deftones songs of all time.
The Top 15 Deftones Songs
With all their released albums, it’s hard to narrow down songs and put them on our hit list. Nonetheless, these songs have been a fan favorite through time:
1 – Passenger
As what has to be the album, White Pony’s, best song, the list starts off with fan-favorite, Passenger. Not only is this arguably the best ever Deftones song, but it is also probably the metal genre’s coolest duet. The vocals have been described as “to die for”.
This song is so special because it unites the vocals of Tool lead singer, Maynard James Keenan and Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno. While most of their tracks have heavy guitar riffs, Passenger has a more subtle instrumental vibe.
There is no doubt that the best part of this song is when Chino sings, “Here I lie, still and breathless, just like always,” and at the same time when Maynard sings the chorus, “Roll the windows down, this cool night air is curious,” the two created a lyrical masterpiece. Passenger is our pick to start off the list of 15 best deftones songs.
2 – Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
If you’re looking for a song that will make or break your opinion about Deftones, there is no better song for the job than one of their most controversial hits, Be Quiet and Drive.
Around the Fur is one of the most popular albums released by Deftones, so it’s no surprise that their hit single made it to the top of the list. It was their first single to make it to the top of the US charts, top 50 of the UK charts, and even at number 29 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The song starts out in a typical metal fashion with stunning guitar work that blends into a serenading melody. Chino’s raspy voice gave the song the little extra boost it needed to create new fans of nu-metal music. You should brace yourselves before listening to this musical.
3 – My Own Summer (Shove It)
If you’re someone who loves to hang in the balance and not know what’s going to happen next, this Deftones song is for you. My Own Summer leaves listeners begging to want to know more.
You see, My Own Summer gives a sense of lack of commitment because it has several highs and lows with no sense of a chorus. Chino Moreno’s vocals aren’t overpowering, but they blend into the mix of instrumental riffs and flares, to create such a memorable song.
Did you know that My Own Summer became the first Deftones song to find itself on the commercial charts? The artistic masterpiece rose all the way to the number 29 spot on the UK singles chart, and you’ve probably already heard it on the soundtrack for the film, The Matrix.
4 – Change (In The House Of Flies)
If you’re looking for a safety song that you know you’ll definitely like from Deftones, you should simply listen to Change. It’s a classic that is loved by people from all walks of life. That’s partially why we believe it should be part of the 15 best deftones.
Before Change was released, Deftones were thought to be a band with more of a grunge influence. However, after the release of Change, Deftones became known as an experimental band that found itself testing the waters of all tones and instrumental arrangements.
Chino Monero takes the spotlight in this hit single with a chorus that leaves you intoxicated and wanting more. His voice backed with instrumental riffs, creates a dreamy harmony that awes all listeners. We can’t forget how Abe Cunningham also provided a solid backbone with the drums.
5 – Tempest
If you’re looking for a song with a backstory or one that has meaning you can relate to, Tempest by Deftones should be at the top of your list. You won’t regret it!
This song was released in 2012, the year everyone thought the world would end as predicted by a Mayan calendar. The band frequently found themselves thinking about the end of times, which is what led to the creation of one of their most inspired tracks of all time.
The song has a vibe of wonder and dread. You find yourself wanting to know more but fear that you’ll find out something that may freak you out. The fear of the unknown is always scary, but it was especially scary back when everyone thought that the world was going to end.
6 – Digital Bath
One of the best things about Deftones that sets them apart from other nu-metal bands is that they create music that takes listeners from extreme highs to extreme lows.
Digital Bath is probably one of the best examples of a Deftones classic. The song has the perfect balance of quiet passages and loud death notes. However, you shouldn’t listen to this song if you’re easily offended. Some of its lyrical notes can get quite controversial.
We can’t end the review of Digital Bath without mentioning its banger of a music video. Directed by Paul Hunter, the video features Chino as he wanders around an eerie mystical wasteland. The visuals are stunning, and the tone of the melody creates an extra depth to its meaning.
7 – Beware
Although Beware was released in 2006, it continues to remain popular today. In fact, the entire fifth album, Saturday Night Wrist, was among one the best albums produced by Deftones to date.
As with every hit Deftones song, Chino Monero delivers vocals that amaze the listeners. His passionate vocal delivery coupled with the instrumental guitar riffs is what gave this song a spot on this list.
There is no doubt that Deftones put their heart and soul into every song. That being said, it was as though this song had an extra special place in their hearts. From its unique instrumental to its heart-felt emotional lyrics, Beware will continue to find a place in the hearts of fans worldwide.
