Deftones Bassist Sergio Vega Reveals He Has Left The Band

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

March 9, 2022

Photo: Getty Images AsiaPac

Longtime Deftones bassist Sergio Vega has parted ways with the band after more than 12 years.

Fans began speculating that Vega had moved on after a new Deftones press photo surfaced, presenting the band as a four-piece.

Vega confirmed the news Tuesday via Instagram, explaining that longstanding issues with his Deftones contract and questions brought up by the COVID pandemic led to both parties making a change.

"I feel I need to clear the air," he said in a video. "I'm not very good at this. So I wrote out a statement and I will read it to you now."

Vega began by tracing his relationship with Deftones back to the '90s, noting that the band admired his writing and arranging work with the post-hardcore band Quicksand. He first filled in for bassist Chi Cheng in '99 and was brought into Deftones in a touring/recording capacity in 2009 after Cheng was disabled in a serious car accident. (Cheng passed away in 2013.)

“I was also told that similarly to Frank [Delgado, keyboards] 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."

The band's lack of commitment weighed on him over the years, and Vega adds that "COVID was a breaking point for a lot of people," including himself.

The pandemic forced him to evaluate his career, his place in Deftones and what he wanted out of his music.

"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 L.A. to help work it out. Right away."

Vega initially agreed to meet in L.A., but with the caveat that the band work out a better deal for him at a later date. Instead, Vega was offered the same deal as before, so he declined. After calling his bandmates to see if there was a miscommunication, "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“A couple of days later, I received an email from their lawyer that their offer was withdrawn, and that they wished me the best," Vega added. "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 added his thanks to Deftones' "amazing fan base" and to his former bandmates.

“I want you to know that I appreciate all the years we spent together: writing, performing, being taken into your worlds. I learned a lot from each one of you, when you brought me in, you created a new sense of passion for music that I will always cherish and carry with me. You truly changed my life.”

The bassist's statement prompted an outpouring of love from Deftones fans and many of Vega's contemporaries in rock and metal. Randy Blythe, P-Nut, Jesse Leach, Jamey Jasta, Daniel Tompkins, Mark Holcomb and many others left comments applauding Vega and wishing him well.

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