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Xero A&R Front.png
Song by Xero from the album Xero (A&R Demo Tape)
Recorded 1996
Released 1997
Format Cassette
Length 3:31
Writer Mike Shinoda, Mark Wakefield

Xero (A&R Demo Tape) track listing
  1. Dialate
  2. Deftest
  3. Fuse
  4. Stick N Move

"Deftest" is the second track on the Xero 1997 cassette tape given by the band to record label executives in order to try to get signed.


"Deftest" was an early Xero demo written by Mike Shinoda and Mark Wakefield around the same time as "Dialate", before the band was formed. It was first mentioned by Mike on Twitch on October 15, 2020.[1] He was questioned about it on October 20, to which he said, "LPLive is now trying to get locked on to Deftest as the new Pictureboard. Pictureboard is a pay off. Other demos, not so much. If you were to hear that, you would not be... I strongly suggest you don't start putting your attention on Deftest. That is not a thing to do. Pictureboard, you hear it, "Wow that's cool, I'm so glad we were so focused on that song." No I never said Pictureboard was a bad song. It has Chester on it. Deftest, Mark and I did like a four track cassette version of it and it sounds like shit. You guys don't want that, trust me. It's D-E-F-T-E-S-T by the way, not D-E-A-F, because Mark was a big fan of the Deftones. And we were just testing out ideas. So you can tell just right away, from the name itself, that it is not a grail. This is not an incredible fucking thing. Trust me on this."[2]


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Deftest Xero 3:31 1996 1997


  • Mike Shinoda
  • Mark Wakefield
  • Brad Delson
  • Rob Bourdon
  • Dave Farrell
  • Joe Hahn