Stephen Carpenter is many things: guitarist and co-founder of Deftones, unorthodox riff machine, a committed weed smoker. And, it turns out, a flat-earther.
Carpenter unveiled his ‘maverick’ worldview in a remarkable interview on the Tin Foil Hat With Sam Tripoli podcast (the clue’s in the title). In it, the guitarist opted to fly in the face of decades, if not centuries, of scientific fact, claiming that space doesn‘t exist, there are no such things as nuclear weapons and vaccines don't work.
If you want to hear the full thing, then check out the podcast (opens in new tab). But we can offer a few choice snippets (courtesy of an intrepid transcriber at the PRP (opens in new tab)) as a both a taster of what he had to say and a possible explanation as to why no one from the Deftones camp has let him anywhere near the mainstream media for the whole of the Ohms album campaign.
Asked directly if he was a “flat earth dude”, Carpenter responded: “Absolutely. If you think you live on a spinning, flying space ball, you’re in a cult,” he added.
Expanding on this idea, he added: “It’s a much clearer perspective once you acknowledge it, because it’s something that’s blatant and it’s in everything. And you just have to, you know, understand what you’re looking at.”
Carpenter went on to reject the concept of space and space travel utterly, stating “the only thing that was ever launched into space was humanity’s imagination.”
“When you first learn about flat Earth, at least when I did that, I learned about all that no dinosaur shit, no nuke stuff and everything. I mean literally you just start going down the path. Oh my god, there’s so much fake shit. And it just keeps happening you know?”
“[Once] I realised that there was no such place as space and we’re in this, you know, created environment, if you will. It changed everything. I immediately lost all the space fear. Like I have no fears of us ever being struck by some rogue asteroid, meteor, comet, rogue planet, no solar flares, none of this space fucking devil’s gonna get ya.”
Later in the conversation, Carpenter was asked for his thoughts on the possibility of a vaccine being created to combat Covid-19.
“[There’s] never been one single vaccine that’s ever worked ever,” he insisted, flying in the face of decades of medical evidence. “All poisons, you can never get it out of your body, [your] body has no means to expel it, it’s stuck in you forever and you just suffer with whatever it becomes.”
Carpenter – who is not, as far as we're aware, a trained immunologist – also dismissed guidelines about the wearing of masks during the pandemic as “progaganda” and “bullshit” and expressed doubts that the coronavirus even exists.
“They genuinely believe that there’s a deadly virus going around and they would have believed it already. They already thought life was deadly and dangerous. So this is no help to them. But everyone else part-time wears the mask, they already know it’s worthless… Please stop, you’re embarrassing yourself.
“And that’s no disrespect to those who’ve fallen ill,” he emphasised, “and even those who died from whatever they may have died from. Obviously none of that is disregarded, but I do not connect that to what this is, you know? What this is some, this is just some mental trickery.”
His full, unedited ramblings are available to hear on the Tin Foil Hat With Sam Tripoli podcast (opens in new tab). Or, you could just go and listen to Ohms again.