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"Deftest" (Xero Song)

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Over the past few weeks in the Hybrid Theory 20 press, we’ve heard the band mention a “3 track sampler” for Xero before the 4 track. It’s the first we’ve ever heard of it. Mike on October 15 talked about the start of Xero on Twitch, revealing a new track previously unknown to fans called "Deftest."

 

About "Dialate": ""Dialate" was one of my first demos that I did with my friend Mark. At that point, it was certainly just me and Mark. There was no band, it was just me and Mark making stuff. And we made "Dialate" and "Deftest" and at some point after that, "Stick N Move." I think there were a couple other tracks that we doodled around with and didn't release or that we hated or whatever. Stuff that we didn't finish. I think most or all of that stuff is out, it's all in the Hybrid Theory 20 or in the LPU or whatever. But "Dialate" was that early."

He pulled up "Could Have Been" on YouTube and said: "So this is off of Hybrid Theory 20, this is when Chester first joined the band, essentially. So that's just live guitar mic'd up, MPC for all the rhythm tracks, and then bass through like a bass pod, an emulator. Like, one of the little laptop ones I think. We were just using like an SM58 mic. This is not live drums, this is MPC drums. Yeah this is an early Chester demo, we were playing around with the back-and-forth. So I think this one with the crazy bass stuff at the end, right? Yeah, so this is when we first tried out this guy Kyle as a bass player. Dave had left. So this is Kyle at the end. Like, he loved Primus and slap bass stuff, so he was gnarly. He loved all of that super fast slap bass stuff. So I thought like, "Let's give him a bass solo spot." And yeah, that solo was Kyle. That was interesting. I actually thought we weren't going to be able to put this track on Hybrid Theory 20 box set because we haven't talked to Kyle in that long. I was like, "Yeah I don't know how you're going to track that guy down... like, good luck. And I don't know if he'll approve it - he might be like, "Give me all the publishing, I want 100% of the publishing or else you can't have the song.""" And apparently I have to imagine he was cool, because it all worked out. I actually didn't talk to him. But yeah, that was that era, it was very much in transition and Chester was pretty new in the band."

 

On the stream on October 20th, Mike said, "LPLive is now trying to get locked on to Deftest as the new Pictureboard. Pictureboard is a pay off. Other demos, not so much. If you were to hear that, you would not be... I strongly suggest you don't start putting your attention on Deftest. That is not a thing to do. Pictureboard, you hear it, "Wow that's cool, I'm so glad we were so focused on that song." No I never said Pictureboard was a bad song. It has Chester on it. Deftest, Mark and I did like a four track cassette version of it and it sounds like shit. You guys don't want that, trust me. It's D-E-F-T-E-S-T by the way, not D-E-A-F, because Mark was a big fan of the Deftones. And we were just testing out ideas. So you can tell just right away, from the name itself, that it is not a grail. This is not an incredible fucking thing. Trust me on this."

But back to the Xero sampler... do we have a potential for a sampler existing with "Dialate", "Deftest" and "Stick N Move"? What do you think? Or is the band referring to the three song sampler as the band audition tape?

 

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The note about Kyle is kind of funny but also kind of like, I don't know, maybe a little cynical? Like, what would Kyle's goal be in not clearing CHB? He'd know he has zero leverage to demand a bigger cut for that song, so it's take whatever Warner offers or nothing, you know?

 

He must know that this fanbase absolutely will not have any chill about Deftest and this 3-track sampler, though, lol. Any attempt to downplay it is utterly futile.

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1 hour ago, gorast said:

The note about Kyle is kind of funny but also kind of like, I don't know, maybe a little cynical? Like, what would Kyle's goal be in not clearing CHB? He'd know he has zero leverage to demand a bigger cut for that song, so it's take whatever Warner offers or nothing, you know?

 

He must know that this fanbase absolutely will not have any chill about Deftest and this 3-track sampler, though, lol. Any attempt to downplay it is utterly futile.

