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Celebrating the 20th anniversary from Deftones second album deserved a revelation like this: we found the woman you`ve been in love with for two decades without even knowing her name.
I remember coming home with my hands sweating. I had just bought the “around the fur” CD. I remember taking off the plastic envelope, putting it on, with the volumen on max and being blasted away to land on my back over my bed like I had just been shot with a cannon ball. Something like when Mia Wallace gets the adrenaline shot that brings her back to life after overdosing.
I suspect mine was a similar experience to a significant number of human beings. I dont think it’s necessary to explain – because if I have to explain it, it´s very likely you won’t understand. The relationship between a Deftones fan and the band is something medullary, something that makes all the adjetives from the music critiques come across as too used for a love and a devotion that we feel, is unique.
We are intense people.
But this post isn’t about that. It’s about celebrating the 20th anniversary of an album that, in the words of the lead singer Chino Moreno, its Deftones best album. His favorite one, at least. The one that paved the way for them to become one of the most important rock bands in history, also getting rid of their ‘nu metal’ label for good.
The blank-stare girl that has mesmerized you for the past 20 years just by looking at her
We got immersive with the idea of sharing something completely new with you and went out to contact the girl in the cover of the album. That girl with the slightly lost stare, sitting with her legs in a jacuzzi that surely had you staring at her while you listened to the entire album.
We also got in touch with the photographer that took the photo. I’m sure you know him, he has talked about it a couple of times. His name’s Rick Kosick, and he was a part of the Jackass crew. He has also worked for Wild Boyz, Viva la Bam, Nitro Circus and the Jackass movies.
Her name is Lisa Hughes. She told us that this is her first interview in 20 years, something that made her both nervous and excited. When we asked her to introduce herself, here’s what she says: “I’m a kickass little woman from Western Washington. I’m in my 40s and feel amazing. I have a kickass job in the medical field. I love music and going to as many shows as possible. I love every kind of music you can think of and yes of course I love the Deftones, my favorite Deftones albums are ATF, White Pony, Adrenaline, I think they are very unique and have their own sound, nothing like other bands. I find a lot of their music sexy”.
“I love snowboarding, hiking, biking and camping. I just want to have as much fun as possible while I’m on this planet”.
Did you like the photo when you first saw it?
Well funny thing, I didn’t have a computer at the time and I received a call from Stephen (Carpenter) asking if I would allow them to use the photo for the cover. I wanted to see it first, but had a hard time getting a good copy, so I had Maverick Records fax it to me. It was a little dark and hard to see. But I said yes for sure use it. I didn’t have doubts, I was excited!
I am asking because I’ve read some stories about you getting pissed at the photographer.
I have heard some silly ass stories about me not consenting to this photo and well, yeah not of that shit is true.
How does it feel to become one of the most iconic album covers in rock history?
It is surreal and I feel really lucky! I am proud to be on the cover of ATF, really proud. My friend who did my sleeve sent me a picture of a tattoo he ran across which was me, I have seen a few online, too.
Do you have the original photo like in your house or something?
Nope, no original. I have the CD album cover and some posters that I kept, but they are not hanging in my house. I used to have one hanging in my house years ago that was pressed onto wood, it was really cool, but it got lost over time moving here and there.
Have your stayed in touch with the band, or met them when they play in Seattle or something?
Unfortunately, I lost touch with Stephen years ago. I used to go to many of their shows. Stephen is who I used to try to keep in touch with but time passed and life happened. He is an awesome man, I have been trying to reconnect with him, but haven’t had much luck.
Could you send out a message for all the Deftones fans in the world that have been in love with you for the past 20 years?
Thanks for loving this kick ass album cover! I am a lucky woman.
The dude whose feet are in the ATF cover
The story goes like this: Chino Moreno and Stephen Carpenter, who were very enthusiastic skaters and bikers, liked Rick Kosicks work he did as a photographer for skating mags. They called him up and he travelled to Seattle to take some photos of the album recording process.
We wrote him and asked if he could answer us a couple of questions about the photo that made one of the best covers in metal history, according to Revolver mag.
“There was definitely something in the air at the studio and a lot of excitement going on at the time. They were recording the album in Seattle, Washington. I believe it belonged to Pearl Jam. They were recording their album onto tape like they did in early days of making records. And I remember the band being super stoked on what they just did, and wanting to keep going. I was just shooting photos during the process. Looking back at it now, it was exciting and a fun time in my life”.
Did you ever imagine that the photo you took 20 years ago would still be as relevant as it is now?
I had no idea this photo would have such an impact as it did after all these years. It’s something you have to try and roll the dice with to see if it works, and it if it does, then you’ve got something that’s going to last a lifetime. I think that’s what happened with this album cover.
What was it like to party with the Deftones back in the 90’s?
Partying with the Deftones, that was 20 years ago… I’m sure a lot has changed since then, but I remember that night was a lot of fun. It was like any normal party we’ve all been to, but instead, you have a bunch of people wanting to hang out because you have a band that’s doing something cool and positive. I guess people like seek out positivity and live vicariously. That night the photo was taken, there was a bunch of people hanging out and I was running around taking pictures and I saw that girl sitting with her legs in the Jacuzzi. I only took two photos of her and one of them ended up on the cover.
Why do you think the band picked that one?
I’m not sure why they picked that photo. I’m sure it has something to do with the art director who was working at the record label at the time because he’s the one with the trained artistic eye. I remember stopping by the office one day to have a meeting with the art director. Sorry, I forgot his name. He had made up a bunch of mock-ups, of potential different album cover ideas. He then proceeds to show them to me to get my reaction to what would maybe work. There were some other good ideas but when I came across the photo I shot, I was like ¡wow! That looks cool. And I guess the rest is history.
Chino said that ATF is his favorite dftns album, but he also said he thinks the cover is “horrible”, have you ever talked to him about that over the years. How does- or did- that statement make you feel?
Rick: Did Chino really say this? I never heard anything about this until now, 20-years later. So I’m calling bullshit on this statement, even if he said it. Maybe he didn’t like the image at the time and he was persuaded to go with the discussion to use for the cover. I have no idea. What I do know is that cover really helped sell a lot of albums for the Deftones. I think it was over a million units sold worldwide. So I think it was successfull and a good decision to go with that image of the girl sitting in a Jacuzzi.
Do you have the photo framed in your house?
No I don’t, but I do have a gold record to show my accomplishment, and I’m looking at if right now. All I can say is I’m extremely grateful to be apart of the legacy of the Deftones.