Ex-Deftones Bassist Talks Complications Within The Band And Being ‘Compared to a storage space’

Ex-Deftones Bassist Talks Complications Within The Band And Being 'Compared to a storage space'
Sergio Vega: © pitpony.photography / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.pitpony.photography.de, Wikimedia Commons)/ Chino Moreno photo: Silvio Tanaka (Wikimedia Commons)
Published on:

During a recent interview on the The Jasta Show with Hatebreed singer Jamey Jasta, ex-Deftones bassist Sergio Vega went into detail about his breakup with the Deftones.

News of Vega’s departure from the Deftones came out in early March, with Vega uploading a video statement regarding his leave.

During their conversation, Jasta asked Vega questions regarding his stance with the band and what has been shared by music publications versus what took place between the band; the ex-Deftones bassist went into some pretty solid detail about his history with the Deftones and how he had been treated by the guys.

While Vega states that the band has been civil with him since his departure, he does go into some of the complications that took place in the past within the band. At one point, he says that he was “compared to a storage space.”

The following is what Sergio Vega had to say about his split from the Deftones while on The Jasta Show.

Sergio Vega talks Deftones split

Vega starts off by talking about how things were always chill with the band on a creative level, but how there was some issues that arose when it came to finances.

“On a creative level, they were always super open and super cool. And really, when we talk about the other end, the financial end, which again, is something that I get – you’re Chino [Moreno] and you have dependents, you have a lot of family, and [if] things go from a five-way split to a four-way split, it changes things and that’s something that impacts your life. So the financial shift and the financial swing becomes something that’s hard to reckon with. But for me, even in my position, my asks or negotiations were never speaking to that; not that it was even possible. Being on half of the band’s catalog, you’re not ever going to see money from things you’re not a part of. But it was never even about money, because even the publishing was there; that’s fine. It’s purely about belonging; it’s purely about just wanting to be in it.”

Later, when Jasta brings up the idea of things potentially changing regarding Vega’s position within the band (from a contractual standpoint), Vega replies with the following:

“This was a perennial thing. This was something that would come up, ‘Hey, guys. This is the time we say this.’ ‘Okay, cool. We’re really happy with the status quo.’ And it was never about money. It was always, like, ‘Here’s another raise.’ I was, like, ‘It’s not about that.’ And – I’m glad you brought that up – because it was something that I think is a misconception, like I’m trying to bring a contractual change during a pandemic. I’m not.

“Part of this weird dynamic was that in having a dual kind of role in a sense of being a core key writer, arranger, and collaborator, but also being someone who’s being paid on a salary created a dissonance. And not for myself, but for the whole thing. And so it’d be, like, hey, you’re home and you’re getting paid. But, I’m like, these are the parameters that I’ve been trying to change. I just wanna be in the same boat. Not about equal money or anything, but when times are good, times are good. When there’s income, we can draw from it. When there’s no income, you just hold on to your thing.”

The ex-Deftones bassist continues:

“It was never about money and it was never about any of that. It was just about literally being in the same situation so that it didn’t create these opportunities for dissonance, where it was like, ‘Oh, you’re doing this, but we’re paying you while you’re doing this.’ I got a call that was, like, ‘We’re hemorrhaging a lot of money on storage space and you.’ And I was, like, ‘That’s my problem. I’m compared to a storage space. I’m a line item.’ It’s not the money. It’s just the dynamic.

“So it wasn’t me asking for anything during the pandemic; it was the contract being canceled, which is their right. And then I was, like, ‘Okay, cool. The path forward is now – this doesn’t work for anybody. We can finally address a total restructure.’ But at the end of the day, we weren’t able to really come to terms on that. So that’s fine. Basically, everything that I had said in [my initial] statement is what kind of happened. And I totally understand their position. But mine is I have to respect my situation and my position as well, that it wasn’t something that… having that dissonance, for lack of a better word, was something that was pervasive, and it was something that ultimately was affecting me mentally as well.”

What do you think of what the ex-Deftones bassist has to say about his split from the band? You can find the full conversation between him and Jamey Jasta below.


Words by: Michael Pementel