Grieving Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter is struggling to come to terms with the loss of bandmate CHI CHENG, insisting "there will be a hole in our lives" following the bass player's death on Saturday (13Apr13).

The tragic rocker, 42, never recovered after slipping into a coma following a California car crash in November, 2008, and tributes from Tom Morello, Sebastian Bach, former Guns N' Roses stars Duff MCKagan and Slash and ex-My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way poured in as soon as the news of his passing broke over the weekend.

In a post on his page, Deftones singer Chino Moreno wrote, "Rest in peace Chi Cheng", and now Carpenter has released a touching statement on behalf of the whole group.

It reads: "There are so many things I can say, and yet, at this moment, none of it matters or compares to the loss everyone feels. There will be a hole in our lives where Chi once was. But that will be filled everyday with all of our love and memories we all have in our heart.

"He will always be here because of love. It's time we all give our love and best, and do our best to love. Especially ourselves, Chi would want that for everyone. All our healing will begin with love. I love you Chi."

Cheng co-founded Deftones in the late 1980s with Moreno, Carpenter and Abe Cunningham.

The band was working on an album titled Eros at the time of the crash, but the project was shelved following the accident. Cheng was eventually replaced with Sergio Vega, formerly of Quicksand.