The Real Reason Deftones Refused to Tour with Korn

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Nu metal has always been one facet of what Deftones are able to do with their music.

Even though they came up around the time that bands like Coal Chamber and Korn were breaking out, they were always set to do their own thing, taking elements of everything from shoegaze to alternative music and hip hop and blending it into its own weird melting pot.

They seem to be proud of their place in metal, but Chino Moreno also didn’t want to live as a nu metal singer for the rest of his life either. 

While Korn and Deftones ‘ close friendship is long and well documented, Deftones ultimately decided to cut touring ties with Korn and the nu metal ilk when the genre and nu metal moniker started to explode in the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

Moreno reflected on the tough career pivot and decision, saying “we did make a very conscious choice of who we were going to play shows with, It was hard to be this young band and having to turn down tours.

I can’t remember how many times I turned down Korn! And they got pissed at us. Jonathan [Davis] would say, ‘Why do you hate us?’ and I didn’t know what to say. I’d tell him, ‘Dude, I don’t hate you. I love you guys, you’re my friends. But I don’t want to tour with you.

I don’t want to be on the Family Values with you and Limp Bizkit.’ The name of the genre was nü metal, so anything that is new is one day going to be old. And I didn’t want to be old with it.”

When asked about it more recently though, Munky of Korn seemed a little more open to talking about the dust up, telling Loudwire that “I heard a little bit about that. I’m such a big Deftones fan. It doesn’t matter to me honestly. I’ll love them if I get to see them every night and play with them or I’ll love them like I have been for so many years.

I mean, we came up together at the same time so there’s definitely a mutual love and respect for each other. I think it’ll happen. Maybe it’s a festival or whatever, but I think if everybody wishes it into the universe, it could happen.”

Even though some of it may have seemed like Chino just blasting Korn, each of these bands are still the dudes that grew up listening to metal and are more than willing to tour together if the time calls for it.

Chino and Deftones’ decision seemed to be coming from a strategic place, not emotion. Whether ultimately true or not, it seems that Chino felt that Deftones could only have a career of longevity if they avoided trend hopping, since trends ultimately come and go:

“We sort of made a conscious decision to try to break away from what we were trying to be shut into—not that we felt better than Korn and Limp Bizkit or any of the other bands.

But we just wanted our own identity. One way of helping that was to do shows on our own and away from what we were being lumped into, so that’s all.”

In the end, things seemed to work out just fine career-wise for both acts, though.

And who knows, we might actually see both bands on the same touring bill at some point before hell freezes over, as Chino has since stated that he’s more open to playing shows again together these days, presumably now that Deftones have forged their own secure identify and career path:  “I would do shows with them [Korn], I would definitely do shows with them.”