Scott Weiland’s Deftones Collab Was Set Up to Keep Him Out of Jail

Scott Weiland by Benikohler via Wikipedia. Chino via YouTube
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In the world of nu metal, Deftones always existed outside the norm of the Korn’s and Coal Chamber’s of the world.

For all of the detuned guitars on an album like Around the Fur, there was a lot more influencing them than just heavy rock and hip hop, and White Pony gave us just a hint of everything from post grunge to nu metal to shoegaze in one go. That’s not to say that they didn’t have help from some friends along the way.

In addition to Maynard James Keenan of course having his own verse on the song “Passenger,” the late, legendary Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver also guested on backing vocals on the track “RX Queen.” You’d think this was Scott trying to lend a hand to one of his friends, and to be fair, it does sound like there was some genuine interest on his part.

But, Scott was originally connected with Deftones on the project in an attempt to get him out of some legal trouble. Around the time when Deftones were recording, Scott was dealing with one too many relapses and was actually just coming off of violating probation for heroin possession a few months before. 

Having a mutual friend in Deftones’ A&R man, Deftones frontman Chino Moreno remembers getting a call asking if he would work with Scott to give him something to do so he wouldn’t relapse again or get into any sort of trouble. 

As Chino tells it: “That was kind of a trip. He wanted Scott to get out of jail, and have something to do that would take him away from whatever he was doing that landed him in jail.

I went to his [Weiland’s] studio in the Valley, and we were listening to Rx Queen, and he had a little harmony idea so he picked up the mic. It’s a total Weiland harmony, something I wouldn’t think to write.

Elaborating more on the process, Moreno said: “I was playing him some of the rough music and he pulled out a microphone and started doing his Scott Weiland scatting stuff over it. Then he started kind of harmonizing with me on the chorus, with this lower register melody…I was like, ‘Wow, that sounds pretty cool.”

Deftones Didn’t Want Maynard James Keenan to Sing on ‘White Pony.’ Here’s What Happened

You can definitely hear the more grungy sounds of Scott’s harmony immediately too, still having the same glamor rat sound that he was getting out of his voice on Tiny Music a few years before.

It might not have been the collab that everyone envisioned in their head, but Scott paired with Chino’s vocals is the exact chocolate and peanut butter combination for a song like this.