Deftones produced a surprise performance of the song ‘Smile’, a taken from the band’s unreleased album Eros, while playing live at the Dia De Los Deftones Festival.
In April 2008, as Deftones entered the recording studio to lay down their planned sixth studio album, the band members were all in tune to deliver what was described as their most “unorthodox and aggressive” record to date. However, six months into the process, with the record almost complete, Deftones bass player Chi Cheng was involved in a devastating car crash which left him seriously injured.
The injuries Cheng sustained in the crash left him in what was described as a “minimally conscious state” after being comatose in hospital and moved to an intensive care hospital that specialised “in the care and management of traumatic and non-trauma related brain injuries.”
One year after the crash, in June 2009, Deftones had already announced that Eros, the record worked on by Cheng, would not be released. “As we neared completion on Eros, we realised that this record doesn’t best encompass and represent who we are currently as people and as musicians,” they said in a statement. “And although those songs will see the light of day at some point, we collectively made the decision that we needed to take a new approach, and with Chi’s condition heavy on our minds while doing so. We needed to return to the studio to do what we felt was right artistically.”
They added: “The decision to hold off on releasing Eros has no connection with Chi’s condition or anything associated. This was, and is, purely a creative decision by the band to write, record, and deliver an amazing product.”
In 2013, five years after the crash, Cheng died of a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 42. On the one-year anniversary of his passing, in 2014, frontman Chino Moreno released a studio version of the song ‘Smile’, the only track to ever surface from the shelved album.
Now, the band have performed it live for the very first time. See the clip, below.