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.