Deftones: 'There Will Be a Hole in Our Lives Where Chi Once Was'

The band posts an announcement regarding the passing of their bassist; Recording Academy and Korn guitarist also give their comments.

Ultimate Guitar

The music world was struck this weekend with the death of Deftones bassist and co-founder Chi Cheng. Cheng was left in a coma after a car accident in 2008 and has passed away on April 13 at the age of 42.

Following the initial statement from bassist's mother and condolences from rock fans and musicians around the world, the group has now also stepped in with an announcement via official website.

"There are so many things I can say, and yet at this moment, none of it matters or compares to the loss everyone feels. 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. All our healing will begin with love. I love you, Chi. Stephen, for Deftones"

Chi was also remembered by the Recording Academy, whose president Neil Portnow called him "a powerful bassist who was larger than life on stage," adding that the music industry "has lost a proud and passionate performer all too soon."

"Although the group's early years were more heavy-metal-based, they were one of the first bands to incorporate a more alternative and ethereal sound into their thunderous and visceral music, blazing a trail that newer bands continue to follow today," Portnow said. "The music industry has lost a proud and passionate performer all too soon, and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, his bandmates, and his fans worldwide who are mourning his untimely and unfortunate passing."

Finally, Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch honored the late bassist in his Loudwire column, recollecting the time he first saw Chi after the accident and how angry and confused he got.

"I couldn't understand how someone so nice and loved could be going through something like that," said Welch. "After we arrived at the hospital and I saw Chi for the first time, my heart felt like it had shattered. I was hoping for a miracle, but just seeing the state he was in was incredibly hard. It had been a while since Chi and I had hung out. The last time we connected was in 2004 at a radio festival Korn was playing at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I was only an old friend of Chi, but I still felt so crushed and hopeless. I couldn't imagine what his family had been going through."

"As Jeanne and Mae talked to Chi and tried to get him to open his eyes, I started pacing around the room. I was so upset and emotional that instead of crying, I got mad. I couldn't understand how someone so nice and loved could be going through something like that. I saw a tattoo of Jesus Christ on Chi's hand, and at that moment I thought about how Jesus must've had a strong connection with him."

Cheng co-founded the Deftones in 1988 and has released a total of five studio albums with the group. After his car crash the band took a break and finally regrouped with bassist Sergio Vega, giving their strongest support to Chi during every moment of the past four years.

