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Saturday Night Wrist

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Title: Saturday Night Wrist  
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Subject: Deftones, Chino Moreno, Abe Cunningham, Stephen Carpenter, Chi Cheng (musician), Rivière, Far (band), 2006 in music, Annie Hardy, Dr. Know (guitarist)
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Saturday Night Wrist

Saturday Night Wrist
Released October 31, 2006
Recorded November 2004–May 2005, January–April 2006, Carriage House, Stamford, Connecticut; The Spot, Sacramento, California; The Airport, Burbank, California; The Hangar, Sacramento, California; Morning View House, Malibu, California
Genre Alternative metal, experimental rock, shoegazing, post-rock
Length 51:34
50:24 (Clean version)
Label Maverick
Producer Shaun Lopez
Bob Ezrin
Deftones chronology

B-Sides & Rarities
Saturday Night Wrist
Diamond Eyes
Singles from Saturday Night Wrist
  1. "Hole in the Earth"
    Released: September 12, 2006
  2. "Mein"
    Released: March 13, 2007

Saturday Night Wrist is the fifth studio album by the American alternative metal band Deftones. It was released on Maverick Records on October 31, 2006. Despite early contributions that were later scrapped, Saturday Night Wrist marks the departure of mainstay Deftones producer Terry Date.

The band's fifth album was the product of an arduous and stressful creative process lasting roughly two years and straining relationships within Deftones. Complicating matters, and inspiring many of the album's songs, were frontman Chino Moreno's drug addictions and the crumbling of his marriage. The outcome, however, would be an album met with critical praise.

This is the last Deftones album to be released with bassist Chi Cheng before his near-fatal 2008 car accident and his subsequent death in 2013.


Early writing and recording

In early 2004, Maverick Records told Deftones they needed to head into the studio due to the lackluster sales of Deftones' self titled effort. The band began pioneering ideas for a new album at their studio, The Spot, in Sacramento, California. On April 30, 2004 they announced they would be relocating to Malibu, California to continue writing the album at the "Morning View Studios", famous for being the place Incubus recorded their fourth album, Morning View. The band spent most of the summer there, resulting in an album's worth of material Moreno described as "straight evil music".

They then began searching for a producer and started recording. They initially considered enlisting Ken Andrews of Failure and Ric Ocasek of The Cars but to no avail. They then worked with Dan the Automator for about a week. According to guitarist Stephen Carpenter, during collaboration with Dan, Deftones seemed to be pursuing the "more technical", math metal-based elements of the band's sound. After some deliberation, however, Chino Moreno and Abe Cunningham successfully pushed towards Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin and would have Brian Virtue engineer.

Deftones then took a short break before planning a month long tour with Dredg and C-Minus to road test some material starting in San Francisco, California, and ending in Hartford, Connecticut, near where Ezrin's studio was located. Recording of the album began in November, 2004. During the recording, tensions mounted within the band and between singer Moreno and producer Ezrin. Chino eventually jumped ship to continue work on his side project Team Sleep while the rest of the band continued recording. The Ezrin sessions concluded before Christmas and the band relocated back to their home base in Sacramento to take a break.

In early 2005, Deftones started tweaking the Ezrin material at their studio The Spot with Brian Virtue and wrote several new songs in the process. Singer Chino Moreno decided to take a break from recording in the spring to tour with his band, Team Sleep, who were also releasing their long awaited debut album. Moreno claimed that this was good for him, as he was somewhat unable to focus on the recording sessions due to his speed and alcohol addictions, as well as the dissolution of his longtime marriage to his now ex-wife, Celeste.

The album features musical contributions from Annie Hardy of Giant Drag and Serj Tankian of System of a Down, the latter also contributed to the writing of one song.


The rest of the band, while anxious to finish the album, decided it would be best to take a break from music. During the hiatus, Deftones released a 10-year anniversary CD/DVD entitled B-Sides & Rarities on October 4, 2005 which included one of the songs from the Virtue sessions, a Cocteau Twins cover titled "Wax and Wane". In late 2005, Moreno met with longtime Deftones producer Terry Date to help record vocals for some of the remaining tracks. The band also managed to quickly record a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" for Amnesty International as well as an iTunes exclusive cover of The Cars' "Drive".

Continuation on production

In early 2006, all previously recorded vocals were scrapped and the band started working on the album again with longtime friend Shaun Lopez of Far and The Revolution Smile fame acting as producer. Finally, with all recording finished in April 2006, the album was mixed by Ryan Williams.

Guitarist Stephen Carpenter stated in interviews that a significant portion of songs were based on Moreno's ideas and that "Pink Cellphone", minus Annie Hardy's vocals, is "all Chino". This is reflected in that Moreno plays second guitar on many of the songs. The known songs he plays second guitar on include "Hole in the Earth", "Beware", "Cherry Waves", "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start", "Xerces", and "Rivière". However, Moreno has stated that "Rats!Rats!Rats!" is "all Stephen". Indeed, Stephen wrote and recorded all guitar parts on "Rapture", "Rats!Rats!Rats!", and "Kimdracula" but also played guitar and wrote guitar parts on all songs except on "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start", where he played drums and Chino played guitar. The title for the latter song is a reference to a famous video game input-code known as the Konami code.

