Deftones is an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. Formed in 1988, the band was founded by Chino Moreno (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Stephen Carpenter (lead guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums and percussion) and Dominic Garcia (bass). During the group's first five years, the band's lineup changed several times, but stabilized in 1993 when Cunningham rejoined the group after his departure in 1990. Cunningham replaced John Taylor, who had replaced Garcia after he had switched to drums in 1990, and the bassist role had been filled by Chi Cheng. The lineup remained stable for fifteen years, with the exception of keyboardist and turntablist Frank Delgado being added in 1999. In 2008, Cheng was involved in an automobile accident that ended his stint with Deftones and eventually took his life in 2013. He has been replaced by Sergio Vega. The band is known as one of the most experimental groups to have come from the alternative metal music scene.
Deftones have released eight albums since their inception. After the lineup settled in 1993, the band secured a recording contract with Maverick Records, and subsequently released their debut album, Adrenaline, in 1995. Promoting the album by touring exhaustively with other bands in the scene, Deftones managed to gain a dedicated fan base through word of mouth. Their sophomore album, Around the Fur, was released in 1997. The album and its singles reached chart positions, and the album was the band's first to receive certification from the RIAA. The band found even further success with their third album, White Pony, in 2000. It showed a transition away from the band's earlier sound into a more experimental direction. Its lead single, "Change (In the House of Flies)", is the group's most commercially successful single, and the album track "Elite" won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. White Pony was the band's first album to be certified platinum in the United States.
Their self-titled fourth album was released in 2003. While the group's mainstream success continued, sales proved to be lackluster compared to White Pony. The follow-up, Saturday Night Wrist, was released in 2006 after a temporary falling out within the band due to creative tensions. Its completion was also delayed by personal issues within the band, some of which influenced its material. In 2008, while Deftones were working on an album tentatively titled Eros, Cheng was involved in a traffic collision. As a result, he was left in a minimally conscious state until his death in 2013 of cardiac arrest. During that time, Deftones halted production on Eros and released Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan in 2010 and 2012 respectively, with current bassist Vega. In 2016, the band released a followup, titled Gore.