Deftones’ Abe Cunningham Addresses Chi Cheng Fan Theory About The Cover of ‘Ohms’

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Next week, Deftones will release Ohms, their first new album since 2016’s critically-acclaimed Gore. Last month, when the Sacramento gaze-metallers revealed the record’s cover, tracklisting, and title, a fan theory immediately emerged that the eyes featured on the sleeve were in fact those of late bassist Chi Cheng, due in part because they resemble Cheng’s in a specific picture. Now, Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham has addressed this rumor in a recent interview.

Speaking to Illionois’ 105.7 The Point, Abe addressed the cover art, saying, “So there’s all these weird theories about the eyes and it’s kind of crazy. There’s this picture of Chi that people have been putting up that’s kind of this famous one that’s been out there, and they actually laid those eyes on top of there and they match up perfectly. Which is a total coincidence and really kind of trippy though too if you think about it.”

However, Abe makes it clear that the coincidence is really just that, and that the art is just a stylized set of eyes devised by cover designer Frank Maddocks.

“Frank Maddocks, he’s the guy from our label that has done all of our records, actually starting with White Pony, he’s done all of our records, all the art for every record since then,” says Abe. “And you know, we obviously have a nice rapport, a nice working relationship together and so there’s definitely trust. He came out to the studio and we’re talking about things and he was trying to get some ideas of what’s happening so he can go off into his hole and come up with some stuff.

“So he ended up coming back with a few things and we just like, the eyes man, the eyes were just… they have a very sort of ’80s, sort of Prince kind of ‘When Doves Cry‘ video kind of look to them. So yeah it was just one of those things but then all these people started lay that picture over these eyes of Chi and it really matches up crazy…”

Listen to the interview here:

Deftones’ Ohms will drop September 25th Reprise Records, and is available for preorder.


Words by Chris Krovatin