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Stephen Carpenter’s Bandmate Defends His Flat-Earther / Anti-Vaxx Comments


How long will the metal media continue to run with this storyline? Until it’s buried deep below this good, flat Earth, I reckon.

Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter made headlines last week when he revealed his extensive conspiracy theory beliefs on a podcast called Tin Foil Hat with Sam Tripoli. In the lengthy chat, Carpenter explained in detail his beliefs that the earth is flat, vaccines do not work, Covid-19 is a hoax and that he prevents himself from ever getting sick by using “mind over matter,” among other fringe and demonstrably false theories. He later offered a non-apology apology in which he said he “never had the intent to upset anybody” but stopped short of acknowledging the insensitivity in ignoring the pain of millions of Covid-19 victims and their families.

Now Richie Londres, Carpenter’s partner in crime in his side project, Sol Invicto, has come to his bandmate’s defense.

Posting to Sol Invicto’s official Instagram account, Londres offered:

“Just wanted to say, on a flat plain or a globe or a donut, I stand with my brother @stefdodoubleg ???? all day long. Any ‘fans’ or ‘news’ sites getting their biscuits soggy over a random bit of chat on a podcast are having a laugh. I’ve watched Stephen be a gent to every single person he’s met and written some hall of fame level riffs in his time, even if you do think he is a mad-lad, so what? He’s not working for the WHO he’s a musician and frankly Stephen is one of the tiny minority of famous musicians who isn’t a total wanker, he’s a genuine dude and anyone who’s met him will confirm, he’s only annoyed me once, when he left the studio early to go to a birthday party, but I’ve since forgiven him so that’s fine now. All the best, Richie #istandwithsteph #golfearth

As a so-called news site getting our “biscuits soggy over a random bit of chat on a podcast,” I can say that sure, I am having a laugh, but I am also gravely concerned that a) someone can be so misinformed and duped into thinking things are a certain way (what’s more, Carpenter is just one of millions), and b) a member of a band I’ve admired (and millions of fans have admired) for nearly two decades is one of them. The whole thing is alarming.

Londres’s point that as a musician who writes “hall of fame level riffs” Carpenter’s views are harmless is only sort of true. Sure, he’s not a white supremacist or a hateful person in any way, and I get that; I buy that he’s a “genuine dude.” Still, if any young Deftones fans reading the interview take the bait on the anti-vaxx bullshit, Carpenter is most certainly doing harm to the world.

Real talk: does the revelation that Carpenter is a fringe nut change your relationship with Deftones’ music and your fandom of the band? Sound off in the comments below.

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