The video stars Cleopatra Coleman as a woman who passes through a maze of increasingly secretive bars and clubs, with the price of admission taking stranger forms (a personal secret, an old artifact, threatening a bouncer with a knife) the deeper she goes.
Ahead of the last stop, she walks down a long hallway as other visibly upset people stagger past her, toward Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, who ushers her into the final room where an old woman awaits. Then, in a moment that recalls Radiohead’s classic “Just” video, the old woman whispers something to the woman, which the viewer can’t hear, prompting the woman to leave the room and collapse in the hallway, sobbing.
In a statement, Moreno explained that Deftones came to collaborate with Whannell on the “Ceremony” video after the director tweeted that he was a fan of the band. “One moment we’re DMing each other on Twitter, and the next we’re on set making ‘Ceremony,'” he said. “This has always been the best way for us to collaborate: organically, collaboratively and in this case, expeditiously. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we had making it.”
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Whannell added: “I’ve been a huge Deftones fan for over 20 years and have always admired the devotion they have dedicated to every aspect of their art — from music videos to album covers to their cryptic and intriguing lyrics. To get a chance to be a part of that art was a dream come true.”
“Ceremony” appears on Deftones’ most recent album, Ohms, which arrived in September. The band plans to embark on a U.S. tour later this year with Gojira, with the trek launching August 12th in Minneapolis, Minnesota.