Riff Police! Pull Over! #83: Stray From The Path Vs Deftones!

Back in April 2015 Rock Sound Magazine celebrated their 200th issue by putting together “Worship And Tributes”, a compilation of covers seemingly taking it’s name from the second Glassjaw album “Worship And Tribute” from 2002. The compilation is notable for both the eclectic mix of band covered and also bands doing the covering while having a number of stand out moments, including Brighton Progressive Metalcore heroes Architects taking on the almighty “Wait And Bleed” by Slipknot, Hacktivist taking on “Rock Superstar” by Cypress Hill and Bury Tomorrow doing a surprise take on “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence.

It’s pretty clear that Rage Against The Machine are a huge influence on New York politically fired up Hardcore quartet Stray From The Path. Guitarist Tom Williams have often joked about doing a Tom Morello impression and the band have covered “Bulls On Parade” and “Killing In The Name Of” live while doing a studio cut of “Vietnow” from the brilliant “Evil Empire“. Recorded in 2012, it’s as relevant today as it was in 1996, about vitriolic right-wing AM radio shows, hosted by people such as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan and even Oliver North. Stray From The Path took that ones step further with “Goodnight Alt-Right“. One thing you might not have expected from them though is a Deftones influence. On the aforementioned compilation they chose “Back To School (Mini Maggit)” with it’s Alternative Metal leanings and hip-hop lines from 2000’s “White Pony“. Some of what Chino Moreno and company record has taken root after the seed was planted with a similar riff making up part of “Beneath The Surface“, one of the highlights on “Internal Atomics”.

Interestingly, despite being a massive hit and loved in Nu-Metal circles, “Back To School” was an after thought imposed by the Sacramento Californian’s Madonna owned record label Maverick. It wasn’t on the original album release, but instead added to the re-issue as well as appearing in EP form. It was only supposed to be a single, but as Moreno commented in an interview with German Rock Magazine Visions: “‘Back to School’ was a mistake. A calculated song, that had been built up with only one aim in mind, it should be a single. “Back to School” was released because I was an idiot. I wanted to prove something to the record company. Months later, after “White Pony” was released, they wanted us to do a new version of “Pink Maggit”. They said we lost our heaviness, and there were no more singles on the album. First, I wanted to stick this idea up my a**, but then I thought “I’m gonna show those f***ers how easy it is to create a hit-single” and so I rapped a hip-hop part on that song, we shortened it and half an hour later, the hit-single was ready to roll on.” Lost their heaviness?! Have these record executive types even heard the album at this point? “Elite” has Moreno screaming until his lungs collapse!

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