Deftones bassist Chi Cheng passed away yesterday at 42. After a 2008 auto accident left him in a coma, Cheng has spent the last few years in a semi-conscious state. In 2010, however, he has shown signs of improvement and slight mobility.
Founded in 1988, Cheng served as a founding member of the band providing a melodic and heavy bass sound unlike many of his contemporaries on their albums from 1994's Adrenline to 2005's Saturday Night Wrist as well as contributing to the recording of Eros, the shelved album recorded at the time of Cheng's accident. During the recording of 2000's White Pony, he found time to record The Bamboo Parachute, an spoken word album of his poetry.
Cheng's family released a statement regarding his passing:
Our dearest Family,
This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.
He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi’s son, Gabriel in your
prayers. It is so hard to let go.
With great love and “Much Respect!” Mom J (and Chi)
In 1995, Cheng attributed the success of Deftones' debut, Adrenaline, to one word: "Perseverance." Through his contributions to his band and their output, his spirit and talent will persevere for decades to come. As a longtime fan of the band, it's with great regret and loss to have to post this but also with great relief that he is at peace and that the afterlife is receiving one amazingly gifted bassist.