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Deftones split with long-time bassist Sergio Vega

Sergio Vega
(Image credit: Francesco Prandoni/Redferns)

Deftones have parted ways with their longtime bassist Sergio Vega.

Vega, an original and current member of NYC post-hardcore group Quicksand, was drafted into Deftones in 2009, replacing the late Chi Cheng, who was seriously injured in a 2008 car crash. He played on four Deftones studio albums, 2010's Diamond Eyes, 2012's Koi No Yokan, 2016's Gore and 2020's Ohms.

Rumours of the split first began to circulate when the Californian metallers uploaded a new band photo to Spotify, in which Vega was absent.

Referencing the photograph, Vega took to Instagram to address the speculation: “I didn’t want to have to make a video about this, but after the recent band photo posted on Deftones’ Spotify, I feel the need to clear the air. I’m not very good at this. So I wrote out a statement and I will read it to you now.

“To give a brief history about me and my friendship with Deftones. We met in 1995. I filled in for Chi — rest in peace — in 1999 and was asked to work with the band after his tragedy in 2009. Because of the love they have for Quicksand, I was asked to bring the same approach as a songwriter and arranger to them as well.”

He added: “I was also told that similarly to Frank [Delgado, Deftones keyboardist] I will be brought in over time to become an official member. I had worked with the band for 12 years, and at the start of every album cycle, I asked about becoming an official member, but the contract would be improved instead.”

Of what made him want to leave Deftones, he continues, “COVID was a breaking point for a lot of people. And I started to question my place in the band, and the future that I wanted for my career. I really started to need something stable, because at that point, my contract with them was cancelled. One day I got a call from the guys about an internal band situation, and they asked me if I was solid, and that I would have to fly out to LA to help work it out. Right away.

“I said, ‘Of course’. I was all in, and we can handle my situation later. But I can’t go back to my old contract. Our respective management had a conversation to discuss a new contract, and they offered me the same deal. At that point. It was clear there was no opportunity for growth for me. So I declined the offer. And then I call the guys immediately to see where the miscommunication was to resolve it. But there was no response.

“A couple of days later, I received an email from their lawyer that their offer was withdrawn, and that they wished me the best. So I left the band early last year, and since then I’ve been focused on my band Quicksand, as well as working as a producer and writer for other artists and projects. And I’m mentioning this because there was some speculation about me selling my gear and quitting music altogether.”

Vega finalises the message with a note of thanks and appreciation to Deftones fans, saying, "Lots of love and thanks to Deftones’ amazing fan base for always being engaged and supportive of the band through good times and bad."

Watch the full video below:

A post shared by Sergio Vega 🌌 (@smurffedout) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.