It did sound like Mike was pleasantly surprised that Kyle didn’t try and hold up Warner for more money lol

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Yeah I don’t remember Mike saying PB was bad. He just said the song wasn’t that good, like for us to be so hyped up about it lol

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28 minutes ago, X3RO said:

What is the chance Xero reborn is actually Deftest?

If I had the Shinoda bucks I would send Mike a link to the LPTV and ask. I remember them saying it was a terrible song when they played the riff, and Mike does seem to have a pretty low opinion of Deftest. It might be the same song. 

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4 minutes ago, Justin said:

If I had the Shinoda bucks I would send Mike a link to the LPTV and ask. I remember them saying it was a terrible song when they played the riff, and Mike does seem to have a pretty low opinion of Deftest. It might be the same song. 

Chester says he sang this track, but Mike doesn't say anything about Chester

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5 minutes ago, PartOfMe said:

Chester says he sang this track, but Mike doesn't say anything about Chester

I don't think mentioning that Chester sings on that song is a good idea, the band don't need another "Friendly Fire" situation.

Or maybe is something like Dialate and is Mark on vocals

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1 hour ago, PartOfMe said:

Chester says he sang this track, but Mike doesn't say anything about Chester

Mike specifically says the song was a Xero demo, and then Chester says he “had to sing that song”. That would confirm that Xero Reborn, whatever it actually is, was in a similar situation to Pictureboard. It was a Xero song that Mark sung on, and Chester sung on it after he joined the band. 

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The way Mike talks about it, I'd be VERY surprised if it was Xero Reborn. He specifically says Pictureboard isn't that bad and says it had Chester on vocals, and then immediately after says Deftest was just him and Mark messing around with a 4-track sampler. Very much implies that the song was never really anything more than that and Chester never sang on it.

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3 hours ago, GlassCastles said:

The way Mike talks about it, I'd be VERY surprised if it was Xero Reborn. He specifically says Pictureboard isn't that bad and says it had Chester on vocals, and then immediately after says Deftest was just him and Mark messing around with a 4-track sampler. Very much implies that the song was never really anything more than that and Chester never sang on it.

Yeah he even says that Deftest was just a ...test lol. So TBH this time I trust him when he says that him and Mark trying a Deftones impression is probably not worth to be hyped 😂

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What more do we know about the potential 3-track sampler? Dialate and Deftest could be two of the tracks, but what about the third track? Mike mentioned SnM as one of the earliest songs on Twitch, but LPLive listed RME as the third track in their twitter post. What is the evidence for RME being one of the tracks? I have this vague memory of Joe mentioning RME being on a three-track sampler, but I haven't been able to find any reference for it. 

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No chance Deftest is Reborn. Deftest is one of the very first Xero songs (pre 4 track tape) and also it was a Mark experiment. There is no chance the band continued working on Deftest long enough for Chester to have sung on it too. I can tell you right now that, with what we have, Deftest cant be Reborn. But it would be cool to clear up whats up with Reborn if someone could ask Mike on Twitch about the song. 

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Whatever Reborn is, clearly Mike didn’t like it at all. He said it was terrible. So that’s probably why we didn’t hear it on HT20.

Edited by Justin

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23 hours ago, LPLStaff said:

And we were just testing out ideas. So you can tell just right away, from the name itself, that it is not a grail. This is not an incredible fucking thing. Trust me on this.

Maybe it's not incredible fucking thing but it would be good to have Deftest in the collection and listen how the very first early Xero days sounded like. Also Pods 1, 2 and 3 aren't so good but he released them. He still can release this too. Nothing would happen to him if he would release it. Personally, I am very curious on every single unreleased demo.

Edited by hybrider
Grammar correction

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Eh, I'd much rather hear all the unreleased material from OML. Never been a fan of Xero, probably never will so I'll be siding with Mike on this. Pictureboard wasn't so special either. 

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Holy grail list probably is something like this:

 

1. "Thoughts That Take Away My Pride" from Meteora (probably not even the song's real name lol, could be called something like "Make Them Disappear" or a random title). The only known extra Meteora song with vocals. It's entirely possible they have other demos with vocals (A-Six?) we don't even know about. Like "Could Have Been" on HT20.

