Around the Fur, the Deftones' 1997 sophomore album, has so far sold nearly a million copies, yet what stays with one even more than the singles "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" is the fish-eye close-up of the bikini-clad girl on the record's cover. Maybe it's the flower tattooed around her navel. Maybe it's the pasty man-feet to her left. But most likely, it's the vantage point: straight down her cleavage.
Thank photographer Rick Kosick, who had made a reputation for himself at the now-defunct skate mag Big Brother and went on to become a cameraman for the MTV series Jackass and Wild Boyz. Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno and guitarist Stephen Carpenter were fans of Kosick's work and decided to fly him up to Seattle, where they were recording Around the Fur, to shoot the album's cover. "I know Chino was really into skateboarding at the time, and Steph has always been into BMX," Kosick tells Revolver. "At the time, I was doing a lot of rock shots, too. They thought I was the right guy for the job, so everything fell into place."
Upon his arrival, Kosick spent some time shooting the band in the studio and eventually brought his camera to one of their late-night soirees. "They were having this after-hours party with all these chicks hanging out in the Jacuzzi," he explains. "I just happened to take a photo of a girl at, like, 4 o'clock in the morning. I don't even know who she is—she was just a groupie, I think. I just saw her big tits and was like, Damn, I gotta photograph this."
The resulting shot—the only photo Kosick took of the girl—ended up being the cover. "It was one photo—that was it. One-take Jake. It wasn't like I was up there going, Hey, we're shooting the cover. I was kinda, like, leaning over with my fish-eye, and the shot just magically happened. Actually, you can see my feet right next to her."
As Kosick remembers it, his subject wasn't too pleased at the time. "She was offended because I was in her personal space," says the lensman, whose photo book Fuck You, Fat-Ass, I'm Not Down With Your Scene, is being published by UX later this year. "She made some comment about being too close to her boobs. So I took the photo, walked away, and never spoke to her again. I know they found her and got her to sign a release, though."
Some of Kosick's work was also used for three other Around the Fur–related releases: a photo of a pool table appeared on a promotional cassette (and in the CD liner notes); a photo of a microphone was used for the "My Own Summer" single; and the album cover was turned sideways (and tinted blue) for the "Be Quiet and Drive" single.
"I was really stoked to be a part of that project," the photographer enthuses. "I'm actually looking at the gold record they gave me right now. It's hanging on my wall. It's like, Fuck, yeah—I did a Deftones cover."
Below, watch Deftones' Chino Moreno cover Depeche Mode with the Dillinger Escape Plan at the Revolver Golden Gods in 2013.