Original Deftones bassist Chi Cheng may be gone, but he's certainly not forgotten.
The group commemorated the first anniversary of Cheng's death on Sunday (April 13) by putting out the unreleased track "Smile," which was targeted for the "Eros" album Deftones were working on at the time of the 2008 auto accident that left Cheng in a coma until his death last year. The group decided not to release the album, which band members say is not completely finished, but it did decide to share "Smile" with fans to honor his memory.
Deftones replaced Cheng with current bassist Sergio Vega, and frontman Chino Moreno -- who's currently focused on his other group, Crosses -- tells us that Cheng's situation has inspired the group members to stay busy and never take their jobs for granted:
"Something like that really puts things in perspective, you know? More than anything we're just very thankful to be able to have the opportunity to have what we had up to this point, so to not take advantage of it and create music with your friends. For a while it seemed like a whole other thinking patern; 'Oh, it's time to make a record. Oh, s***, I hope we can come up with something that's good' or whatever and maybe over thinking that as opposed to, 'Wow, I have the opportunity to make some music with my friends. Let's get together and make some noise and see what happens.' So I feel like we fell into this really creative spurt and ever since then haven't felt like we wanted to stop."
Moreno's Crosses is playing shows this week in California before hitting the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on Friday (April 18) and also Pointfest on May 10 near St. Louis. Deftones will be playing a short run of festivals starting May 23 at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Okla., and including the U.K.'s Sonisphere Festival on July 5.