 

2. "Friendly Fire". Most certainly a a full OML song with Jon Green, which Mike said is actually an awesome song, is at the top of this list. All of Jon's songs with LP have been good.

 

With "Pictureboard" being released, the list certainly went down a notch... it was the biggest item out there but we do have 2 left that are on that level. Seriously after those 2 there are probably not GREAT songs left that we *know about*. Can only imagine what the band has from MTM, ATS, THP, OML with vocals / semi or mostly completed that we've never even heard of. "Friendly Fire" is probably great since Mike was right about "Pictureboard" not being that good.

 

"Deftest" was either vetoed by Mike or Mark, but was definitely revisited this year when going through the archives because why would Mike mention a 23+ year old demo so randomly like that? It must be quite bad. Would be cool to have for history's sake, for sure. But we only know of 2 more songs (listed above) that are probably awesome. No idea what is unknown that they have, but they probably do have some for each album that are badass.

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9 minutes ago, LPLStaff said:

Holy grail list probably is something like this:

 

1. "Thoughts That Take Away My Pride" from Meteora (probably not even the song's real name lol, could be called something like "Make Them Disappear" or a random title). The only known extra Meteora song with vocals. It's entirely possible they have other demos with vocals (A-Six?) we don't even know about. Like "Could Have Been" on HT20.

 

2. "Friendly Fire". Most certainly a a full OML song with Jon Green, which Mike said is actually an awesome song, is at the top of this list. All of Jon's songs with LP have been good.

 

With "Pictureboard" being released, the list certainly went down a notch... it was the biggest item out there but we do have 2 left that are on that level. Seriously after those 2 there are probably not GREAT songs left that we *know about*. Can only imagine what the band has from MTM, ATS, THP, OML with vocals / semi or mostly completed that we've never even heard of. "Friendly Fire" is probably great since Mike was right about "Pictureboard" not being that good.

 

"Deftest" was either vetoed by Mike or Mark, but was definitely revisited this year when going through the archives because why would Mike mention a 23+ year old demo so randomly like that? It must be quite bad. Would be cool to have for history's sake, for sure. But we only know of 2 more songs (listed above) that are probably awesome. No idea what is unknown that they have, but they probably do have some for each album that are badass.

Hyped for those 2. What about NRL with Chester on vocals ? 

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Would love to hear "No Roads Left" and "In Between" with Chester on vocals. If the band said Mike sang both of them better, then his versions probably really are better. But it'd be cool to hear, because the MTM era was so good. Those seem like obvious inclusions on an MTM box set, if they ever did one.

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i guess i'm in the minority who love everything/anything from Xero era. the raw sound and Mike's creative ideas making music at young age, always interesting to me. 

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I really enjoy the Xero era for some reason. Before the Rapology leaks we hardly had anything to go on, except the demo tape. The era was so mysterious! Now, post HT20, there's been so many Xero demos released, both officially and unofficially, that we have a clearer picture of the band and their sound from 1996-1998. Personally, I think that's really awesome - regardless of the actual quality of the songs. It's just nice to have examples of their history and roots. I know some don't like most of the Xero demos (the band included lol) but I don't think that should really determine whether something gets released or not and in the past it hasn't stopped glorious bangers such as "Dave Sbeat feat. Joe," Mike's 2002 Breaking the Habit demo, and (as others have said) Pods from being released. I'm not complaining either because even though those songs don't sound amazing they're still nice to have, especially for hard-core fans and collectors like many of us here. Now that we know about Deftest and Spark Marker(?) It gives me something to look forward to leaking one day because I do genuinely think Xero is fun to listen to and that it's good for that type of history to be preserved! Plus there's speculated demos such as Slip w/Mark, Stick N Move (Studio recording) w/Mark, and of course a better quality rip of Pictureboard w/Mark that have a pretty solid chance at existing and hopefully being leaked one day.

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