82 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Cheng co founded the Deftones in 1998" So Adrenaline and Around the Fur didn't exist? Typos aside, R.I.P. Chi Cheng.
    That would be a damn shame. Around the Fur is a near perfect album. Pity about that one song in between MX and Damone, though.
    It always bugged me that I had to skip through 30 minutes of nothing to get to Damone lol
    I cant understand what they must be going through to lose such a great bassist,but also a great friend..
    Poor guy was forced to be a vegetable for 4 years because of those christian ****heads. I am glad the man can finally RIP. Great bassist
    look man, regardless of religion, i think they'd been holding out hope that he'd snap out of it a la days of our lives
    The guy was given a second chance to live for those 4-5 years,i dont think he would of wanted his life to end because of the accident,yeah he may not be suffering from it anymore,but im sure he treated everyday like his last
    Thrice Capades
    Pure force onstage, pure heart off of it. Such a tragedy and a sad end to beautiful life. I hope his family and friends find the peace that has eluded them so long. And if anybody wants to take this time to badmouth Chi or mention a seatbelt...just don't. Bite your tongue and show some respect to a fallen Rock Hero. (i'm looking at you acezs)
    Like I've said yesterday, I'm not a fan of Deftones at all, but I felt really bad when I saw the news. Probably because we all heard about him fighting for his life for the last 4 years or so. May he rest in peace.
    Never heard a song of theirs... nor is it my style, but I know the influence they've had on other bands, That is probably one of the worst things a Band could ever go though.. Psychologically :/ RIP up there with the Rev nd the greats dude
    I got to see the Deftones live, but i never got to see them with Chi. You'll be missed Chi.
    Im not a hardcore Deftones fan, but i feel so sad that a band can lose a close friend and a great bassist.
    It's amazing how some of you people can sit there and write such negative comments about a guy who lost his life. Regardless of his music, he was a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. How would you feel about some random ***** saying something bad about one of your family members or even yourself when you die? People like Chi are too good for this world. RIP.
    Definitely one of the more shocking music-related events this year. Hugely powerful musician, and person. Randy Blythe also wrote a piece about the personal effects of his music Just goes to show the impact a small group of people can have on millions. RIP Chi
    Never been a Deftones fan but this is pretty upsetting. Just such a waste of life and talent. This man had A LOT of friends like the Korn guys. Remember that track Fieldy had all the guys make for Chi's family and the bills. Maybe someone could pull that whole song thing back up and raise the money for the guys family.
    R.I.P. Chi (I'll post this news on my facebook since my little brother is probably a bigger fan than I am). Hope to see you in the afterlife. Condolences to family,friends and fans. Chi you will not be forgotten.
    there is no afterlife. stop being self-delusional.
    There's always gotta be that guy... "You're offending me by assuming we won't just turn into scattered particles when we die! SHUT UP!"
    I never do this but I'm just gonna point out here that in every comment you've left on this article you're making a massive effort to be a ****ing tool. Nobody appreciates it and you can laugh to yourself as if you really don't give a shit but it doesn't make you any less of a dick.
    Deftones impacted my life an awful amount, as they have done with many others. Hearing the news of this bought tears to my eyes, my thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved him.
    Oh well, he wasn't a good musician but RIP
    I'm tempted to make more accounts so I can downvote this comment even more
    Comeback Kiddd
    Are you that attention wh*re who also said sabbath is overrated, saying something stupid to feel good about yourself? FYI your being looked down upon, not up so enjoy the attention
    I have never seen a comment so full of shit in my life.... Clearly just looking for attention, TWAT
    I don't say stuff like this often, but I'm proud to have just given you downvote #100.
    I accidentally upvoted you, but rest assured, you're a terrible person. I'm going to make another account just so I can downvote you.
    lol that's like going to a park and pushing down kids with Down syndrome. That kind of trolling says more about you than anyone else.
    Am I the only one to think this comment wasn't as bad as UGers are making it? I mean, he COULD (perhaps should) have voiced this in a different way, since the death of a person is a delicate moment, but it's not like he's trying hard to troll. He said "R.I.P." and all. *crouches in the corner and waits for downvotes* Now, the iCarebear mate just a few posts above me is REALLY coming across as a complete wanker.
    Thrice Capades
    It's just the timing, I think. I didn't find it that bad either but it's all about when you choose to criticize the dead. I prefer to wait until after the funeral.
    Whether he was good or not doesn't need to be brought into account. Either way, the man died so set the trolling aside and let him R.I.P.
    Even if you're trolling, this isn't something you troll about. I enjoy dark jokes but come on dude...
    oh, please. He wasnt anything special. Chi Cheng? Sounds like some bad chinese restaurant...
    Josh Reubenking
    You know what? FUCK YOU! What if I said the same thing about you when you die you little prick?
    jokes on you, im a clean aryan. )
    Thrice Capades
    Joke's on you. Nobody respects you and nobody thinks you're funny. Chi Cheng was 100x the musician you are and an exponentially better person.
    so you're proud that your ancestors enslaved and suppressed other people and made shitloads of blood-money. Dude go read up on your history , I'm not saying I hate white people or blame them for anything. I don't think the color of skin or ethnicity has anything to with who a individual is, but the whiteskins are kinda responible for almost all the problems there are in the world today. (please everyone other than aryan a-hole please don't take it personal)
    mmmmm, are you proud that your "brothers and sisters" are living in ghettos, being criminals and drug addicts, Tupac?
    Josh Reubenking
    All you are is a disrespectful peice of shit who should shut the FUCK up. What you post on here says a lot about you.
    That was racist, inappropriate, and totally uncalled for. I know this is the internet, but seriously, shut up and leave.
    You need to learn some ****ing dignity and respect that a talented musician, a fellow human, has passed away. RIP Chi.
    in his opinion chi cheng wasn't as talented as you guys perceived him to be. stop being whiny and dogmatic and respect HIS opinion. he did say rest in peace so he obviously isn't sinister about the issue, just speaking his mind on his playing ability.
    Pretty sure he's referring to iCarebear's comment, not Acezs', but don't be defending disrespectful comments just because nobody else is doing it. They're both pretty out of freaking line and here you are thinking you're being level headed and fair and shit, when really you're only being just as disrespectful to a dead legend as much as those other two dicks were.
    Haha. Should I point out that this is coming from a dude who listed Skrillex as his favorite band in his profile?...
    I do think Skrillex is way more talented and creative than a japp who didnt have the common sense to wear a seatbelt.
    Thrice Capades
    I hope you die. Literally. I'm not a vengeful person, but people like you are the reason humanity is being held back. Does it bother you that somebody out there, who is white, educated, hard-working, talented, loved and respected wants you to die? Probably not...but I guess that's the point. You're a fool, and a blight.
    Does it bother you that I didnt give 10 shits but 1 about what you just said? AND my home address is on my profile, so come at brah.
    Whether or not you think he's a good musician or not is irrelevant. I'm not a huge fan of Deftones either but does that give me an excuse to be a complete d!ck? No, it doesn't.
    I know the pain dealt everyday of losing someone that you can't see yourself living without. Best of luck through these hard times and days guys. the group the Deftones came into my life after my tragic loss of my older sister and helped me follow my dream and LIFE. Its not easy I'll tell ya that, but it isn't impossible. let the music fill that missing piece to your hearts. LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Come back with a force!!!!! So Sorry about Chi!
    I'm not that big a fan of Deftones, but how seriously the band took Chi's illness fascinated me. I really do have great respect for this group. 'Be Quiet and Drive' is bound to give me chills from now on. RIP Chi.
    He was such a nice and funny guy, genuinely one of the most positive minds in rock/metal, and I'm not just saying that because he's dead, it's absolutely true. Been a fan since 2002, I'll never see him play now, would have loved to have met him...
    Not saying there is an after life but you are no more qualified than he is to answer that question.