Deftones were working on their upcoming sixth studio album Eros, writing songs since Fall 2007. Chino Moreno described the album as weird, unorthodox, featuring a lot of atmosphere and soundscaping, and having a “fuck you, I hope you die!” style aggression. Recording started on April 14, 2008; the album was initially to be released early in 2009, but was delayed.
On November 4, 2008, bassist Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Clara, California. As a result of the injuries sustained in the crash, Cheng has remained in a minimally conscious state since that time. Following the accident, Cheng’s bandmates and mother, Jeanne, began using the Deftones blog to post updates on Cheng’s condition. On December 9, 2008, it was announced that Chi had been moved into the care of an unnamed hospital that “specializes in the care and management of traumatic and non-trauma related brain injuries”.
In late January 2009, the band released a new statement, stating that “our fallen comrade has not yet made significant progress”, and that friend of the band Sergio Vega (formerly of Quicksand) would be taking over as bassist in Cheng’s absence, as he had done temporarily in 1998.On April 5, the band played their first show without Cheng (since 1998) at the Bamboozle Left Festival in Irvine, California. In May 2009, it was revealed that Chi Cheng is no longer in intensive care.
On June 23, 2009, Deftones announced on their official website that “Eros” will be delayed indefinitely, saying that “… as we neared completion on Eros, we realized that this record doesn’t best encompass and represent who we are currently as people and as musicians. And although those songs will see the light of day at some point, we collectively made the decision that we needed to take a new approach, and with Chi’s condition heavy on our minds while doing so. We needed to return to the studio to do what we felt was right artistically.”. They also said “The decision to hold off on releasing Eros has no connection with Chi’s condition or anything associated. This was, and is, purely a creative decision by the band to write, record, and deliver an amazing product.”Deftones played some European dates in mid-2009, with shows in Amsterdam and the United Kingdom, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Brian “Head” Welch and his long-time friend Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, along with members of Sevendust, Slipknot, and other miscellaneous rock bands recently recorded and released an instrumental song for Chi, with the benefits going towards Chi and his family.The song is entitled A Song for Chi.
On October 2009, as stated on the Deftones official website, the band joined Slipknot on select dates touring parts of Canada as well as some US cities through the month of November. They were also selected to be part of the Smokeout festival in California supporting Cypress Hill as well as others.
To aid in the fund-raising for Chi and the Cheng family, the band announced two benefit shows in Los Angeles for November 19 and 20.On the 19th, the show was opened by P.O.D., Far, and Cypress Hill. The Deftones set itself contained many guest appearances by friends and peers of the band including Tommy Lee, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Xzibit, and members of Cypress Hill, Far, Incubus, Phallucy and Team Sleep. Vocalist Rodleen Getsic also joined Deftones to reprise her performance on “Knife Party.”The second night’s performance included a second appearance by Puciato and contributions from Suicidal Tendencies members Mike Muir and Mike Clark, ex-Suicidal Tendencies members (and current Metallica bassist) Rob Trujillo and Rocky George, Dave Lombardo of Slayer, Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom, and System of a Down members Daron Malakian, John Dolmayan, and Shavo Odadjian.
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