When Deftones were starting to make White Pony, they had already traveled to some of the darker corners of their soul. Going through the entire project, the record is more like a document of what the sessions were like, talking about how much they were strung out on drugs and songs that almost put you in a sort of trance in the headphones.
Maynard James Keenan may have been an accidental feature on “Passenger,” but some of the more tuneful elements of the record actually came from the world of grunge.
Right around the time that the band was mixing the record, Chino was working in Burbank when he ran into Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and starting to play some of the rough mixes of what would become White Pony.
After listening to “RX Queen,” Scott actually started to sing his own harmony line to it, which Chino thought sounded pretty interesting when set next to his own vocal part, saying “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 start of kind of harmonizing with me on the chorus, with this lower register melody…I was like, ‘Wow, that sounds pretty cool,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, you can re-sing it if you want,’ and I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’ But then we mixed the record, I thought that that sounded kind of good on there. It was what it was.
It was pretty neat. If you listen hard enough, you can totally hear his timbre and the way that he sings. I mean, it’s totally him. But it was kind of cool the way that it happened where it wasn’t anything that we promoted. It was kind of a little Easter egg in a way.”
Telling the tale of a man who gets more and more enamored with this girl that keeps giving him a healthy supply of drugs, the lower register from Scott adds another layer of craziness, sounding like the strung out junkie that’s on the hunt to score some dope.
With Scott on this song and Maynard James featuring on “Passenger,” there was a bit of a balance between both the light and the dark sides of rock and roll to keep the record grounded.