Deftones Part Ways With Bassist Sergio Vega
Deftones have split with bassist and backing vocalist Sergio Vega after 12 years and four albums with the musician, according to a video statement Vega shared on Instagram on Tuesday (March 8).
Vega is also the bassist in Quicksand. He co-founded the post-hardcore act 19 years before joining the Chino Moreno-led alt-metal mainstays in Deftones in 2009. He first filled in on tour for Deftones in the '90s.
Vega's explanation for his departure suggests he was never made an official member of Deftones contractually, despite his long tenure with the band following founding Deftones bassist Chi Cheng's career-ending automobile collision in 2008 and subsequent death in 2013. In his statement, Vega further indicated a path to membership given to Deftones keyboardist and turntablist Frank Delgado wasn't offered to him. (Delgado was first featured as an official Deftones member on their third album, 2000's White Pony.)
Vega contributed to the Deftones albums Diamond Eyes (2010), Koi No Yokan (2012), Gore (2016) and the California-based group's latest, 2020's Ohms, which Loudwire named that year's Album of the Year.
Vega, who on Tuesday underscored he left the band in early 2021, said his statement was forced this week after Deftones changed their Spotify profile photo to a group shot without him. But he wished both them and listeners the best, and said he will continue working on Quicksand and other projects.
Rumors of Vega's exit emerged months ago, per reports, but remained unconfirmed until now. He recently sold some of his equipment through the online musical gear storefront Reverb, according to Blabbermouth.
As of this posting, Deftones haven't officially addressed Vega's departure. Their rescheduled 2020 tour with Gojira is due to begin next month.
See Vega's video and statement, as transcribed by ThePRP, below.
Sergio Vega Statement - March 8, 2022
Hi everybody, I hope this finds you well. I didn't want to have to make a video about this, but after the recent band photo posted on Deftones' Spotify, I feel the need to clear the air. I'm not very good at this. So I wrote out a statement and I will read it to you now.
To give a brief history about me and my friendship with Deftones. We met in 1995. I filled in for Chi — rest in peace — in 1999 and was asked to work with the band after his tragedy in 2009. Because of the love they have for Quicksand, I was asked to bring the same approach as a songwriter and arranger to them as well.
I was also told that similarly to Frank 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.
COVID was a breaking point for a lot of people. And I started to question my place In the band, and the future that I wanted for my career. I really started to need something stable, because at that point, my contract with them was canceled. 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 LA to help work it out. Right away.
I said, Of course, I was all in, and we can handle my situation later. But I can't go back to my old contract. Our respective management had a conversation to discuss a new contract, and they offered me the same deal. At that point. It was clear there was no opportunity for growth for me. So I declined the offer. And then I call the guys immediately to see where the miscommunication was to resolve it. But 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. So I left the band in 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.
Out of respect for the people who have held tickets for this tour, the past couple of years and everyone who supports the band, I felt it important to bring some clarity to the situation. Lots of love and thanks to Deftones‘ amazing fan base for always being engaged and supportive of the band through good times and bad.
I appreciate every single one of you. All my love to the fans that have become friends, the people that have supported my other projects. It brought me so much joy to see Deftones shirts at Quicksand shows land I will cherish this forever. Lastly, thanks so much to the 'Tones. I wish they had the chance to tell you this in person.
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.