FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Deftones, a Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling rock band from Sacramento, Calif., took time out of their tour schedule Aug. 21 to stop by the Fort Sam Houston Post Exchange for a meet and greet session before their sold-out concert at the AT&T Center Courtyard later that night.

More than 350 fans from the post and all over San Antonio - even as far away as Dallas - were treated to the five amicable band members (vocalist/guitarist Chino Moreno, keyboardist/turntablist Frank Delgado, drummer Abe Cunningham, bassist Sergio Vega and guitarist Stephen Carpenter) signing autographs and taking pictures with their fans.

Originally scheduled to start at noon, the session had been moved to 2 p.m. at the last moment. That didn't deter the band's intensely loyal fans, some of whom had lined up at soon as the PX opened at 8 a.m.

Before the band arrived, the line ran from the front of the store, through the ladies' clothing, past the shoes and all the way to the other side in the men's clothing section.

But even when the session at the PX ran long, the band made sure everyone who had gotten in line left with an autograph, photo or a handshake - usually all three.

"The opportunity for this presented itself before our show in San Antonio that night. It was something we just jumped on," Vega said of the meet and greet. "It was a great opportunity for us to interact with and show support for people in the service.

"For whatever reason they got involved with joining the service, we appreciate them relating to us," Vega added. "If anyone's there that wants to kick with us, we can kick with them."

"We've run into a lot of military members while we're on tour overseas in places like Korea."

Formed in 1988 by skateboarding buddies Moreno and Carpenter, the Deftones are touring behind their latest release titled "Diamond Eyes."

It is the first release without bassist Chi Cheng, who was critically injured in a car accident in November 2008.

As a result of his injuries, Cheng has remained in a minimally conscious state.

When Cheng's accident occurred, the Deftones had just finished writing and recording songs for what was to be their sixth studio album, titled "Eros."

After Cheng's accident, they decided to put that project on hold and brought in longtime friend Vega to record an entirely new album in June 2009. The band has held several benefits for Cheng and $1 from each ticket goes toward a fund for his medical expenses.

Vega said that Texas holds a special place in the hearts of the band members.

"We love every place we play, but there's always been an endearing quality to our shows in Texas," he said. "We can feel it. It's just so palpable.

"To me, music is a medium for exchanging and confirming constructive ideas," Vega said.

"It's a nice thing when someone tells you that our music, which is a part of us, connects with them. It becomes part of their lives and you have a chance to share that personal experience. It really adds feelings of clarity for us."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16