Not only did Deftones become super popular right away with the release of their debut studio album Adrenaline, but they also became one of the defining acts of the decade.
Adrenaline was released on the label Maverick; however, what some folks may not know is that Deftones didn’t get signed solely based on their skills. In fact, the band ultimately got signed thanks to the pop star Madonna.
Per video footage of a past interview (with RMG, Radio Rover), Deftones singer Chino Moreno talks about how Madonna came across the band’s music and got them signed to Maverick. (This footage was found on the Twitter account “crazy ass moments in nu metal history” -and was sent to them thanks to “@itsunclecarl”).
Per Moreno, he says the band was not looking for a label deal at the time, but they were very lucky with the events that ended up playing out.
Moreno says the band decided to take part in a show located in Los Angeles; they were a supporting act for another band that was showcasing for a record deal. The Deftones singer goes on to add (as transcribed by The Pit):
“Somebody was there that knew somebody who knew Madonna. And basically, she got our demo tape; we had a two-song demo tape. And [I] was at work the next day – I used to work at Tower Records – and I got a call from Maverick records, which was Madonna’s record label at the time. […] They called us at work and said, ‘Hey, Madonna wants to see you guys play.'”
Moreno says that after the band performed for some label folks, they were offered a chance to sign with Maverick. Speaking to that signing meeting, Moreno shares:
“We went to the offices right after [the performance]. I sat down on the couch, sort of like this right now. The door opens and Madonna walks in.”
That is absolutely surreal that Madonna would be so into a nu metal band that she would push to get them signed. Go figure.
During a different past interview with The Peer Pleasure Podcast, Moreno talked about being gifted a poster from the pop star – with said poster featuring a nude Madonna. (The following was transcribed by MetalSucks):
“I have it in my house, a poster that she gave me. A naked poster of herself—I don’t know if it was ever for sale—it’s not like lewd or anything, it’s sort of a portrait kind of thing that she signed for me and I cherish that thing.
“I was a little kid that loved Madonna, Micheal Jackson, Prince. That’s mega iconic shit so that don’t think at any point that I was not tripped out when I would hang out with her. I would bug the fuck out.”
Madonna signs Deftones to Maverick Records (1995) pic.twitter.com/8HtKVnYX8u
— crazy ass moments in nu metal history (@numetal_moment) January 12, 2023