Are you a Deftones fan? This week’s featured artist Stephen Carpenter!
Stephen “Stef” Carpenter (born August 3rd 1970) is an American musician, known as the co-founder and lead guitarist of the alternative metal band Deftones. His guitar technique makes use of both ringing open strings and dissonant chord voicings, as well as stock power chords in polyrhythms. Carpenter began his musical career with Deftones playing the traditional six-string guitar, and after becoming influenced by such bands as Fear Factory and Meshuggah, he began playing a seven-string guitar in the late 1990s. After Deftones’ third album, the critically acclaimed White Pony, subsequent releases would be written with seven-strings, until 2010’s Diamond Eyes and 2012’s Koi No Yokan, which were written with an eight-string guitar.
Although initially rooted in metal, Deftones have always claimed diverse influences from groups of various genres, with their musical style diversifying over their career. Their sound has been described as alternative metal, art rock/art metal, experimental rock, nu metal, post-punk, post-hardcore, alternative rock, dream pop, drone rock, post-metal, shoegaze, post-rock, stoner rock, trip hop, glitch, math metal, psychedelia, and funk metal. The band’s legacy has been compared to alternative rock group Radiohead, with some dubbing Deftones “The Radiohead of metal”.
Carpenter has stated that he mostly listens to hip hop, but outside of hip hop, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Faith No More are some of his influences. He has also stated that his favorite album of all time is Chaosphere by Meshuggah, saying: “The most brutal record I’ve heard, from second one to second last. It left me wondering where the heck I’d been the whole time.” While recording Deftones’ Diamond Eyes, he claimed that the only artist he listened to was American rapper Tech N9ne. Carpenter was ranked 60th in Guitar World’s The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists poll.
Carpenter currently endorses ESP Guitars, Marshall Amplifiers, Engl Amplifiers, GuitarRig and Fishman Fluence Signature pickups. He has been a major endorser of ESP since the mid-1990s with a number of signature six, seven, eight string and baritone models in production. Carpenter currently uses Dunlop .011-.069 gauge strings. He also uses Dunlop 1 mm Tortex picks which are black with a custom logo. Carpenter’s current rig consists of only a Fractal Audio Axe-FX II running straight into the venue’s PA system. He also uses one or two Electro-Harmonix .22 Caliber pedals to power his monitors.
Check below for a live performance and tab of the Deftones hit “Change (In The House of Flies)”!
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