The 51-year-old musician replaced the late CHI CHENG as bass player in 2009, and after a promo picture of the 'Minerva' rockers posted to Spotify didn't feature Sergio, he has explained his decision to leave.
Sergio suggested there was a dispute with his contract and whether he should be classed as an "official member" of the group.
In a video posted on his Instagram page, he said: “I didn’t want to have to make a video about this, but after the recent band photo posted on Deftones’ Spotify, I feel the need to clear the air. I’m not very good at this. So I wrote out a statement and I will read it to you now.
“To give a brief history about me and my friendship with Deftones. We met in 1995. I filled in for Chi — rest in peace — in 1999 and was asked to work with the band after his tragedy in 2009. Because of the love they have for Quicksand, I was asked to bring the same approach as a songwriter and arranger to them as well.
“I was also told that similarly to Frank [Delgado, Deftones keyboardist] I will be brought in over time to become an official member. I had worked with the band for 12 years, and at the start of every album cycle, I asked about becoming an official member, but the contract would be improved instead.”
Sergio admitted the COVID-19 pandemic brought him to "breaking point" and claimed his original contract had been "cancelled" by the band.
He was then offered a new contract but turned it down as there was no room for "growth".
He continued: “COVID was a breaking point for a lot of people. And I started to question my place in the band, and the future that I wanted for my career. I really started to need something stable, because at that point, my contract with them was cancelled. One day I got a call from the guys about an internal band situation, and they asked me if I was solid, and that I would have to fly out to LA to help work it out. Right away.
“I said, ‘Of course’. I was all in, and we can handle my situation later. But I can’t go back to my old contract. Our respective management had a conversation to discuss a new contract, and they offered me the same deal. At that point. It was clear there was no opportunity for growth for me. So I declined the offer. And then I call the guys immediately to see where the miscommunication was to resolve it. But there was no response."
Sergio left the band "early last year" and has turned his attention to his band Quicksand and working with other artists.
He added: “A couple of days later, I received an email from their lawyer that their offer was withdrawn, and that they wished me the best. So I left the band early last year, and since then I’ve been focused on my band Quicksand, as well as working as a producer and writer for other artists and projects. And I’m mentioning this because there was some speculation about me selling my gear and quitting music altogether.”
He went on to thank Deftones fans for their support over the years.
Sergio concluded: “I want you to know that I appreciate all the years we spent together: writing, performing, being taken into your worlds. I learned a lot from each one of you, when you brought me in, you created a new sense of passion for music that I will always cherish and carry with me. You truly changed my life.”
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