DEFTONES // Every Oz Band Who Wanted To Be Them

When nu-metal was fresh, exciting, and marketable to budding edgelords, Australia had its fill of Korn and Limp Bizkit. Real music fans knew they were flashes in an MTV pan. If you wanted people to take you seriously, you needed to imitate a band with a bit more intellect on display than innuendo-laden jams about sex and assholes. In Australia, that band was Deftones…

// Superheist

You might have heard the name recently, due to their announced reformation (and recruitment of self-confessed ‘artist’ Ezekiel Ox of Mammal fame to fill vocal duties), but back in the hey-day of Aussie nu metal, Superheist were the band in everyone’s VL Commodore stereo. With two studio albums, The Prize Recruit (2001) and Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (2002) that managed to crack the ARIA Charts, and bonafide bangers like Bullet and 7 Years on the airwaves, the ‘Heist pulled heavily from the early Deftones playbook and mixed shit up with a decisively Aussie flair. Guitarist DW Norton provided the heavy, down-tuned grooves, while keyboardist Fetah rocked out with eerie, electronic squelches and samples. Crank up a Crusty Demons soundtrack, and they’re bound to be on it.//Owen Morawitz


2 // Sunk Loto

What’s a Sunk Loto? Korn, I get. Limp Bizkit, weird…but I manage. Sunk Loto is see-where-the-Pringles-land on a Ouija-board after four sick aye cones down type shit. What a fucking joke, right? Their 1998 debut Society Anxiety EP was described as “Evil Empire era [Rage Against the Machine] and Deftones Around the Fur [as] heavily evident both musically and sonically [wat. -ed.] throughout the release.” (Heavily evident? There’s evidence, then there’s heavy evidence. Wild.) With an average age of 16, Sony Music signed the Gold Coast trend-surfers in 2000, releasing two more chart-middling albums for the label. If it was not for YouTube, you would not remember them.//Tom Valcanis


// Cog

To be fair to Cog, they were around long before the year 2000 and became somehow both proggier and more melodic the further they got into their career. They too have recently blown off  the cobwebs and taken the show back on the road for their first tour in more than half a decade, which was sold out months in advance. If you love the interplay between Abe Cunningham and Chi Cheng (RIP), you’ll dig Cog’s earlier stuff.//Sophie Benjamin


// Karnivool

You can’t really accuse Karnivool of aping Deftones. That would be dumb. They’re obviously ripping off Tool. Tool was a BIG FUCKING DEAL around the 1999s/2000s, and the snooty prog metal scene was divided; is Tool or Opeth better? About 20 people showed up to Opeth’s first underage Melbourne show and now every asshole swears they were front and centre. Anyway, Karnivool first leapt onto our ears in 1999 with the Karnivool EP, which sounded like … yes, Tool with a little spritz of Faith No More wafting over it. By 2005, their teenage dream of out-Tooling Tool went unfulfilled. Themata dropped, resembling prog of a more European vintage. Oh, and they’re supporting Deftones on their tour this October, whut whuuuuut?//Tom Valcanis


// The Butterfly Effect

No, not those shitty movies about chaos theory, time travel and banging Demi Moore. For over a decade The Butterfly Effect were the elder statesmen of Oz nu metal, and veritable kings of the alt-rock scene. While they’ve finally decided to call it a day, the group enjoyed major label success, toured the U.S. numerous times, and released classic tunes like Always, Crave and Beautiful Mine that you can still find on pretty much any Aussie pub jukebox. Vocalist Clint Boge’s signature eyebrow ring was a style jacked by almost every high-school adolescent through 2001 to 2004, and there’s no denying the influence and staying power of their Begins Here album. It’s not just nostalgia for Aussie fans, it’s pretty much a perfect nu metal record, and right up there with seminal releases like Around The Fur.//Owen Morawitz


// Full Scale

Before Ezekiel Ox was in the reformed Superheist, before he was in Mammal, before he was in ANY of his myriad side projects, he was doing his Zack De La Rocha thing in Full Scale, a Perth quartet who liked to mix downtuned riffs with political ranting. It went well enough for them to be signed to a major label in the States, but clearly it wasn’t meant to last. Forrester Savell—who would go on to produce Karnivool’s Persona, Themata & Sound Awake, The Butterfly Effect’s Final Conversation of Kings and a bunch of other excellent stuff that is not relevant to turn-of-the-century Aussie nu metalplayed synth in this band, and bass player Rob Kaay briefly did a stint playing for Sunk Loto.//Sophie Benjamin


// Melodyssey

If you’re more of a White Pony person, and Chino’s croon gets you all tingly, then this Brissy/Sunshine Coast quartet might just hit the spot for you. Their debut album Distance & Regret emerged before the genre was heavily saturated, and sat more on the alt-rock side of things rather than just straight-up nu metal. Vocalist Lance Howard’s distinctive Aussie twang pulls on the more delicate moments of fan favourites like Aquaplane, while guitarist Clint Vincent weaved an intricate web of dissonance and melody on full-blown ragers like Game Day. While the band might be essentially defunct now, you can still catch drummer Luke Williams and guitarist Clint Vincent on the road as permanent members of Dead Letter Circus.//Owen Morawitz

Deftones will be touring Australia this November with Karnivool & Voyager supporting all dates, grab tickets from Destroy All Lines here.

Tuesday November 8, Metro City, Perth WA (18+)
Thursday November 10, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide SA (AA)
Friday November 11, Festival Hall, Melbourne Vic (AA)
Saturday November 12, Hordern Pavillion, Sydney NSW (AA)
Sunday November 13, Riverstage, Brisbane QLD (AA)

Deftness Australian Tour

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