Deftones: "The bass is a very forward-charging instrument, and it has to be for me to enjoy playing it"

(Image credit: Tamar Levine)

We love our bass-slinging siblings dearly, but, well, we’re called Australian Guitar for a reason, so we’ll just put it bluntly: the guitar (as in, the real guitar) is always going to be the star on any great rock album. There are admittedly a few outlier acts that give us a run for our money, however – one of which being Californian alt-metal outfit Deftones, who’d be nothing without the gravelly grunt of Sergio Vega’s four-string fury. 

Their ninth album, Ohms, is a career-defining onslaught of delightfully down-tuned volatility. It was released to some of the most fervent critical acclaim the quintet have seen since their 2000 magnum opus, White Pony, and deservedly so: the way they balance airiness and aggression, and explore a wealth tones ranging from angelic to angular, is simply phenomenal – as too is the continued strength of their collective songwriting chops and determination to evolve stylistically.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…