Sergio Vega Says His Split With Deftones Was ‘Never About Money’
This week, former Deftones bassist Sergio Vega explained that his recent split with the alt-metal act, first revealed last month after he spent 12 years and recorded four albums with the band, was "never about money, it was about a sense of belonging."
He also announced his new collaborative project that features a planned contribution with ex-Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley, discussing its inception and more in interviews with the Talk Toomey podcast on April 20 and the Podioslave Podcast the next day.
Listen to the interviews near the bottom of this post.
In March, Vega issued a video statement saying he'd parted ways with Deftones in 2021 while suggesting he was never made an official member contractually, despite his long tenure with the group following founding bassist Chi Cheng's career-ending car crash in 2008 and death five years later. Vega also indicated a path to membership given to Deftones keyboardist and turntablist Frank Delgado was not offered to him. (Delgado was first featured as an official member on 2000's White Pony.)
This week, Vega further illustrated his position to Talk Toomey. "It started to become more of a thing of, Hey, I would really like to belong to this," he said. "Whenever it would come up, it was more like they were good with the status quo. But it was not financial 'cause they were like, Oh, here's more money, here's a raise. It was never about money, it was about a sense of belonging."
Vega continued, "Ultimately, in parting ways, it was not a function of me trying to renegotiate during the pandemic. It was a function of the contract being canceled. And me having a little conversation with [Deftones singer Chino Moreno] and then another conversation with a couple of the guys [in the band]."
Essentially, an impasse resulted when the musician wanted more. But Deftones were seemingly content to keep him on as a contracted player. Vega added, "When they wanted to reinstate [the contract], I was like … Now would be the time to get off of this type of structure because it's not really working for anybody. … It's been 12 years at this point, let's make good on that. … And that was it. We couldn't really come back on that."
Vega is also the bassist in Quicksand. He co-founded the Walter Schreifels-fronted post-hardcore act 19 years before joining Deftones in 2009. Vega first filled in on tour for Deftones in the '90s.
"Deftones were old friends by that point," Vega recalled to Podioslave. "We met on the first Warped Tour; I had filled in for Chi in 1999. To come in at that crossroads, having that perspective … was not lost on me. It was something that I had a lot of appreciation and value for, and I made sure to bring the best of myself."
In addition to Quicksand, the bassist is currently working on a new writing and production project with Spotlights drummer Chris Enriquez. They plan to record multiple songs with a different singer on each track, and this week Vega revealed that Buckley was one of them.
The bassist summarized the endeavor as a "cool project where it's a single bass thing. It's the idea of like, especially now, focusing on Quicksand — the band that I've been with a good chunk of my adult life and all of my career, and being someone who's just kind of prolific in general and wanting to write. I'm always home demoing, I'm always doing stuff."
Taking Vega's place in Deftones' live lineup last week was Fred Sablan, who played in Marilyn Manson for several years in the 2010s. Deftones are on tour now.
Keep up with Vega's activities on Instagram and Twitter.