Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham spoke with the Broward Palm Beach New Times about the band’s late bassist, Chi Cheng, who was left in a semi-comatose state in a 2008 car accident and eventually passed away in April 2013. Cunningham said, “His passing, for me, was a relief. For him, for his family, for us, when his accident happened, it wasn’t immediate. He was seriously injured and left in a minimally conscious state for five years. All the initial emotion was when the accident happened, and to have him pass was a relief after all those years . . . He had a tremendous spirit, and he’s here with us. I miss that dude more than anything.”

Singer Chino Moreno told us that Deftones still feel Chi’s presence every day: [“You know, he’s still very prominent. The greatest thing is that we actually sit around and talk about it and we — there’s a lot of laughter that comes out of great memories. It’s like things come up all the time and he’s very much a part of our conversation still, and I hope that he is forever. And I feel like he’s very present, and his presence still makes its way into what we do musically today as the Deftones.”] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . as the Deftones.)

  • Cunningham said that Deftones’ 2010 album Diamond Eyes was the “most emotionally draining and cathartic” record the band ever made, since it was the first to follow Cheng’s accident.
  • Cheng’s last effort with the group, an album called Eros that was recorded before his accident, has never been released. He was replaced by Sergio Vega in the lineup in early 2009.
  • The latest Deftones album, Gore, came out in April and debuted at Number Two on the Billboard 200 album chart. It is the band’s highest-charting effort since their self-titled fourth album reached Number Two in 2003.
  • The first single from the new disc, “Prayers/Triangles,” is Number Eight on the rock radio chart.
  • Deftones are currently on the road behind the new set and will play in Nashville on Wednesday night (May 11th).

CHECK IT OUT: Watch a fan-made tribute to Chi Cheng: