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Tribute to Chi Cheng


We love you, Chi. Rest in peace.

One thing that most of us at Kotori share is a deep affection for Deftones. Deftones are one of those multidimensional bands that truly inspired fans to be artists, and many musicians, writers and other artists share the connection of being a Deftones fan. They showed us that you can still be a badass if you're poetic and sensitive, so long as you stay true to yourself.

So when I woke up this morning and read that Deftones' original bassist Chi Cheng had died, my heart was broken. My gut reaction lead me to hop in my car and drive fast and long as I blasted their White Pony album, a tradition that has helped me deal with grief for many years now. I let my thoughts slip through the gas pedal and steering wheel and onto the freeway, knuckles tight and steady, whipping around curves and weaving through slower traffic as I melted into motion.

Yes, this is ironic (if not stupid), considering Chi was disabled in a car accident a few years back. Indeed, Chi hadn't played with Deftones since 2008, after the wreck that left him bedridden in a partially conscious state. The band eventually brought on a new bassist, and moved on to release more music while Chi slowly recovered. Deftones were never the same without Chi, though they continue to make great music.

Nonetheless, Chi was a core member of a band that was monumental for so many of us growing up in the past 20 years, and even though he hadn't played with the band in several years, there was always that tiny hope that someday soon, we'd see his monstrous frame on stage once again, rocking out like he was born to do.

Alas, Chi Cheng was never to play with Deftones again, as his heart stopped early Saturday morning. He passed away with his mother singing his favorite songs in his ear.

And I don't really feel like writing some boilerplate eulogy right now. I didn't know Chi personally, even if he has been a very important part of my life since the early '90s. I could spend the next six hours putting together all sorts of eloquent bullshit, and not only would it never begin to compare to the majesty of Chi's poetry or music, it would do nothing to promote Chi's influence on this world. We should be celebrating his life and art! He is a continued inspiration to all of us struggling to express ourselves artistically, and we are much richer because of him.

With that in mind, below are a bunch of videos made by Deftones fans which give their interpretations of some of their favorite songs produced by Deftones in the era of Chi. These are simply what fans of Chi and Deftones were inspired to put together, to a track that connected with their spirit like nothing else.

Our hearts and thoughts are with Chi's family and friends as they deal with this wretched ordeal. Please visit http://oneloveforchi.com/ to learn more about Chi Cheng.

We love you, Chi. Rest in peace.











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