8 – Diamond Eyes
The story behind the song Diamond Eyes is probably one of the saddest ones you’ll read today. Nonetheless, it managed to capture the hearts of fans worldwide and make it to the hit list.
While the band was working on their sixth album, bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a car crash. This left him in a semi-comatose state before it ultimately led to his death. As a result, the song is filled with heavy emotional baggage so get your tissues ready.
As probably one of the best titles for a track, Diamond Eyes showcases all the anger and sadness the band felt at the time. It was also a sign to their fans that they were back and ready to face the world. Although the band is forever changed, they still managed to create a hit.
9 – Minerva
As the best single from their self-titled fourth album, Minerva had to bag the ninth spot on this list for its majestic compositions and dreamy instrumentals that leave fans hanging by the edge.
The outro of this track is particularly memorable as it slowly fades away into an ambient soundscape of guitars and strings before finally ending abruptly on a single ringing note. Like every Deftones song, it leaves you feeling both energized and reflective at the same time.
The most heartbreaking part of the entire song was when Chino sings the lyrics, “I get all numb when she sings it’s over / Such a strange numb and it brings my knees to the earth,” which builds on how he is desensitized to heartbreak because he has been facing it his whole life.
10 – Rocket Skates
After losing Chi Cheng, this was one of the first Deftones songs that earned a place on our greatest hits. If you’re looking to explore the Deftones discography, this should be near the top of your list.
As a track that has memorable lyrics and some banging instrumentals, it is a must-listen for any nu-metal fan who is taking a trip down memory lane into the top hits by Deftones. The juxtaposition between light and dark, night and day, and happiness and sadness is breathtaking.
We could deconstruct the latent sadism and twisted mystery of Chino‘s lyrics or Rocket Skates’ role in the evolution of the quiet/loud formula in the Deftones‘ DNA, but this is less a song to fastidiously pore over than a visceral statement best experienced at full volume.
11 – Bored
While the album, Adrenaline, was certainly nowhere near as good as White Pony or Around the Fur, it still managed to create one of the best Deftones songs of all time, Bored. The wailing vocals from Chino Moreno added an extra layer of authenticity and emotion.
This song is special because it is about Chino‘s battles with depression. It’s about the feeling of desperation he has trying to deal with his mental illness. It then goes from a dark to a fast tempo as Moreno’s vocals blend perfectly into Stephen Carpenter’s guitar work. The blend of meaning and instrumental virtuosity cement this song’s inclusion in the 15 best Deftones songs ever.
12 – Pink Maggit
Pink Maggit from the 2000 album, White Pony, was a hit among the younger fans. Mostly because it deals with going back to school and all the emotions and feelings that come with it, nonetheless, it managed also to win the hearts of the older fans. These fans could relate to the lyrics while reminiscing about their younger days.
It’s atmospheric and moody, with an ebb and flow that creates a dreamlike state for the listener. Chino Moreno’s vocal delivery is powerful and emotive, making it easy to get lost in the lyrics. This video perfectly complements the song’s mood, adding another layer of emotion to it.
13 – Teething
Despite being one of the most underrated songs by Deftones, we believed Teething still deserved a spot on our list. Teething was part of the soundtrack of The Crow sequel, City of Angels. There’s a good chance that movie buffs have heard this song more than Deftones’ fans.
Full of defiance and stellar rhymes from Chino Moreno, it’s truly a shame that it didn’t have a lot of reach outside of diehard Deftones fans. As the lyrics state, “You got hair, clothes, the fashion, the cash flow / How the f*** you gonna tell me something? You’re this close to fashion, the cash flow!”
14 – Knife Party
The song Knife Party was reportedly inspired by a day on the tour bus. This was where everyone found themselves fumbling through drummer Abe Cunningham’s knife collection. Known for their psychosexual vibes, there was no way they would miss the opportunity to use this in a song.
Chino expanded the scenario into the concept of an imaginary secret society. The tension between sex and violence is palpable. During the album’s first screening, the studio wanted this to be the lead single from White Pony. However, Chino fought the idea because the song was too weird.
15 – Prayers/Triangles
Last but not least, Prayers/Triangles is a song loved by nu-metal fans worldwide. If you’re into real-life rollercoasters, you’d be pleased to know this song takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions. So, sit back and buckle up before you click play on this song.
The dissonance of the guitars carries over into a thunderous drum beat that brings the song to its climax. Yet there is also beauty in this cacophony. You can sense how much emotion has been poured into every sound and every lyric. It’s a truly memorable track and deserves it’s place in the 15 best deftones songs ever.