Deftones drummer Abe recalls 'relief' when bassist Chi Cheng passed away

Chi Cheng
Chi Cheng (Image credit: Getty)

Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham has recalled the “relief” he felt when bassist Chi Cheng passed away in 2013.

Cheng had been in a semi-comatose state since a serious car crash in 2008 and he eventually died from heart failure.

Deftones released latest album Gore this year – their first since Cheng’s death. And while that was an emotional experience, Cunningham says it was 2010’s Diamond Eyes that was the most difficult record the band has ever made.

Cunningham tells the Broward Palm Beach New Times: “The the most emotionally draining and cathartic album was the Diamond Eyes record, because that is when everything happened.

“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.”

The drummer adds that Cheng’s presence is still very much felt around the band.

“This is the first album with him not being here, but he’s still here,” Cunningham says. “He had a tremendous spirit, and he’s here with us. I miss that dude more than anything.”

Deftones have a number of tour dates remaining in 2016.

Chi Cheng - One Year Gone

Deftones 2016 tour dates

May 15: Atlanta Shaky Knees Festoval, GA
May 21: Maryland Heights Pointfest, MO
Jun 03: London SSE Arena Wembley, UK
Jun 04: Mendig Rock AM Ring, Germany
Jun 05: Nurnberg Rock Im Park, Germany
Jun 07: Milan Trezzo Sull’Adda Live Club, Italy
Jun 10: Paris Download, France
Jun 11: Donington Download, UK
Jun 12: Nickelsdorf Nova Rock, Austria
Jun 14: Cologne Palladium, Germany
Jun 15: Berlin Columbiahalle, Germany
Jun 17: Aarhus NorthSide Festival, Denmark
Jun 18: Reykjavik Secret Solstice, Iceland

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.