Chi Cheng - One Year Gone

On the first anniversary of bassist Chi Cheng's death, Deftones have released a previously unreleased track from the their 'lost' album Eros in his memory.

Smile is classic Deftones, a slow-burning, atmospheric anthem with a transcendent, widescreen chorus. It’s the first cut from Eros, the album shelved after Cheng was involved in a horrific car accident in California, to be released. Unveiling the track via Twitter, vocalist Chino Moreno wrote “Chi, We miss you today and everyday.”

Deftones were finishing up work on Eros, scheduled to be their sixth album, when Cheng was seriously injured in the crash in Santa Clara, California in November 2008. As the bassist remained in a coma, the band decided to scrap the recordings. They re-emerged instead in 2010 with Diamond Eyes, a set of songs which re-affirmed their standing as one of the most vital and important metal bands of their generation. The album’s sleevenotes contained a short message to their absent friend: “Chi, we missed you dearly in the making of this record,” it read. “You’re in our minds always. Hope to talk with you again soon buddy.”

That day, sadly, would never come. Chi Cheng passed away around 3am on the morning of April 13, 2013, with family and friends by his bedside. “He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear,” his mother said.

“There are so many things I can say, and yet at this moment, none of it matters or compares to the loss everyone feels,” Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter later wrote. “There will be a hole in our lives where Chi once was. But that will be filled everyday with all of our love and memories we all have in our heart. He will always be here because of love. It’s time we all give our love and best, and do our best to love. Especially ourselves, Chi would want that for everyone.”

Check out Smile below:


Chi Cheng: July 15, 1970 – April 13, 2013. RIP.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.