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Sergio Vega Further Explains Deftones Exit, Details His New Project

The bassist is currently working with Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die and other musicians

sergio vega new project
Sergio Vega (photo by Debi Del Grande)
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    Bassist Sergio Vega has opened up about his departure from Deftones, while also detailing his new musical project.

    Vega had effectively left the Deftones over a year ago, but only went public with the news in March. In a lengthy video statement, Vega explained that he never became an official member of the band and contract disagreements regarding his position in the group led to his exit.

    Vega was initially hired by Deftones to fill-in for Chi Cheng, who was in a coma following a 2008 car accident. He remained in the band following Cheng’s passing in 2013.

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    The bassist elaborated on the situation in a new interview with the Talk Toomey podcast (as transcribed by The PRP). As Vega tells it, cutting him into the official Deftones lineup would have affected the shared income between the other four members, though he insists that money was not the reason for leaving the band.

    “It was not financial, because they were like, ‘Oh, here’s more money, here’s a raise,’” Vega said. “It was never about money, it was about a sense of belonging. So that was really it. And ultimately, in parting ways, it was not a function of me trying to renegotiate during the pandemic.”

    He continued: “I was like, I think the path forward is that we can all be in the same boat. Now would be the time to get off this type of structure. Because it’s not really working for anybody, especially now when we’re not touring, we’re not doing anything. And it doesn’t make sense to have this type of structure, it has been 12 years [since Vega joined the band] at this point and let’s make good on that.”

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    Vega remains busy with his longtime band Quicksand, who released a new album last year, but he has also formed a new project with Spotlights drummer Chris Enriquez. The pair are recruiting different singers for each song, with former Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley among the collaborators.

    “What we’re doing is a single based project,” Vega said. “You get with a singer, you talk a little bit about a vibe and we write a song together. And that’s it.”

    He added: “We write and record the song, we give it a little digital component—it was kind of inspired by an Argentine hip-hop producer, who has this series of songs that he does with a lot of artists. [It’s] mostly rappers and some singers, [he] does a song, records it, that’s it. It’s a series. And the idea of building that as a modality in this kind of music was really, really exciting.”

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    Meanwhile, Deftones have filled Vega’s spot with bassist Fred Sablan on their current North American tour. The trek continues tomorrow night (April 22nd) in Las Vegas, with tickets available via Ticketmaster.

    Listen to Sergio Vega on the Talk Toomey podcast below.

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