The writing recording process of Saturday Night Wrist was fraught and placed strain on the relationships within the band. Moreno stated that making it was "a seriously unhealthy experience", and that it "dragged on without much direction". Following its creation, after leaving to work on Team Sleep, he stated that he "wasn't sure if [he] was going to return".[1]

Lyrical themes

In interviews since the album's release, vocalist/guitarist Chino Moreno would describe the lyrical subject matter of some of the songs. Moreno explained that "Kimdracula" was part of his email address at the beginning of making the record during his heavy drug use phase. "Beware" is a warning to others about sex, drugs, and drinking, which were the three main problems he encountered during the album's creation. A story Moreno wrote about a witch during his heavy drug use phase would be told in "Rivière". "Cherry Waves" is about testing the trust a person has in someone else. The confusion Moreno experienced when making Saturday Night Wrist was illustrated in the song "Rapture". Communication issues between the band during the making of the album, in which they were quite divided, would be captured in "Hole in the Earth".

Moreno explained the record's title being reference to the nerve damage caused when an intoxicated person falls asleep on his or her arm. He elaborated on the title being attributed to "when you're alone on Saturday nights and your only best friend is your shaking wrist..."[2]


Saturday Night Wrist was released on October 31, 2006, having been leaked onto the Internet on October 13, 2006, over two weeks prior to its release. Its lead single would be "Hole in the Earth" which was sent to radio on October 16, 2006.

A collection of sixteen demos from the Ezrin sessions would become available online; it contains rough vocal mixes of "Cherry Waves" and "Combat" as well as an instrumental version of what would become "Finger of Death". Also included are some instrumentals recorded by the band without Chino that did not make the final cut.

Upon the album's release, the iTunes version included a cover of The Cars classic track "Drive" that features producer Shaun Lopez, as well as a prominent sample of Massive Attack's track "Protection" from their album of the same name.

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
The A.V. Club B+[4]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
Alternative Press 5/5 stars[3]
Drowned in Sound 9/10 stars[6]
Entertainment Weekly B[7]
Okayplayer 89/100[8]
PopMatters 7/10[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
Spin 6/10[11]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[12]


Saturday Night Wrist gained largely positive reviews. earning a score of 72 at Metacritic.[3] The music magazine Alternative Press gave to the album a perfect score, stating: Saturday Night Wrist proves yet again that Deftones have a corner on the transcendental-metal market. Drowned in Sound also gave it a rather positive review saying: "If you've even the slightest interest in 'heavy' music, you simply must make Saturday Night Wrist an integral part of your record collection."

The A.V. Club gave it a positive review, stating: "The album is mostly a heady, atmospheric, willfully too-difficult-for-radio wash of sound that, save for a handful of tracks, stretches out and explores Deftones' creative limits more than ever before." A similar statement came from PopMatters, concluding: "For the most part, Saturday Night Wrist has the Deftones improving on all fronts, whether it's Moreno's stirring vocal work or the band's improved versatility. The process might have been painstaking, but it appears that after all that work, the band is closer to a fully-realized sound than ever before."

Other positive review came from Allmusic stating: "these songs, as diverse as they are, are utterly disciplined sonically. They have all the tension and dynamic, all the immediacy of yore, but the mix is spacious, and Chino Moreno's vocals soar above it." Less enthusiastic though positive reviews came from Rolling Stone, pointing out that "The songwriting never quite comes together, but this is a metal record that gets by as much on sonic tricks as monster riffs." Finally Spin magazine called the album "a sideways step in the right direction".[3]

Track listing

All songs written by Deftones except where noted. "Pink Cellphone" is 3:54 on the clean album version.

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Hole in the Earth"    4:09
2. "Rapture"    3:25
3. "Beware"    6:00
4. "Cherry Waves"    5:17
5. "Mein" (featuring Serj Tankian)Deftones, Serj Tankian, Shaun Lopez 3:59
6. "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start" (Instrumental)  4:12
7. "Xerces"    3:42
8. "Rats!Rats!Rats!"    4:00
9. "Pink Cellphone" (featuring Annie Hardy)Deftones, Annie Hardy 5:04/3:54
10. "Combat"    4:46
11. "Kimdracula"    3:15
12. "Rivière"    3:45
Total length:
Bonus tracks


Additional musicians
  • Produced by Bob Ezrin and Deftones
  • Vocals produced and additional production by Shaun Lopez
  • Recorded and engineered by Brian Virtue And Brian Humphrey
  • Drums on "Beware" recorded by Joe Johnston
  • Assisted by Robert "Flossy" Cheek at The Spot, Sacramento, CA and The Hangar, Sacramento, CA
  • Pro Tools engineer: Ryan Gorman
  • Recorded at the Carriage House, Stamford, CT; The Spot, Sacramento, CA; The Airport, Burbank, CA; The Hangar, Sacramento, CA; Morning View House, Malibu, CA
  • Mixed by Ryan Williams
  • Mixed at Pulse Recordings, Los Angeles, CA and Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, CA
  • Assistant mix engineer at Westlake Studios: Brian Warwick
  • Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk, New York, NY
  • A&R: Kevin Williams and Guy Oseary
  • Worldwide management: Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group
  • North American booking: Jenna Adler for Creative Artists Agency
  • South American booking: Marlene Tsuchii for Creative Artists Agency
  • International booking: Mike Dewdney for ITB
  • Legal representation: Mouthpiece for Maffgel, LLP
  • Business management: David Weise/Sue Davidian at David Weise & Associates, Inc.
  • Creative direction and design: Frank Maddocks
  • Photography by Lego
  • Images from the motion picture Roxanna courtesy of Retro-Seduction Cinema

Chart positions


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