The last couple of years have brought no few challenges to the Deftones camp. A car accident in November 2008 resulted in bass player Chi Cheng being left in a “minimally conscious” state in hospital, a condition that continues to this day. An album - Eros - recorded just prior to the tragedy was shelved in the light of Chi’s situation, leaving one of the world’s most inventive metal bands in limbo.
But Deftones are a strong little gang. And 2010 saw them regroup with bass player and old friend Sergio Vega (ex-Quicksand) for Diamond Eyes, a huge slab of lurching riffs, soaring melody and gut-wrenching drums. It’s truly Deftones at their incandescent best and a record of which drummer Abe Cunningham is rightly proud.
Rhythm magazine caught up with Abe and his drum tech Sean Bates to talk drum kits, recording Diamond Eyes with producer Nick Raskulinecz, and settling in with the new half of Deftones’ rhythm section, Sergio Vega.
Among the exclusive shots of Abe’s kit you’ll see in this gallery are snippets from Rhythm’s interview, finishing off with a Q&A with Sean Bates. You can purchase this issue (184) for the unedited version or check out Rhythm’s current issue 186 featuring an exclusive interview with in-demand session ace Keith Carlock. Or subscribe to Rhythm here.